This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project
to make the world's books discoverable online.
It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover.
Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the
publisher to a library and finally to you.
Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.
We also ask that you:
+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for
personal, non-commercial purposes.
+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.
+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.
+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe.
About Google Book Search
Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web
at |http: //books .google .com/I
ELDER ABNER JONES.
BY HIS SON, A. D. JONES.
*'The memory of the just is blessed.''— Biblx.
WILLIAM CROSBY & COMPANY
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1842,
By a. I>. Jones,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
Tuttle & Dennett, Printers.
When a man's biography is given to the world,
the public asks, " what has he done and where is
the good ?" In answer, the writer of this unpre-
tending " Memoir," has only to say, that the great
public has no concern in the affair at all. This
little book is written for a limited circle, and is
nothing more than a simple story of a plain and
good man told in a homely way.
The subject of this " Memoir" was not ex-
tensively known beyond the pale of his own de-
nomination. There, however, his memory is pre-
cious in all hearts, as his presence ever gave de-
light, when he walked among them a father, patri-
arch, and minister of God. Thousands, as their
eyes run over these pages, will call to mind his
comely and cheerful presence, his cordial and af-
fectionate greeting, and the music of a voice so
ri F RIB FACE.
sweet that it seemed tuned by the Spirit for the
Father's praise. To- such, I trust, the labor that
has been bestowed upon this work will be appreci-
ated, and I would indulge the hope that they will
find here the transcript of -the man^-whom all who
knew him, loved and delighted to honor.
For the great world beside, this book will have
few charms. No effort has been made to ingrati-
ate it. Rs cTiticism cannot reach it, for it is only
a "yamiZy sowt)eni>," and its sanctuary may not
Here and there, however, will be found one, lov-
ing all and hoping evier, who will catch the spirit
of these pages, and will be edified and instructed.
These are of the true household of faith, and will
here find a brother. Would there were more.
It is well known in the denomination whose first
preacher Elder Jones was, that he sent out a
pamphlet, earfy in his ministry, containing a brief
account of his early life and religious experience,
promising, at some future period, to continue the
auto-biography. To this end he kept a regular
journal, a part of which he revised a short time
before his decease, with the intention of giving it
to the public. He was not permitted, however, to
accomplish it, andleft the completion of thelask,
on his death-bed, to the hands of his son, the wri-
ter of this "Memoir."
According to the ability God has given hhn, he
Jias discharged the duty, -and now dedicates the
little work to the members of the " Christian
Connexion" in the United States, hoping that his
labor may prove acceptable to them in general,
and valuable to the many personal friends of El-
<ler Jones scattered throughout the whole " Israel
The Journ^ of Elder Jones was far from be-
ing perfect In some instances whole years are
wanting, which the writer has been compelled to
■ fill up from memory, or such help as .may have
-come to hand. 'There may be, as a consequence,
some slight anachronisms, ^nd some few incidents
in his life omitted, which those who knew him,
might expect and .wish to see. If so the writer
will be most happy to be informed of the same,
and will gladly incorporate them into succeeding
The book has been compiled amidst the pres-
sure of many avocations, which is the only apolo-
gy for the any inaccuracies apparent in it. If
another edition should be demanded, these will
The writer hopes that the likeness of Elder
Jones will render this volume doubly dear to those
who were in the habit of beholding his " dear fa-
miliar face." It has been procured at an expense,
which nothing but the strong desire uniformly ex-
pressed that it should adorn the book, would have
In conclusion the writer would say that the filial
task just concluded has been as pleasing as it was
arduous. No mere pecuniary considerations would
ever have prompted the task, — it has been done in
obedience to the dying wishes of a kind and loving
father, and the demand of his many friends, to
either of which he would have felt under obligation
to respond. That it may prove an acceptable offer-
ing on the Altar of Piety, subserve the interests of
true religion in the Earth, and prove a blessing to
countless hearts, is the earnest prayer of
Brighton^ Mass. Jan. I, 1842.
The subject of this biography, Elder Abner
Jones, was born in Royalston, in Massachu-
setts, on the 2?th of April, 1772. His father
was a native of the same State, and his mother
first drew in the breath of life in the sister State
of Rhode Island. They were plain farmers,
such as the then new interior of New England
every where revealed*- They were both pious
Baptists, and his father occasionally lead the de-
votions and exhorted at prayer and conference
Elder Jones often spoke of his father and
mother with great affection, and remembered to
his dying day, the faithful and kind admonitions
of his childhood, albeit theirs was a stern and
rigid piety, if we may judge from his first relig-
ious impressions. I take the following from
the commencement of his ^^ Journal," as illus*-
trative of this fact.
** During the earliest years of my life, among
the many religious thoughts which forced them-
selves on my mind, the strongest and most often
10 MEMOIR OF
repeated were those respecting my future exist-
ence. These were occasioned by my father's
prayers and admonitions — but more particularly
the latter. I can remember of having seasons
when alone, before I was eight years old, in
which I was much concerned about my soul."
In 1790, his father, who seems to have been
afflicted with a sense of oppression not dissim-
ilar to that which troubled the celebrated Daniel
Boon, of emigrating memory, finding his limits
infringed — or, in my father's words, " wishing
to enlarge his borders, — made a second remove,
which I shall allow him to describe in bis own
*' When I was in my eighth year, my father
removed into a town called Bridgewater, in the
State of Vermont, in the county of Windsor.
My father's was the first family that moved into
the town ; it was therefore entirely a wilder-
nesS) excepting a small house spot, where the
trees were cleared away, together with a few
other trees such as were suitable for erecting
a sort of shelter, which was called a log house.
k was in the month of March when my father
and family arrived at our new habitation. Our
bouse was erected without either plank, joist,
boards, shingles, stone, brick, nails or glass ;
but was built wholly of logs, bark, boughs and
ABNER J0NE8. 11
wooden pegs io the room of nails. The snow
then was about four feet deep, and the inreather
extremely cold ; and many trees within reach of
the house ; we were two miles also, from neigh-
bors. We were favored, however, with warm
clothing, and solid provision, and enough of it ;
although our house and furniture, were not
quite so delicate as some. The great plenty of
wood which was nigh, was easily collected into
a large heap before one end of the house, (the
greater part of which was open) and set on
fire ; thus it was kept day and night, until the
weather grew warm. What little household fur-
niture we had in our new habitation, was drawn
two miles on hand-sleds, by men on snow-
shoes. This made a path sufficiently hard for
my mother, and such of the children as were
not able to assist in drawing the hand-sleds, to
follow after. The object which stimulated my
father to move at this period was, that he might
make sugar on his own land ; which was done
by extracting sap from maple trees, and boiling
it into sugar. This must be done in the months
of March and April."
There could be, of course, nothing of note
to record in the history of my father's minority.
He appears never to have been without more or
less of strong and deep religious impressions.
12 MEMOIR or
For the edification o such as may feel desirious
to know the workings of bis mind during his
early life, I shall transcribe in this place such
extracts from his journal as will be sufficient for
^^ But to return to the situation of my mind.
I know not a better similitude than the wilder-
ness in which I then dwelt ; uncultivated, and
inhabited by the wild beasts of prey; dreary
A dreadful event occurred just at this time,
in which a man was accidentally shot by his in-
timate friend, while hunting deer. As may
well be supposed, in a population so sparse, a
tremendous excitement was created which end-
ed in a '^ revival of religion so general, that it
seemed there was not a person come to years of
reflection, who did not share in it, and many
were brought out of darkness into God's mar-
'* I remember*', he continues, "of having my
attention more than usually called up to the con-
cerns of my soul, in the above mentioned refor-
mation ; by hearing Mr Benjamin Burch speak
about death, judgment and eternity. Although
I was only nine years old, the pride of my heart
was so great, that I was ashamed to let any one
know, that I felt concerned about my soul ;
ABNER JOmCS. 13
neither could I bear to have any one see me
weeping. I now felt the need of religion more
than ever I had done before. I was fully con«
vinced that I must be born again or be damned*
I used frequently to resort to secret prayer.
The place which I choose for this purpose, was
at the foot of a rock, where it seemed there was
a place carved out on purpose for me to kneel
^^ About this time there came a man by the
name of Snow into these parts, who was a bap-
tist preacher, or rather an exhorter. He had a
meeting appointed one evening about a quarter
of a mile from my father's, which I attended.
As I was going, I remember of trying to pray
that God would have mercy on me, I felt par-
ticularly desirous that I might get some good
that evening. I do not remember ever to have
had sudh a desire before. When I arrived
every thinjg seemed overspread with gloominess
and darkness, and every thing of a religious na-
ture appeared melancholy ; and I do not re-
member that the thought ever passed my mind
that religion yielded any joy, or peace. All the
advantage I thought of, was that it would save
my soul from eternal misery ; and on that ac-
count I felt desirous to obtain it ; feeling fully
satisfied of my lost, undone condition. It ap-
14 HSMOiR or
peared to me as though for a moment I was lost,
and then every thing appeared new. I really
thought that the preacher had entirely altered
his suhject from something that was melancholy,
to something joyful and happy. The following
thoughts passed through my mind in swift suc-
cession. What is this ? It is something entire-^
ly new ; it makes me completely happy ; I
wish to enjoy it forever. After the speaker had
done, my father rose and gave a word of ex-
hortation, as I had often heard him before, and
which always until that time, seemed to fill my
mind with gloom. But I really thought my
father spoke as he never had before, for it ap-
peared to be glorious. I did not at that time
think the alteration was in me, but thought it
was in my father. The unspeakable joy and
peace which I then felt, I cannot describe. I
was completely happy, and wished for nothing
more. The fear of being miserable, was entire-
ly gone from my mind ; and the dreary gloom
that before rested on my mind, had vanished
away. All this time I had no idea what it was,
that caused this change in my mind. From
whence it came, and whither it went, I could
not tell. I had no thought that I was converted.
My mind remained in this situation, for a num-
ber of daj^y not knowing what these things
^^ At length one day, as I was passing from tba
house to the barn, these words came to me with
great force. ^ For this my Son was dead, and
is alive again ; was lost, and is found,' Luke
XY. 24. This was the first passage of scripture,
that was ever set home to my heart. It seem-
ed to open, and explain to my understanding,
how I had been dead in sin, and made alive in
Christ ; and also how I had been lost, but was
now found of Christ as a Saviour. From that
moment, a hope sprang up in my soul of eternal
^^ In this situation, I passed a number ofrmonths,
enjoying calmness and peace, the greater part
of the time. In those day^, the gospel was to
me truly a joyful sound, and I thought I knew
it, end feit the blessing of it. ^ Blessed is the
people, that know the joyful sound.' Psalm
Ixxxix. 15. The joy that I felt in my soul
under the sound of the gospel^ may be judged
of by those who haveJelt the same."
His state of mind was now very similar to
what might be supposed, when we take into
view his tender age, and the peculiar views of
veligion which were kept constantly before his
mind. Sometimes rapturously excitedi as he
16 MEMOIR OF
gathered the evidence of the great change which
he had undergone ; and then wrapt in deep
melancholy under the fear that he was deceived
and had deceived others. He had made known
his feelings to his mother, and a pious neighbor,
from whose conversation and advice he gained
much comfort and strength.
" While I was thus relating the dealings of
the Lord with me, I felt the divine love kind-
ling in my soul ; and I believe they enjoyed the
same, whose minds had been exercised- much in
the same way. At this time, I beliete I ex-
perienced what Paul has written, Romans x.
10, * For with the heart man believeth unto
righteousness ; and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation.' This was the first
time that I ever confessed Christ before men,
in any degree ; and a great blessmg I found to
my soul. I think my joy was made full at that
time, and I felt the love which I enjoyed at the
Shortly after this the duty of baptism seems
to have been deeply impressed on his mind.
He shrunk, however, from the " cross," and
fell back into a dark and bewildered state of
soul, when, in his own language, " he was many
times nearly in despair. This was darkness that
might be felt."
ABNER JOHBS. 17
The exercises of his mind, were, for a child
remarkable, and show hira to have been, even
then, possessed of an unusually susceptible tem-
perament. I should not dwell upon this period
of his life so long, were it not that here may be
had the key which opens the sources of those
peculiar traits which mark his riper character.
I shall therefore allow him to speak in his own
language here, of a circumstance which ever
after left a deep impression on his mind, and to
which he often alluded in his preaching and con*
versation with those who were of a gloomy turn
of mind and inclined to despondency. He was
at the time he speaks of, about 14 years of age.
^'On a certain day, (I think it was in the
month of June) in the forenoon, a travelling
preacher had a meeting appointed in Wood-
stock, about three miles from my father's. I
attended the meeting, but found no relief to my
mind. I returned home as usual, and ate dm-
ner, after which 1 went into the field in order to
hoe some corn. While I was contemplating
my deplorable case, as sudden as the lightning/
it appeared to me that my soul was eternally un-
done. It came upon me with such force, that
I firmly believed it, and now for the first time,
I was entirely deprived of hope. I really
thought that I had begun my eternal, endless.
18 JiKifoiR or
despairing misery. I dropped my hoe as sud-
denly (it appears to me) as though I had been
shot. I never expected to lift my hand again,
to perform any part on the stage of life. I
knew that I yet had a mortal body to drop into
dust ; yet this appeared nothing. It does
appear to me, if God's awful voice had pro-
nounced the sentence, ^ depart ye cursed' I oould
not have felt the weight of it more than I did.
The thoughts of mercy were not in all my
thoughts. It did not so much as come into my
mind, to Ask for mercy ; neither do I remem-
ber as I had any inclination to ask for it. I
viewed myself in the yawning jaws of eternal
^' It is not possible for me to give the reader a
just idea of the anguish of my soul ; it was un-
speakably terrible. I had not the least idea, of
any injustice in my condemnation, nor did I fee]
any enmity in my heart against God.
*^ In- this distressing situation, I repaired to the
bouse in order to tell my mother what had be-
fallen me. When I came to the door, I heard
a man conversing, who was as I thought, no
friend to religion ; I therefore turned my course
up stairs, and threw myself on the bed, for about
the space of half an hour, as near as I can judge,
although to me it seemed more like two hours
ABNER JOlffiS. 19
than half of ooe. While I thus lay on the bed,
I eDdeavored to think of some bodily pain or
torture, to compare my distress unto, bi^t I
could think of nothing. After the man was
gone, I rushed down stairs and threw myself
into my mother's arms, exclaiming ^ lam going
right to hilV My mother, with a blessed
smile, made answer, ^ I hope not, my son.
Remember this. For this my son which onoe
was dead is alive again ; was lost and is found.'
These blessed words revived my mind a little,
and I again indulged that hope that my poor soul
was not utterly lost. The immense relief af-
forded by this thought it is wholly out of my
power to describe."
A few years after this, he lost bis father, who
died of quick consumption. This circumstance
brought back to the paternal roof, the elder son,
who was a wild, thoughtless young man. He
seems to have proved a great stumblingblock to
Abner, who loved him with great affection,
and confided much in his superior shrewdness
and experience. Indeed two brothers could be
scarcely less alike. The younger, thought&ii,
almost timid, confiding, and .deeply tinctured
with religious enthusiasm — the elder, careless,
confident, bold. and irreligious. Their early ed-
ucation had been alike, the effect on each m
5iO MEMOIR OF
different as could well be. Abner was bap-
tised into the spirit of the household, his elder
brother, irksome under the restraints of home,
and hating the cause of those restraints, and not
discriminating between the blessed spirit of re-
ligion, and an imperfect and faulty manifestation
of it, had left the paternal roof, and among stran-
gers and opposers, had imbibed a thorough con-
tempt for religion itself. Elder Jones speaks of
him as '^ a great disputant in theology, and a
great despiser of experimental religion." One
of his first efforts after his return, was to infuse
his skepticism and irreligious views and feelings,
into the pliant mind of his younger brother.
He so far succeeded as to draw him away from
his religious life, and even to shake his faith in
his own religious experience.
Two years thus passed. A great famine in
the strange land where he dwelt, in which his
soul knew no real peace. Thus he speaks of it,
'^ In this situation, I did then, and so do I now,
consider myself one of the unhappiest of man-
kind. Oftentimes in the midst of my folly^ I
felt the reprovings of God's spirit. I remem-
ber having the following reflections in my mind,
at a certain ball, while I stood up and was pre-
paring for the dance. What a fool am I. I
have taken more satisfaction in one quarter of
abher JONES. 21
an hour's enjoyment in religion, than I could in
this scene of vanity, if I could enjoy it to eter-
nity. This thought struck me so forcibly that
I could scarce perform my part, but to get rid
of it, I carried on the higher ; and thus grieved
the blessed spirit."
Many were the compunctious visitations of
conscience he endured. He describes the
struggle of his soul as terrible. But the flesh
prevailed and he gave up himself to the un-
limited pursuit of pleasure, and wealth. He
had now reached the last years of his minority,
and seems to have been possessed with the idea
that he was destined to be rich ; and he deter-
mined to accomplish his destiny. He therefore
entered into various speculations and engaged in
various enterprises which promised much. But
every thing he touched withered, and every pro-
ject failed. Once severe and protracted sick-
ness interrupted his purposes. At another time,
he met with a serious accident which maimed
him for life. So all his plans were frustrated.
Dispirited, broken down in health and with
pockets utterly empty, with a soul as famishing
as Pharaoh's lean kine, he bent his steps home-
ward, where instead of the father he had loved,
a stranger met him at the threshold, — for his
mother had married a second husband in his
S3 MEMOIR OF
absence. Here be felt constrained to seek
some employment and finally decided on teacb-
iog school. It would be indeed a singular
qboice, in these days, for a young man, scarce-
ly 19 years of age, who bad never bad but six
weeks schooling in his life. But he suc-
ceeded and kept to the entire satisfaction of bis
lemployers, for nearly a year.
It was during this school, that bis soul was
again brought to itself, and be concluded after a
severe struggle to consecrate himself once more
to Him who had died for him, and washed him
in bis regenerating blood. No sooner had he
found deliverence, than bis former impressions
of baptism returned. Along with this came the
impression that he should one day have to
preach. " These thoughts" be says, " I treat-
ed as temptations, and drove them from ray
mind as much as possible ; they however follow-
ed me almost continually." He felc it his duty
to bear public testimony, and in conference and
prayer meetings felt obliged to exhort and pray.
He also prayed in his school. Thus far he was
willing, but the thought of preaching was exceed-
ingly painful, and be would never allow himself
to think it possible that he should ever become
On the ninth of June, A. D. 1793, be was
ABNER JONES. 23
baptised by Elder Elisha Ransom, of Wood-
Finding that his health was impaired, he re-
linquished his school and iook a journey on foot
to the seaboard ; calling on his way on relatives
and acquaintances, and meeting many devoted
and engaged Christians.
On his return he was summoned to the" death-
bed of his erring and thoughtless brother, whom
he loved as Jonathan did Saul. He found him
indeed near his end, and suffering all the horrors
of a guilty conscience. He bewailed his irreli-
gion, and blamed himself in severest terms for
his opposition to religion. " I think," says the
younger of the elder brother, '' his lamentation
for mispent life exceeded every thing of the kind
that I ever heard. I shall therefore add some
few of the many heart-rending sentences which
this dying man uttered.
^^ ^ I am like Balaam, I want to die the death
of the righteous, but I dare not so much as lift
my eyes to heaven for mercy ; I dare not offer
a few of my last hours to his service, when I
have spent all my days in sinning against him.
There is no mercy for me. Oh ! how I have
misimproved all my privileges of going to
meeting, and despised the best of men. Now I
would give all the world, if *t bad it, for one
24 MEMOIR OP
opportunity of attending such a meeting as I
have before despised. 0, my brother, if I only
had what you have, it would be enough, but
there is no mercy for me. Here I am in dis-
tress, I have lain here until my skin is worn off
my body in a number of places. A few more
hours will eternally close all my happiness, and
I shall awake in hell. Who can dwell with de-
vouring fire i who can inhabit everlasting burn-
ings .?' "
He found relief, however, before he died, and
closed his eyes in peace.
It was about this time, when the subject of
this memoir was near twenty-one years of age,
that he was led to inquire, ^^ if I must preach,
iohat shall I preach .^" He was far from being
satisfied with the views or creed of his brethren,
and he bad never settled it in his own mind what
Christianity was. He therefore determined to
give the whole subject a careful and serious in-
vestigation. He accordingly took the bible, and
that alone, and without consulting any individual,
or receiving sympathy from any living being,
commenced a prayerful and careful examination
of the sacred pages. The process and result of
this undertaking we shall presently see.
Previous to this time he had entertained
thoughts of studying medicine. Nor did he re-
ABNER JONES. S5
linquisb the idea at this time. Although he was
impressed with the thought that he should one
day become a preacher, he had no idea at all of
preaching at present. He supposed that his duty
would be to exhort and pray whenever ana
wherever his lot should be cast, and this was all
the public testimony he expected for ^he present
to be called upon to make. Indeed, although a
good deal troubled concerning his duty in this
respect, he all along, at times, treated the im*-
pressions on his mind relating to preaching,^ as
delusions, or, worse, temptations of the devil.
At any rate, he decided to pursue the study of
medicine, 'wisely concluding that it could do him
no harm, and might be of great service to him..
Although his opportunities for enriching his mind
had been very limited, he was nevertheless early
fired with a desire to be learned in books and
the sciences. He had a great love for books—
this love only increased with his years — and
he deemed the labor bestowed on the most
prosaic and heavy as well repaid by the know-
ledge which he gleaned from them. I recollect
hearing him say that he never read but one book
from which he did not gather enough to reward
the toil. This taste * and desire for knowledge
supplied the want of means, so that at the age
now spoken of, he was altogether in advance of
26 MEMOIR OF
his companions. He thought, too, that he could
at the same time carry on his investigations of
the bible. Certain it is he decided at once, that
he could never preach until he was fully satisfied
in his own mind what he should preach.
For two years he followed up this plan, study-
ing medicipe, rather as a relaxation, and making
his great study the word of God. During this
period he enjoyed much peace of mind and used
often to bear public testimony of his faith. He
made very inconsiderable progress in medicine,
as he was compelled, during these two years to
teach a school for a livelihood. In the course
of this time his religious views underwent an
entire modification — perhaps I should better
express his condition of mind by saying, disin-
tegration ; for he seems to have settled but one
thing to his own satisfaction, and that was, that
the whole system of theology in which he had
[been educated was erroneous. He had been
'troubled for a long lime about the irreconcilea-
ble points of doctrine, which, he says, he never-
theless thought must be true. '
" I felt my mind," he says, " much tried
about what my brethren called the great, myste-
rious doctrines of the gospel, viz : Election,
Reprobation, Decrees, &c. I plainly discover-
ed that they preached complete contradictions
ABI9ER JONES. 77
on the subject ; and I read that no lie is of the
truth ; and contradictions must be lies. Thus my
mind was in great perplexity concerning these
things. This caused me to review them, and
compare them by the scriptures of truth. In
short I took a review of all that I had professed^
to believe before, and I found I had embraced
many things without proper examination. I
then came to a determination to believe and
practice just what I found required in thebible,
and no more. There was a baptist minister
who occasionally preached with us, who often
made use of the following expression. ^ I wil
have nothing but for which I can bring thus saith
the Lord, and thus it is written.' This led me
to compare what he preached and practised with
^^ The first thing that struck me, was the name
of our denomination, viz : Baptist. When I
had searched the New Testament through, to
my great astonishment, I could not find the de-
nomination of baptist mentioned in the whole of
it. I only found John the baptist, or baptiser ;
he is the only one called a baptist in all the New
Testament. Christ did not call his disciples
baptists ; the christian churches in the apostles'
time were not called baptists. Christ called his
disciples brethren and friends. In the time of
98 MEMOIR OF
the apostles, the disciples were first called
Christians at Antioch. After this examina-
tion, I denied the name of baptist, and so I have
continued to do unto this day. I was then wil-
ling to own the names disciple, friend, and
Christian, unto which I still hold.
^' The second thing that I took into view was
the manner in which baptists organised churches,
which they declared to be apostolical, ^he
manner of organizing baptist churches was then,
and is now, I believe, as follows, viz : 1st. —
They must find a certain number of believers
]^ Christ. 2d.: — They must be baptised, bury-
if)g them in the water in the name of Father,
Son and Holy Ghost. Thus far they agree with
the New Testament. Then there must be some
articles of faith drawn up, or articles taken from
some already drawn up. A church covenant
must be added thereunto. Next, there must be
^ council of ministers, deacons, &c. appointed,
and a day fixed when they must be constituted a
church. If they find them orthodox, (as they
term it,) that is, believing their articles of faith,
they are constituted a baptist church.
^^As to the articles of faith and church cove-
nants, the council and constitution, above men-
tioned, they seemed to me entirely anti-christian.
They are as popish and unscriptural as infant
ABNER J6N18. Sd
sprinkling ; and I find by searching ecclesiasti-
cal history, that they were introduced when the
church was in the wifderness of Babylon. I
then rejected them as traditions of men, and so
I do still.
" The next thing was the manner of receiving
members into churches, which was as follows,
viz : the person to be received into the church,
must first tell his or her experience, in order to
know whether he or she was a believer ; if the
brethren received the person as a believer, he
was baptised as above mentioned. Thus far 1t
is according to Christ's rule, ' if thou believest
with all thy heart, thou mayest.' After the
person or persons were baptised, the minister
used to ask them if they wished to join the
church ; some wished to, and others did not.
When one wished to join, the unscriptural creed i
and covenant were brought forward and read ;
if they consented to them, they were received
into the church by a hand vote.
" Thus far my mind was led to examine at
that time. And as saith the apostle, now of the
things which we have spoken, this is the sum.
The baptists have an unscriptural name. The
manner of their baptising is according to truth.
The articles of faith and church covenant ; the
council and constitution ; are according to the
30 MEMOIR or
traditions and doctrines of men ; of which the
scripture saith, touch not, taste not, handle not.
"When I presented these things before the
minister who said that he would have, thus saitb
the Lord, and thus it is written, for all that he
did ; although he was a very ready man in the
scriptures and kept a concordance in his house>
yet he could not recollect the passages of scrip-
ture that proved these things, but said they were
necessary. The reason why he could not re-
member them was, that they were not in the
" When I mentioned these things to my
brethren, they seemed almost as much astonish-
ed as though I had denied the bible, saying that
t I was wild, heretical, etc.
" Thus far of Practice^ now of Doctrine.
From my infancy I had been taught the follow-
ing things, viz : That God from all eternity had
elected, or chosen^ a certain number for salvation,
and that he would call them in such a manner
that they could not resist it, because be had be-
fore determined to save them. As for the rest
of mankind, they were left to work out their
own damnation by sin. That God gave them
a common call, which he never meant they
should obey, yet the condemnation would en-
tirely turn upon the creature, because he did
ABNER JOMBS. 31
not obey. As for unenlightened heathens, it
was held that they all must be damned, because
they had not the light of the gospel.
^^As I felt a great trial about preaching, it was
a query in my mind whether God called men to
preach contradiction ; nay, I was fully convinced
that he did not. Under this trial I besought the
Lord that he would shew me the truth respect-
ing these things, promising that if he would, I
would go and preach the gospel to sinners if he
called me thereunto.
'^ My mind remained in this situation for a
considerable time ; at length one day the Lord
opened my eyes to see it from this passage of
scripture, St. John xvi. 8, 'And when he is
come he will reprove the world of sin, of
righteousness, and of judgment.' A part of the
13th verse followed, viz : ' he will guide you
into all truth.' These scriptures seemed to
come with great and sweet power on my mind,
and the following reflections succeeded. It was
the Holy Ghost or Comfprter that was to re-
prove the world of sin, and guide into all truth.'
I seemed to feel that teaching me truth,
" What is meant by the world here ? The
whole world of mankind ; for Christ said to his
disciples, I have chosen you out of the world. ^
Here for the first time, I saw all men reproved
02 MfillOIR OF
by the spirit of Ood. The thought struck me,
who is here said to be guided into all truth ?
The answer was, the apostles. Why does it
not guide all men into the truth ? The answer
was, because they will not follow it. Here my
mind was brought out of a dark narrow prison,
into the clear sunshine of a free gospel offered
to all men ; and presented in such a manner as
that they might really partake of it.
" Glory to God for this salvation. I never
saw the consistency of the creature's condem-
nation in such a clear light before. My soul
was set at liberty. I discovered also, a con-
distent way of preaching to sinners. After-
wards, when I came to read the scriptures, I
found this consistent chain running through the
whole. I found Christ was the true light that
lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
The Lord God is a sun and a shield, darting his
rays of light in as many directions as there are
souls to see it. On whom doth not his light
ari§e ? These ideas were entirely new to me,
for I never heard them uttered by any body,
neither knew I of any body that believed them ;
and so foolish was I as to believe that no other
person ever did believe them. I cried out, my
hand is against every man's hand, and every
man's hand against my hand. When I came to
ABNCR JORfiB. S3
reflect on the subject, I dare not comnf)unicate
it to my brethren, supposing that they would
call me a worse heretic than they did before ;
so I hid my light under the bed of Calvinism,
which brought great darkness on my mind.
And I do not remember of divulging it to any
person, for more than five years."
Thus far I have given, in his own language,
the process and result of his inquiries into the
abuses of practice, and errors of doctrine which
he discovered in the church, not very clearly or
definitely expressed, it must be confessed, but
sufficiently so to show that, situated as he then
was, and blessed with so few means and sympa-
thies, his was a strong and original mind, and
one which, in a clearer light and a more gener-
ous age, would have seized on truth with a vig-
orous grasp, and have made him a conspicuous
\ and successful reformer. It requires no smatt
> share of moral coprage to attack alone and single
handed, hoary and revered practices and doc-
; trines, anywhere and at any time, and that cour-
age is most needed when the reformer has to
combat, as he had to at this time, super-
stition and ignorance as strong, or stronger than
Hitherto he does not seem to have enter-
tained a doubt respecting the doctrines of the.
34 MEMOIR OF
Trinity^ Atonement^ and Future Punishment.
Indeed, although on examination he was led
to reject the accepted and popular exposition of
these doctrines, I do not think he ever had any
very satisfactory views respecting them. I
know him to have been troubled about them
even late in his life. Not that he ever hesitated
for an instant to reject the '' orthodox^^ so call-
ed, explanation of them. As nearly as I have
been able, in repeated conversations with him
on these subjects, to gather his real views, they
are as follows. I give them with this bare
remark ; that if I have not made a faithful tran-
script of his mind, it is because I have altogeth-
er failed to discover its true phases.
He rejected the doctrine of the Trinity ; but
believed that the Father had so communicated
his spirit to the Son, that he was equal with Him,
in all works and wisdom, but not in existence.
He believed in the doctrine of Christ's pre-
existence ; that he came down from heaven in
personal form, and suffered incarnation.
He rejected the doctrine of expiatory atone-
ment ; and believed God to need no such expia-
tion. Yet he l3elieved in the special efficacy of
Christ's death, and that no one could have been
saved without the shedding of his blood. That
the goodness of Christ was in some way impart-
ABIfER J0NE8. 35
ed to the penitent sinner^ and that it was not
penitence or reformation, but the death of Christ
that saved the soul.
That penitence and reformation, like faith,
were necessary, not as the cause, but the means
of receiving the salvation prepared by the death
of Jesus. That these never did and never can
save men, but are requi^te to lead men to the
Cross, in which alone life was found. That
God forgives only through Jesus Christ, and that
to be forgiven the sinner must believe in him,
and receive mercy as a free, unmerited gift, be-
stowed not so much because he is penitent and
has sought forgiveness, as because the Father
is well pleased in the obedience and death of his
Son, and for his sake does thus forgive.
He rejected the Hopkinsian views of future
punishment, viz : — an endless punishment for
finite sins. Yet he fully believed in the great
doctrine of retribution after life^ He saw no
reason why the effects of a sinful life should
cease at death more than the effects of a good
life. If holiness did not obtain all its reward
here, so could not sin reap all its consequences
here. What was the precise character, or length
of future puuishments he could not say. Nay,
he had no distinct idea of these things at all.
He believed that future retribution was one of
S6 MEMOIR OF
the plainest truths taught in revelatipu, but he
thought that revelation went no further, neither
defining its exact nature or duration. There
was a time when he, for a season, embraced the
Restorationist views of this doctrine ; but I be-
lieve he rested at last in the views I have attrib-
uted to him above.
To Baptism and Regeneration as they were
then and are still held by the denomination in
which he was brought up, viz : the Baptists^ he
ever held with most pertinacious attachment.
With all his toleration, he could never speak
charitably of " sprinkling ;" and he could never
allow that a man had any reason to believe him-
self to be a Christian, utiless he was " convert-
ed" according to his peculiar views of conver-
sion. A very good and moral man he might be,
but surely no Christian. He made a nice dis-
tinction between goodness as the result of the
love of goodness in the human soul, and the re;
suit of regeneration. One was the *'filthyrags"
of Paul's righteousness, the other the love of
God shed abroad in the soul ; this was saving,
that wholly inefficacious^ As a worldly com-
modity it was exceedingly desirable and valua-
ble, but in the sight of heaven, nothing.
I do not think that he reached these views un-
til be had been a preacher many years. The
ABNER J02f£8. 37
greQt things which troubled him at first, were,
the discipline of the Church and the doctrine of
Election, It was the first of these, particularly,
that he felt himself called on to reform ; and
this led him to come out thus early and stand
aloof from the Church. At that time the thought
of founding a great and growing communion on
the broad and free principles for which he con-
tended, seems not to have entered his mind. ^^ I
supposed," he says, " I was entirely alone in
the world, and I fully expected ever to remain
so." It is tru^ he was not alone.; There were
many minds troubled as his wa8,~^and they were
waiting for some auspicious movement which
would afibrd them opportunity to declare and
defend their views. But he was alone^ in pub-
licly, and in the face and eyes of a fierce perse-
cution^ declaring and maintaining his opinions.
Luther struck the great blow in the Reformation
which first broke the iron band of the Mother
Church ; but Luther found a host ready to stand
by and defend and help him in his glorious work.
So no sooner did he announce his purpose to
throw off all allegiance to the Church which had
nursed him with her milk of error, than he found
a goodly number ready to join him in his pur-
It is now nearly a half century since, as an
36 MEMOIR OF
obscure individual, he thus separated himself
and stood alone (as he then thought) — at this
time there is a communion of loving brethren
spread over the whole expanse of this country,
numbering some hundreds of thousands, and
among them have been and are some thousands
consecrated to the same great and glorious work
to which he gave himself up in the freshness of
life, and which he devotedly and successfully
pursued for nearly forty years.
After preparing himself for the practice of
medicine, and remaining in several places for a
short time, he finally settled down in Lyndon,
county of Caledonia, Vermont, in the year of
our Lord 1796 — 7. He was also married about
the same time to Miss Damaris Prior. He was
more successful in the duties of his profession
than he had reason to expect, and his prospects
soon became very flattering for obtaining fame
for his skill, and an independency for life. But
ID the midst of all this his soul grew barren and
unfruitful. He was continually goaded by the
consciousness that he had neglected the intima-
tions of Providence, and constantly harassed
with the idea that he should have yet to preach.
And this was ever wedded to another thought in
his mind, and that was, that in so doing he should
receive the reproach of his brethren and the
ABNER JONES. 39
world, and seal forever the bond which should
hold him to poverty and trial. But I will let
him speak for himself.
*' After removing to Lyndon, my mind was
altogether taken up with the things of the world.
I was well pleased with the country and people.
The country was new, but the soil was rich, and
it was 6lling up rapidly with very honest, enter-
prising people, as to the things of this world,
although they paid very little or no attention to
religion. Here, also, I was endeavoring to
maintain an honorable name in the world, and at
the same time was striving with all my might to
*' Here I laid down my public testimony; and
I had no sooner done it than I found condemna-
tion ; and the life and power of religion seemed
to vanish away. I felt no inclination to join
in the usual amusement of the times, yet I did
not feel engaged in religion, and when I at-
tempted to pray, I felt very little freedom, and
a great deal of condemnation. Whenever I
asked God for a blessing, the way to obtain it
seemed to be pointed out to me by doing my
duty, viz : by improving what he had already
given me. When the duty was presented to
me, I shrunk from it, saying, ' Lord, I cannot.'
After a while it became such a trial, that when
40 MEMOIB OF
I attempted to pray, I felt such condemDation,
that I dare say nothing more than God be mer-
ciful to me a sinner. I do not think there was
a day in all this. time, but I felt strongly impres-
sed with the duty of preaching."
' About the third year of his residence in Lyn-
don, a "powerful reformation broke out" in
Billeymead, an adjoining town. He deter-
mined to go and see for himself this " work of
the Lord." He describes it as being unlike
anything he had ever before seen. It was yery
noisy an^ confused.
" These things were new to me, and made
me greatly doubt whether it was the work of
God, or not ; but when I looked at the fruit, I
found it was good, ahhough I could not see
through their making so much noise.
*' This meeting took great hold of my mind,
and I felt it my duty to confess my backsliding,
but the pride of my heart was so great that I did
" After this meeting, for the most part of the
time, 1 felt a great burden on my mind, but I
told no one of it, for my proud heart was not
willing to be despised. I now found it hard to
keep up my usual sprightliness, although I strove
to do it. But at length my impressions were so
great I could not conceal them. I never found
ABNKR JONES. 41
any relief in my mind, until I came to a deter-
mination that I would "do my duty ; which was
first to confess and forsake ; secondly, to take
up my testimony which I had laid down.
'^ My confession I made both public and pri-
vate, at meetings, among my neighbors, and in
jny own family. This caused no small talk
among the people : some said, what has befal*
len Doctor Jones ? others, has he got to be one
of the Billeymead Christians ? some again said,
be has nothing to confess, for he always behaved
himself very civilly : others, he is a little de-
luded, he will soon get over it : some said, he
is frightefted, it will not last long : others raised
up false reports about my confessions, saying,
that I confessed particular out-breaking crimes
of which I was guilty. But that was false.
^' The duty of preaching was now stronger
on my mind than ever, and I knew not what to
do. At times I was greatly tried about sacri-
ficing all my prospect of worldly gain, which
was now very considerable. I was gaining
ground rapidly, and my business widely extend-
ing. But if I should determine to become a
minister, I knew that all hopes of wealth, or a
good name, as the world went, were at an end."
He ever believed that ^e was specially called
by the Spirit of God to preach, and received
42 MEMOIR OF
certain intimations as coming directly from
God. I give the following as an instance.
" At a certain time when I was retired by
myself, and inquiring of the Lord what I should
do ; this scriptnre in Prov. xyiii. 16, came into
my mind with great weight : ' A man's gift
maketh room for him, and bringeth him before
great men.' This scripture calmed my miod
in a moment, and I felt entirely at peace. I
now made a solemn vow to God, that if be
would open doors for me to preach without any
effort of mine, I would consider it as room
made for me. I also promised the Lord that 1
would go whenever room was made for me. I
concluded 'that I would say nothing to any
person about my trials concerning preaching,
but wait and see if the Lord put it into the
heart of any one to ask me to come and preach
at their house. And for a few days I felt
entirely delivered from all anxiety about the
He thus speaks of his first attempt to preach,
and the occasion of it.
'^ Not long after this I was called upon one
evening to ride about five miles to a person who
was sick. While I was on the way I fell into
religious conversation with the man who came
after me, viz. Mr Peck. He informed me that
he had been seriously impressed in times past,
and that he still felt something of it. He said
his neighbors all made light of these thli^gs
excepting one or two. We had some conyersa-
.tion, about the reformation at Billeymead. He
said his neighbors made.sport of it, and that it
was the subject of a great part of their conversa-
tion. I observed that I should really be glad to
see them together, for I bad been at Billeymead
and had seen the reformation myself ; and that
I should feel happy to teU them what I knew
about it. Mr Peck then said he wished I
would come out to his house some time and hold
a meeting, saying, he would notify his neighbors,
and he guessed they would come. At fir3t I
made but little answer to the request, for I had
never named the matter of preaching to him ; I
never said much about it to any one. This
however brought my vow before me, viz. that I
would go where the Lord made room for me.
A query arose in my mind whether this door was
opened by the Lord, or whether I had pushed it
open myself, by saying that I should like to see
his neighbor's together, that I might tell them
what I knew of the reformation. I did not give
him any direct answer at first. The circumstan-
ces w^re such that I tarried all night in the neigh-
borhood. The next morning Mr Peck wished
44 MEMOIlt OF
for an answer, and at length I told him I would
come on a certain sabbath, unless I was called
away to attend on the sick.
" When the day arrived, I had a number of sick
people to attend to, I however visited them in
the forenoon, and rode to my appointment in the
afternoon. As I rode along, I prayed in spirit
continually, that the Lord would decide the
doubtful case that daV) whether he had called
me to preach or not ; if he had not called me,
I prayed him to confound me before the people,
and shut up my mouth in silence ; but that if he
had called me, he would give me a message
right from Heaven, in such a manner, as I might
know that it was from the Lord.
"A few days after, I composed the following
hymn on the subject.
" * O Lord, I pray that Thou wilt show
Whether Thou call est me to go
And sound th^ gospel trumpet loud,
To high and low, to meek and proud.
3 When I before the people stand,
O Lord, I ask it at thy hand,
To chain my tongue is silence tight,
If thus to speak I am not right.
3 But if Thou say'st unto me, " Gk),"
O may thy spirit sweetly flow
ABNER JONEf. 45
Into my soul, and my tongue loose !
Then FJl proclaim the joyful news ; —
4 Peace on the earth, to men good will ;
Come, all who thirst, and drink your fill ;
Come, taste of Jesus^ dying love.
And you shall reign with him above.
5 But if you still refuse to come,
Christ will declare your dreadful doom ;
" Depart from me, I know you not ;
Prom my fair book your name I'll blot."
** While riding through a piece of woods,
about half a mile from the place where the
meeting was appointed, the following words
caaie to my mind with great weigiit, ' But they
made light of it.' In the language of my mind
I cried out, Lord, I know not where these
words are ; if it is thy will that I should
preach from ihem to-day, I pray thee direct me
immediately to them. My meaning was, that I
might open the bible and cast my eyes immedi-
ately on that sentence, even that it might be the
first word that I should see in the bible.
*' When I arrived at the house, I found
nearly all the neighborhood collected together.
When I entered, a chair was presented me for a
seat, with a small table before it, with a bible
and psalm book on it ; a new seat indeed for
me, but T must take it without hesitation, as the
46" MEMTOIR OF
people all expected I was about to try to preach.
I soon took up the bible to see whether the
Lord would answer my request, and to my
great joy and surprise, my prayer was answered
completely, insomuch, that the first place I
opened was the very place, and the very first
sentence that my eyes caught, was, * BUT
THEY MADE LIGHT OF IT,' Matt,
xxii. 5. The manner of the words coming to
me, together with the manner of ray finding
them, raised my mind above every trial and
fear, although I was about to attempt something
very great and entirely new. After introducing
the meeting by singing and praying, I read the
whole parable to the people. And I think my
mind on the occasion, was drawn out in such a
manner as I scarce ever had it before. It
pleased the Lord to deliver me entirely from
the fear of man, and my whole soul was occu-
pied with the subject, insomuch that I think I can
say, I was not interrupted with one worldly
thought in my discourse ; yea, I was not
troubled with one wandering thought of any
nature whatsoever. It appeared to me as
though every person present heard as for their
lives, and a more attentive audience I never
"In preaching this discourse, I entirely
ABNER JOJNBt. 47
freed my mind of the burden that laid on it.
I felt almost, if not quite, as great a deliverance
as when 1 was first converted. When I came
to walk, it seemed as though I hardly touched
the ground. I felt certain that the Lord assist-
ed tne in delivering this subject, as it was
entirely unstudied, and as new to me as it was
to my hearers.
" The first assembly to which I preached,
was almost as singular as my sermon ; for there
was not one present that professed religion, of
any denomination whatever ; and I do not know
as there were more than two persons present
that appeared (previous to this meeting) to have
any regard for religion."
Doors opened now on every hand, and he
was at no loss, in his own mind, what was duty.
His business was of consequence neglected.
This created no small stir in his neighborhood.
Some were angry, some ridiculed, some threat-
ened, and some coaxed. But to all this he was
insensible. He told them plainly, that he had
made up his mind to preach, and he should be
bappy to give up his business. He soon made
arrangements with a neighboring physician to
take his place, settled up all his worldly con-
cerns as speedily as possible, and gave up him-
self wholly to the work of an evangelist.
48 MSMOI& OP
Here too, he was met, as Job was, by his wife,
who by no means fell in with his views respecting
preaching. It was a sore trial to him, but he
had put his hand to the plough and vowed to the
Lord, and he dared not — wished not to turn
back. His wife pleaded and- wept, and remind-
ed him of his obligations to her and his children,
and although he harbored not a doubt but
'^God would provide," it was not so clear in
her mind. She however reluctantly gave her
consent, and bidding farewell to her quiet and
happy home, she cast her lot with his, firmly
believing, as she has since many times said,
that she should never see another spot which
she could call home. In later times he used to
rally her on her fears ; for although often strait-
ened, they never knew the time when there
was not oil enough in the cruse and meal in the
barrel, for at least one day.
She soon entered into his work with a real
spirit of devotion, and was truly to him a help-
mate and a blessing. Possessed of an uncom-
monly strong mind, and deeply imbued with a
living spirit of piety, she was to him a counsel-
lor and friend, and a helper of his joy.''*'
Elder Jones commenced preaching in Sep-
tember, 1801, and from that time to the day of
his death, he gave himself with great fidelity to
ABNER JOMBA* 49
the good work. From the first be announced
his determiaatioo to stand alone, and acknow-
edge the authority of no church or set of men.
lie and about a dozen others, laymen, and
residents of Lyndon, covenanted together in.
church form, and trailed themselves CHRIS-
TIANS; rejecting all party and sectional
names, and leaving each other free to cherisb.
such speculative views of theology as the scrip-
tures might plainly seem to them to teach.
This was probably, the first FREE, CHRIS<^
TIAN Church ever established in New Eng«*
He immediately became an itinerant, and
went wherever and whenever be was invited ;
and soon found large congregations in all the
neighboring towns. He presently extended hit
sphere of labor, into the adjoining states, and in
the course of two or three years S'Wept nearlj>
the whole extent of New England.
When Elder Jones commenced preaching,
he had great doubts about his being called of
God to this work. He therefore made a vow,
that he would preach one year, unless convinced
before its expiration, that he was doing wrong.
He had property enough to support his family
for that length of time, and he supposed thai if
6t>d had called him to the ministry be wotiM
50 MEMOIR OF
provide bread for his family. The year went
round, and plenty crowned bis board. He had
not touched the little he had accumulated in his
medical practice. So his fears were somewhat
abated, and he more fully believed that the hand
of the Lord was in it, and that he must now
consecrate himself entirely to" the work of the
He accordingly looked around him for the
means of ordination. Now it happened about
this time that he was invited to attend a quar-
terly meeting among the Free-will Baptists,
He was pleased with the zeal and piety of the
brethren, and his heart was strongly drawn to-
wards them. He preached among them, and
to much acceptance. They were desirous that
he should become one of their number, and so-
licited him to do so. I will let him give his
own account of the conference that passed be-
" I attended the Elders' conference, and gave
them my views of being nothing but a Chrts-
tian ; and that I could not be a Free-will Bap-
tist ; yet that 1 heartily fellowshipped them as
Christiansy and so far was happy to unite with
them in the work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ. I further observed that I should be glad
to receive from them the right hand of fellow-
ABNER JONES. 51^
ship as a Christian^ but not as a Frte-trill Bajh
Hit ; for the Lord had taught me that I must be
a Christian only. Although their fellowship
was very desirable, as I was entirely alone, yet
I determined that it should be known what kind
of fellowship was meant. I said to them, ^ you
came out free, but the devil sent the name of
Freewillers after you, and you have picked it
up.' Eider Randall observed, ' we glory in
the name of Freewilkrs.^ 1 answered, ^ I will
not acknowledge any of the devil's impositions.
Understand me, perfectly, brethren ; I do not
wish to join the Free-will Baptists : I wish
Christian fellowship. ,If hereafter it should be
asked, have you joined the Free-will Baptists ?.
the answer will always be, no. It shall not be
said hereafter, ^ brother Jones, you belong with
us, and our rules are thus and so.' I will nev;er.
bd subject to one of your rules ; but if you will
give me the right hand as a brother, and let me
remain a free man, just as I am, I should be
glad.' On these grounds, the right hand of fel-
lowship was cheerfully given. A number of
months after this, they voluntarily appointed ao
ecclesiastical council, and ordained me a free
Elder Jones received ordination on the last
day of November, 1802. Elders Aaron Buz-
b2r MBMOIR OP
zeli, Nathaniel Kiog and Nathaniel Brown, were
the officiating clergymen*
A short time after this, his old doubts return*
ed and greatly distressed him. I have before
said that he was generally an undoub|ing be*
liever in the direct manifestations of the spirit of
Godv in the call he received to preach. At
times, liowever, he doubted it — indeed, some-
times he doubted everything. It was in such a
condition that he sought a new manifestation. I
shall let him speak of the whole movement of
his mind at length, especially, as he declares
himself to have gained complete ascendancy
over his fears at the time, so that they never re-
turned to trouble him any more.
'^ As yet I had no seals to my ministry. I
had preached a whole year, and I knew not at
that time that one soul had, through any instru-
mentality of mine, been brought out of nature^s
darkness unto God's marvellous iight. Surely, I
reasoned*, if God had called me to preach, he
would have stood by me and blessed me with
this token that my labor in the Lord had not
been in vain. It must be that I have mistaken
my calling. Moreover I doubted exceedingly
whether I had ever been converted at all. I
was utterly distracted. Then came the awful
doubts of the reality of aU I had felt and
ABMBR JOJIIt. 63
preaclied. Is it not possible, after all, tbatOod,
and heaven, and hell, and religion, are a fiction ?
and tlie Bible a cunning device of man ?
^^ I strove with all my mind to put these
thoughts far from me. I tried to pray, but, then
I thought, there is no God to pray to, no being
takes knowledge of my prayers. I look for my
witnesses; the Bible gave none. I called on
the earth, sun, moon and stars, which had so
often given me their unequivocal testimony in
favor of their Maker and a Divine revelaiion ;
bot they all seemed to witness against me.
Notwithstanding all this, the vow was upon me
to preach wherever doors were opened, «od
there were doors wide open in every direction.
I had perhaps ten appointments already mad^,
and they must be fulfilled. No tongue can utier,
no pen describe my feelings ; it made me siek,
and brought upon me a high fever ; I took to
my bed. No mortal at that time knew my trkb.
*' At last these thoughts came into my mmd: — if
all these things are nothing, there is no hdl—
I'll not be troubled about that. I then begun to
query— if there be no futurity, how can I enjoy
myself best in this world ? The answer was
ready ; in what i have called religion^ and in
preaching, the best of all, and in this way I
could make others enjoy themselves best. On
•64 MEMOIR OF
this ground, I resolved to preach, whether right
or wrong. For if we are to fall into an eternal
sleep at death, it is best to take all the enjoy-
ment we can here. The powers of darkness
gave back, and some hope revived ; but my
doubts were yet strong. However I deter-
mined to pursue. My prayer was now in all
sincerity and in great agony ; ^ if there be any
Great, Eternal, First Cause, who made all things,
if there be any Mediator through which mortals
may approach and find audience, if it be Jesus
Christ, or if there be any other, O permit such
a distressed soul as I am to approach. And if
thou hast called me to preach, give one sign
more, which I shall ask of thee, and I will never
doubt again.' The sign asked for was, that some
soul might be struck under conviction while I
was preaching, and brought out in the same
meeting, in which case I promised that I would
never doubt again. I was exercised with a burn-
ing fever, more especially in my right hand, for
I was tortured with an uncommon, burning heat
in that hand. I kept my little girl constantly
bringing cloths dipped in cold water, to allay the
distressing heat. Since that time, thirty-three
' years this present September, 1836, my right
hand has always b^n hotter than my left. I
feel it this moment, while i^riting this brtiele.
ABNEE JONES. 55
I have thus a constant monitor, in my right band,
to remind me of the scene of anguish through
which I passed. I have said in the words of
the Psalmist, '^ If I forget* thee, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget her cunning." All the
ancients considered the right hand the seat of
fidelity. Lord, let me not die with a lie in my
^^ During these trials I was constantly preach-
ing, for my appointments were already made
in several different towns, and some of them
more than forty miles distance from each oth-
er. While preaching, these doubts would
commonly disappear, but would return again,
sometimes, before 1 got out of the house. My
mind was in this state about two weeks, but the
time of deliverance drew nigh ; the Lord was
preparing for me better things. It was not until
the ninth of September, 1802, that I found com-
plete deliverance ; a day by me ever to be re-
membered. On this day I preached in the af-
ternoon at a brother Martin's in Newbury. , The
day was as pleasant as ever shone out of the
heavens ; not a cloud to obscure the sun, the
air was mild and beautiful ; but my soul was
still beclouded in thick darkness.
^' In this neighborhood there was a happy revi-
val of religion. As the people were assembling,
among others, I observed a middle aged man.
56 MEMOIR OF
Strong and robust in appearance, and from the
stern countenance which he bore, I thought him
an opposer.* Instantly I seemed to feel much
for bis soul, and in strong ejaculations to God, I
sought mercy for his soul, although I thought
nothing of the sign which I bad asked for. The
words of my text were, ** Hear, for I will
speak of excellent things," &c. — Prov. yiii. 6.
While delivering this discourse, I noticed that
the visage of the man was changed. He had a
'Solemn countenance, and penitential tears be-
dewed bis face. After sermon, I knelt and
prayed ; and behold, this man fell on his knees
aho, no one having spoken to him. Several
prayers, in addition, were offered up for him in
particular. After rising up from prayer, he
alone remained on his knees in silence. He
was asked the state of his mind. He gave no
answer. He was asked if he wished to rise up.
'He rose not, nor gave any answer. He was on
fais knees about one hour, apparently in ' great
distress, though he made no outcry. At last he
seemed perfectly calm, rose up and sat down in
trasquillity. Being asked the state of his mind,
he answered as follows : ^ I have heretofore
called this the work of the devil, and it having
got possession of my wife, I determined to fol-
lofw it up. I came to meeting todi^ with these
ABMEJt JONES. 57
views and feelings. He then proceeded to tell
how the preaching took hold of bis feelings, and
that be was brought to see bis lost and undone
estate, and to believe that it was the work of
God.' He continued, ^ when I fell down on
my knees, I determined never to move from
that spot, until I found mercy, or dropped into
hell, and thought probably the latter would be
my lot. I felt ready and willing to give up
everything, my wife in particular, for it seemed
as though! should never see her again.' Being
asked how he then felt, his answer was, ^ I have
lost my burden, and feel calm, that is all I can
say.' During these transactions, the sign I had
asked for was not so much as thought of. The
next morning I saw the above named man ; he
had the witness that he was born of God, and a
new song was put in bis mouth, even praise to
the Lord. It was at this time that the sign I
had asked, and the accompanying vow came
fresh before me ; and it was then received, (and
is still believed) as a special answer from God.
Every doubt and fear vanished from me, and
from that time to the present, more than thirty \
years, I have not had as many distressing doubts,
put the whole together, as I have heretofore en-
dured in the space of five minutes. The Lord,
and he alone, removed all these dark clouds at
58 ■ MEMOIK OF
once as far from me as the east is from the west.
This is the Lord's doing, and marvelous in my
eyes ; and to his heavenly name be all the glory."
From this time forward, Elder Jones had
great peace and joy, and labored with great
zeal and success. It is astonishing that his
, health did not utterly fail. In enumerating bis
labors at the close of each month, as was bis
constant practice, he is found often to have
preached from 25 to 85 times, and to have bap-
tized from 10 to 50 persons in the same time,
and often to have travelled more than 200 miles.
In many instances the meetings (during revivals,)
continued from 6 to 9 hours. So that beside
the usual services, there were many prayers and
I will insert one or two pages of his journal,
as he kept it from day to day, Just to give the
reader an idea of his labors as an itinerant
preacher. I would just observe that I have se-
lected them nearly at random, and that they
come two or three years later than the period
down to which I have brought this memoir, and
that they both belong to the severer season of
the year, and do not embrace nearly as many
baptisms as usual.
Monday — Boston ; baptised three persons in the
ABNER JONES. 69
morning ; had a good season ; preached from Acts
ii. 47, and Isaiah Ivii. 20.
Tuesday— Boston ; preached in the evening,
John xvi. 33.
Wednesday — Boston ; Corinthians xiii. 9.
Thursday — Charlestown ; Genesis xliix. 24.
Friday — church meeting ; had a good season at
the clq^e of prayer.
Saturday — Boston ; 1 Corinthians x. 17.
Sunday — Boston ; preached twice ; Prov. xx. 4 —
Ecclesiastes xi.- 3.
Monday — Charlestown ; preacli^ed in the even-
ing, had a good season.
Tuesday — Boston ; preached in the evening,
had a comfortable season.
Wednesday — ^Boston ; preached in the evening.
Thursday — from Boston to Nantasket ; preach-
ed in the evening.
Friday — Nantasket ; Revelation ii. 7.
Saturday — Nantasket ; Genesis xliii. 22.
Sunday — Nantasket; preached three times;
Psalms iii. 17 — Solomon's Song v. 3 — ^John x. 15,
Monday — Nantasket ; preached in the evening.
Tuesday — Nantasket ; preached in the evening.
Wednesday — Nantasket ; preached in the eve-
Thursday — Nantasket ; preached in the eve-
Friday — set off from Nantasket, proceeded 6
miles, then turned back again.
Saturday — Nantasket ; preached in the evening.
Sunday — Nantasket ; preached three times ;
Matt. ii. 4 — Proverbs xvi. 4 — Philippians i. 27.
Monday — from Nantasket to Boston ; heard El-
der E. Smith preach in the evening.
60 MCMOXH ojr
Tuesday — heard Eider £. Smith.
.Wednesday — Attended the Roman Catholic
meeting ; heard Elder Smith-iaihe evening.
Thursday — Charlestown ; preached in the eve-
Friday — church meeting.
Saturday — Boston ; preached in the evening.
Sunday — Boston ; preached twice in the day-
time ; had a good time ; attended meeting at brother
Binney's in the evening.
Monday — from Boston to Bradford ; preached
.in the evening.
Tuesday — Haverhill ; preached in the evening-
Preached 31 times this month.
Monday — Rode from Portsmouth to Hampton
Falls, 15 miles. Preached in the evening in the
Christian Meeting House ; Heb. xiii. 1.
Tuesday — Salisbury ; at brother Tukesbury's.
Preached in the evening ; Heb. xii. 15.
Wednesday — do. do. ; preached in the evening
from Solomon^s Song v. 9. We had a wonderful
Thursday — From Salisbury to Haverhill; preach-
ed in the evening ; Solomon's Song v. 1. Blessed
Friday — Bradford ; preached in the evening ;
Heb. X. 32, 33. A happy refreshing season.
Saturday — From Bradford to Charlestown, after
an absence of 30 days ; found my family well ; in
those 30 days I tried to preach 34 sermons in gen-
eral with great freedom.
Sunday — Boston; preached 3 times; Heb. x.
32,33— Matt. xiii. 19— Sol. Song iii. 3.
Monday-r-Boston ; preached in the evening;
Luke xiv. 33.
ABITEU JOKES. 6t
Tuesday — ^Boston ; preached in the eyening;
Luke XXXV. 36. Very powerful time. v
Thursday — ^From Charlestown to Nantasket by
land ; preached in the evening ; Isaiah xl. 31.
Very dull time.
Friday — Nantasket ; Isaiah xlii. 7. Very dull
Saturday — ^Nantasket ; preached in the evening ;
ratl^r cold season.
Sunday — Nantasket Meeting House ; preached
twice with freedom, and broke bread ; p'reached
in the evening.
Monday — Nantasket ; preached in the evening ;
Acts XX. 6. A wonderful season of refreshing
from the Lord.
Tuesday — From Nantasket to Boston ; preached
in the evening ; had a happy season.
Wednesday — Boston ; happy season in preach-
ingfrom Rev. i.
Thursday — Charlestown ; preached in the eve-
Sunday — Hampton Falls ; preached twice ; 1
Peter ii. 7 ; Romans, viii. 29, 30.
Monday — attended to writing my afternoon ser-
Tuesday — Little River; preached in the eve-
ning ; had a very solemn time among sinners.
Wednesday — Hampton Falls; had a very sol-
emn time preaching in evening.
Thursday — Hampton ; preached in evening.
Friday — New Rowley ; Rev. vi. 1. Returned
to Bradford after meeting.
Saturday — From Bradford to Charlestown.
62 MEMOIR OF
Sunday — Boston ; preached 3 times with free-
Monday — From Boston to Portsmouth, N. H.
Tuesday — From Portsmouth to New Rowley :
preached in the evening.
Wednesday — Bradford ; Elder Smith preached.
I preached after him ; we had a blessed time.
In the Autumn of 1802, the second Chris-
tian Church was formed in Hanover, N. H.^
by Elder Jones. This was' the second church
ever organized in New England, without any
creed J or confession of faith. In the course of
the ensuing winter, the third church was formed
iQ Piermont, on the same free platform.
Elder Jones, at this time resided in Lebanon,
N. H., on the banks of the beautiful Connecti-
cut. His preaching circuit extended into a
dozen or more, of the neighboring towns. He
had formed an extensive and happy acquaintance,
and he supposed that he should there spend his
days. But so it was not destined to be. lo
the midst of his pleasant and successful labors,
he was impressed with the duty of laboring else-
where. He had no idea whither be should go
forth, but he was fully satisfied that be could not
rest where he was in peace. He accordingly
settled all his affairs, and took his departure,
making no further arrangements for travelling,
then to attend a quarterly meeting of the Free-
ABNEE JONEl. 63
will Baptists, about sixty piles distant from his
borne, having no donbt that a way would open
to him there. From this meeting he went to
Portsmouth, N. H., where he met Elder Elias
Smith, with whom he had glorious times, for
they were then kindred souls, and fellow-work*
ers. After preaching here and in the neighbor-
ing towns, and making a short excursion into
the State of Maine, he received an invitation
from a brother in Boston, a worthy member of
Dr Stillman's church, to come and preach to
the saints and sinners of that town. Immediate-
ly he felt this to be the Macedonian cry which
had so distinctly, yet so uncertainly sounded in
his ears for the last six weeks. Obedient to the
heavenly vision, he went straightway to Bos-
ton. He was invited to preach in Dr Still-
\ man's vestry, and after considerable opposition
on the part of Drs Stillman and Baldwin, then
the only Baptist clergymen in Boston, he went
into the pulpits respectively of those gentlemen,
who with Dr Lucius Bolles, then a student, or
an assistant of Dr -Stillman, joined heart and
band in his kbors. The result was a most ex-
tensive and glorious revival of religion. During
the work, Elder Jones was obliged to go to
Portsmouth to fulfill some engagements, hvX
could not rest until he again returned. Family
64 MEMOiB or
matters also called him once more to the green
meadows of the Connecticut, the scenes of his
earlier labors. But here he was not at home,
and his soul longed for the refreshing scenes he
had so recently witnessed in the Metropolis of
Massachusetts. So he returned once more,
and co-operated with his old friends. The re-
formation had increased and spread into all the
adjoining towns, into which he was invited to
come and preach.
It was at the close of tliis far-famed revival,
in the Autumn of 1803, that Elder Smith open-
ly withdrew from the Calvinistic Baptists, and
avowed his determination to own no name but
CHRISTIAN and no creed but the BIBLE.
This was several years after Elder Jones had
withdrawn and more than two years after the
formation of the first Christian Church in Lyn-
don, Yt. Elder Smith was doubtless a success-
ful laborer in founding the early churches of the
Christian Connexion : ,but he can with no de-
gree of justice lay claim to the Jtitle of Founder
of the Connexionj as he has done. He was an
exceedingly popular preacher, but he did not
wear well with his friends, and soon fel] into dis-
repute among his brethren. He was the second
preacher that took an open stand for liberty
of opinion and freedom from human creeds.
ABNfiR JONES. 66
It was ever the misfortune of Elder Smith,
to be, as Elder Jones used to say, ^^ in hot
water." Until he went to Boston, the revival
had gone on with the most perfect harmony be-
tween Elder Jones and Drs Stillraan and Bald-
win. But he soon cast in a firebrand, and the
voice of discord was heard. Elder S. was ex-
pelled from the Baptist pulpits, and because he
would not forsake him, Elder Jones was thrust
out also. A wide breach was made in the
Churches, and the work of the Lord gave place
to the work of Belial.
Among other places to which Elder Jones
was invited, he visited N^ntasket, (now Hull,)
and witnessed a revival of religion, which em-
braced in its results every family in the place ;
and more than half the entire population pro-
fessed religion, were baptized, and joined the
church, which was established on fret grounds;
It had become evident that a church must be
foitned in Boston, as the*freedoih of the old'
Baptist churches were greatly restricted. Elder
Jones felt, also, that for the present^ hb must
tarry here. He accordingly removed his family
from Lebanon to Boston, in June, 1804. And
on Sunday, July 1, of the same year^ a ChrU"
tian church was constituted in Boston. The
number of those who first covenanted together
66 MEMOIR or
to form this free band of brethren, was but
seven ; but their numbers increased daily, until
the church was verjr large. This is the same
church, which now, after many vicissitudes,
worships in the Chapel at the corner of Sum-
mer and Sea Streets.
Soon after they were excluded from the pul-
pits of the Baptist churches, a member of
Dr Stillman's church, brother Henry Wendall,
hired on his own responsibility, a hall in Bedford
(then Pond) Street, for which he paid $150 per
annum. A brother Cole, of Charlestown, like-
wise opened the upper story of his own dwell-
ing for conference meetings, etc., which at his
own expense was comfortably seated. Their
audiences were quite large, but as they were
considered disorderly assemblages, the rabble
felt quite at liberty to disturb and annoy them
whenever they chose so to do. They were
greatly disturbed by young men, who went there
for sport, until they were compelled to appeal
to the town authorities for protection. The pe-
tition which was sent in ^^to the Selectmen of
the town of Boston," is a most curious docu-
ment, and as it will form a landmark in the pro-
gress of toleration in our goodly city, I shall in-
sert It in the Appendix entire.^
^Appendix, Note B.
ABNKR JONES. 67
Although Elder Jones called Boston his home,
and the church there his peculiar care, he spent
a large portion of his time in travelling through
the country, preaching the word, and building up
churches. Besides visiting all the towns on the
seaboard often, he made long journeys into the
interior, visiting New Hampshire, Connecticut,
Vermont and Maine. Through his whole life,
he could never remain long at home at any one
time. His heart yearned to see his old friends,
or he had a raging desire to see and preach in
new places, and he was constantly itinerating.
In his journal he is very minute in giving all the
details of these journeys ; even to the texts at
length, and every slight incident of travel. I
am compelled to pass these entirely by, for the
reasons, that they would swell this work to an
enormous sis^, and because they would be ex-
ceedingly tiresome and unprofitable to the gen-
L> January, 1807, Elder Jones moved his
family to Bradford, near Haverhill, Mass. I
cannot exactly understand the reason of this re-
moval, as it is rather obscurely hinted at in his
journal It seems, however, that Elder Smith,
who ever seems to have been his evil genius,
was at the bottom and cause of it. He certain-
ly had a strong desire to remain in Boston, and
61 MEMOIR OF
the church, which wa£» one of his own establish-
ing, seems to have been greatly desirous of his
presence and services.
His removal to Bradford was merely an eco-
nomical one, not to take charge of the religious
interests of the church. Indeed there was, as
yet,, no church there. His family remained in
Bradford two years, and were then removed to
the ancient town of Salem. He had labored,
indeed, for a great portion of this time in Salem ;
had gathered a church there, and erected a
small place of worship, in English Street, which
he called the Christian Tabernach. I believe
this little Tabernacle— "it was only 20 by 40 feet
on the ground — was the first chapel erected by
the people called Christians. I remember it
well. Humble as it was, it was Ud me, (I was
then a mere child) the place of the solemn as-
sembly, and no gorgeous temple was more im-
posing. Some of my first and deepest religious
impressions were received in that spot, ever to
be remembered by many as the house of God
and the gate of Heaven.
It may be interesting to the old and early friends
of Elder Jones, who were co-workers with him
in the planting of the Church in Salem, tosee
recorded here, the manner in which the '^door
was opened" for him to go to that place. I shall
ABNER JOHEI. 69
therefore transcribe a few pages from his journal,
in this place, relating to that part of his life.
^^ I had not been one week in Bradford, be-
fore a door was opened in Salem for my preach-
ing there, which heretofore as to our preaching,
was as straitly shut up as Jericho. I had for a
long tinae been very desirous to get into that an-
cient town to preach the everlasting Gospel of
the Son of God ; but could see no way to ac-
complish it : now the door was open and the cry
heard, come over and help us. Tuesday, Feb.
3, 1807, was my first time of preaching in old
Salem. The meeting was held at the corner of
Essex and English streets, in a large convenient
hall, occupied by an Englishman by the name of
Rajmer, a good warm-hearted Methodist. -My
text was Luke xiv. 22, ^ Lord, it is done as
thou has commanded, yet there is room.' The
audience was respectable in point of numbers
and appearance, and very attentive. A number
of singers performed well — I knew not wheth-
er saints or sinners. In the whole congregation,
I believe there were but two persons whom I
had ever before seen. I felt great liberty, and
the word had effect, as I afterwards learned.
The circumstances of my going to Salem, where
I afterwards preached about eleven years and
six months, at two different periods, were as
70 MfiMplE OF
follows. The reformation at Essex, fifteen
miles from Salem, has already been mentioned.
A youngster from one of the most respectable
families in that town, was apprenticed at Salem,
and visited his friends in the time of that revival.
He experienced religion, was baptised, and
joined the Christian Church in Essex. After
returning to Salem he found himself alone.
Subsequently he became acquainted with a pious
old lady, who was a Methodist. At this time
there was no Methodist Society in town, and
beside this good old lady, I believe three men
and their wives composed all the Methodists in
the place. To the pious old lady's small cot-
tage, this young convert used to resort for pray-
er. He told the old pilgrim about the refor-
mation in Essex, and wished they could have
such meetings in Salem — he wished Mr Rand
could preach there — ^Elder John Rand who
was then preaching in Essex. He was a young
man who had left Dr Stillman's church, and
joined the Christian Church in Boston. He
was highly esteemed for his work in the Lord,
at that time, and for a number of years continued
to preach to good acceptance. He was the
first Christian preacher who was raised up in
Massachusetts ; Mr Rand came and preached an
evening lecture ; first at the old Methodist lady's
▲BMER J0ME8. 71
cottage. Other doors were soon opened and
Elder Smith was invited, and came and preach-
ed, and there began to be a great inquiry about
this new doctrine. Elders Smith, Rand, and
noyself now agreed to establish a weekly lecture
on Thursday evening, and to attend it alter-
[^' Elder John Rand was ordained in Boston,
Nov. 6, 1806, by Elders Elias Smith, Joseph
Boody, and myself. Both the above named
Elders have left preaching as well as he who re-
ceived ordination. Elder Boody- I b e came ac-
quainted with in Vermont, the year before I com-
menced preaching. He was then young, active
and full of zeal, his voice was strong as a Lion's
and he often extended it to its utmost pitch,
which finally injured his health, and spoiled his
voice. When I saw him last his voice was so
far gone, that it was with great difficulty he could
raise it loud enough to be heard in public. I
am sorry to add, Uiat when Elder Smith em-
braced the ^ destruction scheme,' Elder Boody
followed him, and now professes to be an Uni-
** We will now return to Salem. Messrs.
Smith and Rand, for some reason, never made
it convenient to attend to our weekly lecture, so
the responsib^ity of keeping it up fell on me en-
72 MEMOIR OF
tirely — they both however preached there occa-
sionally. In two weeks from my first appoint-
ment in Salem, I preached there again, at the
house of Thomas SaJ^rd, a Congregational
brother. • The meeting was in a large upper loft
in his dwelling house.
" When in Portsmouth, the week before, I de-
sfared the brethren to hold a prayer meeting on
the same evening of my appointment, which was
accordingly done. I preached from Psalms
Ixi. 2, ^Lead me to the Rock, that is higher
than I.' The services were very impressive,
and many in tears. Towards the close of my
sermon, I mentioned the prayer meeting in
Portsmouth, appointed that evening for the di-
rect purpose of praying for the outpouring of the
^Spirit of God in Salem. I then observed, that
it was probable that the brethren in Portsmouth
were at that moment on their knees, praying that
God would pour out his Spirit in Salem. These
observations seemed very sensibly to impress
the congregation, and many who attentively
heard before with dry eyes now burst into tears.
Some were awakened in this meeting.
^^ At the close of this meeting I appointed a
another at brother Rayner's, for the next eve-
mng. The next afternoon I was invited to take
tea with a friend, where I found five ladies in
ABNER JONES. 7S
distress of mind. I took down their names, as
those who wished to be rennembered in prayer
for their soul's salvation. This was my uniform
course in revivals. Preached in the evening ac-
cording to appointment, from Isaiah Iv. 6, ^ Seek
ye the Lord while he may be found, and call upon
him while he is near.' The hall was full, and all
appeared as solemn as eternity. The work of
the Lord was evidently going on. The next
week, on Tiiursday evening, March 5, 1 preach-
ed at Mrs Patterson's house in English street,
Luke XV. 24, ^ He was lost and is found again.'
The people began to flock together very early,
the house was soon crowded full, and many peo-
ple could not get in and went away. This be-
gan to stir up people to procure a larger place to
meet in. The season was a most impressive
one, a great part of the assembly was in tears."
As yet Elder Jones had not even thought of
fixing himself permanently in Salem, nor for two
months from the time of his first going there had
there been a meeting on the Sabbath. During
this time also he rode and preached in all the
towns round about.
^^ In the course of these two months I have '
preached in Haverhill, Bradford, New Rowley,
(now Georgetown), Boxford, Lynn, Boston,
Nantasket, Essex, Kingston, Hampton, North
74 MEMOI^ OF
Hampton, Hampton Falls and Portsmouth, —
having preached in February 21 times, and in
March 34 times ; besides riding some hundreds
Sometime in April, 1807, the humble meeting
house was erected, and occupied in May follow-
ing, when Elder Jones concluded to become the
overseer of the infant church in Salem, and
moved his family thither immediately.
It was in April, while his family still resided
in Bradford, that the house he occupied was
struck with lightning. He and his wife were at
Salem on a visit at the time of the occurrence
and thus escaped the exposure. The house was
very much shattered, the furniture broken, and
his eldest daughter was stricken down and slightly
burned, but escaped without any essential in-
It must not be supposed 'that the 'whole, or
\ principal part of Elder Jones' time and labor
was given to the new flock at Salem. In con-
junction with Elders Smith and Rand, he had
also the care of a dozen others, in the places
above named. This kept him constantly travel-
ling and preaching. Salem was a central point
around which he moved, but he preached six
times elsewhere while he preached in Salem
once. Churchef were formed in almost all the
▲BNER JONES. 75
places of which I have spoken, and he felt that
he could not well suffer a month to pass between
his visits to either of them. Revivals were in
progress in each of thetn, and the new and liberal
views which were inculcated, added to the zeal-
ous manner in which they were promulgated,
drew l^rge audiences, and of a very mixed char-
acter. The old sects looked on with suspicion,
and raised* the cry of fanaticism and wildfire.
*' JVecmtters," and " RunagateSj^^ I recollect,
were favorite expressions. Many young men
attended out of curiosity, and as the police was
not then as vigorous as now, they often carried
their sport to a very troublesome extent. This
was particularly the case in Salem.
I kave spoken of the disturbances which
sometimes occurred at that place and others. I
have a very distinct recollection of them.
They were attributed to the devil at the time,
but I am not clear that the evil manifestation was
not where they littlo dreamed of looking for it.
I am sure that the confusion generally began in-
side the house, and so believed Elder Jones, in
after years. I find allusion to this subject in
his journal, at a much later period, and some ex-
ceedingly judicious advice respecting it. Al-
though I am aware that many of his brethren
did not coincide in his views, and do not, even
76 MEMOIR or
DOW, I shall insert them here, as I know they
were intended for the eye of his brethren, and
that very many will heartily concur in them.
After speaking of the declension of the church
in Boston, and some of the causes of it, he at-
tributes it mainly, after all, to a want of thor-
ough organization. And this was the case, he
says, in most of the churches. The brethren
mistook their liberty for license^ and things were
not conducted in that order which the New
Testament enjoins, and which is essential to suc-
cess. He then goes on to say.
*' The great Head of the Church has ordained
that there shall be Elders in every church ;
neither can any church prosper long at a time,
without a Pastor, or Elder. For lack of this
our early churches suffered much, nor was it
possible for us to take proper care of our church-
es. This caused many to go over to the Bap-
tists, and Methodists, that they might thereby
enjoy the blessing of a constant ministry . Many
wandered from the fold into the world for the
want of being well taken care of; so upon the
whole, on this ground we have been very great
losers. It was a favorite doctrine in all our
early churches that there were gifts in the
church, such as prayer and exhortation, which
ought to be improved in public meetings, as well
ABNER JONES. 77
as those of preaching. This doctrine I now firm-
ly believe. But in those early days, I am con-
strained to say that in the injudicious use of this
privilege great evil was done. For it is cer-
tain that many who had not gifts to speak eith-
er to the edification of saints, or the convic-
tion of sinners, were the most forward to occupy
the time, and such become a great burthen to
the church, and gave the enemy great occasion
to blaspheme. If any attempt was made to cor-
rect such an evil, the cry was immediately made,
' You want to take away our liberties, you want
to bring us into bondage, you want to be popu-
lar, you want to be a Lord over God's heritage,'
&c. &c. The question will now arise, how
shall this evil be remedied in such a manner as
not to stop the exercise of these valuable gifts ?
Answer. Let the church judge of these gifts
as they do of preaching gifts, and also ap-
prove the same. If a brother says, ' God has
called me to preach, the church does not ap-
prove or hear such a brother, unless they- can
discover preaching gifts in him. In the same
manner let the church judge impartially of all
gifts. I do not believe that every mai\, women^
and child who are converted, have gifts to speak
in public meetings. Circumstances have often
opcurred like the following. The sermon has
78 MEMOIR or
been delivered in a most solemn, spiritual and
judicious manner. Saints have been made hap*
jy, and sinners have been solemnly impressed.
But a weak brother or sister arises, merely be-
cause they feel happy and want to express it.
Yet they can say nothing to edification, and the
good impressions are often injured. But it is
said such an one has as good right as any other,
aodjie ought to speak to clear his own mind.
But let us remember that the true object of
speaking is not to edify ourselves, but to edify
" 1 have never questioned the piety, and good
intentions of such brethren ; but to me there is
a deep importance to be attached to the charge,
that every thing should be done decently and in
order. Saint Paul says, that though many
things are perfectly lawful, they are not expe-
^' I do not speak with authority on this point.
I have no disposition to shackle any man's
mind, or to deprive him of his testimony.
But it does seem to ii)e that there is a fit-
ness in all things pertaining to the Church of
Christ, and I would add my dying, to my living
testimony against a practice, which I have no
doubt has caused many a schism among breth-
ren, broken up Churches, and hindered the
ABNEE J0ME4. 79
work of God. 1 know that many of my breth-
ren sympathise with me in this ; although I am
aware that many /others think that what I have
reconimended would be inconsistent with the
freedom we possess.
'^ To such let me say, there is a heaven-wide
difference between liberty to do what is right
and proper and seemly, and liberty to do what
is wrong and unseemly. One is freedom ; the
other license. Wholesome restraint is perfect-
ly consonent with true freedom — indeed there
can be no true freedom without it, for liberty
without restraint is anarchy. No man has free-
dom to infringe the freedom of any other man.
Now if an injudicious brother or sister, in the
full enjoyment of what he, or she, calls liberty,
usurps the time and freedom of others, then
he,, or she, is bound to submit to such restraints
as the majority demand in order to their enjoy -
mept of liberty and peace. And if they have
not discretion enough to know when they are
misusing their liberty, where is. the impropriety
that the church, through its elders, should sub-
ject them to such restraints as the peace, enjoy-
ment and freedom of the bpdy require }
^ '' But I leave the subject here ; believing that
if I am right, the thing will work itself out by
aqd by, and if I am wrong, time will prove that
80 MEMOIE OF
also. Indeed I rejoice to believe that a grtat
change for the better has already taken place in
this respect, and I hope yet before I die to se«
still more to confirm me in the views above sta-
The reformation which commenced in the
little flock in English street, soon spread into
the other societies ; first into the Baptist, then
into the Congregationalists. The result of this
extensive revival of religion was the conversion
of many hundreds, and their addition to the
churches. It is curious here to observe, that
while the *' revival" was confined to the hum-
ble flock which worshipped in the small Taber*
nacle in English street, the other sects denounc-
ed it as delusion, and their ministers decried
it from the pulpit. '^ But as soon as it extend-
ed to their people," says Elder Jones, " it was
the unquestionable work of God."
The Society was small and poor, but, adds
the Journal of its early Pastor, " generous as
the air we breathe." They however, could by
no means support their minister and his family.
He was accordingly compelled to resort to some
secular engagement, in order to subsist. While
he travelled from one point to another, he and
his horse were fed by the bounty of individual
friends, and his wardrobe occasionally supplied
* ABNER JONES. 81
in the same way. But when he settled down and
resolved to spend all his time in any one place,
he was compelled to seek some kind of employ-
ment for a livelihood, which could be pursued
without interfering with his multiplied pastoral
labors. Accordingly in the winter of 1809-10,
he opened in his own hired house a day school
for the study of the common branches of educa-
tion, and an evening school to teach sacred music.
Thus then, he labored, six hours in each of
the six days of the week,' in school ; three
evenings in singing school and three in religious
meetings, besides preaching three tinies on
each Sabbath, and oftentimes riding for that
purpose forty or fifty miles.
About this time there crept into the church
controversies about the freedom of church mem-
bers. A few troublesome persons had attached
themselves to the church, who were continually
fermenting discord. " They professed, "says
Elder Jones, in his Journal, '^ to be governed
by the Spirit^ and 2l most perverse spirit it was."
It was unfortunate for the church, that the
" spirit," whatever it was, was not laid early,
for it increased in power, until, in 1821, it di-
vided the church into two parties, both g^
which have since dissolved and disappeared.
In June, 1811, Elder Jones took a journey
83 MEMOIR OF
into the Southern part of Massachusetts, and
attended, at Assonet village, in Freetown, a gen-
eral meeting of the Christian Brethren. This
is the ^9^ meeting of the kind of which he has
spdcen. Whether it was the first in the con-
nexion, or not, I cannot tell, but have thought it
of sufficient importance to extract a passage
from the journal in relation to it.
" In June, 1811, made my first visit to the
South part of this State. Attended a general
meeting at Assonet' Village, and preached the
ordaining Sermon of Elder Benjamin Tay-
lor ; who was formerly a member of the Salem
church. A very great collection of people
attended, and it was a heavenly season.
The Assonet church was large and flourishing,
and had a good Meeting House. Elder Philip
Hathaway was then their preacher and well en-
gaged. The church had formerly been a Bap-
tist church, but had several years before this
left the Baptist name and all creeds, and came
over and joined the Christian connexion. It
was at this meeting that I formed the first happy
acquaintance with the venerable Elder Daniel
EUx of Dartmouth, who had recently renounced
all party names and united with us."
After returning to Salem j and preaching there
and in the region round about, until early in the
▲BNER JQKyiJ. 93
winter of lBi2. be determined to leave Salejn*
He had two reasons for so doing. First, be bad
become conv/inced that bis usefulness in Salem
was very much circumscribed from the causes
above alluded to ; and secondly, ^' an open door
presented in another quarter." But I will 1^
him speak for himself.
"The forepart of this winter, I received a
unanimous invitation to go to Portsmouth and
vbecome their preacher ; and after many weeks
consideration, and after asking counsel of God>
I became convinced tliat it was best to go ;
although it was very hard parting with Salem
friends ; notwithstanding a few crooked sticlj^s
who were doubtless glad to get me out of their
way. In Feburary, I made a visit of two weejk;;s^
among my Portsmouth friends, and finally con-
cluded to move my family thither in the spring;
which accordingly I did, about the last of March*
" I will here take the liberty to^elate an exer-
cise of my mind, while returning from my first
visit to Portsmouth. When I started for Sa-
lem, I intended to go directly home, but I soon
began to feel a strong disposition to go to Braid*
ford. As I travelled on, my mind was more
and more impressed with the idea of going to
Bradford, until I arrived at Salisbury, where two
ways met. I must now make up my mind whiqb
34 MEMOIR or
way to go. I bad made my arrangements to
be at bome>tbat ^ay, and I could not be willing
to gi\re it up, for I bad no distinct object in
going to Bradford. I raised many objections
against going. A beavy snow bad fallen, and
the travelling was bad. 1 wanted to get bome
and see my family. It looked like perfect non-
sense to go tbitber I knew not for wbat, only
because T happened to bave a feeling as tbougb
I must go ; for I bad no appointment, nor any
expectation of preaching. But all this would
not silence tbe impression ; which finally prevail-
ed, and off I turned for Bradford, still saying to
myself, I am going on " Tom-fooVs errand.^'*
After taking the Bradford road, I found tbe
snow deep, the track but poorly broken, and tbe
travelling dull and beavy. I could not help
calhng in question whether I was not playing
ihefooly in going thither. I took a retrospect
of my past life, since having began to preach.
What a strange life ! I bad wandered in the
wilderness among the poor. Travelled the hill-
country, and traversed tbe wide plains. I bad
spent more than ten years of tbe very flower of my
life. Already bad I spent hundreds of dollars
out my ov^n pocket, more than I had ever re-
ceived, and what good had I done ; and now I
am going to Bradford /ool like^ T know not for
▲BNER J0KE8. 8§
what. Be assured, roader, that I felt foolish
enough. How humbling to native pride to be
entirely devoted to God, and how much we need
humbling. How strait is the way to heaven,
and eternal life. Wild enthusiasm will turn you
out on one side of the path, and on the other,
if we disobey the real impressions of God's
^Spirit, we must spiritually die.
" While thus musing, the following lines came
into my mind, to which I gave the name of the
1. I know roy labors in the Lord,
While I am trusting in his word ;
Shall never, never be in vain —
He does my feeble soul sustain.
2. The word which saith, go, preach repent,
This is the work for which Pm sent.
Sweet cordial words " Lo I'm with you,"
Bear up my soul the rough way through.
3. The word saith, << feed my lambs, and sheepy
With them rejoice, and with them weep ;
Water the garden of the Lord,
And you shall feast upon his word."
4. When through deep trials like Saint Paul,
My pathway leads me there to fall,
To God m look, by constant prayer,
Till clouds blow dS with a clear air*
86 mheImoir 0/
5 Then to the business of the day,
In all I do to watch and pray,
In sorrow i^ough and sow my seedj
Leave all with Christ, my course he'll speed.
6 All in due season I shall reap.
Though while I'm sowing here, I weep.
Great things I'll say the Lord hath done.
Through him the victor's crown I've won.
" I sung the hymn as I rode along, all except-
ing the last stanza, which I afterwards added
while riding in a snow storm. I arrived at
Bradfordjust as it was growing dark. The
question was immediately put by a brother, will
you preach this evening ? the answer was affirm-
ative. A horse was harnessed and a man set off
full speed to notify the people. A considera?
ble number soon collected, and the Lord gave
the word in power. From that very evening a
reformation began and continued through the
winter, spring and summer.
^^ After this I made it a general rule to preach
in Bradford once in two weeks, while the re-,
formation continued. A goodly number were
brought into the fold of Christ at this time.
And among others, Charles O. Kimball, now
pastor of the Baptist church in Methuen. This
worthy man was then a lad of thirteen, when I
first visited Bradford, living with his grandfather,
▲BNER JONES. 87
Frances Kimball; whdj» with his wife were
among the 6rst nine whom I baptised in that
town. This was one of my good homes as
long as he lived. Charles was always very at-
tentrve to my horse ; I used to say to him,
Charles, take good care of my horse, and when
you get to be a minister, and come to my house,
I will take good care of yours. Since he was
a preacher he called at my house, but I could
not redeem my pledge, for I was not at home,
for which I was very sorry."
It was in (he spring of 1813, as I think —
for the regular journal of Elder Jones is here
interrupted — that he removed his family to
Portsmouth. He found the church and society
ifeeble, and religion in general in a very low
state. His tarry in Portsmouth was but of
two years' duration, in which time, although
not much occurred of interest to him, many
memorable events took place. The war, then
but recently declared upon Great Britain by the
United States, was raging fiercely on the New
England coast, and Portsmouth suffered its full
share of the excitement and evil. The place
was completely blockaded by the British fleet
for a number of months, and the inhabitants were
greatly distressed, and lived in a constant state of
terror. Alarms were frequent, and the town pre-
sented the constant appearance of a beseiged city.
88 MEMOIR OF
Several regiments of troops were quartered
upon the town, and provisions became exceed-
ingly scarce and dear. Those who could leave
(heir affairs, had already removed to a safer re-
treat, while many others were ready, with their
household stuff ready packed, to start at the first
booming of the enemy's cannon. Among these
was Elder Jones.
When the enemy appeared off the town there
Were scarcely any bulwarks of defence to repel the
attack of so formidable a foe, and I remember
the consternation which prevailed. L think it
was on Saturday. The next day the churches
were closed, for the worshippers were all draft-
ed to turn out and throw up redoubts on the
most defensible points at the entrance of the
town. There was a general turn out from all
professions and avocations, and without respect
to the day. In the evening, however, the
churches were opened and thronged, and many
a prayer was raised to the '* God of battles,"
that he would scatter their foes, and send them
The muse of Elder Jones "was propitious on
the great occasion, and I refer the reader to the
Appendix tfor the result.*
*See Appendix, Note C.
ABlfER JONES. 89
In the midst of all this distress, the horrors of
the scene were dreadfully increased by an aw-
ful conflagration, which burned down a large
part of the town, and rendered many families,
no( only houseless, but penniless. Nearly three
hundred dwelling houses were consumed, and
nearly four hundred families were turned into
the streets in one of the coldest nights of De-
" It was," says Elder Jones, who was an eye
witness to the whole scene, and rendered very
e£Bcient help on the occasion, by his remarka-
ble presence of mind and great activity in sav-
ing property and life — and whose daring gener-
osity nearly cost him his own life during that
awful night — '^ it was indeed a deplorable sight.
Whole streets presented a double line of flame,
or a dark and confused mass of smouldering
ruins. The goods and furniture either perished
in the buildings, or were only thrown into the
street to make a bonfire by themselves. Wo-
men and children, with dishevelled hair, and
eyes that spoke too plainly their grief and terror,
ran shrieking through the burning streets, either
in search of some relative or friend, or too de-
mented to have any definite object in view.
Here was a distracted mother desparingly call-
ing on her husband and children, there the heart-
90 MEMOIR OF
broken father and husband inquiring for his wife
and children ; and the little ones wandering to
and fro, piteously crying for their parents*
Some, again, were gazing on the ruin going on all
around them in a perfect stupor of grief and sur-
prise. No tear bedewed their clieek, no sound
escaped the lips, no motion was made by any
member of their bodies, and they started not at
the fearful crash of falling houses, or the hoarse
cry of the brazen-throated firemen.
^^ A police was organized as soon as the coo-
fusion would permit. Property was protected
as far as was practicable, and all the children
who were found destitute of protection were
picked up and taken to a place of safety.
^^ Many were the maternal bosoms who mourn-
ed their little ones as dead, in the awful gloom
of that memorable night. What a joy then to
behold the scene which opened the morning of
the next day ! The children were all assem-
bled in the town Hall, to the number of a hun-
dred or more, and the crier sent forth with his
bell to announce to all whose children were
missing, that they were waiting for their appear-
ance. Then flocked the weeping parents to the
spot, hoping and fearing. Oh ! what a meeting
was that, and what pen shall essay the vain at-
tempt to describe it ! Not a child was missing
▲BITER JONES. 91
and not one but found its parents. In all
that dreadful burning not a human life was lost,
and but one person suffered the fracture of a
^^ During all this time the British fleet was rid-
ing at anchor in sight of the town, but made no
attempt to enter it. It was known that the fire
was the hellish work of incendiaries, and many
supposed that they were the emissaries of the
^^ This year was also remarkable for its being
the commencement of a series of cold and back-
ward seasons which found a fit termination in the
ever memorable cold summer of 1816. These
and the war, as may well be supposed, produced
a season of great scarcity, in which provisions
of all kinds were very dear, and the poor were
much pinched. Cloth of all descriptions, was
also very high, so that I found it exceedingly
difiicult to live very comfortably. The society
was small and the members of it generally poor,
and were unable to do by me as their generous
hearts would prompt."
Manufactories then were few in number, and
those few very much embarrassed ; and much
of the cloth worn at this time was spun and woven
by hand. About this time Elder Jones made a
tour into New Hampshire and Vermont; for be
02 MEMOIR or
could DO more make Portsmouth his home, than
he had Boston aud Salem before it. While on
this journey he purchased a piece of cloth, and
**on returning," he says, " I had myself and
every member of my ftfmily clad from head to
foot in a dress of homespun, and a very good
dress it was."
He was prompted to this not only on the score
of economy, but by patriotism. He says ; —
*^ On deciding to make the tour, I found a
new coat was needed, so out I went in search
of a piece of cloth for the purpose. I travelled
nearly half over town, and went into nearly all
the shops, but found that the price of cloths had
more than doubled since I last purchased a coat»
I could not and would not pay the exorbitant
price, as it seemed to me, and I resolved from
that time that I would not, nor suffer any of my
family to purchase a foreign imported article of
dress, while the war lasted — a resolution which I
religiously kept. So I went home, picked out
the best among my old coats, had it brushed up^
turned, and new buttoned, and started on my
journey without my new coat."
I have spoken of his straitened circumstan-
ces, during his residence in Portsmouth. There
were seasons when he hardly knew how to pro-
cure bread enough for the day before him. I
▲BIffi» JONBS. 18
cannot forbear relating an incident to which he
used often to refer, to illustrate his favorite doc-
trine, that God would especially provide for\
such as devoted themselves to the work of hia
appointment. It is also illustrative of his char-
acter in other respects. He was compelled,
from the dribbling character of his remuneration,
which was taken weekly in the form of contri-
butions— ^how well do I remember the anxiety
we all felt on Sunday afternoon, on coming
out of church, to know the amount of our toetM
scUary ! sometimes not reaching even a dollar—
to live as the phrase is, ^^ from hand to mouth,"
seldom having more than a three days stock of
provision on hand.
"On Saturday morning," — how often I have
beard the good old man relate the dtory, which^
however, it might affect others, never failed to
bring tears into his own eyes — " as I was sit-
ting in my study, pondering the poverty of my
condition, my wife came in with her accustom*
ed inquiry of ^ well, Mr Jones, what shall we
have for dinner ?' adding, ^ we have not a grain
of meal,^ — flour was out of the question — n or
a particle of meat of any kind in the house.
Then the sugar is out, there is no butter, and in
fact there is nothing to eat, and tomorrow is
Sunday.' So saying she quit the room, leaving
94 MEMOIR OF
me in such a state of mind as may well be con-
ceived, when 1 say that a solitary one dollar
bank note, was the only money I had on eartht
and no prospect whaterer appeared of getting
any until the accustomed weekly contribution
should be put in my hands. And what would
a single dollar do at the prevailing high prices,
towards feeding seven hungry mouths for two
whole days ? I saw no way of escape, and id
the agony of spirit which may well be guessed,
I lifted up my heart in supplication to Him who
feed^th the ravens when they cry. And a siit'
gxJar answer to my prayer I seemed speedily to
^^ I had just risen from my knees, when my
wife again appeared at the door, all unconscious
of the struggle which was going on within me,
and ushered a gentleman into my study. His
whole appearance was of that shabby genteel
which betokens a* broken-do wn gentleman, and
from the first moment of beholding him, I
took him to my confidence as unfortunate
but not debased. ^ Sir/ said he, ^ I am a
stranger to you, and you are utterly so to me^
save that I once heard you preach in ■ s
My home is in that place — if indeed I may now
claim a home. I sailed from that port nearly
a year since, with all my earthly possessions
ABNER JONES. 95
embarked in a promisiog adventure. My ship
Tell into the hands of the enemy and I became a
prisoner, my property of course became lawful
plunder. After suffering many hardships and
much indignity, I effected my escape on board
a vessel bound to St. John. From that place
to this I have worked my way along with in-
credible fatigue and pain. *I have suffered much
from hunger, cold and wet, and have slept many
a night in the open woods. And here I am, in
one word. Sir, penniless^ and altogether too
much worn down to proceed further without
aid. I have friends in , to whom I am
pressing on as fast as I can, and who will relieve
my necessities when I reach them. I am an
utter stranger in your town, and you are the
only person I ever knew or saw in the whole
phce. I cannot beg, and I feel entirely reluc-
tant to ask a loan of an utter stranger.'
" Here was a struggle. / was poor, very
poor ; but here was one poorer than I. I had
a hungry family to feed — so had he ; and more,
a heart-broken one, who were even now mourn-
ing him as dead. I could hesitate no longer.
I thrust my hand mechanically into my pocket,
and pulling out my last dollar, which I pressed
upon the unfortunate mariner — for he could
hardly be persuaded to take it, when he knew
96 MEMOIR OF
bow low my finances were,— I blessed bim in
God's name, and be left me witb no words of
tbanks ; but I knew that, bad I from sl/uU purse
bestowed a liberal sum, be could not have /eft
*^ Wben be bad gone, and absolute hunger for
me and mine, stared me full in the face, I be-
gan to doubt the propriety of my act in taking
the very bread from my children's mouths to
feed a stranger. But it was now too late to re-
pent. The last dollar was gone and my chil-
dren must go dinnerless and supperless to bed.
For myself I cared nothing, but how would my
family bear this unusual fasting i I seized my
hat and cane and rushed into the street to escape
from my own thoughts, which had become too
painful to endure. I knew not— cared no^
whither I should bend my steps.
^^ As I walked moodily and mechanically on,
' thinking o'er all the bitterness' of my situation,
suddenly the thought came into my mind: —
' why should I despond ? Have I ever gone hun-
gry ^^ even for a day — me and mine ? Has not
the Lord provided hitherto ? And will he not
in time to come ? — in the present time ?' I had
scarcely concluded this soliloquy, when one of
* my neighbors, whom I knew to be a Universa-
hst, and whom I had occasionally seen at our
ABJNER JONKS. 97
meetings— the members of bis family came fre-
quently — ^accosted me with, ' good morning, Mr
Jones. I have been thinkmg for some time
past that I ought to discharge a debt I owe you.'
I was not aware, I replied, that you had incur-
red such an obligation. ' O, but I have,' said
be, ^ my family goes occasionally to hear you
preach, and once in a while I go myself. Now
as the laborer is worthy of his hire, and as I wish
no man to labor for me without pay, I beg you
will accept this trifle as in part a liquidation of
^' The ^ trifle,^ was a five dollar note, which
I received with feelings, that I will not mock
by attempting to describe. I returned to my
house, and after again falling on my knees, bum-
bled und^ a sense of my want of confidence in
God, and grateful for his goodness to me, all
unworthy as I felt myself to be ; I sallied forth
to the market, and soon came back ladened
with the things necessary to our comfort."
This prolific year was also remarkable for a
growth of fanaticism. Many turned prophets^
and great things were predicted — awful conflagra-
tions, terrible slaughter of our armies, the subju-
gation of our Republic, the second coming of
the Messiah, and the end of the world. Among
others of that day who were found like Saul of
98 MEMOIR OF
old, among the number of the prophets, was one
Nimrod Hughes, of Virginia.
<^ He prophecied that on a certain day in
June, one third of the inhabitants of the United
States, would be destroyed by a terrible tem-
pest. He said his prophecy would be treated
just as the people treated Noah's prophecy con-
cerning the deluge, and that it would be equally
true, and when it should come, he should see
people flying through the air and crying, now
we know that Hughes' prophecy is true. This
frightened many people, who feared it would ac-
tually be so. Several inquired of me to know
what I thought of it. I told them that one part
of it was true, viz: that it would be treated as
the people treated Noah's prophecy of the del-
uge ; for I was one of them, and that if Hughes'
prophecy was true, on that day I should be de-
stroyed ; but that I did not believe a word of it."
*^ [ have been informed while in the State of
New York, that the following circumstances
gave rise to Hughes' prophecy. As the ac-
count was related to me, the said Nimrod was
a dealer in leather, and failing in business, and
not being able to pay his debts, was imprisoned
therefor. And that a certain wicked priest sug-
gested the idea to Nimrod of writing this proph-
ecy, that the sale thereof might enable him to
ABHEa JONES. 99
pay his debts. This priest assisted him in
hatching this fiery flying serpent, and so it was
printed — the profits of which soon released poor
Nimrod from prison. I have seen a whimsical
ballad setting forth these circumstances."
In the autumn of 1814} owing to the invasion,
and the constant surprise and alarms which on thai
account prevailed, as well as to that spirit of travel
wluch would not lot him remain long at home^
Elder Jones thought it best to remove his family to
a place of more security. He accordingly hired
a bouse in Stratham, ten miles from Portsmouth,
where his family resided for a year. During this
year he was at home but little, making several
extensive journeys ; visiting and confirming the
churches and preaching the glad tidings of sal-
On one of these journeys he spent some time
in Hopkinton, N. H., then the shire town of
the county, and a place of much promise. The
church was destitute of a stated ministry and he
was invited to remain and take the charge of it.
After prayerfully considering it, he decided to
go there, and accordingly moved his family
thither some time in November, A. D. 1816>
I remember well that removal and some parti-
cular circumstances in connexion therewith. It
80 happened that, owing to a storm of snow
100 MEMOIR Of
which prevented our journeying, we were com*
pelled to travel a few miles on Sabbath morning,
in order to reach the place and enable htm to
fuIBll an engagement. Sabbath riding, in those
palmy days of tything men and Sunday police,
was not as common as in these degenerate times,
and a great deal of pious horror was expressed.
Indeed so strong was the feeling of indignation
in certain circles, that it became doubtful wheth-
er he would ever be restored to favor. But like
other things of the kind, after being a '^ nine
days' wonder," it was displaced by other topics
Elder Jones moved into the same house with
deacon Philip Brown, then an efficient member
of the church, but afterwards much more so.
At this time he was a watch-maker and jeweller,
at which occupation he toiled honestly and la^
boriously for a livelihood. In those days it was
not thought an act of obliquity to enter largely
into that destructive species of gambling cdled
lotteries. Now it so happened that one of the
deacon's tickets turned him up the handsome
prize of twentyfive thousand dollars, which it
niust be confessed he turned to very good pul^
poses. He was at that time a very good friend
of Elder Jones, and they were hand-and-gkive
in all matters pertaining to the course of liberal
ABKEE JONES. 101
theology io that place ; although in the end he
was the chief instrument of driYing him from his
pulpit and the town, and of introducing calvinis-
tic preaching into his place. At any rate the
church became a Baptist church and remains so
to this day.
I find but very little in the rettgiotts history
of Elder Jones during the seven years he resid-
ed in Hopkinton. There is a complete hiatus
io his journal for ten or twelve years from this
period, and which I am compelled to supply
from my own memory and such data as I can
obtain from his family and friends. There were
several events, however, which are among the
most conspicuous of his life and which I think
quite worthy of being recorded in this brief me-
The winter of 1815, was remarkable for the
appearance in many parts of the United States,
of that terrible scourge^ the " Spotted Fever,'*
or " Cold Plague," which spread terror through-
out the whole land, and cut off more of our cit-
izens than the bloody war then nearly at its close.
This disease made its appearance, among other
places, in Hopkinton, apd it was the means of
bringing Elder Jones into considerable notoriety
and extensive medical practice. It happened
this wise ;-'— and was ever attributed by him to
a Providential interposition.
lOfi MEMOill OF
The winter ' was, as many who read these
pages will sadly remember, an unusually severe
one. The snow fell early and deep, and lay on
the ground untif late in the Spring, which was
succeeded by the coldest summer on record in
the history of New England.
Deerfield, in N. H., is situated nearly thirty
miles from Hopkinton, in an easterly direction.
, The practising and principle physician residing
there, was one Doctor Graves, an old and inti-
mate friend of Elder Jones, and if L do not mis-
take, a fellow student with him at Hanover.
One of the coldest evenings in December of
that terrible winter, as we were all sitting around
our fire, having but just concluded our evening
meal, we were conscious of having a visitor, by
the jingling of sleigh bells as some one drove
into the yard at a spanking rate. Presently a
loud rap at the door announced his determina-
tioR to seek entrance. Elder Jones went to the
door and found a stranger there muffled to the
eyes in furs, and having the appearance of hav-
ing travelled far, as his hair and whiskers were
heavily covered with frost, and his face of that
purple hue which is produced by long exposure
to the keen northwest winds of our New Eng-
^^Does Doctor Jones live here.^'' inquired
ABNER J0NS8. 103
<^ I am Elder Jones," he replied.
^^ Well, Doctor, or Elder, I've a message for
^^ Walk in," said Elder Jones, and speedily
he was ushered into the little parlor, where we
so comfortably occupied our various situations.
^^Will you be seated, sir, and let me take
your bat ?
** No, sir," was the stranger's reply, '* not un-
til I have delivered my message, which is too im-
portant long to delay."
**Well, sir, go on then," said Elder Jones,
who began to think the man somewhat demented,
and thus humored him that he might be the
sooner rid of him. The man went on. *
**Icome, sir, from Dr Graves, of Deer-
field, who, he tells me, is an early friend of yours.
Our little town is suffering all the horrors of that
awful pestilence, the spotted fever. Dr Graves
is nearly dead himself with fatigue, and many of
the sick actually die before he can see them.
He must have assistance or the mortality will be
awful. He knows no one whom he can trust in
this fearful disease except yourself, and he has
enjoined it on me neither to eat, or sleep, until I
have solemnly conjured you to come down and
lend him a hand in his work of life. Will you
IM MEMOIR OF
'<I cannot, it is not possible that I should."
<* If you have one particle of humanity in
your bosom, (and if Dr Graves has not strangely
belied you, I have large grounds of appeal) let
me beseech you not to give me a denial."
^<I cannot g0|" again answered Elder Jones.
** I have entirely given up the practice of medi-
cine, and have nearly forgotten what I once knew
concerning it. I should not dare to commence
practice without considerable study ; and be-
side, I have utterly abandoned the profession,
and do not mean to return to it. I am a
preacher of the gospel. I have charge of this
religious people, and I have no right to leave
them destitute. Besides, I cannot leave my
family so long in this inclement season unprovi-
ded and uncared for. In one word I ctmnot go,
and it will be utterly useless for you to urge me
further on this subject."
The messenger returned on the morrow. But
in just one week from that evening, in as clear
and bleak a night as one would wish to see, when
the very atmosphere rang like a bell from the
slightest concussion, we were all roused from our
slumbers by a thundering knock at the door, and
which proved to be from the self-sarqe messen-
ger, whose unsuccessful visit I have just related.
He had come, he said, with the solemn injunc
ABKER JONES. 105
tion never to return without Doctor Jones. The
fever had increased to a degree truly terrific.
From four to seven died daily, and the day be-
fore (Sunday) there were five corpses carried
into the church for funeral service. At first the
Doctor declared in the most positive terms, he
could not go. But after a while finding he
could not get rid of the importunity of the man,
be told him he would go in two, or three days,
or as soon as be could make arrangments for his
pulpit and family. But that would not satisfy
him : hundreds might die before that time. —
<*Well, then,*' said Elder Jones, "I will go
in the morning. '' But this would not satisfy
the messenger. <^ The sun must rise upon them
both in Deerfield." And at last he actually per-
suaded him to go ; and at 1 o'clock, A. M. they
were on their way, and actually reached Deer-
field before day break, the messenger havjng left
it after sunset.
A few general instructions were all Dr Graves
could give the now Doctor Jones, and putting
his black boy into the sleigh with him to show
him the way, he was actually in full career of
medical practice before nine o'clock, A. M.
He tarried here a number of weeks, being
wholly occupied day and night by an extensive
and successful practice, until the pestilence had
106 MEMOIR OF
SO far subsided as to enable Dr Graves to take
charge of all the patients, when he returned to
bis home worn down with fatigue and nearly
sick from his continual exposure.
Hitherto not a case of the disease had ap-
peared in fiopkinton. On the evening after bis
return, we were all sitting around the hospitable
hearth of Deacon Brown, listening with awe and
fear to the account Elder Jones gave us of the
singular and fatal epidemic. A young lady who
was a visiter there, and who was exceeding ner-
vous withal, was one of the circle of listeners.
She suddenly left the room, and on being fol-
lowed, complained of feeling a slight pain in one
of her limbs. Elder Jones was called out and
pronounced it a case of spotted fever, of a most
malignant type. In an hour she was a raving
maniac. She had a severe attack but recovered.
Within a week's time there were twenty cases
in the town, in various parts.
It had been noised abroad that he had been
absent, and for what. And as soon as it was
known that he had returned, he was called on to
go in every direction, so that in one week's time
both day and night were fully occupied. From
this time he was fully employed. His treatment
of the fever, was unlike that of most of the physi-
cians, who resorted to depletives, with- a most
IBNER JOlVtI. 107
fatal effect, and his practice was wonderfully
The plague appeared soon after in the neigh-
boring towns, and his practice extended itself on
erery hand ; so fully was bis time occupied,
that at one time for the space of fourteen days
he never once slept out of the clothes he wore
during the day, and I have heard him say that
during that time the harness was never taken
from his horse, but to change it to the back of a
These were indeed mournful times. Every
face was shrouded in gloom. No one could
feel that he was exempt for an hour, and many a
one who was in apparently perfect health, was
in eternity within that short space of lime. I
could give here, were this the place, many par-
ticular and highly interesting details of this
dreadful visitation, but it would not fall in with
the plan I have laid down.
It may well be supposed that Elder Jones
could give but an exceedingly small share of his
time or attention to his ministerial duties. Such
was, indeed, the fact. I have known him to
be summoned from the pulpit in the midst of his
discourse, and again to be sent after to attend
some one who was seized in church while he was
lOS MBMOim or
When " the plague was stayed,^' he found it
impossible to retire from the practice of medi-
cine. He had become extensively known, and
those who had employed him in the prevailing
disease, were disposed to try his skill in others.
He could not well decline the n>any urgent calls
that were made upon him, and so be continued
in the regular practice as long as be stayed in
It was while residing here that be became con-
vinced of the evils resditing from the habitual
\}se of intoxicating drinks. At that time it was
indeed a stremge thing to find a roan who did not
indulge in the habit of drinking. There was a
great outcry against excessive drunkenness, but
it was thought quite necessary that the laborer,
and the doctor, and all others who were exposed
to cold and heat, should take a little to keep the
cold out in winter and the heat out in summer.
And here again his conscientiousness came to
prompt him, for no sooner came the conviction
than the resolution followed to abandon its use.
And not only so, but to eject it altogether fron»
Well do I remember, that up to this time, the
morning sling came as regularly as the singing of
the kettle on the hob, and we children used to
expect our share of it as much as our part of the
ABNER joubs. 109
breakfast. But a change came, at last, as much
to our surprise as annoyance, for we had learned
to expect it, and bad already acquired a love for
it so strong' as to suffer a severe disappointment
when it was withheld. How little do those pa-
rents think of the ruin they are bringing u})on
their o^pring, by fostering in them a love for
strong drinks. They are nursing a viper which
shall s^ing to the soul both parent and child,
when repentance comes too late and reformation
ts not to be hoped for.
Elder Jones had formed the resolution, and
waited the opportunity to carry it into effect ;
for the present fashion of ** breaking short off at
once and forever," had not then come in vogue.
So he concluded to drink up what he had in the
bouse and then leave off. Well, day after day-
rolled on and the jugs of " Jamaica," *' Best
Hollands," and " Cogniac," remained unreplen-
tshed, albeit many significant bints came from
the maternal and filial depar^tments. For a week
I bad not been sent to *' the store" for " the
needful" — for he ever kept an open house and
heart, and that was a strange kind of hospitality
in those days which did not furnish the means of
intoxication — and there were many tbirstings for
a sip again of the palate-tempting and inspiriting
beverage. Now it so turned out that his better
110 MEMOIR or
half had invited "a party to spend the even'-^g,'^
about this time, and many were the prcparati 's
necessary to be made for the occasion. Tbei .
were invited the honorable Judge A. Esquire
B. Colonel C. Docter D. and others, with their
ladies, the very elite of the village. The good
wife, anxious that nothing should be wanting,
mentioned the fact of the empty jugs to the mas-
ter of the house repeatedly during the day, re-
ceiving only the very significant reply, *' I'll see
to that, by and by." At last, late in the day,
or while the guests were assembling, on bein^
again urged to send for some spirit, he an-
nounced his intention to offer the company noth-
ing stronger than cider. His wife was thun-
derstruck. She could not conceive the thing
possible. '' What, a party and no ' toddy }*
What would the company think and say ? It
will become the town's talk and we shall appear
ridiculo!js in the eyes of everybody. Such a
thing was never heard of.*' But he had nriade
up his mind and was not to be easily turned
aside. He was insensible alike to expostulation
and entreaty, and so the company was assembled*
At the usual time for refreshments — what a mis-
nomer — two large piles of apples, each flanked
with a pitcher of cider, were presented : when
Elder Jones rose, and calling the attention of
AB^BR JONES. Ill
the company, gave them his views and deter-
minations. It was a great damper to the fes-
tivities of the evening, and the thing did indeed
become, as his wjfe had predicted, the town's
talk ; some laughed at the thing as a good eco-
nomical joke ; some sneered at the overscrupu-
lous parson, and others, not a few, men and wo-
men of good sense, approved. What the effect
of the act was on the community I do not know,
but it was a new era in our household, and from
that day the spirit of alcohol warmed no longer
the morning devotion of our family altar.
There were two extensive revivals in Hop-
kinton under the administration of Elder Jones.
Many were added to the church of which he
was pastor, and many to the CongregationaUst
church. Although quite young at the time, I
remember that Elder Jones and his pious
wife were extremely anxious that the reviva'
should not pass over without bringing into the
church some of the members of their own fami-
ly. In this they were not holly disappointed.
And I believe that impressions were made upon
the minds of all their children which never left
them. There are many persons now living in
Hopkinton, who will forever remember Elder
Jones, as the instrument of their salvation, an(}
whose name they will love and revere now that
he has fallen asleep in death.
112 MEMOim OF
He encountered, while in Hopkinton, no small
share of personal abuse and persecution from
certain quarters, because of his zeal and success
in his ministry, and he was boldly denominated
a fanatic in religion, as well as a quack in medi-
cine. Either accusation was alike true. And 1
verily believe that both are to be attributed to
envy excited by his success. The treatment he
received from the medical practitioners of the
town and neighborhood, was both cruel and un-
gentlemanly ; considering the assurance and evi*
dence he gave them of his having been regularly
educated as a physician, and entered upon the
practice of medicine.
This, however, did not move him. He pur*
sued the even tenor of his way, doing good
wherever and whenever opportunity presented,
rejoicing in the consciousness of his integrity,
and in the thought that whatever might be the
judgment of his fellow-creatures, it could not
destroy the present consciousness of rectitude,
nor effect the 6nal decision of the Judge of
all the earth.
During the residue of his sojourn in Hopkin-
ton, I recollect of nothing particularly worthy to
be inserted here. He continued in the prac-
tice of medicine during the whole time. Al-
though be tried hard to get entirely rid of it, he
▲BMER JONES. 113.
could not without violating bis feelings. No
matter bow mucb be neglected bis business, be
was only beset tbe more by tbose wbo bad bere-
tofore been bis patients. He was at once phy-
sician to tbe body and tbe soul. He was never
obtrusive, but never suffered a suitable opportu-
nity to pass, wben tbe good counsel and prayers
of a good man might be of avail. This endeared
bim to many of bis patients, and not a few in tbe
relation of their christian experience, have attrib-
uted their first enduring impressions to bis faith-
ful admonitions and earnest prayers at their sick-
• While Elder Jones resided in Hopkinton, he
travelled less than during any other period of his
life. He occasionally, however, during a sea-
sou of comparative health, journeyed among his
friends in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Mas-
sachusetts ; and once into the States of Penn-
sylvania, New York and New Jersey. But it
ill suited his roving disposition to have so many
home-ties, and be grew uneasy and dissatisfied,
and determined to leave at once bis profession of
medicine and his pulpit in Hopkinton. I do not
say but there were other considerations which
induced bim to go. Indeed I know that there
were many. They certainly were not pecunia-
ry ones : for he had laid by a considerable sum
114 MEMOIR or
of money, from the proceeds of his practice, and
might have continued in the practice «nd accu-
mulated a handsome fortune.
But there was a growing dissatisfaction in the
church, which was sorely divided. One por-
tion were in favor and another against the pastor.
The objections arose mainly, I believe, from
considerations of Doctrinal belief. Some
of the leading members were, or professed
to be, Calvinistic in their views, and were
desirous of attaching themselves to the Baptist
communion. This object they accomplished at
the removal of Elder Jones, and the church is
now, as I have before stated, a Baptist church.
Reside these things, there had been a growing
dissatisfaction with some in reference to his de-
votion to Free Masonry, as I shall shortly have
occasion to say.
He left Hopkinton mih extreme reluctance,
notwithstanding. He had formed a very ex-
tensive acquaintance, embracing many valued
friends, and who continued so to the day of their
or hisdeath. .He lived in his own house in a
very delightful neighborhood, and was on terms o
intimacy and friendship with a his neighbors.
His two eldest daughters had married and were
well settled close by the paternal abode, and not
one of the household was desirous of a removal.
▲BNER JOMEi. 115
But he yearned for ^' freedom to serve God," as
he said, and accordingly in the spring of J 821, he
settled up bis affairs and made arrangements to
leave the place of his arduous and double labors.
In bis journeyings he bad visited his old flock
in Salem, and found them destitute and desolate.
Tbey were without a pastor, and they beset him
10 tarry among them and resume his labors
among them. They were really broken up, and
could ofierbut little inducements of a pecuniary
kind. But this was never a consideration with
him. There is not on record an account of bis
leaving a parish because it was small and poor^
or of his going to one because it was rich and
prosperous. » Indeed he never went to a pros-
perous parish. It is peculiar to every removal
of his whole clerical life, that be left a better for
a worse external condition. Moreover, there ,
was never a removal of bis that was hot prompt-
ed by consciousness that it was his solemn duty,
and a fervent desire to bestow his labors in that
part of Christ's vineyard where they w^re most
needed. This is no eulogistic assertion, as
those who best know him, or know him at all,
will abundantly testify. Indeed I never knew a
minister of God more conscientiously devoted
to his work, and who, at the bidding of duty,
would more cheerfully sacrifice every worldly
116 MEMOIR OF
good or bodily ease. In leaving Hopkinton lie
sacrificed thousands of dollars. He gave charge
CO the attorney with whom he left his business,
to sue none at the law and not to press such as
be believed unable to pay — to take etper cerium
on the bills of such as were not fully able to pay,
according to their ability, and to discharge the
rest. Indeed, before he left, he looked over his
books, and wrote " Balanced and settled," un-
derneath all the accounts of such as he believed
unable to pay them without distressing their
families. And who shall doubt that for every
dollar thus stricken off, he laid up large treasures
in " the store-house of Faith," \\ hich he is now
enjoying, and a liberal interest of which he at-
ways declared he enjoyed even in the present
At the time of his residence in Hopkinton
Free Masonry was at the height of its glory.
Chapters and Lodges were established in every
considerable town and village in New England,
and the holidays of the Order were observed in
all the gorgeous and unmeaning pageantry of out-
ward display. Scarcely a breath of- suspicion
rested on the *' Holy Fraternity," and few pro-
fessional men were to be found who had not
been admitted to the cabalistic meaning of those
signs and emblems which used to dazzle and as-
ABKfiR JONBS. 117
tODish childhood and so ill become manhood.
There were a few men, however, even then,
who were most bitterly opposed to Masonry.
Among these was deacon Darling, of his own
church, and one of his most ardent admirers and
warmest friends. He was violently opposed to
iny one becoming a mason, and in a minister of
God it was the unpardonable sin. So when El-
der Jones became a mason, the good deacon
broke friendship with him and became his bitter
ioe, remaining so to the time of his death.
Elder Jones was a zealous mason, and devoted
•11 the energies of his being to ascend the mysti-
cal ladder. Nor was he content until he rested
CO its topmost round. That he had the slightest
suspicion of its evil tendencies I do not believe.
He considered it a combination for useful, hu^
mane, intellectual, and even moral purposes.
His greatest regard for it, however, was in an
intellectual point of view. But he was devoted
to it as heartily and sincerely as ever man was,
tod spent much of bis time in attention to it.'
When the great excitement against Free Ma-
sonry prevailed through the length and breadth
of our country, he withdrew from the body alto-
gether. In this he was actuated wholly by mo-
tives of expediency, and not because of any con-
viction of the truth of the allegations against Ma-
118 MEMOIR OV
«onry. He believed that his connexion with the
body would prove injurious to his success as ia
preacher, and furthermore that masonry, howev*
er useful it might have been — and he devoutly
believed that it had been so — ^had outlived its
age and was not worth preserving as a public in-
stitution. For such further information as any
of' his masonic brethren may desire, I shall
throw together such material as I have found
among his writings which are calculated to throw
light upon this subject, and present them in the
Elder Jones found the Church in Salem in a
very low and distracted condition, and they had
been so for a long time. They had discovered
that the elements of which the cliurch was com-
posed could never harmonize, and they conse-
quently separated. The majority, and those
who were desirous to have a regular ministry,
seceded and left the small and discontented mi-
nority in quiet possession of the old house, and
erected a new one on Essex street, and not far
from the old one, which although small, was
large enough for their wants, and both comfort-
able and ^convenient. But not all the seceders
joined the new communion. There were but
four males and twelve females who entered into
♦See Appendix, Note D,
▲ BNER jonfts. 119
covenant as the new church. Others afterwards
fell in from time to time ; some went away to
other places of worship, and some fell away
from other causes. The secession occurred
sometime in the summer of 1821, and on the
second day of November of the same year, at
the house of brother John Masury, — who to the
last was a firm friend of order and union, — after
solemn prayer and consultation the new church
was constituted and all the members signed a
formula of faith : not to bind their consciences
and limit their investigations, but to strengthen
their minds and hearts, and as merely a sponta-
neous utterance of their views of divine truth.
As a kind of preamble to this covenant, they
give their reasons for withdrawing from the old
church. They are threefold ; thus : 1. Be-
cause of contentions which there was no pros-
pect of becoming reconciled. 2. Because of
differences of opinion on the subject of the Ordi-
nances. 3. Because of radical difference of
opinions on the doctrines of Christ and the
Whatever may be thought of the last, surely
the other two reasons were sufBcient to provoke
a withdrawal, and exonerate the seceders from
all blame in the premises.
It was in the spring following, as I have al-
120 MEMOIR OF
ready said, that Elder Jones moved with his
family into Salem. The church was then unit-
ed and happy, but small and poor. The pros-
pect of being able to support the outward insti-
tutions o( religion were indeed small. But
with a zeal and generosity becoming better cir-
cumstances, they finished their house and under-
took the support of their pastor and family.
And they were blest in their undertaking.
Their new house was soon filled and found to
be too contracted for their necessities.
I find by the Society's records, — to which I
was allowed free access by the politeness of
brother Masury, the clerk of the parish — that a
meeting of the members of the society was hdd
as early as December, in 1824, ^^ to see if any
thing could be done toward erecting a larger
and more convenient meeting-house." The
subject was agitated from time to time after this
until the summer of 1827, when it was deter*
mined to build a new house. Accordingly a
lot of land was secured in Herbert street, and a
commodious bouse erected thereon, which was
consecrated by religious services on the first day
of May, 1828. The sermon was preached by
Elder Morgridge of New Bedford, it not being
customary in that denomination, I believe, for
pastors to preach the sermon on such occasions.
ABHSR JIOUBS. Iti
> This bouse, I may as well here say, owed its
•rectioB entirely to the zeal of Elder Jones.
The society was altogether too small and poor
to make the attempt. Nevertheless the accom-
plishment of this purpose was very desirable for
roaoy considerations. The old bouse was not
4)viy too small but badly situated, and it was
prudently thought that a larger and handsomer
bouse, and one more centrally situated, would be
likely to increase the numerical and pecuniary
8lr«agth of the society.
In this state of things Elder Jones not only
subscribed very liberally himself — much beyoifid
his means — but begged considerable sums of the
citizens of Salem belonging to other parishes,
and on whom he called in person for this pur-
Besides this, much of the care of building —
H^^specially tlie planning, and devising ways and
maans — 'fell to his lot. And all this he cheer-
iuHy and voluntarily undertook, seeking no other
reward than the satisfaction derived from the re-
flection that the work was done, at last, and
This was an occasion for the " fit poetic,"
and be was accordingly seized with a '^ metred
i^Mism." I refer the reader to the Appendix.
£ldef Jones had a strong affection for idl his
13S MEMOIR OV
family, and although he was much away from
them ever manifested the strongest attachment.
And never was there a mother more entirely de-
v.oted to her children, than the godly company-
ion of his early choice.
Hitherto the family circle had not been inva-
ded by death, except in the removal of one wlib
only opened his eyes on the fair scenes of life
to close them again forever. But the hour of
final separation must come, and sooner or later
the " grim visaged conqueror" will call to
draft some one from the home circle. Alas,
how often does he select the fairest and the
one that could be least spared.
" Death loves a shining mark. His joy supreme
To aid the wretch survive the fortunate ;
The feeblo wrap the athletic in his shroud ;
And weeping fathers' build their children's tombs."
On the 12th of April, 1823, Mary, the
youngest child, then nearly fifteen years of age,
and the only one at home — the writer of this
memoir was with bis sisters in Hopkinton at-
tending school — was seized with a malignant
typhus fever, which carried her off in fourteen
days. During most of this time she was ra-
vingly delirious, and died at last without having
opportunity to take leave of her heart-broken
parents, or to receive their parting blessing, ere
IBITER JOIfEB. 12S
slie started oa her returnless journey to that fiir
" Where they who reach there weep no more.**
The effect produced on his mind by this
death, thne could not remove. He sustained a
shock from which he never recovisred. Strong
and enduring before, and bearing up under all his
disappointments without any external manifes-
tations of grief, he now became almost a wooaan
in his nature and the courses of his tears wer«
never long stayed. But if it produced any
change in his religious character, it was for the
better. It served to quicken his devotion, and
seemed to break one of the strongest links that
bound him to earth. It quickened and strength*
«ned his unceasing regard for his other children,
and the present grief seemed to giver way alto«>
^ether to the desire that this providence should
be blessed to their spiritual good,
I take the following extracts from a letter
written to his absent children, while the corpse
of his darling lay before him, scarcely calm from
the last spasm of a dreadful death.
Salem, April 23, 1823.
** JIft/ Dear Children — I take pen in hand to
inform you of the bitter cup which we, your pa-
rents, have just drank. Mary is no more than a
lifeless corpse before us. This morning at
ISti MCMoix or
About 6 o'clock she breathed 6er last. I boper
the Lord has given you some warning to prepare
your minds for this most distressing event."
After describing tier case arid its progress up^
10 the closing scene he goes on : —
^' My dear children ; Wbait shall I say to you ?
I must say, in the language of divine inspiration ,
^ Be ye also ready, for in such nn hour as ye
think not, the Son of man shall come.' L — j""
the eldest daughter, — ^^ thou art my first bom.
I have long since (when thou knewest it not)
4evoted you to the Lord by prayer and supplicar
lion, and entreated for the salvation of your soul.
The Lord I hope has heard and answered prayer
for both you and your husband. I say arise and
trim your lamps and see whether you have oil in
ytnir vesseb, and you are ready to meet yeiir
Lord at his coming.
*' H — ," the second daughter — " You have
another. cal] from God. Can you nbt say in the
words of your sister, that here lies in her last
dress, as it respects your exercises during the
lime of the reformation, ^ I did not seek aright,
and so I have not found ?' If you have forgotten
.ihe calls of God, remember that they will never
be blotted out of His eternal book of remiem-^
brance ; but when the books are opened and
another book which is the book of life, tberethey
will stand against you unless you observe them*
O, «ny daughter, be wise while you enjoy health
** My son" — the husband of the latter —
^ jott are, to see Mary no toore until you me«t
lier in Ae eternal world. Are you ready, roy
«on, to lay aside all worldly honor and prospect^,
if God should call for them. Your wife and little
C. are not yours. Should death enter your win-
dows as it has entered mine, which of you ^e
ready to depart ? May God sanctify it to your
*'And now, ray only son — ^your father and
mother feel the deepest anxiety for yoa on this
distressing occasion. Your mother says, ^ I wish
A. was here to take one look.' You caniiardly
imagine how she has entirely aUered in her coun-
*' We have now for a long twne been in deep
trouble, and you have not known it. We have
been weeping over Mary and thinking and pray-
ing for you, while probably you may have heen
crying peace and safety when sudden destructiOa
was near. O, my son, how will you meet these
<ireadful tidings. Is Mary gone ? Must I aae
her no more until I meet her in the eternal
world ? O, A., you have had many calls and you
as often hav^e refused. 0, hearken unto lAu,
lest the Lord should say, A. *• is joined to his
idols, let him alone.'
" My dear grand daughter E- — Aunt Mary is
dead. You never can see Aunt Mary any
more. Ton have been sick and got well, Aunt
Mary has been sick and U dead. 0, £., you
must die top, and you must be born again or
you canfiot go to heaven. If you do not know
what grand -papa means by being bom again, you
must ask your mother to tell you. May little ,
E.'s soul be converted to Qod*
12$ KMXotK or
, Our dear^ dear children, we have in the midst
of trouble Feinembered you and most ardently-
wished to see you. Perhaps you will say, why
tias not fsaber written before ? We thought it not
necessary to giv^ i/ou all that pafnful anxiety of
which tpe were the partakers, as especially it
would by no means help us. I thought best to»
write nothing until I liould wrFte decisively^
On Friday the funeral is to take place, but you
will not be here to mingle your tears with ours*
But after ours are a little dried up yours must
begin to flow. As 1 expect to b& at Hopkintoa
■ext week we will, if I he Lord will, mourn to-
Affectionately, your father,
Shortly aftef this event, (he family of the
eldest daughter removed to Safem, and was fol*
lowed in a year or two by that of the second.
The writer of these memoirs, also, came back to
the paternal abode, and the £amily of Elder
Jones was onee more together.
There is- but little more of interest tcthe gen*
eral reader that I find during the stay of Ehler
Jones in Salem. There was no unusual reli-
gious excitement in his flock, akhough there was-
a very extensive revival of religion among the
Orthodox Congregationat and Baptist societiesv
There was, however, a gradual accession to the
church, and one hundred were added during his
l^toral care of it.
ABKKR JONIfti 1S7
The manuscripts left by Elder Jones, throw
no light upon the time of his second sojourn in
Salem. I find merely nothing but abstract dates
of journeys and preaching. I have, however, a
letter of bis, written to the members of the par*
ish, and read to them at one of their weekr
ly meetings, at which he was not able to be pres-
ent, by reason of a severe attack of influenza. I
recollect the time with painful distinctness.
That epidemic prevailed to an unusual and
darming extent. It was judged that two-thirds
of the entire population were afflicted with it at
the same time, and scarcely an inhabitant escap-
ed. Nor was Salem singular in this respect.
The epidemic spread throughout New England,
and will be well remembered by many who pe-
tuse this page. Elder Jones, and wife, and son
— then the only members of his household —
were all sick at once, and unable to render aai-
distance to each other for several days. It was
during convalescence that the letter was written.
" Beloved Friends—My usual mode of com-
munication has hitherto been by my yoice.
But at this time I am deprived of that blessing
on account of an unusual hoarseness wi)ich hi^
seized my lungs, so that I am deprived almost
entirely of common conversation, much more of
speaking in public. I will therefore try to com-
municate something to you in writing.
tSS HCiioni t)T '
By this visitation I am reminded of that day
when my tongue shall be locked up in silenoci
an4 never more be allowed to speak to my ieh
low-men, and when the ears of all those who so
often hear my voice will be deaf to all earthly
sdonds. Let him that hath his voice use it in
the several chrktian duties enjoined ; and let
him that hath an ear so hear that his soul may
I desire to thank God that although deprived
of speaking yet I am not of writing, and in this I
feel it my duty to do good. The great end of
both speaking and writing ought to be to do
good ; ^ Jesus Christ went about, doing good.'
While I am using my pen my heart is lifted
up to heaven for divine direction how I shall
address you in this way, in the same manner as
at would be if I stood before yoU how I should
speak. Also, that God would render it a bles^
sin^ to his dear children, and that while sinners
hear this short discourse read, the law of God
may be written in their hearts ; for thus saith the
Lord, ' 1 will write my law in their hearts,'
Our blessed Lord says, ' work while the day
ksts, for the night cometh wherein no man <}aa
Our day of grace and day of life is short*
Sacred truth compares it to a span, to a vapor
that swiftly passeth away. What, then ; is time
Wh swift and short ? Yes, verily i But can-
not we cause time to linger ? and can we» not
divert time from his rapid motion ? No, no.
Time flies on the wings of the wind. Th^
wind will not hearken, time will not give eair ;
ever steady to bis purpose h^e is deaf ; yea, deaf
A«KBm ilOIPBS* iflt
to both kings and beggars. Time hears no
voice but the voice of Him who has armed him
with the scythe of mortality, and who has given
command saying, ' Sweep over the hills aad
dales. Sweep over palaces and cottages, mow
down potentates and peasants.' Time with hit
sharp scythe obeys. He loses not his har-
vest. In the sterile plains of Arabia he cuts b»
scattering spears, and the wandering Arab can-
not elude his chase. The burning sands of Af-
rica, scorched with the vernal rays of the sun,
will not make him faint. His wide swath ilf
neatly turned among the sable race. Egypt's
fields, though they have no rain, yield him abeavj
burden. Old Asia's fields have by him been
mowed in every generation. Europe has fallen
under his terrible stroke. The Alpine moun*
tains, her fertile vallies, and her splendid cities,'
have always paid their deathly tribute at the firM
call. And where is our own America ? She
shares in the general fate. Her native hardy
sons were an easy prey, her civilized inhabitants
are swept down without distinction. The earth
has yielded many a harvest, and those who no^
live are swiftly ripening, and most assuredl)^
shall not be spared. ^ All flesh is grass, end
the glory of man as the flower of grass.'
Beloved friends, our day is short our work is
great. The gloomy night of death is approach-
ing in which we must enter into eternity. O, bb
exhorted to prepare to meet thy God, Israel.
The hour of meeting has nearly arrived and I
must close. May the Lord add his blessing*
Sept. 6, 1824.
196 . MEMOIR or
For a number of years Elder Jones bad cber-
isbed a desire to travel extensively and visit and
preach to all the churches in the Eastern and
Middle States, together with those in Ohio and
Kentucky. He believed he was called of God
to do this, and doubted not but the door would
be open in due time. He had now brought the
people whom, in 1821, he had found so poor
and feeble into a prosperous condition. They
were united and happy, prosperous and increas-
ing. Their new house, as we have seen waa
completed, dedicated and well filled. He felt
that he might safely leave them for a season in
o^her hands, and he determined to take the pres-
ent opportunity to fulfil the cherished purpose
of his heart. Accordingly ia the mid-summer
of 1829, he asked and obtained leave of ab-
sence for as long time as he might desire, and a
warm recommendation of the church to the breth-
ren among whom his lot might be cast. He
broke up housekeeping, and taking his wife with
him, which constituted his whole household-—
bis children all having been settled in life— -he
bade adieu to his Salem brethren, little thinkings
ta the event proved, that he had forever ended
bis labors in their midst, and as little thinking —
as the event also proved — that he should not put
iato eitecution the purpose so long cherished in
ABIfER JOIfCS. l&I
bis soul. But, ^^ it, is not in man that walketb^
to direct his steps,'' or he had never set out up*
oa that chequered journey.
Bending his steps leisurely along, preaching
by the way and visiting old and dear friends, we
find him on the last days of July, revelling io
the exeiten^ent and luxuriating in the waters of
Saratoga, and Ballston. He tarried here and
in the neighborhood a fortnight ; and then bid-*
ding adieu to the place, where be seems to have
enjoyed himself exceedingly, he journeyed to
MaysGeld, where on the 13th of August, he was
seized with a rheumatic-billious fever, which
brought him to the very verge of the grave, and
confined him to the house for upwards of three
This was the severest sickness be ever suf-
fered, and served admirably to test his Christiaa
fortitude and religious confidence. Here, by a
visitation of that same band which he believed
bad led him to take the journey, he was sud^
denly and unexpectedly arrested in his course,
and almost at the outset. Aside from all his
suffering, which was excrutiating, much of the
time, his plans seemed to be frustrated and bis
hopes dashed to the ground.
He happened to be among kind friends, who
took the tenderest care of him through his long
tS3 HfitfoiR or
tod painful illDess. They were, however, de-
votedly attached, to the '' Thonipsonian system**
of medicine and earnestly entreated him to '^ try
the experiment.^' Believing himself that the
baths and pungent prescriptions might relieve
his acute pains, he consented, and went through
a course of treatment prescribed by his Thomp^-
** My rheumatic pains/' he says, ." were by
these terrible means rendered less acute, but my
iftrength was greatly reduced and my fever fear-
fully augmented. I therefore told my krad
steam friends, the next day, that I must desist^ —
I dare not, in the fear of God go farther, as I
regarded my owti life. I therefore insisted on
having my old, excellent physician, whom I had
called at first, and at their solicitation dismissed.
And accordingly he was sent for and attended
me faithfiilly until I recovered."
I said that this sickness lasted more than
three months. Ih that time he had a short cou"
ralescence and went out doors : which imprth-
dence cost him a severe relapse, which con-
fined him longer than the original attack. I have
before me the record of his views and feelings,
recorded by his own pen, on the 25th of Sep*
timber, six weeks after his first attack. It is
expressive of a contented mind, wholly devoid
of anxiqriy or fear, wad emirelj submissive to the
will of Ood. I shall here give the ^^ substitute
l^r bis rejgulaF journal for Sept. 1839."
*^ MayBfieUy Montgomtry C0. A*. F. >
September^ 1829. )
^^ Tbb QQontb began on Tuesdaj, I shall not
mark tbe days of the noontb as usual, because
urben it commenced, 1 was confined to a sicfc
bed, 9nd had been for seventeen days, as wUl.
lypear by my Journal for August. For 3is
weeks I never had my clothes on, and the first
Uiue is on the 25th day of this month, on which
I am now with a trembling hand, writing tbif
'^ I was first taken with violent reheumatismy
^bich threw me into an inflammatory billious fe*
ver* I am a| the house of Judge Gillbert and
Were I at my own father's house I could nol
have been treated with more kindness, for whiclF
I trust I shall ever be thankful to God, and
grateful to bim and bis excellent family. I was
distressingly sick, but among the kindest of
friends, although entire strangers in the flesh; as
I never saw one of tbem until tbe day before I
wt9 taken sick, when I came into this place to
preach, and by this family was bospitably re*
eeived. I also had my companion with me to
mirae and take tbe .best possible care of me.
IS4 ItENOlft tP
Sparing no pains by day or by night ; and God
gave her strength equd to her dxiy. I have in
the midst of pain, had great consolation of mind ;
and ir I know my own feelings, I never felt one
murmuring emotion. I never had one desire to
be at home while I was sick. I was brought
very low, and I seemed to myself lo have en-
tered into the dark valley of the shadow 6f
death, and viewed myself as prostrate on the
very brink of the river, and her swelling waves
rolled swiftly by my side, yet touched me not.
I was not at all terrified or dismayed, but gave
myself to Him in whose hand are the issues of
jife and death. 0, what views of the state of
sinners in this place were opened to my mind ;
which led me lo lift up prayer to God for them.
I prayed earnestly to God to show me if he was
about to take me out of the world that it might
not come upon me unawares. Also, that I
might give my wife timely warning of my depar-
ture, and that I might also give her my last dying
counsel. Also, that 1 might leave something in
writing for my dear children, as my last dying
counsel. And likewise that I might leave my
ast pledge of love and dying counsel to the dear
TChristian Church in Salem, of which I was then
pasior. In my very low estate I felt the deepest
coticern for that Church and Society.' I often
AlllER J0II£8. ISfi
Galled to mind many of its members, and prayed
for them individually, and then prayed for all
whom I had not thought of individually. I often
felt much drawn out in prayer for him who was
to preach unto them the word of life, who ever
he might be. I often lifted up my most fer-
vent pray«r for the singing choir, and do this
moment cry and pray for them that they all may
Nearly four weeks after this, viz : on the
^Ist of October, I find the following record id
his Journal for that month.
^^ As it respects my mind, I am calm, and
I trust I can say, ^ It is good to be afflicted.'
I cannot say that I am sorry I have been sick*
although to outward appearances, it is altogether
against me ; yet do ^ firmly believe that it is all
for my good. Circumstances look very dark.
My expenes have swept away all my money
with which I calculated to replenish my winter
wardrobe. The travelling season is getting un-
pleasant, and there is no prospect of our travel-
ling at all for some weeks to come.
^^ Had the pleasure of having Elder King call
and see me. Although deprived of meeting, yet
I have consolation at home. I feel a longing
desire to be able to travel and preach Christ;
yet if not deceived, I can say, ' not my will, but
131 VKitom er
tfaine be done.' It i$ not my great coi^oerQ
whether I live or die. As to dying I never ex*
pect to be any more prepared than I am nowi
otherwise than this, when I shall be called to de*
jiart, that the Lord will give me all that addir
tional grace, which is needful on that trying
event. Lord give me grace to endure cbisir
tbement, and not faint, nor murmur."
The close of the month found him still low
and weak, and bis case rather a critical one.
He did not, however, despond, and firmly ber
lieved he should get well ag^n, while his phy-
sician, and wife and friends entertained very
slight hopes. At the end of the month be thus
^' Thus in sickness I close up October. It
is now the twelfth week of sickness, and I have
oqtbeen able to go out for more than a fortnight.
1 atill have good courage and spirits, and ho^
as soon as the calomel shall have done its office,
that I shall begin to recruit ; yet I remember
the many/ disappointed hopes through which I
have passed, and if my present expectations are
to be disappointed, I hope and pray that God will
enable me to endure it patiently, as he has here-
tofore enabled me to do. I do not know hui
that God has appointed me unto death in tins
sickoess, yet it never has appeared so to me
▲BNfiB JONES. 137
If this is to be my lot I ask my heavenly father
that I may be apprised of the same ; for 1
would not put implicit confidence in my own
The first day of November was .the Sabbath.
He writes :— •" I am more comfortable to-day,*
but am deprived of going to meeting. But the
Lord has done it, therefore I desire to be still
and learn to prize the privilege as I ought.
Should my life be spared, I sometimes fear that
by my protracted sickness I shall grow impa-
tient, and so sin by repining at my lot. I do
therefore look up to the Lord and ask that he
will cut short these days of darkness and pain.
But if it be his will to prolong my indisposition,
fervently do I pray for grace and patience to
endure the same as his child. Still, in the midst
of affliction, I enjoy innumerable blessings,
wherefore should I complain ?*'
On the next Sabbath he had hoped to go to
the house of the Lord with his brethren, and
hear the word of life dispensed. Rough weath-
er, however, prevented, and he was sorely dis-
appointed. He expresses bis regrets, and adds,
" it is well, let me be reconciled." From this
time he rapidly improved in his health, and od
the ensuing Sabbath, by being bolstered up in
a chair, was able to preach once. He chose
iSS MEjioiH or
for bis text a clause of the twelfth verse of tbt
twelfth chapter of Ecolesiastes. ^^ By these,
roy son, be admonished."
As soon as he became able to ride, he resum-
ed his travels ; but as the cold season had far
advanced be deferred going farther than New
York, until the roads should become settled io
die spring. In passing through Duchess Coun-
ty, he made some tarry in Milan, preaching to
the Christian Society in that place, which had
not long before been left in a destitute situation
by the death of its former pastor, Elder John
L, Peavy. He had been solicited to tarry io
several places in that county, but he had no-
where felt that a field was oiSered for his perma-
nent labors. But the destitute condition of the
church in Milan touched his heart, and be feh
strongly disposed to tarry with them* During
all this time he had never thought but that he
should resume his charge in Salem. But he
had now been absent nearly a year, and thought
that another minister was profitably occupying
the post he had left, and he felt that, if necessa-
ry, he could leave them in safe hands. Stiiibis
heart yearned towards them, and it would re*
quire a great struggle to give them up.
At this time he received from the church in
MBan an unanimous invitation to become their
*' Unionvale^ Duchess Co.^ JV*. York^
ABNER J0NE8. 186
•pastor. In this iavitation they speak of their re-
cent bereavement, and the great unanimity with
which the call was extended, and conclude by a
.most earnest entreaty that he would accept it.
Speaking of this call and the struggle it produ >
ed in his mind he thus writes, in April, some
weeks after he had received it.
Sunday, April IH/i, 1830.'^
This day is very stormy and I. have no meet-
ing, I will therefore strive to spend my lime to
some profit in some other way. During my
stay in this county I have often been by individ-
uals solicited to tarry in this section of the coun-
try ; especially in Milan, where the Church and
Society are left destitute of a stated pastor by
the removal of Elder John L. Peavy. by d<»ath,
•nd from whom I received an unanimous call to
come and settle with them as their pastor. Al-
though this was no more (ban I had for some
time expected, and had constantly endeavored to
ponder the path of my feet and make it a matter
of constant prayer to God, yet I was entirely
unprepared to give any decisive answer, as I
had still the pastoral charge of the Christian
Church in Salem, Massachusetts.
" This subject rests with great weight on my
mind. I endeavor to make my petition to God
140 MEMOIR or
alone for direction. If I leave Salem, one of
the most pleasant seaports in the Union, I roust
sacrifice many bodily comforts. I have there a
most happy acquaintance of more than twenty
years' standing. I do not know of any unpleas-
ant difBculties between any individuals, in
Church, or Society, either concerning myselfor
family. I must leave a large, beautiful meeting-
house, built after my own plan, and the most
commodious house I have ever seen. I must
part with a singing Choir taught by myself. I
must part with my pleasant children. And all
these are equally dear to my wife as to myself,
and to her it seems almost like quitting a palace
for a tomb. If I go to Milan, the land is rough,
buildings poor, country thinly inhabited, with
nothing like a village in the place. The place of
worship is a small, rough meeting-house, the
singing wretched indeed. But the inhabitants
are wealthy, respectable, and a good set of
brethren as can be found any where.
'* Under all these circumstances, at yet I know
not what I shall do. If I should act on my own
choice, I should not hesitate to return back to
Salem, in preference to staying here, but I dare
not mark out my own path, knowing that ^ it is
not in. man that walketh to direct his steps, for a
mim's steps are ordered by the Lord.' I think
ABNEH JONES. 141
I can say I have given the matter entirelj into
the hand of the Lord. My only prayer is to be
directed aright, and so I am enabled to pray,
spring, ^ Teach me the right way, and guide
me in it.' I feel in my very heart to obey that
direction given in Proverbs, * Trust in the
Lord with all thy heart, and lean not to thine
own understanding ; acknowledge him in all thy
ways and he shall direct thy paths.' And now,
Lord, thou who didst direct the children of
Israel in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud
by day, do thou direct this thine unworthy ser-
vant in the way which thou wouldst have him
go, and let not his footsteps err from the path of
obedience and peace."
Elder Jones alludes to his wife. It was in-
deed a severe trial to her. She did all she
could to prevent his accepting the invitation,
and I am certain the struggle cost her even
more than it did to be reconciled to his preach-
ing at first. It tore her away from her children
and all her pleasant acquaintances, and she
mourned exceedingly. I have a letter of her's
written to her children after she had become
fairly established in their new home, an extract
of which will serve to give an insight to the state
of her feelings, which I doubt not operated in
no small degree to bring on that premature de-
cay which speedily followed.
142 MBMOIR OP
^' As to being reconciled to my lot, it does
not seem to me that I ever can. Yet I strive to
be, hard work as it is. O Lord, help mc to be
submissive to thy holy will ! Pray for me, my
dear children, that I may not be unreconciled to
the great change that 1 have undergone."
^^ Oh, how 1 long to see my dear children.
As David said, I wet my couch with tears. I
dream of them in the night season, and think of
them* over and over again every weary hour of
the day. O, will the time ever come when I
shall behold them face to face ? May the good
Lord bring it about before I die, and help me
to bow to his will which seperates me from them
and all that is dear to life"
As might have been foreseen, Elder Jones
gave an affirmative answer to the call of the Mi-
lan church, after having obtained honorable re-
lease from the church and society in Salem.
He removed his family thither early in the en-
suing summer, 1830. He tarried here nearly
three years, devoting himself to the peonle of his
charge. I do not find anything particularly wor-
th) of notice during this period. He travelled
extensively as usual but I am entirely destitute
of any records which show his movements, or
exhibit the state of his mind, or relate any-
thing of his ministry.
In the spring of 1833, he made arrangements
to visit his old friends in the East, particularly
ABKgR JOHES. 143
his childreD and old flock in Salem. With (he
comiiieuceiiicrit of this jouine^' Lis'juuiual is re-
omned) of which I shall avail myself in Ailing up
these pages, believing that his old friends would
prefer to read his own account, as far as possi-
ble. On this ground have I acted whenever it
was at all practicable, although from the large and
repeated breaks in his journal, I have been com-
pelled to draw largely on my memory and other
such sources as offered themselves.
" Last day of May ^ 1833. — Left Milan, Duch-
ess Co. N. York. Attended the New York
Eastern Christian Conference, and General
Meeting. Had a very interesting time. Aft^
this meeting I travelled in company with ray
wife into Connecticut as far as Lebanon, and vis-
tted the neighboring towns and preached unto
them the word of life ; generally with good free-
dom. In this region the tone of vital pie y ap-
peared very low. O ^hat the Lord by the out-
pouring of his spirit would visit his weary heri-
^' After spending three sabbaths in this section
of countr}^ took departure for Salem, Massacbu*
setts ; visited some relatives by the way, and ar-
rived at Salem seasonably to preach the last
Lord's day in June. We found our children
and their families well. Our old friends and
144 MfiMOiB .ar .
brethren cheered us with a most cordial and
^^ Arrived at Salem, June 29, on Saturday, and
tarried there and the region round about nine
weeks. Visited Newburyport, Salisbury, Ames-
bury, Essex, Boston, and Lowell. In all the
above mentioned places I preached the word
of life, with nothing more than common free-
dom. I have been called upon to attend about
a dozen cases of cancer, all of which have done
^^ In all places among my old friends, I have
met with a cordial reception, with the addition
of a most expressive wish that I might return to
New England. Ail this had no effect on my
mind, still adhering to my former resolution to
return to Milan, until I received a pressing invi*
tatton to become the people's preacher in Asso*
net. This call I confess, deeply impressed my
mind. It was the distressed state of the peo-
ple which moved my compassion for them»
Then I thought of the people of my charge in
Milan, that not the least ruffle of difficulty bad
ever taken place, that they had given me a good
living among them, and that jthey fully expected
me to return, and continue to be their pastor,
(although I was not bound by any obligation or
♦See Appendix, Note E.
ABITER J0NE9. 145*
agreement to stay any longer tiian I thought it
my duty.) 1 must own the thought of leaving
was painfuL When I turned my mind toward
Assonet, almost everything looked stormy and
unpromising. For months past but little had
been. done except quarrelling, until the church
and society were completely cut in sunder, and
filled with bitterness. These two parties I con-
sidered equally my friends, but one party had 8
minister, and the other none, and so seized fast
bold of me to become their preacher. This
brought a distressing trial on my mind. O that
they would be one agara.
The Massachusetts Christian Conference was
holden at Freetown, Assonet village, Tuesday^
August 20th, 1833. I preached the first ser-
mon from Heb. xii. 14 : * Follow peace with
all men.' The Lord gave me great freedom,
and I do believe it made a good impression on
the minds of the people. The Conference in
general was. good, except that in one or two in-
stances the members assumed the attitude of an
Ecclesiastical Court, against which I protested.
The general meeting was good. After the Con-
ference adjourned, a society was formed, called
The Christian Benevolent Society ; the object
of which was to aid destitute churches, &c. by
sending preaches to assist them. Most of the
preachers, united and subscribed for its support.
146 MSIIOIR OF
^^ The call from the people in this place to im*
pressed my mind that I found it impossible for
me to get rid of it. The time had now nearly
arrived in which ( had hitherto concluded to
leave Massachusetts and set ray face houioward*
^^ Previous to this time I had determined to
return to Milan through Vermont, and speiid
some weeks in that state. But after due delib-
eration, I consented to tarry and preach in As-
sonet a few weeks instead of going to Vermont,
and if I did not find it duty to make a longer
stay, then to return to Milan. Sunday, Sep-
tember 8ih, 1833, was the day appointed for me
to begin to preach in the new house.
^^ The day was rainy, the congregation small,
say about 30 in the morning. The otiier com*
ptny with Elder Coe, met in the old house, not
more than 30 feet distant, so that the sound of
our worship and preaching could be distinctly
beard, from one to the other. How shameful.
My mind was extremely depressed. Love
and union my soul delights in ; division and
strife I hate. Depressed as my spirits were, I
could not feel that I was doing wrong. I did
not feel the least party spirit, nor the least un-
kindness to either company, nor the least preju*
dice against Elder Coe or any individual. I
never felt more lamblike in all my life ; my pr^y-
ABNEK J91IBS. 14?
er was, ' Lord, what wilt thou have me do ?
Guide me by unerring wisdom,' T think I feit
ready to give myself without reserve to the Lomi
and say, ^ not my will hut thine be done.' in tho
afternoon the congregation increased to about
70. I had as'good a time in preaching as could
have been expected under such trying circum-
stances. At the close 1 thought it duty to ap»
point a meeting for the Sabbath following. My
mind, however, was no more relieved from triab
about Onally staying with the people, than b«*
fore. Still crying constantly for directioau
^^ The following week I attended the Christiao
Conference at Boston. My mind, however, waa
occupied and borne down about matters at As*
sonet. It was one of the most solemn weeks I
ever passed. When I thought of engaging to
preach with the people of Assonet, the work
looked so exceedingly arduous, I confess I
shrunk from the painful task, and wa$ ready to
say ^ I never can endure it ;' yet I could get no
release. Saturday following I returned to the
place, with my wife, in the sanae state of mind.
'' Sunday, Sept. 15, 1833.— The day was
serene and clear ; the congregation had increas-
ed to about 170. I was blessed with great free-
dom, it was a glorious meeting, saints were made
joyful in their God, and the congregation was as
148 MEMOIR or
solemn as eterDity. We bad a conference in
die evening. It was very blessed to me. Ma*
oy spoke in the power of tbe spirit, and declar-
ed that God bad greatly revived their minds,
and that they determined to leave all things be-
hind and press forward. This day of good
things revived my drooping spirits and gave me
some more courage to think of staying with tbe
people. But on Monday I began again to look
on the boisterous waves, and sunk down as low
as ever, and was constrained to cry out in deep
distress, ^ Save, Lord, I perish.' Tuesday
evening had a meeting in Middleborough, in the
neighborhood called Beechwoods. I went
greatly cast down, but had a glorious meeting
and feh completely relieved. I soon, however,
sunk down in deep waters, much as before.
" Saturday^ September 29th, 1833.— Attend-
ed Monthly church meeting, had a soul-reviving
season. Two came forward and told what the
Lord had done for their souls, and offered them-
selves for baptism. They were joyfully re-
ceived to be baptized the next day. Towards
the close of this meeting the church was called
OB to see if they would, in agreement with the
society, call me to be their pastor. The vote
was in the affirmative, both male and female,
without one dissenting voice. 1 did feel it my
ABNBK JOHBt. 149
duty to give an affirmative answer, without a
doubt. I now determined to enter on my mia*
isterial labors in the best manner I could, though
with much fear and trembling. Lord, help me«
" Sunday, Sept. 30, 1833. — I gave a pub-
lic answer to the people, that I would hearken
to their call and become their preacher. We
had a good meeting and a blessed time at tbd
water in baptizing. The Lord's name be prais*
^' Until this time I do not know as I had an ene-
emy in Assonet, but the other party, as is natu-
ral, felt much hurt because I would (as they
termed it) preach to their enemies. I took my
course as straight forward as possible, neither
preaching in public, nor conversing in privat<(^
about former difficulties ; but ^ spoke of things
which make for peace, and things whereby one
may edify another.' Both societies now had a
preacher, and continued to hold separate mee^•
ings in the two houses above named. But as
the old house was a crazy old thing, the cold
weather soon constrained the \)ther society to
leave it, and betake themselves to the town
house. Elder Coe continued with them until
January and then left them, his term of engage-
ment having expired. They then engaged
Elder James Taylor, theur former preacher, for
160 MEMOIft OP
one year, and when he had preached out his
year, they broke up and dispersed.
^^ I found the church after the division to con-
sist of about seventy members, well united, bo^
very low in their minds. But soon numbers
were revived. The deadly effects of a religious
quarrel, however, was severely felt. During
the first year things continued much in the same
train ; no contention in Church or society had
occurred. I was unanimously invited to contin-
ue with them the ensuing year, but I declined
engaging for any particular term of time. I
however told them I ould give them thre^
months' notice before I left them, and that if
they wished for another priBacher they should
give me the same notice."
ii was in September, 1833, as we have seen,
that Elder Jones, took up his abode with the
people of Assonet. 1 have remarked before,
that the severe trial of parting with her children
aod friends, had greatly affected the health of
his wife. This was d )ubtless in reased by the
extreme care she took of him during his long
confinement in New York. Pefore she left Mi-
lan, she suffered several slight shocks of paral-
ysis. These, as might have been expected, in-
creased upon her, gradually becomiqg more se-
vere until to DeeembeTy 1833, she shook off
AINEK JONBt. 16}
tfae earthly vestment, and entered upon ber rest.
The blow was felt by Eider Jones to be a se-
rere one indeed. In his own words, " never
have I met with anything that has so bowed me
to the earth, and crushed my soul in wo.'* She
had been his companion, and the sharer of all
his changes ; and no woman ever filled with more
fidelity her peculiar and trying relations. Pos-
sessed of a remarkably strong and vigorous mind,
a warm and generous piety, she was indeed a
helpmate and counseller to him at all times and
in all places, and he mourned her loss as alto-
gether irreparable. For the last two years of
her life, she was a burden to herself, and took
no interest in the welfare of her best friends,
and for months before her decease, she became
helpless and senseless as an infant a day old-
The year before her death, he took her on a
journey to see her children and her old friends,
in hopes that it might serve to arouse her from
ber lethargy. But it produced no effect upon
her. This journey was indeed a melancholy
one to Elder Jones, and he speaks of it in his
journal as follows.
*' After starting on our way, my wife seemed
to brighten up, and commenced a conversation,
which, in her state of mind was very uncommon.
She stated ber impressions that she was taking
153 MEMOIR OF
her last tour with me, and was about paying her
last visit to her children, and other friends.
She then proceeded to give directions how she
would have her wardrobe, etc., disposed of.
This, I believe, was the last subject she ever in-
troduced to me, more than to ask some necessary
question. I often on our way introduced sub-
jects of conversation, on which, in times past,
her active mind delighted to dwell ; but I could
excite no interest in her. She was almost
lost to all that was past, and as to future expec-
tations, it was much the same. Many thous-
ands of miles had we journeyed delightfully to-
gether, cheered by each other's company and
conversation, but now it was quite otherwise,
we rode slowly, and sijently, on our solitary
way. To me it was a melancholy occasion,
mingled with a mournful pleasure. I endeav-
ored to render to my enfeebled wife all the
consolation in my power. In this tour we trav«
elled about two hundred and seventy miles, had
good seasons in preaching and returned home
about the last of June. My poor wife was so far
lost in her mind, as not to know her own home.*'
She was just sixtyseven years of age, and
died on her birthday , which he notices and adds,
*' her faults were few, her virtues many."
I Gnd the following verses writteo just after
ABNER JONES. 15S
** Deep ill the core of my poor brekkingf heart
Hath Death the king of terrors, sent his dart,
Ruthless hath tore from me ray better part,
Inflicting wounds of anguish, pain and smart.
Rut Christ, the conquering king, shall death destroy-^
. Turn all our sorrows, pains and tears, to joy ; /
Nor wave of trouble ever more annoy,
While deathless glories our blest souls employ.
On wings of faith I soar to worlds of light,
Where day eternal ever rules the night ;
There, resting from our labors, with delight
We '11 greet with songs the holy throngs in white.
The body planted in her mother earth.
Till Christ shall give it resurrection birth,
In glorious form shall rise and upward fly
To meet the spirit long before on high.
There in the heights of Zidn's holy ground.
Increasing praise forever shall abound.
While all tlie singing millions join the sound,
To swell the heavenly chorus round.
For this angelic Choir a while I wait ;
My soul is peacefbl, and my path is straight ;
Untiring strive until I reach the gate.
To meet with heavenly joy my long lost mate.**
Shortly after committiog the remains of hi;»
beloved companion to the earth, be took a
journey into Vermont, and frequently and feel-
ingly alludes to his deep sense of the loss, which
1^4 MEMOIR or
every familiar object by the way seemed to de-
clare. At last he returned to Assonet, ^^ but,
alas," he adds, " not to my home. My dear
companion who used to greet me with smiles,
is not here ; my children are all far away, and
no familiar face gladdens my board. /And as
I sit in my solitary library I feel that I am indeed
alone. But the past lives still, and
** ' T is with a mournful pleasure now
I think on other days.**
'* But I repine not at my lonely lot, I find it good
to be afflicted, it yields the peaceable fruits of
righteoiLsness. If I except the troubles which
have been brought upon me, by my sinning
against a holy God, I can rejoice to day and
thank God for every affliction which I have
experienced in life. Yea, I thank my God with
all my heart that it has been his pleasure to cor-
rect me for my sins ; I kiss the rod and Him
who hath appointed it. Nor have I one single de-
sire to be delivered from afflictions ; no, I glory
in tribulation. In the language of the late learn-
ed Dr Adam Clarke, I can say, '' I am not
tired of the world." I have nothing now to bind
me to earth but the reigning desire to do good.
Earthly things never to me looked more fleeting
and vain, yet I know they are good, and abso-
lutely necessary while here. 1 thank God for
ABNGR J0NE9. 159
food and raiment^ and am content therewith. I
tbank God that I am not anxiously perplexed
about what I shall eat or what I shall drink, or
wherewithal I shall be clothed. To my great
astonishment and gratitude,^ God has hitherto
supplied my temporal wants since I was a preach-
er 5 (for when 1 commenced preaching / lejt
all) nor can I say that I have lacked any good
' And can he have taught to trust in his name, .
And thus far have brought me to put me to shame ?'
*' ' Give me food to eat, and raiment to put on,
so thai I return to my father's house in peace.'
This is all my desire, and all my prayer as it re-
spects perishable things.
" Young preachers, should these lines meet
your eyes, let them stimulate you to preach
Christ at the loss of all things. Do your duty,
trust in God, and all will come right. JVb one
ever put his trust in God and was confounded. ^^
In the autumn of 1837, he decided to leave
Assonet, still having his mind bent on making
the tour in which he was defeated six years
before. Indeed he cherished this purpose up
to the time of his death, and had made his ar-
rangements to fulGl the wishes of his heart, in
respect to it, during the summer succeeding the
time of his decease. He gave notice accordf^
• . « -/ ■ ■■ '
IM MBMOiB or
iogly to the people in Assonet that be should
leave them in the Spring following, which pur*
pose he carried into exectrtion.
He supplied the pulpit in his old parish in
Portsmouth, N. H. three months in the ensuing
spring, and then at the earnest solicitation of die
destitute and very small society in Upton^ Mass.
he repaired thither and made it his home for
two years. He would not consider himself as
a settled pastor, but told them he would tarry
among them as long as he considered it his duty
and should feel at liberty to leave them whenever
be chose. During his tarry in Upton be jour«
neyed considerably, and among other traveb
visited all the places where he bad had charge
of a parish.
On the first day of August, 1839, he was
married to Mrs. Nancy F. Clark, of Nantucket.
The ceremony took place at the house of the
writer of these memoirs, in Brighton, who offi-
ciated on the occasion. In company with his
new wife he visited Naiitasket — now Hull,—
where be met several of his old friends from
Boston, and other places, and who had often ac-
companied him thither on his preaching tours
thirty years before. Here he spent a delight-
ful season, and then returned to Upton. He
Hurried here until April, 1 840, when h^ cemov-.
ed his family to Exeter, N. H.
For a number of years Elder Jones bad resolv*
ed, as sooQ as be could see his way clear to
do so, to retire akogetber from tbe responsible
cares of a parisb ; still intending to preach
wheoever and wberevw opportunity should
present. To this end be sought out a place nf
retreat, where be could calmly and quietly spend
the remainder of bis days. He had saved a tri*
fle from tbe wreck of bis living — a trifle accuroo^v
lated by bis medical treatment of cancers,—^
which be invested in a snug little cottage in the
pleasant little village of Exeter. He refitted it
and furnished it, expecting to enjoy it for many
years, when he was visited with the disease
which carried him away from all earthly babitiir>
In the autumn of 1840, be accompanied bia
wife on a visit to her relatives in the sea-girt
isle of Nantucket, where be spent several weeks^
aa happily, as be then said, as any of bis whole
life. On his return he paid tbe writer of these
pages his last visit. This was in October. H6
then appeared in perfect health. He spoke of
his visit with enthusiasm, said be did not feel
older than when be married bis first wife, and
did not see why he was not likely to live twen*
ty yeara. Indeed I never knew him more
cbeerfuli and his countenance was the very ior
I6d MEMorft or
dex of health, indicating the age of fifty^ more
than that of 8et>tnty. He left me with the as-
surance that he should call on me on his great
journey- to the south and west, which he should
commence as earljr in the spring as the travel*
ling would permit.
He wrote me in February that his health was
failing him, and, as I thought, in rather a des-
ponding tone. During April I received his
last note — brief and in a trembling hand, in
which he informed me that he had given up all
hope of ever being better, and expressing a
strong desire to see his children.
When I first saw him in April I was struck
with the great change which disease had wrongbt
in him. The strong man was bowed down,
and the brow that only a few months before had
betokened middle age, now seemed to speak
more than truth. He met me calmly, although
it evidently cost him a severe struggle. He
spoke with the utmost cheerfuhiess of his con-
dition. He had arranged his affairs with the
world, and he had no anxiety about the future. .
It was a privilege to sit at the bed-side, and wit-
ness the blessed effects of a faithful life. I ask-
ed him if his faith now faltered ? " No, my
son," he replied, " you know I have never been
given to. extraordinary excitements. I am calm
ABHER JONES. 159
and tranquil, ready to depart when it is God's
time ; willing to continue in this state just as
long as he shall see fit to keep me here."
I asked him how he viewed the future ? "I
do not give myself any anxiety about that," he
responded, " I believe it will be infinitely more
glorious than T can conceive. But I can truly
say, that if my portion in heaven is only what it
has been for forty years On earth, with all its
trials and cares — could these enter heaven — it is
more than I deserve, atid I could devoutly ex-
claim, ^ Lord, it is enough.' I have tiied to be
faithful. I think I have ever acted conscien-
tiously, and I have no guilty recollections. I
have had more than my pay as I went along.
All that is to come is blessed gratuity, — the free
and glorious gift of grace. I have enjoyed as
much as most men in life — now an angel's bless-
edness awaits me. All this glorious hope I
have in my blessed Saviour, — praise to his holy
Up to this time he had been able to get about
the house, but the day before I saw him he had
taken his bed to die, as he said. He' was how-
ever anxious to sit once more at table with me
and his family, which he did, although it was ev-
idently a great efl^ort. He led the devotional
services in a calm and devout manner, and retir^
160 MEMptR or
ed from the table, saying, «' I have eaten my last
supper with you on earth, may our nex.t be with
Jesus in the kingdom of God."
Just before this he had called the church in
Exeter to his bedside to partake with them for
the last time the broken body of Christ. I was
not present, but was told that it was a most sol-
emn and impressive season.
When I left him he took an affectionate fare-
well, accompanied with words of counsel and
advice, not expecting to see me again in time*
Symptoms however made their appearance
which deceived all but him into the hope that a
crisis had been reached in his disease, and I en-
deavored to encourage in him this hope, without,
however, the slightest effect. /
Nearly up to this period he had been entirely
fjree from pain, and his appetite had remained
pretty good. Without any apparent cause and
with no pain, he had gradually lost both his
strength and flesh, until he was now little better
than a mere skeleton. From this time to his
death his sufierings increased upon him, until
they became terrible indeed, up to the latest
breath of life.
. His christian fortitude and patience, however,
never forsook him! He received all his old ac-
quaintances, and bade them adieu with perfect
composure, having a word ofcouQi^dorgnGOiir«
agement for each.
On Saturday, May 29, 1841, about noon, kp
fell asleep in Jesus, ending a life of gre^t us^r
fulness and leaving the savor of a good naqie |p
bis children and all the wide circlp of bis frieo^^
He used to say, ^ I dare not plan for my lif^^
for I am sure to have all my plans frustratjod.'
His last plam were an illustration of this XP"
mark. When he married Mrs. Clarke, ha WQ9
full of his purposes of life, and promised himself
a great deal of enjoyment in this life. But these
purposes were all thwarted. In les$ tb^n two
years he was arrested and summoned ito a high-
er sphere of action, leaving his lonely iind be-
reaved companion alone, to bewail her loss, and
to prepare herself to job him in that world
where we shall neither marry nor be given in
On the Monday following, his funeral was at-
tended by a numerous collection of h|s old
friends and acquaintances, in the Chapel of the
Christian Society. More than twenty clergy-
men, of different denominations, were present.
The services were conducted with gr^nt pro-
priety and solemnity. A sermon was delivered
by Elder Elijah Shaw, of Lowell, which was ex-
ceedingly appropriate and solemn.
I HAVE thought proper in this place to throw to-
gether some incidents in the life of Elder Jones,
which serve to illustrate some of the prominent
points of his character. I could not well have in-
terwoven them in the narrative which has gone he-
fore without having disturbed too much its thread.
And 1 have thought that they would be more ac-
ceptable in this separate form to the generality of
the readers of this little volume.
The first trait of character which I shall notice,
and which every one who knew him, will instant-
ly recognize, was his remarkable conscientious'
ness, I never knew a man whose whole life was
a more emphatic expression of this moral senti-
ment. It not only guided his actions in the great
and important events of his life, but it embraced
the minutest and simplest purpose of his heart.
He always did what he did, not because it was
customary, and convenient, but because he believ-
ed in his heart it was strictly just. He entered into
no arrangements, large, or small, without first ask-
ing what was right and proper to be done in such
circumstances. When he felt that he must preach
— when he determined to marry — when he went
here or th^re to preach — when he bargained for a
horse — indeed, I think I may well say, no act of
his life but is marked with this high deference to
the sentiment of justice, which may be called the
crowning one of his character. I will illustrate
this by a few extracts from his journal, in connex-
ion with some of the leading incidents in his life.
We have already seen how entirely he gave up
himself to the dictates of duty, when he thought
he was called to preach. How unhesitatingly he
relinquished a lucrative profession ; how cheerfully
he encountered poverty and reproach ; how unre-
servedly and solemnly he consecrated his whole
soul and body for life to the glorious work. And
how, ever afterwards, he cheerfully relinquished
ease and independence, that he might go to some
low and poor church, where there were few earth-
ly inducements, that he might be in the way of
doing the will of Him that sent him.
It was while his mind was exercised about
preaching, and he was still in the practice of med-
icine, that he concluded to marry. But he could
not for an instant think of suffering her to whom
his hand was plighted to remain in ignorance of
his impressions, and of the change in hjs outward
circumstances, a change in his profession ^ould
bring about Accordingly he determined to di-
vulge the whole to her, and then give her full lib-
erty to withdraw the pledge she had given him.
But I will let him speak for himself.
" When I really concluded to marry, I viewed
the matter to be solemn, and concluded it was my
duty to make known to my intended wife the situa-
tion I was in. I asked her if she thought she was
acquainted with the man with whom she expected
to unite for life ? She said she thought she was.
I told her she was under a mistake, and I proceed-
ed to tell her that I was a deserter from my native
country, and that I intended to return some time or
another, and if she was not willing to go with me,
I should leave her. That is, said I, I have made
a profession of religion, and have revolted from it,
and I hope I shall yet return. But I must tell you
farther, I have been tried in my mind concerning
preaching, and I expect that I must yet preach,
although I am so involved in the world now. God
has always visited me with judgments for my re-
bellion, and I expect God will still visit me with
judgments until I return. I expect to be one of the
poorest creatures of all God's creation. I expect
after I have been married three or four years, and
have three or four children around us in rags, cry-
ing for bread and milk, and not even that to give
them — and I perhaps without one decent suit of^
clothes to my back, while my wife is at home in
rags and want, shall be abroad preaching to those
who are unable to give me either raiment or food.
This I think very probably will be my condition if
I ever marry at all. Now if you cannot consent
thus with your eyes open, to marry the beggar I
, have described to you, you must not marry me,
and you are fully absolved from all obligation you
may feel yourself under to become my wife.''
Nothing terrified, however, by this appalling pic-
ture she joined her fortunes with his, and I believe
never had occasion to regret the hour which linked
them together in the bands of wedlock, although
she wias at times greatly perplexed and troubled
about the future.
Time rolled on, and Elder Jones began to
preach. As we have seen, it resulted in the neg-
lect of his business, greatly to the annoyance of
those families who had employed him, and mortifi-
cation of his wife and friends.
" If I recollect right, I returned home from
preaching soon after, having been abseint from Sun-
day morning, until Tuesday. In this period- of
time I had had calls to go among the sick, and no
small stir was made among the people about my
turning preacher, as they termed it. When I re-
turned home I found Mrs Jones in great tribula-
tion about the loss I had met with, since I had been
gone, and might have earned, if I had been ai
home. What was worse than all the rest, she said,
was the mortification she had received, by people
calling and saying ' where is the Doctor ?' I told
them you were gone to Danville. ' What, said they,
has he gone to doctor any body, or has he gone to
preach ? I told them I supposed you were gone
to preach, and I supposed some body was sick too.
* Well,' said they, ' if he does not attend to his busi-
ness better, we must have another doctor.' She
said she was saluted four times in one night, with,
' hallo ! where 's the doctor ?' and she had to tell
them, ' gone to Danville^ gone to Danville.' My wife
concluded it was as much my duty to stay at home,
and attend to my business, as it was to go about
preaching, earning nothing. Said she, ' you say
yourself you will not be settled, and have a salary,
but only receive just what the people are pleased
to give you, and as for the cold hand of charity,
that will never maintain any body. Once you
wanted to have something in the world, as well as
I, but now you care nothing about it, «dl you care
for is to go about and preach. We shall soon
come to nothing, and be as poor as poverty itself,
and come to begging.' I told my wife that what
she said concerning poverty, was quite likely to
be true, for I expected nothing but to be poor, in
this world. 1 asked her if she did not remember
what I told her before we were married, about
preaching and being poor ? Her answer was, * I
do not know as I do.' I then said, do you not re-
member that I asked you before we were married,
whether you were acquainted with the person,
with whom you expected to unite for life ? You
answered, you thought you were ; and I told you
you were not. And I here repeated what I had told
her about preaching, poverty, and rags, before I
had married her ; also how I warned her not to
marry me unless she was willing to encounter all
this. I then asked her again, ' do you not remem-
ber I told you all this ?' She then acknowledged
she did. I then told her it was not so bad yet, for
my family was not in want, and moreover, through
the goodness of God, my wife was not in rags, and
I had yet a decent suit of clothes to wear. I told
my wife that I believed it was my duty to preach,
and that if 1 had lost five thousand dollars, 1 should
not begrudge it, I had seen so much of the good-
ness of God. I proceeded to say, 'We have
enough to last us one year to live upon, and I am
determined to spend my time in preaching, while
that lasts. Then if no door opens for me to main-
tain my family, I will return to my former occu-
pation, or any other lawful business.' And I can
say, that at that time I felt willing to make a full
surrender of all that I had, property atid family,
time and talents." See page 43.
Another remarkable trait in the character of
Elder Jones was his perfect contentment with his
lot I think I never knew a man who so generally
found cause for thankfulness in all, even the most
trying events of his life. This was based on a re-
markably just estimate of wealth. He used to
8ay that what could not be used must be left un-
used, and wealth unused was no better than any
other thing useless. I recollect hearing him say,
on a particular occasion, when his real condition
was compared to what, with a little more worldly
prudence and foresight, it might have been, " I
am as rich as I wish to be. I never go hungry, or
thirsty, or naked. I never lacked a shelter, or a
bed, or a hat to my head. I have enough for all
this and more too. I can give a poor brother an
occasional loaf of bread, and a cup of cold water.
I can gratify my love for books, and have means
to travel and see my friends. What more can I
wish ? I have never known want, and I feel as-
sured that I never shall. And if it takes the last
dollar to give me decent burial, that is enough. I
owe no man any thing but good will, and if I am
square with the world at death, it will have no
demand on me, and if while I live in it, it give me
a support, I will not quarrel with it.''
He had a happy faculty of making the besi of a
badf case, and used oflen to laugh at his own, or
others' poor bargains. When he was in poverty
he was content, and plenty made him happy.
When the sun shone, he rejoiced in it, and when
the tempest swept past, he .looked for the morning
in cheerful hope !
Allied to this spirit of contented reliance on the
Divine arm, was a deep spirit of sympathy for the
poor and suffering. I have seen him sustain him*
self in the midst of sore trials and deep afflictions.
with smiling cheerfulness, and melt into tears at
the simple recital of another's wo, and that other,
perhaps, an entire stranger.
The following extract of a letter^ written late in
life, will exhibit this trait of character. It was
indited during a "most awful storm," which would
not permit him to reach his home.
" I am now at Deacon 's, one of the best of
homes. There is now raging one of the most furi-
ous storms of wind and rain I ever experienced,
yet I am happily sheltered, and in good health. I
am in hopes that you have now got my last, and
are rejoicing over the same, while the storm is
howling around your peaceful dwelling. How
good the Lord is to give us a safe hiding place
from the stormy tempest ; so may Christ be our
hiding place, when the last fiery storm and tempest
shall overtake us, and the elements shall mek with
" How very pleasing it would be to occupy the
same fireside, this evening, and mingle in conver*
sation with my dear friend. I am, however, sur-
rounded with so many rich and undeserved bless-
ings, that every restless feeling is turned into the
feast of contentment, and every murmur into
praise and thanksgiving. O think of the poor dis-
tressed mariner, at his wit's end. Probably, by
ihe violence of this storm, some will be made wid-
ows and orphans ; and perhaps some of our rela-
tives, or acquaintances. O Thou who ridest
majestically on the stormy deep, save the half
distracted sailor, and hold him safely in the hollow
of thy hand, and teach him to revere thy holy
name, and run into it, as a strong tower of safety,
both for soul and body.
" If we would continually sit at the soul-cheer-
ing feast of contentment, we must never contrast
our circumstances, with those we imagine far bet-
ter off than ourselves, and so begin to covet that
which is our neighbor's ; but look around on the
miserable and wretched. Think on those who
lack food, fuel, and clothing. Of the fields of
battle crimsoned with blood, and covered with the
slain, husbands and sons. Think of those in the
lonely prison house, some waiting their trial and
some their execution, already appointed. Think
of those degraded men in the State prison, now in
their lonely, cold, stone cell. Many wives have
husbands and sons there ; how much worse than
death ! Think on the poor lonely widow, mourn-
ing over a departed husband, and weeping over
fatherless children, crying for bread, when she
has none to ^ive. Think of these broken hearted
mothers, weeping over prodigal daughters in houses
of ill fame ; whom they once tenderly folded in
their arms and nourished at their breast. Think
of captives among the savages. Think of the
beastly drunken husband, killing himself and wife
by inches, with liquid fire ; see the poor distressed
children ; and if this is not enough, O, think of
the rich man in hell, lifting up his eyes in torments.
And after having surveyed all these scenes of in-
" describable wo, go home and sit down at the festi-
val of conientment, deeply humbled at the thought
of ever uttering a murmur, or harboring a moment's
Another trait of character which shone conspic-
uously to all beholders, was his truly Christian
(diarity. He was exceedingly tenacious of his own
views of religious truth, but he was perfectly wil-
ling to give every man the utmost freedom of
thought and expression. He gloried in his own
creed, and believed that the Christians with whom
he associated had made more progress and posses-
ted more light than any other body of Christians ;
but he believed that all denominations embriaced
among their professed disciples, a vast majority of
true believers, and such as God delighted to own
and bless. In accordance with these views he acted.
He was ready to commune and fellowship with all
who professed and called themselves Christians,
and one of his first trials with the denomination to
which he early belonged, [Baptist] was in refer-
ence to close communion. As an evidence of his
enlarged charity, I would remark, that on a certain
occasion he preached for a Baptist brother minis-
ter in his own pulpit, and by invitation. At the
close of the service, the Baptist brother broke
^read and distributed the emblems of the body
was broken for all, and Elder Jones and his
wife sat by, and were denied the privilege of par-
taking with them. "Surely," he adds, rather
pointedly, "if to them restraint and fetters are
better than freedom, I need not complain. They
could not debar me from silent and sweet commun-
ion with God and themselves, and I joined heartily
in the service, eating bread and drinking wine that
they knew not of."
Elder Jones was a man of much prayer. He
thought that whatever was worth undertaking at
all, was worth seeking the blessing of God upon.
In all the common events, as well as those of more
importance, he sought the direction and aid of
Heaven. He was particularly jealous that nothing
should interrupt the regular devotions of the fami-
ly, and he would excuse no member's absence,
unless they were away from home. In these de-
votions he noticed all passing events that were of
importance, and often asked particular favors at
the hand of God.
Besides his regular family and public devotions,
he was much given to secret prayer. He estab-
lished and set apart certain days for prayer and
self-examination, and on these occasions he used
to absent himself from his family and society as
much as possible. He also observed the annual
fast, in the letter of it, refraining from food alto-
gether, and devoting himself to prayer and medi-
I f5ncf among His papers, many Writteil p'ray^rfey
and " covenants with God," which were elicited
on particular occasions. Two or three I will give,
as exhibiting his frame of mind, and throwing light
upon this trait of character. The following Wsts
written on the occasion of leaving St parish :
" A cool, cloudy day, and unfit to go abroad. I
shall therefore devote it to fasting, prayer, atfd
meditation : thus — I open the Bible and place it
Before mie, kneeling down and placing my right
hand on its open pag^s. I acknowledge this bles-
sed volume to be my only guide and discipline,
and devote myself anew and entirely to the Lord,
for life and for death, for time and for eternity. I
then pray most earnestly to my 'Heavenly Fathet,
that he will accept my vow, and guide me by his
counsel and still uphold me with his wotd ; that he
would quicken my faith in his truth, and help nle
fully to rely on his word of grace ; promising to
go wherever his spirit- shall lead me;^ and to do
whatever in his Providence I am called on to pet-
^form, whh entire devotion and cheerftrlness.
" And as I am about lestving — ■■ — , and like
Abraham, going out, I know not whither, O, ratty
Abraham^s God be with rtie, and help me to keep
this fast as the children of Israel did by the river
Ahava, and go before me unta the place of itty
labors, aud where I can do most for his honor and
the good of souls.
** Having disposed of my own case, I seek a?
fcfessiffg for my dear absent friends, and for all
classes and conditions of men, praying for each
separately and in particular.
*' After confessing my own sins and seeking
pardon, I rise from my knees and peruse the holy
oracles, meditating and reading alternately, uiitil
the hour of noon, when I again spend an hour in
prayer. And so the afternoon and evening are
It must be remembered that this is only a private
memorandum, and net intended ibr any eye but
The following extract from his unarranged pa-
' pers, will exhibit the deep sense he ever entertain-
ed of the importance of the work to which he was
called, and (he consciousness of the imperfect
manner in which he discharged it, which ever
seems to have impressed him.
" The common routine of ministerial duties has
'become so habitual and familiar, that the cross has
tseasfed. In these the ' yoke is easy, and the bur-
den is light.' But if my master ever calls me to
bear the x^ross in a way out of the common courses,
I find it equally heavy now as when I first began
to take it up. I find in my merhbers a spirit war-
ring against the pure spirit of Christ; it is, 'the
csimaV mind.' ^ It is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.' This * carnal mind ' I find
in Ihe, und I am ailhs^ed to ^y, ^ ioft^n bringing
me into captivity.' We miwt with our spiritual
weapons wage war with this ' old man of sin.' We
are well able, through Christ Jesus, at present, ' to
bind the strong man armed, and take away his
arms,' and lead and hold him in captive chains^
until, like Sampson, when shorn of his locks, he
^ shall be as weak as any other man \* and finally
nail him to the cross until he die. 'Crucify the
old man with his lusts and affections.'
"In all the above stated duties of Christian war-
fare, I come sadly short, for which I feel guilty
before God. And where can I go but to him
against whom I have offended ? And to go with a
hollow heart will be but solemn mockery. I hava
often relaxed the captive chain by which the man
of sin is bound, and thereby have often suffered
severely. Alas ! how little I learn obedience^ by
the things I suffer. I am also faulty in not firmly
resisting alluring, foolish temptations — while the
holy commandment teaches the denying all ungod-
liness, living soberly, and righteously, and godly in
this present life. * I am a worm and no man.' It
seems as though I was hardly half a Christian —
* Wherefore I abhor myself in dust and ashes '
" Under the above considerations, I feel greatly
cast down. I feel utterly unworthy of the very
many blessings which I am constantly enjoying,
both temporally and spiritually, for they are great
and very many. I have every reason to testify
and set to my seal that \ The Lord delighteth in
mercy ;' and is * long suffering,' and that I have
ahused that long-suffering. Even now I feel that I
am not by any means improving it as I ought. I
am not pleased or satisfied with myself. * So much
experience of the sweetness of obedience, and of
the bitterness of unwillingness to bear the cross,
and still, unto this very day, so amazingly lacking
in what I ought to be. I am covered with shame
and confusion of face. More than fifly years since,
I first knew the sweets of pardon, and th^ perfect
love of God shed abroad in my heart. And for
more than thirtyseven years I have been a preach-
er of the gospel ; and how little^ very little, have
I done in the vineyard of the Lord. I am now in
the going down of the sun, and so of course doing
less and less. ' Few and evil have been the days
of the pilgrimage of thy servant' And now be-
hold I am going off of the stage in the evening of
my life, having done a poor, very poor day's work.
Yet I hope I may have possibly gained one or two
talents. ' Cast me not off from thy presence ; up-
hold me by thy free spirit.' Take not the talent
from me ; all my hope is in the merciful Redeem-
er. Forsake me not when I am old and gray-
headed." • • • •
The following prayer seems to have been writ-
ten a short time previous to his marriage to his
second wife, and was intended to be used by them
mutually, at a given hour of the day.
>' O Lord, our God. Although parted in body
yet' united in spirit, as though- kneeling at the same-
altar, we bow before thee, who has taught us in
thy word to acknowledge thee' in all our ways, and
heist graciously promised that thou wilt direct our
paths. We now make our humble acknowledg-
ments, that thou art the author of our existence^
and the lengthener out of our days ; that thou hast
^een our protector from the ten thousand dangers
through which we have been called to pass ;
that thou hast been mindful of us, When we have
been unmindful of thee ; that thy long-suffering and
tender mercies have been lavished upon us, while
we have been (ifcireless and unthankful ; that thou
didst call often, while we as often refused : that
thou wast pleased to show us our sins, and lead us
ta confess and forsake them ; and that thou wast
pleased to forgive them freely, through the blood
of Jesus Christ, Whiph cleanseth from all sin.
'*^We acknowledge before thee all our heatrt-
wanderings, shortcomings, and backslidings. We
acknowledge our dependence upon thee for all
present and future blessings, and thank thee for
past and present blessings, asking thee to grant aH
needed good in time to come.
" The three following petitions grant us, and it
shall be enough.
" Let us know thy will and do it
" Give bread to eat and raiment to put on, until
we return to our Father's house in peace.
^ Let us be prepared for death, whenever thou
dialt please to send it. Aroeur
*' And thou faithful Jehovah, in a particular man-
ner would we ask of thee, wisdom to bless us in
the solemn engagement which we have entered into
in the marriage covenant, and which is about to be
ratified, according to the law of the land. Wilt
thou grant unto us all the blessings we stand in
need of in this heaven-ordained institution, that we
may walk as heirs of the grace of life. Give us
toisdom to conduct all our affairs with discretion,
and patience to endure all afflictions. Give us
willing minds to bear one another^s burdens, and
may tha law of kindness dwell on our tongue.
May we patiently partake of each other's afflic-
tions, and gratefully share of each other's joys.
Give us to draw in an even yoke, according to
thine own institution. Thus help us to live until
death shall separate us. Amen.'*
I shall notice but one more trait of character
pertaining to the subject of these memoirs, and
that is his remarkable love of books. As has
been seen in the narrative of his life, his early
literary opportunities were extremely limited. But
he in a great measure overcame tbe«vils he suffered
on this account, hy assiduous reading in later life,
.although his reading was not of a kind to polish
his mind. He sought to store it with valuable ma-
terials, and paid little attention to the style of their
dress. Consequently, his own style was not refin-
ed, or easy. Nor did he improve it throughout his
long life ; in consequence, in part, doubtless, of a
very strong reluctance which he ever felt to use
the pen at. all. His preaching was altogether ex-
temporaneous, and I have found but two sermons
written out among his manuscripts, although he
often committed the heads of his discourses to
He acquired quite a thorough knowledge of the
Latin, Greek, and Hebrew grammars, and could
read in any of these languages with tolerable
readiness, although he never received any instruc-
tion in either. He had a great love for history
and biography, and of such works his library prin-
cipally consisted, and his habits of reading were
never forsaken until his last sickness.
Among his last thoughts committed to paper, I
find the following scrap, written a few years before
^' My Library consists of every thing in nature,
and in whatever knowledge and truth are to be
found. I have been captivated by books, since I was
eight years of age. I am now sixtyfive, and yet I
have never had one desire to be released from this
happy captivity. I am far from being satisfied ; I
am as eager as ever to turn and see what the next
page will tell me. I have read little, and my stock
of knowledge is consequently very contracted.
The sacred Bible is above all ; I love to read it
more than any other, and all other, books, and I
suppose I have read as many hours in this precious
volume of life, as in all other books besides.'*
Note B. p. 66.
To the Selectmen of the town of Boston :
Gentlemen,— We, a society of people known
by the name of the Christian Church in Boston
and Charlestown, (we don't mean, by calling our-
selves the Christian Church, that there are no other
Churches of Christ in the land, as some affirm
that we say, but we hold fellowship with all real
Christians, of every denomination,) and meeting
in Friend street every Sabbath day, and also on
Tuesday and Thursday evenings, for the express
, purpose of worshipping Almighty God in a public
manner, agreeable to the provisions of our good
Constitution, together with a number of our neigh-
bors of other denominations, under a sense of our
duty to promote the peace of our own society, the
peace of society in general ; beg leave to submit,
to your consideration a true account of the disturb-
ances which have taken place in and around the
house in which we meet, as well as the measures
that we have taken to preserve the peace of so-
It is now more than four months since we have
met in this place, as above mentioned. We had
' not long occupied, before some young men — by
their appearance from 14 to 18 years of age — be-
began to distiirb us by talking loud in meeting,
stamping and scraping on the floor with their feet,
laughing out loud, whistling and caterwauling, run-
ning up and down stairs eight or ten at a time ;
striking on the stair-casing with their staves, and
yelling in a most ridiculous manner, with language
most obscene and insulting. Ladies have been
treated in such an insolent manner by them, that
they dare not pass that way, even in the early part
of the evening, without protection. We have had
our lights frequently blown . out, our lamps in the
entry knocked down and broken, every evening
on which we meet, unless we watch them. We
have several times had our door locked, in order
to prevent our coming out when we wished. Se-
gars have been smoked in time of meeting repeat-
edly. It is common to have our house stoned in
time of worship. We believe in one instance that
as many as about twenty stones or brick-bats have
been thrown against the house in time of one
meeting, together with a number of loud, tumultu-
ous huzzas. Loud, do we say ? Yes, so loud that
they have been heard on Charlestown Training-
field. The gate at the entrance of our yard has
been torn down repeatedly, while we have been
worshipping. When people go out of the place of
worship, they cannot walk peaceably, but have
oAen been insulted in the most shameful manner-
Firing squibs at the house and into the yard, has
of late become common. As near as we can
judge, not far from twenty were blown off in one
evening. Fire, flying in such a manner around a
house, at such a dry season as this, is truly alarm-
ing. Many more things might be named by us,
but we forbear.
The measures that we have taken to preserve
the peace are as follows, viz. : In the first of our
disturbance, Mr Jones, our preacher, addressed
them in the mildest manner possible, by telling
them that we were worshipping according to the
provisions of the Constitution, also requesting them
not to disturb us, and informing them that if they
persisted in it they must expect to be dealt with as
the law directed. Yet being unwilling to prose-
cute, we appointed six men of our church to
stand in places where we thought it would be most
likiely to keep these disorderly people quiet as well
«s to take notice of those who refused to be peace-
able. Finding this did not have the effect desired,
we employ-ed peace officers in addition, in order to
keep the peace. Some we have prosecuted and
got judgment against them at the Municipal Court,
but all this does not break up the riotous conduct
of those disorderly people.
And now, gentlemen, as you stand in the char-
acters of fathers and guardians of the town, we
request that you would in some manner, as you in
your wisdom shall think best, use your influence lo
stop such tumultuous and disgraceful c<Miduct,
We feel firmly attached to the government of our
country, as well as being desirous of our own
peace, and the violation of either gives us pain.
We entreat you, gentlemen, to act by the gol-*
den rule, and in this case do as you would wish to
be done by. We are very sensible that many un-
favorable stories are reported about our manner of
worship, and many things which are entirely ^Ise.
We endeavor to regulate our form of worship as
nearly according to the Scripture rule as possible ;
we will not set ourselves up as being perfect, but
liable to err as well as others. We assure you we
mean to be governed by the laws of our land, if
we conduct otherwise the law is open.
Is it inquired why this Church is more disturbed
than others .? We answer, that it is the fate of all
new sects. Why were Christ and his followers
treated in the same manner and worse, when they
first made a public appearance ? Why did the
Apostles and their followers share the same fate ?
Why did the Church of England meet with the
same thing when they first separated from the
Church of Rome ? And why has every denom-
ination from that time even until now shared simi-
lar treatment when they first separated from other
denominations ? And especially, why were the
Baptists persecuted in Boston when they first sep-
arated from the Congregationalists ? The first
persons who separated were excommunicated by
their former brethren, and denounced as heretics,
&c. Their meeting house was nailed up and they
were forbid to hold meetings. Some were whip-
ped, some fined, others imprisoned, &c. &c. This,
though not sufficient, is probably the true reason,
and of this you can judge, gentlemen, as well as
we. And, gentlemen, to conclude : we simply say
before you the conduct of some of our youth, and
what is more lamentable, some who by their dress
and age might be gentlemen, for not a few such
have been found in some of the above mentioned
riotous assemblages. We are sure that you can-
not help discovering the fatal effects that will fol-
low if such things are persisted in. Therefore we
close our petition with wishing you success in pre*
serving, under a wholesome constitution, the rights
and privileges of the citizens in general as well as
of your petitioners individually, who, as bound,
will ever pray, &c.
Boston, September 16, 1804«
Note C. p. 88.
The folio wing Hymn, or Ode, was written on the
occasion of the blockade, by the British fleet, of
Portsmouth, N. H., during the late war with England.
Our pleasant town is in alarm
By a menacing foe ;
They threaten our forts to storm
And lay our bulwarks low.
Their cannon thundering on the main
Spread dire confusion round.
Save us, oh Lord, from being slain ;
Their crafty plots confound.
Thou who commands the waves *' be still,"
Now roll them mountain high —
The waves and winds are at thy will,
And with thy voice comply.
Send armed Boreas 'gainst their fleet,
And drive them from our shore:
Lay proud ambition at thy feet,
And thee we will adore.
But if the winds propitious prove
Unto that hostile band,
Still, as the people of thy love.
Help us against them stand.
We'll volunteer ourselves to thee,
Great Captain of the host,
And in thy name weMl make them flee
And drive them from our coast.
Hard by the Shoals* tie squadron seen,
Bespoke the dread array ;
In eighteen hundred and fourteen,
Upon the Sabbath day ;
But viewing harbor, forts and town,
They quickly bore away ;
To their own territory bound —
As those who saw them say.
*Isle of Shoals.
Thanks lo the Lonl, thou God of war
For thy protecting arm.
Thou rid'fit in thy majestic car
And keep'st us safe from harm.
The nation guard on every side
And in our councils rule ;
In general government preside —
Teach us in wisdom's school.
Note D. p. 118.
I have, on the whole, found nothing that I have
deemed worth publishing, on this subject, and have
thought best to add nothing to the text.
Note E. p. 144.
Elder Jones has been called a quack in medi-
cine, because he practiced a secret in curing can-
cers, while his profession was that of a clergyman.
But he was no quack. As has been seen he en-
tered the practice of medicine in a regular way,
and practiced successfully for years before he en-
tered the ministry. Moreover he was a member
of the N. H. Medical Society, during his resi-
dence in that State. It must be allowed that he
applied a secret to the cure of a certain disease —
and it is generally understood among the faculty
in Massachusetts there is a law to that effect bind-
ing on the members of the State Medical Society —
that no one physician shall appropriate any discov-
ery to his personal benefit
Elder Jones had, or thought he had good rea-
sons for disregarding these rules. 1st. He was
not in re^Zar ^practice, and had withdrawn from
the Association of which he was a member. 2.
He obtained the secret in such a way that he could
not honorably or conscientiously divulge it. 3.
He could not suffer any one to die from neglect,
while he possessed the means of their restoration.
He never sought the practice, and although it
was a source of emolument to him he would gladly
have given it up, could he have done so honestly.
Before he died he committed the secret to his
family and to one or two others, I believe, but do
not know who they were.
It was indeed no quackery, but an effectual and
radical cure. Hundreds of cases came under his
care, and he very rarely failed to effect a cure
when he attempted.
Another evidence of his conscientiousness may
be given in this connexion. He made his charges
according to the ability of the cured to pay, and
whenever he thought one too poor to pay five dol-
lars he charged nothing for his services, which
were as fb lihfully rendered as if he had expected
the largest ,pay.
Nolt F. p. 121.
Hymns written for the Dedication of the Christian
Chapel, in Salem, 182S.
To thee who built creation's frame>
Who dost the stany arch sustain,
We consecrate this speck of earth —
To thee who gave creation birth.
To thee, who fills irameasur'd space.
We dedicate this humble place,
An earthly temple, to thy name,
To seek thy glory, spread thy fame.
As Moses came to Sinai's hill,
There to receive and do thy will,
Thus have we come to seek thy face ;
We wait the visits of thy grace.
From heaven, thy dwelling place on higfa,
Tarn thou, thine ever watchful eye ; i
Save us from sin, from death, from bdl, i
Under thy shadow let us dwell. i
Receiving truth like gentle rain, !
Here may thy ministers proclaim ;
The gospel in its power and love, !
Blest with thine influence from above. (
With hearts in love together knit,
Let saints in heavenly places sit,
While sinners, who are deaf and blind.
Salvation seek, salvation find.
Here let the prodigal return,
With bleeding heart bis follies mourn ;
Fly to his father's kind embrace,—
Music and joy shall fill ilte place.
Over repenting sinners born,
Joy like the brightness of the morn,
Angels in heaven, and saints shall sing,
In concert to their heavenly king.
Hail, princely Saviour, hail.
Bright sun of gospel day.
Thy kingdom shall prevail,
Under thy sceptre's sway ;
Thy radiant beams of glory shine.
In heavenly splendor all divine.
Upon this darken'd earth,
From east his glory shone,
When Angels sung his birth.
To shepherd's made him known ;
Star of the east, the wise men sought.
While they from thence their oflfrings brought.
Thy cheering rays of light,
Make darkness swiftly fly,
And give the clearest sight,
To paths which lead on high ;
Thy gen'rous warmth to us impart,
To melt this cold, this stony heart.
Immanuel, spread thy wings
Of dazzling glory wide,
192 APPENDIX. .
And as the king of kings,
Own us thy weary bride :
Under their shade, we'll seek-repose.
And sing the song that ne'er shall close*..
We'll sing thy boundless praise,
Of wisdom, power, and love,
And run the Christian race.
Till we arrive above j
We'll join with Saints, with Angels sing,.
The endfess grandeur of our king.
Wake every heart to praise.
Tune every voice to sound,
The joyful song of grace
Without a shore or bound ;
Let heaven's high arch the song resound^
Throughout the universal rounds..
The silver trumpet swells,
In honor to his name,
Ring loud ye golden bells,
To echo round his fame ;
Play golden harps, strike full-toned Tyre^
And raise your hallelujahs higher^
Elder Jones was quite a rhymer, and although
his poetry was none of the most harmonious and
flowing, he generally contrived to get the gist of
the matter into his vers(5s, and thus gave them a
heartiness well pleasing to such as were less alive
to critical hlemishes, than a want of tone. I shall
insert here a few pieces for the especial gratifica-
tion of some of his friends who have desired it,
rather than as an exhibition of his poetical talent.
Awake ! ye careless souls, awake ;
The worlds alluring charms forsake,
And of the gospel feast partake.
Say not, soul, now take tbine ease.
And live in pleasure, as you please ;
" Lest sudden death should on you seize.
Just like the sands, within the glass,
Tour days and moments, swidly pass,
And you are withVing like the grass ;
Improve the hours as swifl they fly.
And seek the Lord while be is nigb,
Lest in your sinful course yon die*
According to the gospel chart,
Come, give unto the Lord, your heart.
And you shall surely share a part.
Tis written in his sacred word,
Whoever calls upon the Lord,
His saving mercy shall record.
For Christ upon the cross, once bore.
The sins of men in purple gore,
The lost and wretched to restore.
The gospel and the spirit sound
Free grace and mercy all around,
Where e'er the sons of men are found.
To ask for mercy, be inclined —
By seeking you shall surely find,
Knock, and 't will open to your mind ;
I show you clear the gospel plan.
How God in Christ, with justice, can
Forgive and save poor sinful man.
A TEMPERANCE SONG,
Writlen A. D. 1820.
O, WHO would drink consuming fire
To gratify a foul desire.
Its promises are smooth and fair
Relief from pain and anj^ious care.
Deceitful, momentary ease !
Though for the present it doth please,
Yet in the end, worst of all foes,
T' will fill our bitter cup with woes.
It paints our face with fiery red.
Intoxicates and fools the head,
It palsies every active limb.
Makes mad and crazy, weak and slim.
It makes the eyes like furnace blazcj
And puts our senses in a maze,
Calls poverty with all her train.
Horror and darkness round us reign.
When in the tyrant's chair it rules.
Makes kings and beggars perfect fools ; ■
It has no power at all to save
The drunkard from his hopeless grave.
Turn from the charmer in the gh
With her enchantments bkl her pass.
Resist the tyrant's 1)eastly sway,
Nor longer tribute to him pay.
Come, break at once the fatal chain
That binds thee to that deathly train.
Cast off thy shackles — be a man
Once more, while yet you can.
I HAVE come out this beautiful mornin^^
To call you from ruiu's deep hrixik.
Why stand: ye here all the day scorn log ?
I fear in perdition you ?11 sink.
Come into the vineyard and labor,
For life, peace, and heatenly joy.
Of the Lord you will surely find favor,
And joys that are free from alloy.
And when life's day's work is all over
Your peony the master will give, '
From ruin's deep brink you '11 recover.
With angelfr m glory, to live.
So win ye the bright crown of glory
By Jesus is placed on your head ;
And sing heavenly anthems most holy,
By fountains of sweet pleasure led.
The Lamb in the midst will there lead you,
la pleasures unsullied and bright,
And lever he '11 watch o'er and feed yoa,
And kc^p you from sorrow or night.
Take the harp as an angel in glory,
To God and the Lamb give the praise.
In fulness of joy sing the story,
Through eternity's unending days.
He thos works up the well known Story of the
celebrated Dr. Young.
One summer's day he in the garden walked
And with two ladies courteously he talked.
To one he was most partially allied,
Who afkierwards became his blooming bride.
Those golden moments smoothly passed away
When at the gate, a servant thus did say,
' An honor'd guest expresses his desire
That from the garden you would just retire.'
' Go, tell his honor, I'm in paradise,
By two kind angels led, to make me wise,
I cannot at this highly favor'd time
Descend to lower, darker, rougher clime.'
These angels sought to send him to his guest,
In arguments persuasive did their best,
But to no purpose; he refus'd to hear,
To their remonstrance turned the deafest ear.
At length the case determin'd to decide,
Divided on the right and the left side,
Seize by each arm, they force him to the gate,
And left him to his saddened fate.
Confused, he stood a moment in despair,
But on the next assumed a pleasant air.
And bow'd and laid his hand upon his breast,
And thus to them his winning speech addressed;
" Thus Adam looked when from the garden driven,
And thus disputed orders sent from heaven.
But go he must, though yet, like me, was lothe,
Our fate the same, for angels drove us both.
Hard was his lot, but mine is more unkind,
H'lB Eve went with him, mine is left behind.**
LORD COME AND REVIVE US.
Written in a time of great declension of religion in
Portsmouth, N. H., March 3l8t, A. D. 1812.
Break Lord, our bondage break.
And let thy Spirit flow.
Our stubborn heaits now break.
Thy presence let us know.
That we may serve thee with our might.
And praise thy name with sweet delight
Lord, 'tis a time of drought —
O send refreshing rain,
With breezes from the south
Blow on our parched plain.
Let withered plants revive again,
And crown the hills with golden grain.
come the happy day.
Hunger and thirst we will
Until we hear thee say
" Your soul's desire V 11 fill."
Then converts ^nd old saints shall raise
With joyful hearts loud shouts of praise.
WRITTEN DURING THE WAR OF 1812.
How good and pleasant, 't is to see
All parties now unite
In forming one defensiv.e plea
To put our foes to flight.
United tlius we sure shall stand,
Our rights we shall maintain.
For this, Columbia's happy land,
The victory soon we'll gain.
Unto the hand that set us free,
God of hosts, we pray,
Secure our rights upon the sea.
Turn darkness into day.
Help us to vanquish on the land
A depredating foe,
And to the skill of thine own hand,
Our highest praise shall flow.
HOPE SUSTAINS ME.
Thistles, with briars and thorns
Are scattered in my way.
And Bashan's bulls with horns,
About me sometimes play.
Yet Giliad's bafm will heal the wounds
Received on these enchanted grounds.
Dark clouds and furious waves,
Roll high into my bark,
And ope in gaping graves;
The night is thick and dark.
But on that threat'ning swell of pride.
My Jesus walks to still the tide.
In cheering tones he speaks.
Bids me be not afraid,
The boisterous waves he breaks.
And they in peace are laid ;
All hush and silent is the storm,
And banished is the dread alarm.
Now Christ, our pilot, steers
Straight for the happy shore.
The promised land appears —
All dangers now are o'er.
Darkness and winds, have past away,
Safe glide we on our pleassnt way.
CALVARY. A Dialogue.
Come precious souls and let us take
A walk becoming you and me,
And whither, O my friend,
Shall we our footsteps bend.
To Calvary or Gethsemane ?
Calvary is a mountain high,
'T is much too hard a task for me,
And I had rather stay
In the broad and pleasant way,
Then to walk in the garden of 6ethsemane«
It would not appear such a mountain high.
Nor such task, dear sinner for thee.
If you dearly loved the man
Who first drew out the plan.
Of climbing the mountain Calvary.
1 had rather abide in this pleasant place^
My gay and merry friends to see ;
I'd tarry here awhile
As earthly pleasures smile.
Than to climb up the mountain Calvary.
Your gay companions must lie in the dust;
Their souls are bound to nusery ;
And if you ever stand
On Canaan's happy land
You must climb up the mountain Calvaiy.
I can see no pleasure in this way
And it is a lonely walk to me,
For I have heard them say
There are Lion«in the way;
And they lurk on the mountain Calvary.
O do not thus mistaken be,
There are no Lions in this way,
No vulture's eye hath seen,
Nor young Lion's whelp hath been
In the way that leads to Calvary.
O tarry not in all the plain.
Flee to the mountain that you may be
Safe from the burning shower
Which may come within an hour
And deprive you of climbing up Calvary.
Abraham's faith to me impart ;
Isaac's meditative heart ;
Jacob's wrestling prayer be mine \
Joseph's purity sublime ;
Moses' meekness may I know ;
Joshua's zeal on me bestow ;
Gideon's victory let me share ;
Samuel's faithfulness declare ;
David's sweet devotion flow ;
Isaiah's piety to know ;
Daniel's wisdom from above ;
John's unbounded perfect love;
Peter's ardent spirit feel ;
James' faith by works reveal ;
Stephen's rapture give in death ;
Mercy gracing my last breath;
Unwearied run like zealous Paul„
Win the prize and conquer all;
Mary's love may I possess ;
Lydia's tender beartedness ;
Like young Timothy, may I
Every sinful passion fly;
Lazarus*^ bapf)y portion share,
Shame and pain for Christ to bear;
Abel's righteousness I need,
That with Enoch I may .-peed
On my way and walk with God;
Shun like righteous Lot thy rod ;
Flee the tempests fiery blast ;
Safely land in heaven at last.
SEE THAT YE FALL NOT OUT BY
The way is straight our feet must run.
Since we have happily begun,
Let's follow on without delay.
Nor ever fall out by the way.
Press forward steady on our guard.
And if at times the way seems hard.
Then strive the more to watch and pray
Thafwe fall not out by the way.
If pelting storms upon us fall.
Then on our great deliv'rer call,
That by his grace we nevfr may
Stumble, or fall out by the way.
If mighty foes against us rise,
Forward we'll look to the great prize.
With sword and shield we 11 gain the day.
Nor ever fall out by the way.
If one cries, " here," and same, " io, there,"
Increase our dilligence in prayer,
Then we may resolutely say,
We '11 never fall out by the way.
Not by our own seeking we first met in love,
But as on the earth duty calls us to rove ;
As Adam saw Eve, and his heart was inclined,
So when each saw the other, affections combined.
Now mountains and valleys and plains outstretched
At present our persons completely divide,
Pure streams, and wide oceans, are rolling between —
Cold winters, sweet summers, and springs intervene.
But winters and summers pass by in swift pace,
And each cheering season rolls on in their race,
And soon bring the hour when we'll join hand and
As one in the Lord, until death shall us part.
By special assignment in twilight we meet.
To think of each other, and in spirit to greet.
To bow in our closets though far, far, away.
To offer our thanks, and for blessings to pray.
This hour alwviys lonely is still mingled with joy,
To bow down in secret is happy employ,
This happy devotion together we'll pay,
When space intervening has vanished away.
Of all unsoriptural names that are
In christian churches, claim'd so fair,
'Gainst them I enter my dissent ;
On Christ's sole name my mind is bent.
The church of Rome and England too.
Are names of men, which once were new ;
The highly boasted Baptist name.
And Methodist are all the same.
The Presbyterian, polite,
And Universalist so light ;
The honest Quaker, thee and thou,
Are merely names of men, I trow.
Disciple, follower, christian, friend.
For these I equallycontend ;
With every other scripture sound,
In gospel rule that can be found.
Altho' these names, I do reject,
Yet those who hold them I respect
As brethren in the Lord of life ;
So live in love and quit ail strife. /
My fellowship in Christ is bound
To all those souls where h>?e is found
Of every order, sect and name —
In Christ I count them all the same.
ON THE USES OF AFFLICTION*
Our heavenly Father's bve
Shines through afflictions day.
Tho' like a mournful dove
We wing our weary way,
It works for good,
The souls best food —
We'll bid it welcome then*
It sanctifies the heart ;
It purifies the gold ;
It serves the better part
In peace to us unfold.
Kiss then the rod ;
It is from God,
A token of his love.^
In Zion is his fire
To chasten the desire
And raise our spirits higher ;
Works out salvation,
And peace and glory brings.
There on the verge of time,
Triumphant faith we '11 chime.
happy thought sublime ;
When heaven's high arches ring
With halelujahs loud
Amid the shining crowd >.
Saying worthy is the Lamb.
This is evidently the last poetical effort of Elder
Jones. It is almost illegible, and is not finished.
It is delightful to see how to the last his " thoughts
were in heaven and his conversation there.^'
THE HORROWilR WILL iiE CHARGED
THE COST OF OVERDUE NOTIFICATION
IF THIS ROtJIt IS NOT RETURNED TO
THE LIBRARY ON OR HEFORE THE LAST
DATE STAMPED HELOW.
■ 3 2044 086 383 692 ^H