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short history will be entertaining to all who read it, and that Christians of every denomination, who love God and his cause, will by reading it discoyer that the Lord has done great things for me and by me, as an instrument in his hands in bringing many from nature's darkness to marvellous light, and from the power of sin and Satan'to God. To his name be all the glory.
I believe it my duty to go among denominations where a door is opened to preach. I firmly believe that God has a people among aļl denominations of the earth, by whatever name called. Those that are born again are all made to drink into one spirit, St. John says, they that have their robes washed in the blood of the Lamb shall come from every people and nation under heaven, and worship before him; and every nation and people that fear God and work righteousness, will be accepted of him in the great and final day. I hope that all who purchase this book, will read it through, and preserve it for others, whom it may benefit, when its author is no more,
CHAPTER I. My birth and parentage-Exercises of mind at different times until I was converted,
I was born April 15, 1795, in the town of Middleborough, Plymouth County, Mass. I am of the seventh generation from Philip Sherman, one of the first settlers on Rhode Island. He and a few others purchased the whole of the island of the Indians. He was, as I am told, a Friend, and many of his descendants are of that order at the present time. My grandfather was a speaker in the Friends' meeting. My father married out of the society, and for this was excluded. My mother belonged to a Congregational church, and also one brother; and one brother, three sisters and myself, joined a church of the Christian denomination. My father had ten children, six sons and four daughters. One brother and one sister have finished their mortal life. I am the fourth son. At the age of six years, from what I saw in the works of creation, I was led to conclude that there was a Supreme Being, who was the author of all things. Being early taught to read, I learned that his character was holy, and that I was to appear before him, to give an account of my conduct in this world. At the early age of six years, I resolved to live a good life, and do the will of my heavenly Father, and thereby get to that place called heavAt that time I told my little companione,
I would never swear, nor tell a lie ; that if they did, they would go to that wicked place called hell. The first sin I ever committed, for which I felt condemned, was in telling a wrong story to my mother to escape correction.
A deep sense of this sin filled my mind with horror.-I thought God was angry with me, and could obtain but little sleep through the night, and my hopes of heaven were blasted, and I view, ed myself a sinner, and endeavoured to pray God to forgive me,
Nothing special occurred from this time, until I was eleven years of age. I then had a Femarkable exercise of mind. One day when I was at work in the garden, these words came to my mind accompanied by the Spirit Jesus Christ oame into the world to save sinners, to save all from sin. It was to me as though a voice from heaven had proclaimed it in my ears. I stood some time in astonishment, as I pever had such feeliņgs before. It appeared as though I saw the most innocent and lovely character that mortal eyes ever beheld, going about doing all the good- in his power, to the sons of men, treated with all the cruelty and contempt which it was possible for wicked men ta manifest toward him, and was led up the hill of Calvary to suffer the awful pains of death on the cross. When I saw and meditated un, these things, I wept before the Lord ; I saw myself a poor sinner, and that Christ had died for me, and unless he forgave my șins, I must perish forever. I cast my eyes toward heaven, and all the firmament appears ed changed to dark yellow; the sun did not appear to shine with his usual effulgence. All pature before me, seemed to be in deep mourning. This frame of mind continued for some time. I had seasons of weeping in sccret, for several days. Soon after I had a desire to hear : preaching, and the first opportunity I went to hear Elder Simeon Combs, a Baptist preacher, then settled at the south of the town. Shortly after l entered the meeting-house, he named þis text from these words. If the righteous scarcely are saved, where shall the sinner and the ungodly appear? It seemed as though he directed his discourse to me, I trembled and wept much, realizing that with all the rest of the human family, I must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and hear the sentence from him, depart ye cursed, if we are not prepared to meet him at this meeting. Many were convicted, and a glorious work of God commenced and continued through the season. My mind was greatly exercised through all that season of reformation. About one year from this time, some turned from their religjon, and I almost began to think it all imaginary, and that there was no such thing as reļigion, and that the bible was written to deceive people for none had ever returạed from the world of spirits, to inform us if there was a heaven or a hell; and if religion was a reality, why did not its professors live up to it? And thus I halted for a long time between two opinions. When in my sixteenth year, the Lord called me again. One of my intimate friends and associates was taken away by death; a youth by the name of Stephen Briggs, whom I loved as a bosom friend; I had reason to believe him a Christian. When the affecting news came to me that he was dead, I thought that he had gone to heaven, and if I had been called, where should I have been ? Solemo question. I have no hope beyond the grave. Lord have mercy on my poor soul, was the language of my heart. If I am not prcpared for death, this young man and I must be .parted at the judgment day; we are now parted. We have taken sweet counsel together, we have gone to the house of God in company, and O must we be parted forever. I went to his funeral deeply affected, and with trembling steps approached the side of his coffin, to view for the last time, this lovely youth, who so often had met me with a smile ; but ghastly death had changed his lovely countenance, and I shall hear his pleasant voice no more. Shortly after the death of this young man, Eld. Briggs, a Baptist preacher, came into the neighbourhood, and preached at the school-house; from this text: Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them.
The discourse then delivered by Eld. Briggs, had a powerful effect on my feelings. I wept much through the meeting, but was unwilling to let it be known that I wanted religion, and so grieved the Spirit, that in a few months my conviction again left me. At the age of sixteen, I went to the village of Taunton, to serve as an apprentice with William & Henry Washburn, to learn the cabinet-making business. I