Friday, April 22, 2016

The Journal of Joseph Craig - Chapter 9

One of the great byproducts of the Internet and the digital age is its working in saving great books in history that are at risk of being lost. In my effort to research my ancestors who were ministers like myself, this work has become even more prescient to me. One of my ancestors (a Great uncle) was a man named Joseph Craig who was among the Traveling Church who came to Kentucky in 1781 fleeing Anglican persecution in Virginia. In the coming weeks, I want to offer his journal which gives a personal and unique insight in pioneer American Baptists life. Thanks to the Internet, is story is being preserved for future generations.

February 12, 1813

I have been sick in all about eighteen months. Last August I was very ill indeed. -I thought God had given me faith, and a sense of pardoning love, and I was going to his rest.

One told me I was not like to die then. I felt sorry.--In my sickness, I thought I felt the sorrows of hell. Often dead, sick about my heart and often bordering on despair, and often hoping for mercy and thinking "we are saved by hoping and if we hope for what we see not, then do we wait patiently for it." I have traveled on till the 12th of February 1813. These sorrows all to work for my good. My temptations seem to make me seek for the good shepherd--any sickness, pains and miseries, killed me to time things, and caused me to seek a better country. Now February 12, 1813. I have been sick about six weeks this spell; and last night talking to a friend, after some small comfort all day, the Lord was pleased abundantly to satisfy my soul.

But how did my heart melt and tear flow; I thought all I asked the blessed Lord for my life was a full assurance; which he gave me-an assurance of his love, and grave and favor, a full manifestation, which he gave me, to my soul's satisfaction. Now I thought I would not fear to meet death, nor the miseries of death. It seemed as if he said, Your day's work will do for me; I will receive it for a day's work will do for several months before the eleventh day of this month. I said, if it please thee. Lord, give me a full manifestation of thy grace. And if it would please the Lord to I would willingly lay down my life. Having so given me a full manifestation and feeling of his love, many doubts about my salvation-having a heavy heart and sickness therewith. But, as I talked with one about midnight, the eleventh day, it pleased God to reveal his goodness to my soul: I was filled with his love, O! that joy flowed into my heart. My heart seemed to melt and my tears did flow and I did rejoice unspeakably. This 13th I feel the same and have continued to feel that love mostly ever since believing. I am safe and happy and that my salvation seems quite sure and safe, which makes me rejoice. As I often said for forty-seven years past, if I won this race, I was eternally made. My dear brethren, believe about this unspeakable goodness to poor me. I thought I was done with this world, and time things. I said with joy come death and welcome. I believe I had a great desire to depart and be with the Lord.

For more:
"Esteem Reproach" by Harper & Jacumin: A Review
"Baptists and Persecution in Virginia": A Lecture by Steve Weaver
Elijah Craig: A Biography Written By James B. Taylor 
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