Memoir of the Life of our late venerable & happily departed Br Peter Jacob Planta, who entered into joy of his Lord, at Ockbrook, May the 6th 1815, in the 94th year of his age, written by himself.
I was born at Jonkioping a town in Sweden, Dec.r the 5th, old stile in the year 1721. My Father’s name was Jacob Planta & my Mother’s maiden name Martha Ruda. They were both of the Lutheran Religion. I had two sisters, the elder was born during my Mother’s marriage to her first husband, whose name was Peter Hilling. Our Parents spared no pains in giving us a religious & genteel education; we had morning & evening prayers in the family, to which the servants were also admitted. My dear Mother would often read in the bible, & after prayers, used to relate to us pleasing scriptural histories, especially such as had a reference to the life, sufferings & death of our dear Lord & Saviour, & also his conversations
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with his disciples & some of the persecutions which the latter had to endure for his sake. On such occasions I used to sit in her lap, & sometimes asked what reward the disciples had for their faithfulness to our Saviour: to which she replied:
“They are richly rewarded for they are now exceeding happy with Him in his heavenly kingdom, singing his praises, & adoring him for ever! I said with tears, O my dear Mamma, I wish that I had lived at the time our Saviour was upon earth, I also would have served him & suffered for his sake. My Mother replied weeping, my dear child, if you had lived at that time you might perhaps have been of the number of those who cried out, crucify him! crucify him! I said, O no, I never would, but I should have loved him dearly. She then blessed me, & prayed the Lord to keep me as his property, & to preserve me throughout my future life from sin, & the seductions of this evil world, until I should be with him in his heavenly kingdom, & then added that all those who loved & served him here, would share in the same blessings which his disciples did. – This made a deep impression on my mind, & was the first time when I [?]
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but to have felt a real & tender love & attachment in my heart to our dear Saviour, & in the sequel I always wished & prayed that I might become & remain a true child of God. When I was about 4 years of age, I experienced a remarkable preservation of my life. Having ran out of the house unobserved, with a spoon in my hand, I came to Lake Wetter, which was not far distant from our house, & there being a broad plank laid over the water, I got to the end of it, & was sitting on it, playing with the water, & throwing it up with the spoon, admiring the drops which appeared to me like pearls.
A woman who came to fetch water, called out to me to take care that I did not fall into the water, to whom I replied: I will not fall in, but she had scarcely returned to her house before she thought that she heard a plunge in the water, upon which she set down her pail, & ran towards the lake. Perceiving me in the water, she ventured in, & with difficulty caught hold of me by the hair of my head, & drawing me out, she laid me across the plank, believing me to be dead. She then carried me home to my Parents, who, with the whole family were
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greatly alarmed, & exceeding distressed, as they could perceived no signs of life in me. I was however put into a warm bed, & after some time, while they were lamenting over me, I came to myself & said dear Mamma don’t cry for me, I am here, & to the great joy of the whole family I recovered. As I increased in years, I experienced several preservations of my life, having been in danger of losing it, both by fire & water & once escaped being murdered. My Parents being desirous to give me a good education, procured a private Tutor in the house, until I went to a large school, in which I continued till my Father’s happy departure, which took place in my 10th year.
My Mother’s intention was that I should continue my studies, wishing me to be a Minister of the Gospel, which also accorded with my inclination. However a Relation persuaded my Mother to put me apprentice to an eminent Surgeon & Apothecary in Gothenburg. Here I had a favorable opportunity to learn Pharmacy & Chemistry, & as my master had very extensive practice, & employed me to visit his patients, I gradually began to practice myself. & gave considerable satisfaction to my employer.
Having been awakened to a sense of
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my lost condition, I was for several years much concerned for my salvation, yea I may say ever since I was a child, the Holy Ghost carried on his work in my heart, by which I was prevented from many sinful things, altho’ I did frequently fall into sin, repenting & sinning alternately, so that when I would do good, evil was present with me. I felt frequently a great desire to separate myself from the world, & used to walk in the fields, where I could be alone, praying to our dear Saviour, in which I took great delight. At such times I felt much pleasure in singing, praises & thankgiviing God; & nothing afforded me greater joy, than to thank our Saviour for the many preservations I had experienced from him, when in danger of my life. However I also, alas! often forgot myself, & gave way to levity when playing with my companions. But the good spirit of God frequently reminded me to seek the One thing needful. I felt a strong desire to be a child of God, & when I was invited with my Parents to entertainments, at which was music & dancing, I felt afterwards, great uneasiness, &, like one who is sick, not understanding properly the accusations of my conscience. When I was about 13 years of age I had a great desire to enjoy the Holy Comn, for which purpose
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I underwent an examination, & was encouraged to partake. The first time I had the favor to approach the table of the Lord, it was with fear & trembling, lest I should receive it unworthily, but at the enjoyment of this divine repast, I felt exceedingly happy, yea more so than I can express. In the sequel, whilst the Holy Ghost was operating upon my heart, I frequently examined myself, fearing I was not yet a child of God, & yet earnestly desiring to be one. Such was the state of my mind when I came to Gothenburg. I experienced, at first much attention from the family in which I resided as an Apprentice, so long as I conformed to every thing in it. However the great concern I had for my salvation & the thought of not being a child of God, gave me much uneasiness. I was always glad whenever I could be alone, & pour out the desire of my heart before God, & frequently prayed in stillness to him. I also resolved to withdraw from all worldly amusements & to spend the little time I had to myself, spiritual exercises, longing to be assured that I was a child of God. Sometimes I arose in cold frosty nights, prostrating myself before God, & praying most fervently unto him, but it afforded me no relief. I thought then that my sorrow for my sins was not yet great
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enough. I often repeated the 10 Commandments, in order to see & feel my deviations & sins, but as I could not cry & weep like David, who all the night made his bed to swim, & watered his couch with his tears, I thought my grief was not intense enough.
But all my endeavours were in vain, because I erred, in supposing that if I could but weep much over my sins & repent of them, then the Lord would receive me as his child, & comfort me. I was convinced of the all sufficiency of our Lord & Saviour, suffering for sinners, but thought I must be thus qualified before I could receive this blessing. I became now very zealous, frequently reproving others for sin, & my singular conduct brought on me much persecution & hatred, which however I gladly suffered, bearing all with patience & never resenting any ill treatment, but on the contrary did such persons all the service I could, & whenever opportunities offered, spoke to them concerning our Saviour.
Two persons in the family where I lodged being awakened to a sense of their lost condition, one of them caused me much trouble & uneasiness, on account of his fears & unbelief, thinking he could not be forgiven. He fell at last into a melancholy, frequently hiding himself,
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& even attempted to take away his life so that he appeared in a state of mental derangement.
I used my utmost endeavours to nurture him, fearing that in case he should commit suicide a great dishonor would be brought on the gospel. One time he sent me a message withof his last farewell, having locked himself up with a view to self-destruction. This caused me unspeakable distress, & tho’ I was at that time engaged in very urgent business, & in company with several persons, yet I took the key of the cellar, ran down & locked the door, & kneeling down by a hogshead of turpentine, I wept & prayed most fervently to our Saviour, (with great confidence), that he would preserve the poor man’s life, & it seemed to me as if I heard a voice saying – Be comforted, no evil shall hurt him. This I believed, & arose, giving thanks to God my Saviour, & returned cheerfully to my business, till about 12 o’clock at night, being uneasy [strikeout] in my mind, I removed some boards & other things, when I found him alive & feeling thankful to God for his preservation, I asked him why he had not performed executed his intention, to which he replied, that when he was about to attempt it, he feel, & all his strength was taken from him, so that he could neither move a limb, nor speak a word, till I came. I spoke comfortably to him, encouraging him to take his refuge to our Saviour & conducting him to his room, I prayed with him, & in the sequel he grew better. The other person
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who was awakened was the Cook, who died suddenly, but very happily. She had been much beloved by her Mistress, & her Mistress’ Mother, & her sudden death caused the old Lady to swoon away. I was then, (altho I had been much despised & derided on account of religion,) called upon to speak comfort to the old lady, & as soon as she recovered, she took me by the hand & begged my pardon, adding: “I have been the cause of the persecution you have suffered.” I replied, ‘I have no occasion to forgive you, for you have done me more good than harm, since it has caused me to cleave closer to my Saviour, who will hear the prayers of all repenting sinners. Thus her hatred & persecution were turned into great love & kindness. About this time I attended the preaching of the Revd Mr Lindberg in Gothenburg. He observed in his sermon, that there were several kinds of people, who were hindered from enjoying the happiness which the Lord would willingly bestow upon them, if they would but come in the way & order of his appointment. Among one of these sorts of well meaning souls, I found myself so completely described as if I had opened my whole mind to him. He remarked that some people thought that if they could arrive at a certain degree of excessive grief & anguish, & could shed repenting tears night & day, that then the Lord
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would have mercy upon them, forgive them all their sins, & be gracious unto them. But, said he, this is worth nothing, for nothing is meritorious on our part. Nothing but alone the meritorious holy life, bitter sufferings, bleeding & dying of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ, his being wounded for our transgressions, & his sorrows & anguish until death, this alone is meritorious, & whoever can believe this, will obtain mercy & forgiveness of all his sins.
He added – My dear Friend, whoever thou art & wherever thou art standing or seated in this place – Come with me, & let us mount up by faith to Mount Calvary, & behold the Cross of Christ, the suffering Lamb of God, view his wounds, his thorny crown, & all his torments by faith. It was then, that with a happy astonishment I truly beheld, as for me, my Saviour bowing his head, & giving up his spirit into the hands of his dear heavenly Father, & in that moment all my uneasiness & heaviness, which had tormented my conscience forsook me, & I was filled with such joy & happiness, as not to be able to describe it, & I heard no more what the Preacher said, but rejoiced in stillness, thanking my dear Saviour, being fully assured that he had forgiven me all
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My sins. I returned home filled with Gratitude & entering my chamber, I
Locked the door, fell prostrate before him, & offered him the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
I felt as new born, but this lasted only a Day & a half, when a person treated me ill, Which caused anger to arise within my breast, Altho’ I did not reply one word, yet it caused Me to lose this impression of happiness, & Plunged me into distress, so that I could Rest, fearing i had lost the grace Bestowed upon me, & should be lost. I called Upon a minister,to whom I opened my mind, & informed him of my situation & grief. He Comforted me with these words: “My dear friend, The Apostle Peter once asked the Lord Jesus, How often he should forgive his brother? Till Seven times?” To which our Lord replied: I say not unto thee until 7 times, but Until 70 times 7. Now if our good Lord, Commanded a sinful man to forgive his Brother so often, what must not he himself Do, when a poor sinner repents, & prays To him for forgiveness, since he is the founTain of all goodness, grace & mercy!” I asked Him if I might pray to our Saviour to Forgive me? To which he replied: Certainly, for as often as we fall we Must rise & go to our merciful Saviour, who will in no wise cast out Those who come to him. I asked
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& may I go to him whenever I want comfort? to which he answered, By all means. This proves a great comfort to me & it caused me to feel quite happy, because our Lord would be so gracious I followed his advice & found comfort. Feeling myself one time exceeding unworthy, so that I durst not venture to go to the Holy Comm, I called upon a pious Clergyman to whom I opened my whole mind. He comforted me by saying: My dear Friend, even such as you are, the Lord Jesus calls to come, for he says: “Come until me all ye that labor & are heavy [taken?] & I will give you rest; take my yoke upon you & [labor?] of me for I am meek & lowly in heart, & ye shall find rest unto your souls. He admonished me not to absent myself, adding that he intended the following Sunday to partake of the H. Comn himself & that if I would attend, the Lord would certainly bless & comfort me. hereupon I ventured with trembling, & during the participation experienced inexpressible joy & comfort. During the time when I experienced endured much persecution, I felt a great desire to become acquainted with a genuine child of God, if there were any in this world, & often prayed that the Lord would bring it about. And was once walking in a private [?]
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and weeping, I perceived a hill on the top of which was a cavity, which when I perceived, I rejoiced, thinking this a suitable place, in which I could pour out my whole soul before the Lord, unobserved as I thought by any one. I embraced this opportunity with gratitude, & kneeling down, prayed with fervor to our Saviour, mentioning to him all my concerns, intreating him with great earnestness, if there was any genuine child of God in the world, he would bring him to me, or me to him, in order that we might become acquainted, during which prayer I felt richly comforted with his divine presence. Whilst I was at prayer, it happened that 2 persons belonging to the Brn’s Conn came that way, & when they arrived near the summit of the hill, they heard the sound of a voice, & the one observed to the other, that there was a poor sinner praying to our Saviour. Let us (said they,) not disturb him. One of them however, came softly & unperceived by me, to the summit, & knew me, as I was in a public line of business. I did not, at that time, know that there was such a people as the United Brn, nor even that there were any awakened in Gottenburg who were so near to me. The above 2 Brn persons acquainted the Brn on their return, what they had observed.
Some days after, a certain Bn, who was a gentleman’s gardener, & who was in the habit of coming to our house, & supplying us with
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medicinal herbs, began to notice me in a manner he had never done before, & at last invited me to pay him a visit. I thanked him, but excused myself with observing that I had no time to spare, & if I had any I knew how to make a better use of it; for I [franed?] to his enticed to enter into worldly amusements. However he came in the sequel to visit me occasionally, & one Sunday called a little before service time, on purpose that he might be with me alone. When all were gone to Church, he said to me, My Friend, I believe you to be a person who loves our Saviour, & am another, would it not be well if we were better acquainted? I was struck with astonishment, & explained: What! are you a child of God? he answered with a friendly mien, Yes. I said: then the Lord has heard my prayers. I rejoiced exceedingly, fell about his neck & wept for joy. He said: Will you, my Friend, come & see me now. I replied yes, that I will with all my heart, & God willing this day. He then gave me a ticket that I might not be hindered by the Porter when entering his Garden. After divine service (having requested leave,) I set off, & walking there a large ground, on a broad foot path, I perceived a Gentleman’s carriage, stopping
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in the high road, & the Gentleman & his servant getting out. They got over the fence & ran towards me. Altho, I might have easily ran away I stopped, thinking that I was not on the right road, alth’ it appeared to me like a public path. When the Gentleman came up to me, he immediately pulled off my cloak, & gave it in anger to his servant, adding who gave you leave to walk here?
I replied humbly that I had not known I was trespassing, & begged pardon, while at the same time I unbuttoned my coat, with a few to give him that also, calling to mind our Saviour’s words: Him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also; upon which his anger subsided. I then asked permission to return, but he said, “As you have come so far you may proceed. He refused however to take my coat, but kept my cloak, upon which we parted. When I arrived at the garden & had shown my ticket, I was admitted & going up to the house, I knocked at the door but when it was opened, I saw many persons in the house; & thinking they were worldly-minded people I shut the door in haste, & returned into the garden weeping. My friend followed me, & asked the cause of my weeping? I replied that I was exceedingly sorry that I was deceived, for if he were a child of God, he would not have such a number
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of people with him: He answered: But what will you say, when I inform you that all these persons are children of God, Come & see. I said, that I could not have believed there were so many Children of God in the whole world.
Having entered the house & standing at the door, I asked with surprise, if all present were children of God, which was answered in a friendly manner in the affirmative. I said with tears of joy, then I am not worthy to be among you. However they asked me to sit down & they would communicate some written accounts from the Brs Congn. I said, is there indeed a Congn of Brn existing in our times, like the Congns in the times of the Apostles? They replied: yes – I said: Then I wish to live in such an one, to which they answered, if it was the will of our Saviour that I should, he would bring it to pass. In this manner I got acquainted with the Brn & after this interview longed to attain my wish, but could not accomplish it for several years. –
A considerable time after my apprenticeship was expired[?], it happened that Frederic the 1st King of Sweden, visited the city of Gothenburg, & his Physician Count Wigan[?] lodged in our house,
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by whom interest, a short time after, an offer was made me to be employed in the Royal Apothecary’s shop in Stockholm, where all the medicines for the King & Royal Family were prepared, as also for many of the Nobility. This changed pleased me much, particularly as many Brn were in Stockholm, & set off, altho’ my employer was sorry to part with me. On the journey I got acquainted with the King’s chaplain, who very kindly invited me to travel in his Carriage, & desired his gen+ to travel in my small carriage, & thus we arrived safe & well in Stockholm.
In this city, I frequently visited the patients of Dr Vigand, who treated me very kindly, & had also an opportunity of visiting the Brn. Altho I had it very agreeable, yet I longed much to live in a Congn of the Brn in Germany, but by the advice of the Brn in Stockholm, I continued there in my employment several years, until my desire grew so strong that I set off in the year 1767 from Stockholm, & arrived July 15th the same year in Herrnhaag. The daily word of that day was, God is with thee in
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all that thou dost. Gen: 21. 22. At first objections to my continuance in this place were made on account of there being no prospect of employing me.
However I began a manufactory of Chocolate which answered so well that I not only had employment myself, but could employ others also. Having in the sequel obtained permission to be an inhabitant of the place, I was recd the same year on Dec. 31 with 49 Brn into a solemn manner a member of the Brn’s Congn during a most blessed feeling of the Lord’s presence.
March 25. 1748, I had the favor to partake for the 1st time with the same of the body & blood of our dear Lord in the holy sacrament, which proved a great refreshment & blessing to my hand. In 1750, I went by commission, to care for the sick at Lindheim, & the following year accompanied Br Lykefelt[?], who was sick, on a journey to Barby. The night previous to our arrival at Eisenach, we had both the same dream, viz: that he fell out of the carriage, but our dreams differed in this, that he dreamt that he was killed, & I dreamt that he fell into my arms.
This dream was repeated 3 times, at which we grew alarmed, apprehending
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some danger awaited us. We arose from bed, & recommended ourselves to the protection of our merciful Saviour, & were greatly comforted, feeling his divine presence with us, & then went to bed again. Early in the morning, we proceeded on our journey, & it being cold, I got out of the carriage to walk, in [?] to get warm, & not recollecting our dreams, I attempted to get into it again, when the wheel went one a store, Br Lykefet fell out, & I caught him in my arms, by which I was thrown down with him, & which probably prevented the wheel going over him, & neither of us received any hurt, for which we were very thankful to our dear Lord, & arrived safe at safe Barby June 22d – In the year 1751, I went with a number of children to Herrnhut, & from thence to Hennersdorf. I followed here[?], as also in Niskey & other German Congns my medical profession.
After minding in various settlements of the Brn on the Continent, I arrived Nov. 4th 1751 in England, & having spent some time in London arrived Jan 1 22d 1752, at Fulneck in Yorkshire. Here I assisted the late Br Hurlock in his surgical & chymical employ, & when he moved to London
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I succeeded him. In the year 1754, I had the favor to attend the Provincial Synod of the Brn held at Lindsey house, which proved of great use & blessing to me.
April 10th 1755, I married my late dear wife, whose maiden name was Lier June 20th I kept my first public address to the Congn on the text: Whosoever, therefore shall confess me before man, him will I confess before my Father which is in Heaven. Matt 10 32.
Having recd & accepted a call to serve the mission in Jamaica, as also the late Br John Brown, we went, Jan 1-2. 1759, on board the Dispatch Captn Carter at Gravesend, & set sail in the morning, but were obliged to cast anchor in the evening. The day proving very stormy, caused us, & several other Passengers to be sick, & we were obliged to be at anchor a fortnight, but spent our time, while at in the Downs, in a blessed manner, reading the harmony of the 4 Gospels, & enjoying the presence of the Lord, whilst singing in fellowship his praise. The 20th early in the morning, a signal was made for the fleet to get under weigh. We were about 250 vessels in Co, besides small craft, & about noon we passed by Dover with a favorable wind, & the 21st cast anchor off Portsmouth, we employed our time in writing to our friends in
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London. The 23d early, our ship’s crew attempted to seize a boat, & leave the vessel, the mate having offended them, & alleging they were too few in number to navigate the vessel, however the Captain restored order, & procured several additional hands on board; about 11p.m. we proceeded with a favorable breeze, but the following day, the weather becoming boisterous, we grew very sick. During the night, 2 ships ran foul of each other, & one of them received considerable damage, & was obliged to put back. The 25th we were becalmed, but the following day the wind rose very high, however I recovered so far that I could keep out of bed, for which I was very thankful. The 30th we were driven to the Irish coast; & entered the harbor of Kinsale, where we went on shore, & as our Captain apprehended we should have a tedious passage, he advised us to lay in more provisions. My wife & I therefore went to a shop to purchase what was needful.
The Master & Mistress who were elderly people, inquired if we had come with the fleet from London, to which we replied that we had. They said : May God forbid! I asked why? They added, we appeared very unsuitable for Jamaica, since none but such whose character was bad went to that Island, & they
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would advise us to relinquish the voyage, & as I was in the medical line, they wished we would reside with them, & they would lodge & board us, & as they had many friends in the Town who would be glad to employ me, I should soon have plenty of practice, or if we preferred returning to London, they would send us free of expense thither in one of of their own vessels, which would sail in a few days — Thanking them for their kindness to strangers, as we were to them, we replied that it was our intention to proceed. They asked, what could induce us to proceed in such a step? I added, that altho’ I might probably practice physic & surgery in that Island, yet my chief design was, to preach the gospel to the Negro slaves & endeavour to be instrumental in turning them from darkness to light, & from the power of Satan unto God their Saviour. They replied — Then go in the name of God, for this is a good work, & we should be sorry to hinder it.
April 18th, we got sight of Jamaica, having been 5 months on board, & were truly glad, when on the 19th about noon, we cast anchor in the harbor of Port Royal, we hired a boat, & proceeded to Kingston, & landed about 3 miles from Carmel. Colonel Brook & his Lady met us, & bid us welcome, inviting us to dine at their house, & sent us in their carriage to Carmel, where we
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met with a truly cordial reception from our Brn & Srs, & who with us rejoiced at our arrival, & thanked our merciful Lord for his gracious preservation on our voyage.– “In this Island our late Brother served both in his medicinal capacity, & in the Mission, as a devoted servant of the Lord, spending his time & talents for that Saviour, whom he truly loved, & in whom he had found pardon, praise & eternal life. In those Diaries which he kept during his abode in that Island, it appears that he was earnestly solicitous to promote the happiness of those souls committed to his care, & that during his services there, he endured not only many hardships, but also escaped many dangers, but it was apparent that none of these things moved him, neither counted he his life dear unto himself, so that he might finish his course with joy, & the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus Christ, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. A few extracts out of his diaries will suffice to show his state of heart & mind. He writes thus: “By degrees I got also my choice of sufferings, but which, in due Times my Saviour terminated, & which He enabled me to bear with practice. It was a delight to me to serve my Dearest Saviour, which I did in preaching
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his Gospel in various places in Jamaica both to so called Christians & Heathens.
I feel truly thankful to my Saviour, who always comforted me where I met with afflictions, & strengthened & upheld me, when fatigued in body & in mind. For I had to ride out both in the day & night time, in attending the sick, which wearied me often to such a degree, that I was ready to faint. My gracious Lord, however supported me at such times, & in such a manner, that I cannot recollect even once to have ref?
At my situation. In the time of Rebellion among the Negroes, when many white people lost their lives, I never took any weapons of defence with me when I rode out, altho advised by many to do so, & yet I always escaped unhurt to my own astonishment, I generally replied to such advice, I trust in the Lord my God who can preserve me in all danger, & this confidence he never put to shame, blessed be his holy name.
I will have to relate, many divers instances, several proofs of the gracious, care & preservation, which I have experienced, & record them to the praise & glory of my deliverer & Saviour.
Travelling once in an extensive, woody, & mountainous place, with a view to
visit the sick on an estate called One Eye Estate & feeling very happy. I rode slowly, singing some edifying hymns. My servant rode up to me saying, Master is truly happy, to which I replied, I am; but I was not aware of the great danger to which I was exposed, as several runaway slaves, who had turned robbers, were just before us, in pursuit of an Officer, whom they intended to murder & rob, & who arrived a little before us me at this Estate, quite exhausted with fear & weariness.
A number of soldiers who were just exercising asked me at my arrival, how I had escaped the Robbers? & when I informed them that I had seen none, they could scarcely believe me, declaring they had seen them enter the wood from when I came.
Another time I arrived at an old building which had been uninhabited for many years, & which was situated upon an high hill, in which I took shelter from the rain. A number of robbers had just left this building, & the last man out when I entered it, being alarmed on seeing others coming up the hill who had been taken prisoners.
I thanked the Lord for this gracious interposition, & when I arrived at Colonel Armstrong’s house, I found him & his family standing in the Piazza looking out for me in great anxiety, fearing
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I might have fallen into the hands of the Robbers. They all rejoiced at my escape, as the rebellious Negroes had committed much mischief in that neighborhood, the preceeding night. The Colonel wished to prevail upon me to stay with him all night, but I declined his kind offer, & returned to my abode at [Edens?] in the evening, without receiving any molestation, & was glad to find that my wife had received no injury, altho’ the Rebels had passed by my house during my absence. Some of them had been that night in our Plantation, but altho our house was situated on a lovely eminence, about the distance of a mile from any other habitation, yet our gracious Lord preserved us; & I could visit my patients, without ever being hurt. “[a] Have served the Lord in the Mission in Jamaica, for near 22 years they returned to Europe in company with Br & Sr Mack & Br & Sr Smalling. They left Jamaica in the month of May 1780 & had an agreeable passage to England, arriving the latter end of July at Portsmouth, from whence they proceeded to London, & from whence our late Br & his wife proceeded to Fulneck, to visit their children, who were in the school for education. They arrived in the month of October in Oakbrook, where our late Brother assisted in preaching the gospel, & entered upon his medicinal profession. He was universally beloved & respected, both within
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& without the circle of the rn’s Congns. His genuine humility, fervor of love to his Saviour, unshaken reliance upon his all sufficient sacrifice, & his cordiality & amiable deportment, were truly edifying: & it was only necessary to know him to love & esteem him.
His late Wife departed into a happy eternity in Oakbrook on Decr the 17th 1793. His daughter Benigna came from Fulneck, to keep his home, & care for her aged Parent, & which she did with much faithfulness: when however, her state of health was such that she could no longer attend upon her dear Father as formerly, & she informed him of it, He folded his hands & explained — “Then my dear Lord take me first.” It was on Thursday May the 4th when he was as well as usual, that his daughter, feeling her extreme weakness, had for the first time made him fully sensible that her ability & not her love failed; he then uttered that fervent request to be first taken, & he was that very evening struck for death whilst his daughter was absent at the Sister’s Festival to which she had been carried in a chair, & which was the last meeting she attended; her Father departing on the saturday, & herself on the Wednesday following.
He lived in a love communion of soul with his Redeemer, & after increas-
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sing age & infirmities obliged him to relinquish his medical profession altogether, he enjoyed a sweet sabatic rest, in his retirement, delighting to speak of what the Lord had done for his soul, & always discovering that love to Jesus, which flows from a sense of his pardoning love. Several years back, his recollection began gradually to fail him, & his mental powers grew weaker, but his soul continued alive in those great & momentous subjects upon which he rested all his hopes for present & eternal salvation. He was for some time, obliged to take to his bed, being exceedingly debilitated, & was accustomed to say, “I am well, only very weak, I shall go to my dear Saviour, in his own good time.”
He was sensible to the last, & when visited by Br Franklin a little before his departure, he stretched forth his arms in a most affectionate manner towards him & said: “Pray with me.” He was then observed to be engaged with his Redeemer, in whom he had an unshaken confidence, & was heard to say in broken accents, “Ye are come unto Mount Zion” — Peace & serenity appeared in his countenance, & nothing seemed to disturb his last moments, his happy soul took flight into the presence of Jesus, on the morning of May 6th in the most easy & gentle manner, & thus this aged Pilgrim
Closed [right margin]
closed his pilgrimage here below, in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season, in the 94th year of his age, & as a comment upon the words of the Prophet: The work of righteousness shall be peace, & the effect of righteousness, quietness & assurance for ever. Isa. 32.17. It was something remarkable that his daughter Benigna, who had cared for, & lived with her aged Father, for upwards of 20 years, ever since the departure of her late mother, but who had been in a declining state of health for several years, departed this life on the 10th of the same month, in the 57th year of her age, 4 days after her Father, & their remains were interred on the 13th, when this important visitation was improved by addressing a numerous & respectable assembly, who attended on the occasion in the words of St Paul to Timothy 2d Epistle Chap. 1.12. I know in whom I have believed, & am persuaded that He, is able to keep that which I have committed unto him, against that day. Our late Br has left behind in this vale of tears, a son & a daughter & a number of grandchildren.
Let us call to mind with joy,
Those who have before us gone,
Who [right margin]
Who obtain’d the victory,
Thro’ the blood of Christ alone;
That one may most zealously,
Imitate their constancy,
Till we too the prize receive,
And with them in glory live!
[a]This seems to indicate where Planta’s first person ends and the 3rd person narrator takes over