Born: 1736, Morley
Died: 1770, Fulneck

Learn more about the life of John Darnbrook

Course of Life of the S Br John Darnbrook,
the first part of which he himself has wrote down,
& the latter dictated.
I was born at Moreley in the Parish of BattleyJune the 20th
. My first 13 Years I lived with my Parents, which took
care to instruct me in what was religious, to the best of their
knowledge, particularly my Mother, whom I remember, when Mr
and other awakened Men first began preaching, she went
frequently to hear them, & a Sermon of Mr Whitfield’s being
then published, she got it to read. I read the same, it treated
so much of the Sufferings of our Savr, that it brought me into
some Concern about my Salvation,

I was then about 5 years old
& this was the first Conviction, I had, as much as I can remember
At the End of my 13th year I was put an Apprentice to a very
religious Man in the same town, a Dissenter, in which Way I had
been brought up. Half a Year afterwards my Father departed
this Life. This struck me pretty much of first, but I soon for-
got it. The 3 first years of my aprenticeship I spent among young
Company as much as I could, & indeed in that time I got seduced
to many bad Things. One Day, when I was at Work by myself in
the Field, a sudden thought came into my Mind that I must
once die & appear before God to give an Account of my Life &
I thought, if I died in that Condition, I certainly must go to Hell.
I immediately left of my Work & went a kneeled down under
a Tree & prayed to God to forgive me. This was the first Time.
I ever prayed, except such as the Lords Prayer & others learned
out of Books. From this time I began to be very religious. I read
many religious Books & prayed 6 or 7 times a day, I entirely
broke off from all my old Companions, who despised me very much but
the religious people praised me greatly, & this made me very
proud. But all this availed me nothing, all my reading, &
praying brought no Peace to my Heart. I was a bound Slave to
Satan, & when Sin presented itself, I had no Power to resist
Some times I used to be a fortnight or 3 weeks without coming
into any extraordinary great Sin, this made me think, I had now

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made God amends. But I soon perhaps came into see very Prick of
that Sin, which I thought I had conquered. This made me think, God
was displeased with me, & all my Prayers & Readings were of no
Signification, I must begin anew & be more watchfull, than I
had been hitherto. But with all I could do, Sin had the rule over
me. I think, I spent near 2 Years in this miserable Course.

At Easter in the year 1754 (as well as I can remember) I
thought, I would go a hear the Moravians, tho’ I had no liking for
them, because I believed them to be Roman-Catholicks. However I
went & heard Br La Trobe to my great Astonishment Such a Ser-
mon I never had heard in all my Life before, I thought directly,
this is the true way to be saved. I went home, & what I had heard
of the Sufferings of Jesus, & how that Salvation could be obtained
no otherwise, than by his ments, Death & Bloodshedding, This
wrought much on my Mind all the Week following. When on Sunday
I went again; I was so overcome, that I afterwards could not go any
where else. I soon got acquainted with Br Lorde, & got a great Love
for him, but he soon after went from Fulneck. I was received into
the Society, attended the Preachings on Sunday constantly & was
often so affected with what I had heard, that I many Times in my
Way home retired into a Wood near Tong & wept before our
Savr, that I might enjoy what I had heard. But I did not rightly
prosper; for I had got some thing else in view besides my Salvation.

I had got an Intention to travel, & this engaged my Mind
pretty much, & I put this in Execution, as soon as my Prentice-
ship was out. There happened just at that Time two Persons Who
come from London to see their Relations at Moreley, & I took the
Opportunity to go with them at their Return, The one being a married
Person, took me to her House, & it was my Home, till I got a Place,
which I did in ten days time, but it was very hard, so that I left
it in 3 months & got another place, which I left in about the same
Time on account of some differences, I went to my first lodging
& stayd there out of Place till DoctorJohn Holstead returned
from the West Indies, where he had been as Surgeon of a Ship
I visited him & told him, I should like to go to Sea. He said, he
would recommend me to CaptainHornsbybound for Greenland; if he has any Place
that would suit me (this Captain was a Person he himself had been with at Greenland, before he went to the West Indies).

Accordingly on his Recommendation the Captain took me as his Steward
I went on Board, but all Things were very awkward, having never been
on Board of a Ship before & I knew no more about my office than
a Child, but I soon got to understand, that the chief mate was in
that Office the Voyage before. So I made if my business to get acquaint-
ed with him and hewith a bottle or 2 of Rum for he Loves Liquor then
told me every thing, what I should do & what belonged to my office. Thus
I got into the Way pretty well. We sailed from the River the latter end of
March, & we were not long out at Sea, before I was sick & confined so
for 15 Days. I thought many Times, if I was on Shore, they should be Sai-
lors who would for me, But when I got better, I came thro’ pretty well,
as I had no ship’s duty to do. It was a very cold uncomfortable voyage
for about 4 months we returned very unsuccessfull, having got no more
than one fish; I got from the Ship as soon I could, weary enough of my
first Voyage.

A few weeks after by Accident I went to the East India House
& met with a Captain who was a shipping people, I asked him if he 
wanted people? He said, he did & gave me an Order to go on Board. I
immediately went on board & met with a Company of very wicked, curs-
ing & swearing sailors. However we got ready & put to Sea; About 2 months
after our Ship’s company was seized by turns with a violent Feaver. I
also fell sick & it brought me very near my Dissolution. While
we were so sick, we hung altogether by ourselves, It was one of the most
shocking Times, I have had in all any Life, most of them died cursing
& swearing, they all at one Time died, that were sick & left me alone.
I prayed heartily to our Savr, that if He would spare me & bring
me home again, I would be his & live for him, But when I got better,
I soon forgot all his goodness & went on a wicked Course with the Rest
of the Sailors, & I some times swore. But amidst all, I had many Con-
victions, & I often could not sleep, but wept in my Hammock on
account of the Course I had entered into. When we came to a Port there
was generally nothing seen but Wickedness. I remember very well some
times, that I was grieved in myself, has I could not be so bold in
Wickedness, as the Rest of my company, & when I thought, that I would
be so wicked as they, I generally had such Convictions, that I could not
do like them. We had a good Voyage but with Regard to Externals
we had it hard some times, & were about 6 Months without Bread,
living on Rice. On Account of the Length of the voyage we also

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were obliged to take in old Stores in the East Indies which were very bad &
rusty thro & thro. But after 2 years & 3 months we arrived at Spithead; &
there made myself sick to spare myself from the press . When the people were
all pressed, I got on Shore and came by so force. I lived there with my Friends
till the ship was paid off. & then according to my Resolution of going to Sea
no more, I began to look for a Place where I could earn my Bread & by
the Help of a Friend I got a good one in Cheapside, where I lived very
agreeably 6 months & I found they had great confidence towards me.

But the ship beginning to be fitted out again, wherewhich I had been with
before, it made me very unsettled in my Mind & I got a desire to go to
Sea again. But I did not know, what Excuse to make, to get away
from the Place, as had no fault to find with any thing I had Re-
course to Stratagem. I ordered one of my companions, that he should come
dressed like an officer of a Man of War, & enquire for me, that it
might appear, as if he had an Intention to press me. I ordered it so,
that he should come at an exact Hour, in order that I might be out
of the Way. Accordingly he came. As soon as he was gone, then my
Master called me & told me, that he was afraid, the officer would re-
turn again. I told him, I was under some Apprehension of being
pressed. He desired that I would get ready, & should go away &
not be pressed, if possible. When he settled with me about my
Wages, he gave me 1/2 a guinea more than was due to me. So I came
by which means I came away with many good Wishes. Yet I was condemned
for acting so unuprightly, besides that I had left my Place & did
not know, whether I could get voyage or not to the East Indies,
I went to the India House & spoke to CaptainWilson, with whom
had been before, & desired him to recommend me as Mid-shipman
to CaptainJackson, that was to succeed him. He was very friendly
and promised that he would do it. & he was as good as his Words.
I then began to get ready suitable for that Station, as well as I
could. And when I had got my Necessaries I had not much Money
to spare, to trade with. A gentle Woman, that wanted some Things
from the East Indies, advanced me 6 Guineas in hand, which I
laid out in such Merchandises, as I thought, would suit the best
in India. He soon got ready I had a very prosperous voyage
from England to Madras in 4 Months, where I disposed of my
Effects to good Advantage., I then bought such Commodities, which
I thought would suit for China which likewise turned out to

good Advantage & what Money I had, I laid out in China-goods &
brought them home, After 18 months we arrived again at Plymouth
where I escaped the pressing & came by Land to London (when the
ship has round to London Spaind, I found that I had 10 pounds to receive for Goods
that a Person had disposed of in the Passage. I afterwards went on
Board from Day to day & some Times sold from Board & brought on
shore till got off all my effects. I found myself worth a consider-
able Sum of Money. That made me think of no other way of life, than
Seafaring Life as I had such a good success prtazpreeadee, etenne, an aypraan to gave amndin and of urantiraf its Shad subled After I had settled all my Affairs with the
Ship for that Voyage, I paid a Visit to Yorkshire, to see my Mother
where I went on Sunday to Fulneck, & was so laid hold of in the Preach-
ing, that I had gladly staid, if I had known, how I should got my Living.
In about 5 Weeks I returned to London, where I went to see about the
Ship, & found, it would be some Months, before she would be fitteded out
again. I waited the Time, but then some Objections arose between
the Captain & me, & I resolved positively, that I would go to Sea no more
I acquainted my Friends with my Resolution & advised with them, what
I should take to? I had then spent all my Money. They agreed to advance
me 30 pounds, that I could procure me a little Shop, for which I had to
give then Bond & Judgment. We soon met with a little Shop, in which
I entered. Soon afterwards I was arrested by a person, that I owed
40 shillings to, & went to the Sponging House, where I wrote a Letter to
my Friend & told him any Circumstances. He went directly & put
the Bond & Judgment in Force, & took all I had & came to me next
Morning & paid the Money, for which I was arrested, & set me at
Liberty. I had now no home, but went some Times to one Friend’s
House, & some times to another, where I had been formerly acquainted.
But this I could not do very long, & it came so far, that I suffered                                till to the Bareness of Life. One Day I met in the street one of
the Family, that I had the Money from, he invited me to go to their
House, & they were hearty & friendly with me, & seemed to pity my
Circumstances, I served in their Shop a few Weeks, & then they
hired me as a yearly Servant. I lived there very agreeably, & some
years ago, they did write to me to Fulneck, that I should come again & live
with them. After some Time I called at a Barber’s Shop to get
shaved pretty late in the Evening; while I sat there, I thought I

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was going to die. I got up & said, I was very bad; but no Body gave me any Answer.
I stood at the Door, till some Body, who was before me, was shaved; then I got in &
was shaved, I went home very heavy & told our people, I was not well.
They advised me to get some Supper, which might help me, I went to
Bed & in the Morning still found myself the same. I begun to re-
flect on my present State, for I had not minded Religion for a long
Time; I thought, it was a Punishment from God for my bad Course.
Accordingly to make Amends, I thought, I would go once on Sunday
to some Place of Worship; but the other Part of the Sunday I would
walk about and fake my Pleasure, as I had done before, I went on so
for some Time, but it did not help me. Then I thought, I would go
both the Forenoon & Afternoon to Worship, yet still I found no Ease.
I begun to be so terrified, that I thought, I should be in Hell every
Moment. When had a Pen in my Hand to write a Bill of Parcel,
I flung it away when I had done with it, & thought, I should be in
Hell, before I should want it any more. When I went out, I often
thought, I should drop down dead in the Street. It came so far, that
my Appetite left me & I could get no Sleep, I used to awake in
Frights & get up. I read some Times in the Bible, but I thought
every Word seemed a Sentence against me; I thought, I had sinned
against the holy Ghost; therefore I had nothing to expect but Hell
& Judgment. I was in that Distress in more than 2 Months. One
Sunday I went to Fetterlane Chappel. When I heard some Courses of
Lives similar to my own, it gave me great Hopes, when I heard
how they were redeemed by the Blood & Wounds of Jesus, I went
Home full of Hope, that I should soon be released. Next Day in
the Forenoon, when I was going thro a narrow Passage near
Spitalfields Church, it came into my Mind, that there was Mercy
in Jesus for every believing Soul. In that Moment I believed, &
the Love of God was shedspread abroad in my Heart. I saw Jesus in
his crucified form quite clear, who had redeemed me from all my
Sins. I dont know, how I afterwards got home, Every Body was dear
to me I loved every one, I would gladly have imparted unto them
of what I enjoyed. I went on in that Enjoyment for some Time &
thought, since I was come to the knowledge of our Savr, that I
should no more feel the Depravity of my own sinfull Nature, But
I found my sinfull Nature still, & was obliged to apply to our
Savr for his Grace to preserve me, which he did from time to time

I began to have a longing desire, to become acquainted with
the Brn, as I believed, they were the only people, which I belonged to.
Accordingly I began to go frequently on Sundays to Fetterlane. I went
so long, till Br Brodersen took Notice of me in the Preaching & made
it out with one of the S. Brn, that he should speak with me at
the first Opportunity. Accordingly he bid me a good Day after the
Preaching & asked me, where I was agoing? I told him I was agoing
towards Bishopsgate Street. He said he was a going that Way too
& desired my Company. He said, he had observed, that I frequented
their Preachings for some Time, & inquired, if I knew any thing about
the Brn & I told him, yes. I knew the Brn in Fulneck & I knew Br
Brodersen too, & had spoken with him formerly. I told him, I had often
fixed a Day, that I would go & speak with him again. He asked, if I
should rule to speak with him, & if it would suit me that time, if
I had an Opportunity for it? I answered: yes, I had no objection to it
So we turned back both together & went to Roll’s Buildings. As soon 
as we got into the House, we met BrBrodersen in the Passage, &
he took me into his Room & we had some pretty Conversation together.
The Choir Liturgy was going to begin, & he gave one Leave to be at
it. I was so melted, that I wept all the Time, often spending some
part of the Evening with the S. Brn. I returned home very thank-
full for the kind Reception, that I met with. From that Time, I went
every Sunday to the S Brn, which was the chief Opportunity that I had.
Some Time after I petitioned for Reception into the Congn, which
Blessing was granted me January the 13th 1766 I entered into
a Covenant that time with our Savr to be his for ever I spent my
time for the most part in a very happy Track of Grace, considering
my Situation, wherein I was, & I had many near Visits of our Savr,
which made my Time very pleasant. Tho’ I felt naturally my de-
praved human Nature, but I applied to him & got preserved. When
Br. Abraham returned from the Provincial Synod at Fulneck, he
acquainted me that they had made it out in a Conference that if I did
accept of it, I should go to Fulneck & be employed in the Cong Shop
I told him I had no Choice in it , I would go anywhere. Accordingly, as
soon as I could make things suitable, I left my place & set out from
London Febr the 17th 1764 & arrived at Fulneck the 22nd of the same month
to my great Joy.

Thus far his own Words.
By dictating his Course of life, he often said, I thought there was some

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Thing in the World, which I must experience, but I found, there was nothing
but fantom, Now often have I thought of Fulneck & wished me to be
there, when I was uneasy, which was very often.

His Course here was solid, he served faithfully in the Shop &
was legitimated among Brn & Strangers. His Connexion & Converse
with our dear Savr was real, but in Stilness. He was admitted here
to the holy SacramentMay the 23d 1767, which was a real Grace to
Him. & as often as he fed afterwards with the Congn on the Body &
Blood of Jesus in the holy Sacrament, he enjoyed it as a poor Sinner
who thought himself very unworthy of this great Grace, but felt at
the same time that he stood very much in Need of it, & that he could
not do without. And so, he always got new Strength & Life out of the
Wounds of Jesus. When he was spoken with previous to the holy Sa-
crament he was not of many Words, but one perceived clearly, that his
Heart did live in the Sufterings of Jesus. All the Meetings he en-
joyed both in the Congn & his Choir proved a Blessing to him; the
Doctrinal Day we had last Novembr, was very blessed to him & he
afterwards told, that he enjoyed a particular Nearness of our Savr at
the Cup of Covenant. Last Year he was made and a Candidate for
the East Indies, which he accepted of: for he was very willing to serve
our Savr, wheresoever his Service should require it, tho’ on Account of
his weakly Constitution he had but little Hopes to be of any Use in the
Service of our Savr among the Heathen. That time he came among the
Intercessors, which was very weighty to him. But our Savr, who was
pleased with his Willingness to serve him, had other thoughts about him,
He grew weaker from time to time, & in the Beginning of Decembr he
was obliged to move into the Sick Room. First we did not think, that
he would go home of this Opportunity, but he soon thought so & was quite
set upon going home. Here he had a sabbatical time in the Nearness &
converse with our Savrtho; it was a Shool-Time for him too, in which he had to learn many Lessons & to speak thoroughly with our dr.Savr. about many Things. Once he said: tho’ our Savr has had so great a
Mercy upon me, yet I feel myself often so indifferent towards Him, which
is the greatest Pain, I have in the Sick Room; at which he wept very much.
But he soon was comforted again & cheared by a gracious Look of our Saviour.
He himself dictated his Course of Life to Br Martens, & when he had done
therewith, to which was last Friday, he made Haste to meet his etemal
Bridegroom. He had it very easy in his Sickness: the day before his going home
he once complained, saying: Dear Savr! it is too hard for me; but he soon
got it easier. He was present to himself to the last Moment, when the
Blessings of his Choir & the Congregn was imparted unto him during a
sweet feelingof our Savrs Nearness, & soon after his Soul departed into the
arms & Bosom of Jesus, last Tuesday about 7 o’Clock in the Morning, viz
Feby the 6th 1770
in the 34th year of his Age. 
      Praise to thee, our God, be brought for this Sinner redeemed with thy Blood.

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