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In another letter he writes,
I have not the pleasure to find that my own negroes attend so well as those on other estates; but I thank God that many of them do, and are very zealous indeed, and much concerned to have an interest in that Jesus who came to die for sinners. I asked one of my carpenters, if his know. ledge was much improved; to which he replied," very much ;' and said be was convinced of sin. I asked him, if he were to fall in a river, and a plank were thrown to him, what he would do; to which he answered, I would take hold of it very strong: so I do Jesus.' He, and several more, assure me that their only hope is on what Jesus has done for them; and that they pray daily for wisdom and the Spirit of God. Many express themselves with great thankfulness that they have an opportunity to bear the gospel, when, surely, I point them to the first Cause, who shewed bis love to them, in directing me and the hearts of the good people in Europe, to do it. It is affecting to see so many black faces in the meeting, who formerly were not much distinguished from the brute creation, all'directing their faces toward the minister, especially when the subject is very serious; and in prayer, to see many kneeling, others standing, repeating with a sigh the word Amen; and to hear from their lips the words plainly expressed, both in prayer and singing hymns. These are pleasing facts. I recommend os all to the prayers of the Christian people in Eng land. We think it our duty to pray for the coming of the kingdom of Jesus over all the world.' : I could make a great number of more extracts from the many letters he wrote to his friends on the subjects of religion and preaching, but these are sufficient to shew us how anxious he was for the salvation of his people, and for the preaching of the gospel in general; and how he rejoiced in God when good was done, either ainong his own negroes or others. He gave his great encouragement to attend preaching; but very few came, cither to learn the catechism or to hear the word: which sometimes cast biın down. lle ased to give them the Saturday to go to the market, that they might have the Sabbath to themselves; and sometimes be ordered them to be called together on the week days, in his own time, that I might speak to tirem. He also olien told them he would not give them their fislı if they would not hear God's word; but all the means he could use had not the desired effect. Some of them would say to him, when he was speaking to them on the subjeet, Mässa, me no jucket, me nue bat, no shirt to attend church; but when Viassa gave one they would not attend long. Some of them would say, 'Me no do bad; me no thiet;' and numbers of excuses they would make to him. However, he rejoiced to see a few of them attend, and was constantly encouraging thein. He would converse with them in the most affectionate manner, explain the Bible to them, and catechize them; and not only his own, but those also who came from other estates, and sometimes he would spend a great part of the Sabbath before dinner in this work. lie had a large Family Bible, with excellent plates, which he would explain to them, to give them an idea of the historical parts of the Old and New Testament. Thus did this good
utan do all in his power to bring sinners to Christ. O that all the West Indian Planters would follow his example! then would happiness indeed be diffused among the poor Africans ! It may now be proper to say something
of Mr. Post's views of the great doctrines and dities of Christianity.
His doctrinal sentiments were Calvinistic, as will be observed from the above extracts of his letters. These sentia ments he formed from the Bible, and not from any human author. His mind was too noble and independent for any thing of this kind;- however, he had not read many books on doctrinal subjects. An Exposition on the Heidelbergh Cate-' chism was his favourite work. He also greatly approved of the Assembly's Catechism after he became acquainted with it.
His mind had formerly been much perplexed about the inspiration of the holy Scriptures; and the more he read on the subject in human authors, the more he was confused. The reading of the word alone confirmed his mind in this glorious truth. The fulfilment of the prophecies, the majestic language of the Scriptures, and the holy precepts it contained, especially the sayings of Christ and the epistles of Paul; the effects the gospel produces, and its progress through the world by the mildest means, in the midst of the greatest opposition, firmly established him in their truth; but the fulfilment of the prophecies appeared to haye the greatest force. Some parts, however, of the Old Testament he conceived to be unnecessary; and one sentiment, which he thought it greatly favoured, is certainly much to his discredit, and one of the greatest
blemishes of his whole life, namely, Concubinage. Inneni tion this, because it is well known that he had practised, and
did not conceal it; and should any persons read this Memoir who were acquainted with him, and not find it recorded, they would probably throw it aside, and say, ' It is a partial ac
count. * I am also certain that he would have mentioned it i bimself, had he written his own life. We find that God him. self, in his own holy word, has recorded the faults of his servants, as well as their good actions; not indeed for our imitauon, but that we may avoid them, and also to shew our weake ness when left to ourselves. This, perhaps, is the only objection that can be alleged against the character of our excellent friend, but it must be observed, that he not only forsook this sin long before his death, but bitterly lamented he had ever been guilty of it.
He possessed an uncommon esteem for the word ard ordiDances of God, tie had been taught to read the Bible at home; he brought it with hiin to Demarara; and read it every day, not inerely as the effect of custom, but that he might din I rive benefit from it. Soon after his arrival, the gentleman with whom he then lived, used to langh at him, and siy, Post, you read your Bible to atone for your sius;
- to which
than 20 years.
he would reply,: No; Sir, I do not; but I read it to keep me from sin. After he had a house of his own, he read it every morning to his family, before they arose from the breakfasttable; nor did company or occasional visitors hinder this practice. I have heard a gentleman say, I used to call upon Mr. Post when I went to town; but I left it off, because he always detained me by reading the Bible. Not that I have any thing to say against reading it, God forbid; but I wanted to be in town about my business.' In private, Mr. Post not only read the Bible, but diligently studied it, meditated upon it, and was well acquainted with its sacred contents.
In the preaching of the gospel Mr. Post greatly delighted. He thought those persons blessed indeed, who dwell in the house of God to hear his holy word, and join in prayer and praise; but such opportunities he could not enjoy for more
His lot was cast in a land where the water of life did not flow; but to supply this deficiency, he or one of his friends used to read a sermon every Lord's Day; and he frequently retired into the plantain-walks for this purpose. The last three or four years before the gospel was preached on his estate, as soon as breakfast was over, he used to retire to a zinall house, which he built at the sea-side, to read and pray, that he might be free from visitors who came to his house, and worship his God in spirit and in truth. His strongest objection to Demarara was, his not having an opportunity to hear the gospel, and to converse on spiritual things.
In the month of May 1783, he and Mrs. Post took a voyage to Holland; and I have heard him say, he pitied every person he left behind him in such a heathen country. However, be did not enjoy himself so much, in a religious way, as he expected; people were not so nuch inclined to speak about spiritual things as he had apprehended. His enjoyments were not so great there as in Demarara, when perusing the word of God in private.
In October 1785, he returned to Deinarara; and in 1788 he retired to North America, for the benefit of bis health ; and came back in the following year. In 1791 he again went 10 America; and continued there seven years. He had then an opportunity of attending various places of worship in New York, where he resided a considerable time. He spent four years at Nuin Rochell, 21 miles froin New York, on a farm called Belle Vue, which he bought and managed himself; and I have often heard him say, he was far better pleased in drive ing the plough than in managing the negroes,
în 1797, luis affairs in Demarara rendered it necessary for him to return. He then found his estate in very bad order, and most of his little Creole-negroes were dead. A little longer delay would entirely have ruined him. He intended, however, to remain in the colony only to put his estate in order,
or to dispose of it; and then return to his native country to spend the reinainder of lois day's; but various cireumstances occurred which rendered it expedient for him to continue in the colony. His time on the Sabbath was spent as before mentioned, until my arrival. He then diligently attended preaching twice every Lord's Day; and also in the week-days, when busines did not prevent him. He was always extremely attentive during public worship, and frequently shed tears. Singing was a part of the service in which he took peculiar delight. He was strongly attached to Dr. Watts's Psalms and Hvinns. At the administration of baptism he was also much affected, especially when he stood up to present his little Creoleslaves; and engaged to bring them up in the fear of the Lord. He considered this undertaking of the greatest importance, and his indispensable duty. On the 26th of December, 1808, when thirteen men and seven women were baptized, he shed tears of joy during the whole service. He was also very anxious that the Lord's Supper should be dispensed among the pious negroes, and to sit down with them at the table of the Lord; but used to say he thought it would be too much for him to bear. This, however, was not accomplished during his life; but he requested, on his death-bed, it might be as soon as possible.
Of divine Providence Mr. Post entertained exalted views. If his undertakings prospered, he ascribed all to the blessing of God upon them, and not to his superior wisdom or strength. If he met with crosses or losses in the world, he looked thro' second causes to the great Disposer of all events. At that season of the year, when he built the chapel, he had a much better crop of cotton in one field than any of his neighbours, in consequence of a different method he had pursued with his trees. At another time he was greatly distressed for want of money, and knew not what course to 'take, when, just at the time, a gentleman came and lent him £ 4000. These, and many events of a like nature, he looked upon as directions of Providence; but did not like to speak of them to the people of the world, lest they should think it enthusiasm. He would often speak of that general care which God takes of the negroes, in permitting so few of thein to be hurt by snakes, scorpions, centipedes, &c. notwithstanding they are so constantly walking among the grass, without shoes or stockiugs, and frequently sleeping on the ground entirely naked; especially 20 or 30 years ago, when the cultivation was so contraeted, and these venomous creatures so much infested the ground *.
Scorpions and centipedes are very common in old houses ; and the latler frequently get into boots, coats, and trowsers; yet very few people are stung by thein. However, a lady that I know bad a centipede in her ear, which was a very melancholy circumstance; but it was taken out, and she soon goi betier.
As to his conversation, it was always edifying. His two favourite subjects were Religion and Astronomy.
He would have sat up half of the night, in a gallery behind his house, to view and converse about the heavenly' bodies; and when speaking of religion, he was never weary:
He would often lament much that he found people in Holland and North America so little inclined to speak on religious subjects.
He had not rend many books; but was well acquainted with what he had perused, and had obtained a considerable degree of general knowledge. When he lived in North America, he travelled about 2000 miles. During his journies he kept a Journal, which furnished him with inuch interesting matter for conversation; as did also the many observations le had made in Demarara, the journies he made into the interior, his intercourse with the Indians, and the many experiments he had made. His eldest sister published two octavo volumes, taken from his Letters; which contain an account of his leaving his parents, his arrival in Demarara, the impression made upon hiin by seeing the naked slaves, and especially the first punishment he saw inflicted; with a variety of circumstances which took place for several years after his arrival in the colony.
T'he trials and temptations he endured were very great, and of a peculiar nature; and would have sunk many a stout heart to the grave; but I shall pass over them in silence. He is now beyond their reach: they will no more torment his soul.
Let us now attend him in the chamber of sickness, and view him in the concluding hours of life. He was greatly afflicted with the gout and asthma during two or three of his last years, He scarcely had a day of health ; which made him look for death long before it came. Just before my arrival, he had been extremely ill; and told me he did not expect I should have seen him alive. On February 16, 1808, he was taken
we did not think he could recover. He sent for me to sit by bim; and I remained in his room most of the day. In a short time, however, it pleased the Lord to raise him up; but he had several attacks of the same nature before his last sickness; at which times I always visited him, and spent much time in his room. On January 3, 1809, he was at. ucked in a very severe manner, and continued extremely ill for several days. On the 5th, we had but little expectation of his recovery; but his mind was fixed on Christ. "He derived much comfort from Jolin iii. 16. He said all his hope was in Juus: he shed many tears, when I repeated the words of Paul, • I have fought a good tight,' &c. earnestly wishing that he could adopt such language in sincerity. In a few days after, the Lord restored bim; and he was able, for a short time, to attend his business. In this interval he was much employed about the school and the house in which I now dwell, the frame of