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THE NEW YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY

3120

ACTOR, LENOX AND
TILOEN FOUNDATIONS

1906

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Entered according to Act of Congress in 1847, by

JOHN M'LEISH.' In the Clerk's office of the District Court of Massachusetts.

W THEOLOGICAL
SEMINARY LIBRARY.

PREFACE.

REV Joseph SNELLING, a sketch of whose life is presented in the following pages, has not occupied that position among .men which would render his name conspicuous, or extend his reputation far beyond the circle of his immediate associations: but there are connected with the venerable man himself, his protracted history, incidents which, in the opinion of the publisher and many judicious friends, require as an act of justice to merit long observed, no less than for the preservation and wide circulation of interesting historical facts, that the Life of Snelling should have a place among the printed records of those who may be justly styled benefactors of their race. Mr. Snelling early devoted himself to the service of the church, and, at the age of twenty-four years, he engaged in the Gospel ministry, in which he has continued to the present time ; though for the last ten years, owing to the infirmities of age, his labors have been circumscribed to the narrow limits of a small society in the neighborhood of his country residence.

The Methodist Episcopal Church are largely indebted to the faithful services of Joseph Snelling. He was one of the few active members of that church, in BosDUP EXCH 29 MAR 1906

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ton, who engaged in erecting their first meeting-house. Of this place of worship, more recently known as the Seaman's Bethel, and occupied by Rev. E. T. Taylor, Mr. Snelling was one of the Trustees. In the ministry, he was the travelling companion of Jesse Lee, and other eminent pioneers of Methodism in the thinly settled towns of New Hampshire, Vermont, and particularly the District of Maine. He was the first Methodist minister who visited Nantucket, Martha's Vinėyard, and the wide circuit of towns on Cape Cod. He also baptized the first convert to Methodism in Providence, Rhode Island,

The fact alone, that he is the only survivor among the list of his early fellow laborers in the Gospel vineyard, and that he has recently furnished, from his own pen, the manuscript copy of the accompanying work, is sufficient to impart more than ordinary interest to its pages.

JOHN MCLEISH. Boston, May 7, 1847.

M E MO I R.

CHAPTER 1.

I was born and brought up in Boston, and continued to live there, with my parents, till I became acquainted with the Methodists, and went out to preach the gospel. The first Methodist preacher, that ever preached in Boston, I was informed was the Rev. William Black, from England. He was an eminent man, both in character and talents. While on his passage to Halifax he stopped in Boston, and continued there several days, preaching to crowded congregations. The work of the Lord immediately commenced under his ministry, and many were made partakers of his divine grace.

As Mr. Black was obliged to leave Boston, feeling unwilling to leave the people like sheep without a shepherd, he wrote twice to Bishop Asbury, requesting him to send on a preacher. These letters were either intercepted or miscarried, for Bishop Asbury never received them,

and no preacher at that time came; consequently the young converts were scattered among differrent denominations, some to one and some to another. A number joined Dr. Stillman's church, of the Baptist order. When they related their experience, one after another, they would name Mr. Black as instrumental of their conversion, which caused the Dr. to exclaim, “O that good Mr. Black."

After this Mr. Black visited Boston several times, and I became intimately acquainted with him. I ever found him a truly excellent man. It was some time after Mr. Black left Boston before another preacher came, who, I think, was the Rev. Freeborn Garretson, who visited the place and preached there a short time.

The first preacher, appointed by Conference for Boston, was the Rev. Jesse Lee. He preached on the Common, where, it was thought, some thousands of people assembled to hear him ; but notwithstanding so many people attended the preachiug, he found it difficult to form a society, or even to procure a place to preach in. A gentleman, by the name of Samuel Burrell, was very' actvie in the cause of Methodism, and, I believe, was the first that enteriained the preachers at his own house.

In the year 1792 a few joined in society, and

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