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THESE WONDERS first began to me from the account of the sudden death of the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy, vicar of Bodmin, which was stated in the London papers.
After that I received two letters, one from Plymouth Dock, dated August 23, 1813, with the following account, copied from the West Briton, or Truro Advertiser. “ Melancholy event. — On Tuesday last, the 17th, when the judges, &c. had proceeded in order to Bodmin church, to attend divine worship, previously to commencing the busivess of the assizes, they were detained for nearly a quarter of an hour by the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy, vicar of Bodmin, who was to read service, not being ready. When he came into the church there appeared something hurried in his manner; as he opened the prayerbook, he said to the Rev. Mr. Kendel, the sheriff's chaplain, *1 fear I shall not be able to go through the service; will you assist me?' Mr. Kendel politely offered to take the whole duty; and as Mr. Pomeroy was taking off his surplice, for Mr. Kendel, he staggered, and would have fallen, had not Mr. Kendel caught him in his arms. He was immediately conveyed to bis house, and medical assistance procured; but unfortunately it was only to ascertain that he had expired.”
The above account was confirmed by another letter I received from Exeter, of the death of the Rer. Mr. Pomeroy; and for whom I felt great concern and sorrow, which the readers will soon fiod why I should be so grieved for him, if this book should fall into the hands a strangers.
The following day I received a letter from a friend at Birmingham, as follows:
“ As I was preaching, in our room, a gentleman came up and accosted one of our believers with saying, "Well, what does Mr. B. think of it now? Mr. Pomeroy is dead, who was to bring Joanna to her trial.' After I returned home I must say that I gave no credit whatever to it; as such floods of lies in every respect are cast out against us; but on reading the Traveller paper of Saturday, this morning, I find the account of his death fully confirmed. I was certainly startled, in that I thought he would live to see the awful trial.”
On hearing the confirmation of his death, I was grieved to the heart, as I was left to my own thoughts, and my own feelings; and, from my own feelings, I was ordered to return them an answer, which I did in the following manner :
August 25, 1813.
My spirits have been greatly agitated ever since I heard of the death of the Rev. Mr Pomeroy; and I have been left to my own ponderings, and my own feelings, concerning hiin, which, I must say, are great: and I wish all the friends to be careful how they speak or judge of him ; for this I wish them all to consider; his calling first was as one alone, in the beginning of the year 1796 ; and the events of the years were put in his hands. He acted faithfully; he stood stedfast; and strengthened me to go on; as he acted in every step as I was foretold. He went to the Chancellor ******** and the Rev. Mr. ******, and many other ministers, to cry to bring them forward with him; but as thiey said they could not judge from what Spirit I was visited, they refused to come forward with
5 him ; so that he stood stedfast alone by himself; and by his judgment the writings went out in the world, and there he stood the judge alone; and as the books were printed, the first year, I sent them to him. So that he stood stedfast till the ending of the year 1801, that his name was mentioned in the Book of Letters. Then other ministers (not those that he had invited to come forward,) hearing that the writings had been put in his hands, began to mock him and abuse him; and I was informed, that they complained to the bishop against him; so that his persecution was great, which he had not fortitude to bear; and the fear of losing his honour amongst men made him begin to waver and fall back; and seeing the peace at the end of the year, which he judged, like others, would be an established peace, and knowing the contents of the letters I had put in his hands, how great the wars would abound, and what destruction would take place in Spain, which at that time there was no appearance of, that these things would take place, and the mockery of men, caused him to stumble and fall back; and having bad advisers in his friends, he went from one error to another. Therefore, in pondering these things over, how strongly men and devils worked with him, to cause
his fall, after standing so stedfast six years, and acting with every faithful and upright dealing during that time; and then to change, as though he was another man, to turn an enemy against me, to burn those letters I had put in his hands, because the truth should not appear, which caused the strife and contention between him and me, as I was ordered to reprove him : all these things worked together a strong feeling in my mind and heart, to pity the man; and to love him on account of his first conduct, and to pity
his weakness in his last; as I was sorry he did not live to clear his honour, by acknowledging he had acted wrong, in not returning the letters committed to his care, or acknowledge the truth they contained. I was answered concerning my own feelings for him, of love and pity ; though I could not help blaming his conduct; yet still in my heart I felt a love for the man, which I was answered, that the Lord's feelings were the same - to pity bis weakness, and have mercy upon him.
I can only give the letter in part, as I did not keep a copy of the whole, not knowing it would ever go in print; but I was ordered to point out the following pages from the Explanations of the Bible, for them to draw their judgment: from page 174 - page 249 to 256 - page 266 to 272 — pages 280 and 281 --- and page 244. And the following passages : -
“ Here's a type stands deep for man,
Page 270. — “ Some will believe, and will not grieve
To see the end appear; While others flee like
With trembling and with fear. They'll hear the end, mark how't doth bend;
The ending now is come, And ****
in security Thought all from him was gone.