Thomas Arnett's Journal

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    I feel, and often have felt, a desire renewed in my mind to keep a journal of my life and travels, believing the Lord requires me to pen some account of his gracious dealings with my soul, while traveling through time to the awful confines of eternity. He has hitherto led me through many and various afflicting and conflicting __mptisms, as well as through some very comfortable enjoyments: giving me a large portion of afflictions, and bearing up my mind through them; teaching me the necessity, the indispensable necessity, of abiding with patience and fortitude his dispensations; filling my soul at times with unspeakable joy, and at others proving me with some very deep and perhaps somewhat unusual probations. His providence has been with me from my youth, in Him I trust, and to Him belongs all praise now and forever.

    I was born, according to the best account I could obtain, on the 30th day of the 6th month, 1791, in the County of Guilford and State of North Carolina. My parents' names were Valentine and Sarah Arnett, who moved to the County of Stokes, a county joining and lying west of Guilford, when I was about two or three years of age, where I was brought up. I can say but little about my father, fo he went a journey to the North when I was about eight or nine years old, where he died, many miles from home: so I never saw him afterwards. My mother was left in very limited circumstances, with ten children --one daughter and nine sons. She was a pious woman, having joined herself in connection with the Methodist Society before I was born, and continued a member with them as long as she lived. She embarked to train us up in piety and virtue as much as she could: but her circumstances were so limited that she thought it best to hire us out for her's and our support, and being able to keep us together: so thta we were much from under her control, and also much exposed to the vain customs of the world.

    I was the seventh son, and was soon old enought to be hired out for my own and her support. I was much exposed to the vain customs of the world, having to live with many sorts of people, many of whom were vain and wicked, by whom I was often led into bad company: but the Lord was mindful of me, and often impressed my mind with desires to flee from the wrath to come. Serious thoughts respecting death, eternity, and time often came upon me. I often had desires to lead a new life when I was very young: I had many calls and visitations from him whose providences and mercies are over all his works.

    I had a very remarkable and solemn dream when I was young, which sealed a lasting impression upon my mind. It was a solemn warning, I believe, from heaven, to show me the necessity of preparing (?) In times (?) for death. It was as folows:

After this the text becomes harder to read, but I present it here for you to decipher, if you so wish.

We have obtained the 422 page hardbound book, Memoirs of Thomas Arnett, The Life, Travels, and Gospel Labors of Thomas Arnett, published in 1884. The first 20 pages and an index is online now in pdf format. This requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to be installed on your computer. Acrobat Reader is available for free download at . I recommend that you right mouse click the link and "save target as" or "save file as" to your hard drive, rather than opening the file in your web browser. Pages from the pdf file print out very nice and legible, we have been told.
Thomas Arnett Journal Extract

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