The Rock of Wisdom; An Explanation of the Sacred Scriptures/Biography of the Author - Wikisource, the free online library
BIOGRAPHY OF THE AUTHOR.
The author of this small treatise thought proper to give a small sketch of his life while residing at home with his father in the county of Sussex, State of Delaware.
My Father, B Cannon, who was born in the same county together with my mother,who both enjoyed the love of God at an early period of life and often endeavored to instill upon my mind the great advantage of making prayer unto my maker, which lovely instruction often reached my heart, I still lived a good while in a moral state and thought I was good enough and so procrastinated the time until I was about or between fourteen and fifteen years of age, I then took their advice that there must be something besides living in a moral state, and I being in a class meeting on one Thursday I heard the experience of a young girl about fourteen years of age, which deeply impressed my mind more, that I must be born again or never see God's face in glory; under this conviction I went with a bowed down head like a bullrush until I was about sixteen years of age, it pleased the Almighty to speak peace to my soul through the experience of the child and preaching of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. My father lived until the 6th of January, 1813, and departed this life triumphantly in the faith, and I believe this day he is in Heaven, and he gave me this advice on his death bed, to follow his example set before me and to keep Christ in my heart if I traveled far or near, that I would always find friends; after the death of my father I lived in the same county about three years, I took a notion to go on the water for the space of one year in which I did keep Christ my foremost object in life all the time, and then I went to Philadelphia and joined the society, and at last I was called on to take charge of a class, from that I passed the quarterly conference for an exhorter, and after that received license to preach and joined the travelling connexion. But here I would wish to give some moving causes before I joined the itineracy as a preacher.
After my conversion I was deeply impressed to go and preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which I disobeyed on the account of feeling not competent because I could not read very well, but that condemnation it appears was always in me, by these means I delayed my time, at last I started to go a journey and I was stopped by a thundergust and was caused to stop at a friends house, I was more affrighted when I recollected that a man and one child was killed in the same house by lightening,and I thought of my disobeying my master's call, that he was about to do me the same, I scarcely could pray, however I went to bed in the name of the Lord and went to sleep, an angel came unto my bed side in a vision to me, he appeared to have a candle about two feet long, tapped me on the shoulder and said arise and go with me, and I arose and sensible when I went out of the door and I came on a walk about four feet wide, and it; appeared to be solid gold, on each side stood popular trees about three feet apart, and it appeared to reach to the heavens; on viewing the sight I was lost in astonishment, I wondered what part of the country I was in that I ever saw the like, I thought of the western part of the country, but I found it was not that, and when I cast my eyes down it appeared that I stood on a sea of glass and seeing the black surface rolling beneath, and I said unto myself good Lord I shall fall for I am gone, and then thought of the words of our Lord to Peter "oh ye of little faith," and then I went on for some great distance but I do not know how far, at last I came to a large wall and put my left hand against it, and my hand stuck fast and the glass vanished away from beneath me, and nothing held me but my hand against the wall; when the glass vanished away I looked beneath me and I saw hell, and the discovery of some people, I had a knowledge of some hung by the hair of their heads, and others by their tongues, and others by their thumbs, and others by their two big toes, and in many other situations too awful to mention, and I saw a tree and it appeared to be about ten miles broad, and on that tree there was every color that I had ever seen here, and I asked my guide what this tree meant and the different colors, he answered and said unto me the tree represents the power of the wicked men, and the colors were the ways and means the Devil had to tempt the people with, then it appeared unto me that there were numbers of hatches, the pit flew open and the liquid flames of fire blazing and the people in the flames as thick as fish in a pond, and the awful shrieks and cries I never heard neither before nor since; it was about six months before I got clear of it, and then I was told to march forward and the walls appeared to open and I went into the most beautiful place that I ever saw or beheld, the greatest light I ever saw and there was no sun nor moon nor stars, the light my guide had looked like a candle when lighted at noon day, I was told to bear to the right and I entered into a large building as round as a plumb, and I could not see any end to it, I viewed the Savior the friend of sinners standing, and he said unto me have you come at last, I am here said I, and he had a book about four feet wide and proportioned accordingly, and I read in that book beautiful things which made my heart glad, but I could not remember any thing that I read afterwards, and I heard the sweetest music that I ever heard, the redeemed from among all nations of the earth, and then I turned to come back but an angel called me back, and had a testament in his hand opened and he showed me the 10th chapter of the Revelations 6 verse and said unto me, here is a text you must preach from for you are called to preach the everlasting gospel to mankind, and I refused and said unto him that is a sealed book for our wisest men feel afraid to undertake it, and I feel myself very small in the eyes of men, but he said unto me the third time you must preach it and he told me two propositions on it, and then I saw light on the subject which gave me great encouragement to take up the cross, while being faithful unto God he will be with me and bring me out and then I turned to come away and awoke from my vision in the night about 12 o'clock, and could see to pick up a pin in any part of the house, being so dark when I laid down that I could not discover any thing whatever in the room, and then when I awoke and seeing such a light, being much alarmed, I rose up out of my bed and fell upon my knees and made a covenant with my God if he would only give me grace I would go through by much weakness and preach the gospel and call sinners, and from that time to this day I have felt good times and seen good times, and I do expect to see greater yet, and would say unto all that is called to preach go and preach the gospel, by doing this you may save yourself and many I hope that may hear thee.
I remain dearly beloved, your affectionate servant in Christ.
Minister of the Gospel.