The Rock of Wisdom; An Explanation of the Sacred Scriptures/To the Reader - Wikisource, the free online library


This little book is for the more wise to give counsel, wherein I fail, and the more ignorant stumble, for want of knowledge, for we must first learn what is right and then pursue it; I have no doubt that when this comes before the face of the public there may be many misrepresentations on this subject, but my soul is at stake for I stand as a minister of God, 2 Tim. 4 c. 1, 2 v and some may reject this on the account of my being a descendant of Ethiopia, and if so, then you may anticipate the feeling of your unworthy author; and he is well aware of the particular prejudice that still seems to exist from some whites towards that nation of people which is called Ethiopians, but my earnest prayer to God is that the time may soon come when that overruling prejudice of sin will die among all nations, and that the pure love of God may spring up in every heart and shine as the morning star, and that the Gospel may bear on the prejudice of man, and I feel it necessary to place my dependence upon the great Rock of Ages, in whose name and with whose words I come to you this day.

I choose to dedicate this little treaties to you, because sometimes those providences which appear rather out of the common line, are hard nuts in the mouth of a weak believer; but some of you have known me from the beginning and have been eye witnesses of most of the facts which I am going to relate, and if you will allow me to make an honest confession. My conscience has often lashed me for not keeping a diary, or rather minuteing down the many conspicuous providences of God, which have appeared to me in times of trouble; but like ungrateful Israel, I went the only way to forget his work and to be unmindful of the rock of my salvation, and now I have nothing to trust to, on this creation but my own treacherous memory, unless the Lord be pleased to send the comforter to me, and if he comes he will bring all things to my remembrance, whatever God hath said unto me in the way of providence. I am sure the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof, the world and all that is thereon, all the cattle of the forest are his and so are the flocks of a thousand hills, yea, the corn and the wine, the oil thereof, and the flax; yea, the wicked deceiver as well as the deceived are the Lord's, and it is he that maketh one man poor and another rich, that bringeth down and lifteth up, and no man can add to the fixed statute of God whether the statute be in grace or providence. The battle, saith the wise man, is not to the strong nor the race to the swift, nor bread to men of skill, the weak are often sure to win the field and the cripple to win the heavenly race, and even fools to accumulate the greatest fortunes. There is no adding a cubit to the statute even in the least circumstance, then why take ye thought for the rest? and now the reader will please to take notice by pursuing these pages, that it should be attended by much prayer; feeling myself small among men and particularly to the learned, when considering my inability; I can make out to write my name, but being impressed by the spirit of God for some years to set before you life and death, in the way of a small treatise, and I hope that it will prove the happy power of God unto salvation to many souls. Many of the readers of this pamphlet may suppose this attempt was attended with a great deal of self, but my blessed master who stands at the helm of affairs to them that love and serve him, I often times say, as Moses said, "thou God seest me," also it is likely this treatise may fall into the hands of the critic, if so I pray to my God while he is a criticising that God may break down his obdurate heart if not a christian, and that his chains may fly off although they are made fast by the devil, likeunto the man that Christ spake unto "come out of the man thou unclean spirit," see Mark 3 ch. 8 vs. also this treatise may fall into the hands of some enemy to the cross of Christ, if so, I hope they will take in consideration the things that makes for their everlasting peace, now hold fast all things that are good, and if there is any thing that will not be beneficial throw it away and do not stumble over it and go down to hell, for I love your souls although I am of the Ethiopian race, and never had the chance of being; taught in the Colleges or Academies and taught the rudiments and sciences &c. unlike to Paul who was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, one of the judges of the Sanhedren, neither like our great men of America who have been taught all these rudiments and are now capable of taking their station in any department of life standing at the head of affairs; but such as my God gave unto me, I will with all pleasure give it unto you so that you may stand fast in the liberty where Christ has made you free, for these things are commanded, and let no man despise thy youth but be thou an example of the believers in word in conversation in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity, see Tim. 4 ch. 11, 12 vs. I have one more requesting desire in my heart that has been there may years, ever since I began preaching the gospel, which has never yet been granted though I really believe it will in God's own time and way, and when it is accomplished perhaps my dear friends may hear from me again, till then farewell, be of good comfort, live in peace and the God of peace shall be with you, amen, amen.

Even thine in faith and affection,


certificate of dr. j. spangles, of zanesville, ohio.

I do hereby certify that the Rev. N. C. Cannon, a minister of color in the Methodist Episcopal church, was from the fore part of July 1826, confined to his bed and room for a considerable length of time in consequence of serious indisposition, and that he, the said N. C. Cannon, took considerable medicine, during which time I attended to him, and I further certify that he was necessarily confined for a greater length of time than above stated, at a time when I was unable to attend to him owing to absence, his general health during the summer of 1826 was generally precarious, every time I saw him which was very frequently.


March 27, 1827.

certificate of dr. d.w. rhodes, of zanesville, ohio.

I hereby certify that I was called upon and did attend N. C. Cannon, a preacher belonging to the Methodist African church, sometime last July or August, (having made no charge against him the length of time I do not recollect,) and that he was then laboring under a severe affection of his bowels, so much so as to prevent him from attending to any business at that time.


Zanesville, March 28, 1827.