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Narrative of Sojourner Truth   Leave a comment


 

Soujourner Truth

Location 1389 – Through all the scenes of her eventful life may be traced the energy of a naturally powerful mind—the fearlessness and childlike simplicity of one untrammeled by education or conventional customs—purity of character—an unflinching adherence to principle—and a native enthusiasm, which, under different circumstances, might easily have produced another Joan of Arc. With all her fervor, and enthusiasm, and speculation, her religion is not tinctured in the least with gloom. No doubt, no hesitation, no despondency, spreads a cloud over her soul; but all is bright, clear, positive, and at times ecstatic. Her trust is in God, and from him she looks for good, and not evil. She feels that ‘perfect love casteth out fear.’

159 – He again, as usual, bewailed his loneliness,—spoke in tones of anguish of his many children, saying, “They are all taken away from me! I have now not one to give me a cup of cold water—why should I live and not die?”

212 – She had no idea God had any knowledge of her thoughts, save what she told him; or heard her prayers, unless they were spoken audibly.

248 – Her master insisted that she could do as much work as half a dozen common people, and do it well, too;

347 – ‘The Lord only knows how many times I let my children go hungry, rather than take secretly the bread I liked not to ask for.

411 – ‘there is but one master; and He who is your master is my master.’

615 – She believed He not only saw, but noted down all her actions in a great book, even as her master kept a record of whatever he wished not to forget. But she had no idea that God knew a thought of hers till she had uttered it aloud.

634 – She related to God, in minute detail, all her troubles and sufferings, inquiring, as she proceeded, ‘Do you think that’s right, God?’ and closed by begging to be delivered from the evil, whatever it might be.

634 – but if He would give her a new place, and a good master and mistress, she could and would be good; and she expressly stipulated, that she would be good one day to show God how good she would be all of the time, when He should surround her with the right influences, and she should be delivered from the temptations that then so sorely beset her. But, alas! when night came, and she became conscious that she had yielded to all her temptations, and entirely failed of keeping her word with God, having prayed and promised one hour, and fallen into the sins of anger and profanity the next, the mortifying reflection weighed on her mind, and blunted her enjoyment.

634 – she was so happy and satisfied, that God was entirely forgotten. Why should her thoughts turn to Him, who was only known to her as a help in trouble? She had no trouble now; her every prayer had been answered in every minute particular.

701 – ‘shall I lie again to God? I have told him nothing but lies; and shall I speak again, and tell another lie to God?’ She could not; and now she began to wish for someone to speak to God for her. Then a space seemed opening between her and God, and she felt that if someone, who was worthy in the sight of heaven, would but plead for her in their own name, and not let God know it came from her, who was so unworthy, God might grant it.

723 – She contemplated the unapproachable barriers that existed between herself and the great of this world, as the world calls greatness,

726 – when she heard him spoken of, she said mentally—‘What! others know Jesus! I thought no one knew Jesus but me!’ and she felt a sort of jealousy, lest she should be robbed of her newly found treasure.

742 –  ‘Let others say what they will of the efficacy of prayer, I believe in it, and I shall pray. Thank God! Yes, I shall always pray,’

747 – God, you know how much I am distressed, for I have told you again and again. Now, God, help me get my son. If you were in trouble, as I am, and I could help you, as you can me, think I wouldn’t do it? Yes, God, you know I would do it.’ ‘Oh, God, you know I have no money, but you can make the people do for me, and you must make the people do for me. I will never give you peace till you do, God.’ ‘Oh, God, make the people hear me—don’t let them turn me off, without hearing and helping me.’

764 – he was dependent on the ‘world’s cold charity,’ and died in a poorhouse.

885 – the peculiar feeling of her hand—the bony hardness so just like mine? and yet I could not know she was my sister; and now I see she looked so like my mother.’ And Isabella wept, and not alone; Sophia wept, and the strong man, Michael, mingled his tears with theirs. ‘Oh Lord,’ inquired Isabella, ‘what is this slavery, that it can do such dreadful things? what evil can it not do?’

1017 – This trait in our American character has been frequently noticed by foreign travelers. One English lady remarks that she discovered, in course of conversation with a Southern married gentleman, that a colored girl slept in his bedroom, in which also was his wife; and when he saw that it occasioned some surprise, he remarked, ‘What would he do if he wanted a glass of water in the night?’

1132 – She said, ‘she never could find out that the rich had any religion. If I had been rich and accomplished, I could; for the rich could always find religion in the rich, and I could find it among the poor.

1167 – that every pedestrian in the world is not a vagabond, and that it is a dangerous thing to compel any one to receive that hospitality from the vicious and abandoned which they should have received from us,—as thousands can testify, who have thus been caught in the snares of the wicked.

1204 – when she was examining the Scriptures, she wished to hear them without comment; but if she employed adult persons to read them to her, and she asked them to read a passage over again, they invariably commenced to explain, by giving her their version of it; and in this way, they tried her feelings exceedingly. In consequence of this, she ceased to ask adult persons to read the Bible to her, and substituted children in their stead.

1255 – They appeared to her to be doing their utmost to agitate and excite the people, who were already too much excited; and when she had listened till her feelings would let her listen silently no longer, she arose and addressed the preachers. The following are specimens of her speech:— ‘Here you are talking about being “changed in the twinkling of an eye.” If the Lord should come, he’d change you to nothing! for there is nothing to you. ‘You seem to be expecting to go to some parlor away up somewhere, and when the wicked have been burnt, you are coming back to walk in triumph over their ashes—this is to be your New Jerusalem!! Now, I can’t see anything so very nice in that, coming back to such a muss as that will be, a world covered with the ashes of the wicked! Besides, if the Lord comes and burns—as you say he will—I am not going away; I am going to stay here and stand the fire, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! And Jesus will walk with me through the fire, and keep me from harm. Nothing belonging to God can burn, any more than God himself; such shall have no need to go away to escape the fire! No, I shall remain. Do you tell me that God’s children can’t stand fire?’ And her manner and tone spoke louder than words, saying, ‘It is absurd to think so!’

Narrative of Sojourner Truth
by Soujourner Truth, Olive Gilbert