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Moses Scott
Early Boone County (KY) Baptist
By John Taylor
Moses Scott -- This is a small man in stature, but before his conversion, was a very great captain for the Devil -- and though some where in the east he was raised by a religious Presbyterian father -- he came to Kentucky and threw off even the form of godliness. Among other things he was a great fiddler, and
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fond of all the amusements connected with that practice -- It may generally be taken for granted that what is called a good fiddler, is the Devil's right hand man; this Scott gloried in his native strength of intellect, connected with his wit, capacitated [qualified] him to make wickedness acceptable to men, and that of higher ranks -- an appointment of county surveyor brought him to Boon [Boone] -- I had a very near neighbor, both rich and wicked, on his land Scott settled for a while -- he at once had a fine partner in vice; he [Scott] very seldom came to meeting at all, but when he did, he looked about as shy and wild as a buck in the woods -- after the revival had progressed some time, curiosity, like Zacchaeus, led him to go to a church meeting to see and hear what was designed by telling experiences; this obliged him to get nearer than he was accustomed to. With great attention he stood and heard an experience related, which was so much to the purpose, that it brought forward a moving exhortation from some other person; from whatever it might be, the buck was shot, and tears began to trickle from Scott's eyes, but being willing to hide, as bucks generally do when they receive the deadly ball -- by sitting down he concealed himself; that or the next evening a meeting being appointed at Maj. Kirtley's, Mr. Scott came to it -- the Major expressing great satisfaction at seeing Scott there, he strove to laugh it off by saying he came to see what sort of a thing a night meeting was, as he had never yet seen one of them; with apparent seriousness, he attended meeting for a while, with a seeming willingness to converse about his soul. A number of Cincinnati gentry, male and female paying a visit to this near rich neighbor of mine, and desiring to have a dance, could not do it without Scott's agency with his fine fiddle -- in this he accommodated them, and they had a long dance, and with this away went all Scott's religion apparently -- he forsook meetings for several months till a monthly meeting being at my house in dead of
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winter; Mr. Scott living almost in sight, came to the meeting -- one of the finest young ladies that I knew in the county as to dress, was also there, a companion of hers came forward and related her experience, which so much affected this fine girl, which she strove to suppress for some time, at length broke forth in plaintive sorrow; by some call I had steped [stepped] into another room of the house, when a heart-broken sound called after me by name -- when I came in, the young lady intreated me to pray for her, as a poor lost sinner -- while she trembled from head to foot, while all her flouncery, jewelry, curls, and feathers trembled as if an earthquake was under her feet -- what was most affecting, after I had closed my prayer, with tremorous voice before she left her knees, prayed herself at some length, for the Lord to have mercy on her guilty soul; perhaps no preaching could have affected the assembly more. This circumstance opened Mr. Scott's wound afresh -- this young lady was Baptized about a month afterwards; that bitter cold evening I Baptized about ten persons among the fleeks [flecks] of ice -- being very busy the next day, killing my hogs, about half the distance from my house to Scott's, and on the direction there, he came to where we were at work; he no more looked wild but meek as a lamb -- after obtaining a little leisure I sat down to converse with him; with all his striving he could scarce keep his tears within his eyes; he soon spoke of the weeping young lady at the meeting the day before, wishing he could be as she was, to which I replied-- "but Mr. Scott what will you do with your fiddle" -- His reply was, on that head his mind was made up -- that he intended to make a present of it to me, to do with it as I thought proper -- however, soon after his house got burnt, with chief of his effects, fiddle and all. He was a considerable time labouring under a consciousness of his helpless condition, which brought about the most intimate friendship between us.
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Our old rich neighbor of whom I have been speaking, strove hard to draw Mr. Scott off, but at length became hopeless, being now bereaved of his associates in sin, through the whole settlement, became disconsolate -- and said to me one day, seeming more serious than I ever saw him: Mr. Taylor, I really am afraid that Scott will leave me too -- to which I replied, "O sir, you had better go with him." But perhaps he lived and died as he was born -- Mr. Scott was much afraid of a mistaken conversion. Refusing to be comforted till the Lord spoke peace in his soul, after which he hesitated awhile, on the vaidity of his former Batism, which led him to the close study of the preacher, and he certainly would have been numbered among the Bullittsburg preachers. But he is a little too proud, he has made some attempts by the invitation of the Church, which gave great satisfaction to others, being a good judge of preaching himself and not being able to please his own taste that way, lays it all aside. Let him remember the man that laid up his Lord's money in the napkin -- perhaps his popularity in the county hangs as a clog to his heels -- for he has been elected several times to the state Legislature -- but this will be a poor thing in the day of settlement with his Lord. Moses Scott is one of the men with whom I agonized in birth till Christ was formed within him.

[From John Taylor, A History of Ten Churches, 1823; reprint, 1968. pp.99-102. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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