Изображения страниц

I have this day a comfortable persuasion that the Lord is, near, and that he that shall come will come, and will not tarry; and although my own soul were to perish, yet I will bless him for all the benefits already conferred upon me, and that he hath counted me worthy to suffer reproach for his name, and employed me in awakening others. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and magnify his name !

[ocr errors][merged small]

Sunday, September 9.-Last week I have had a call by sickness, to prepare for eternity. Yesterday I put my worldly affairs in order, made my will, and solemnly committed my soul and body to the Lord Jesus : this I did with much earnestness, and I hope sincerity, as I believe he heard the voice of my supplications. I felt the good effects of having cast myself and all my cares on him throughout the day, being sensibly strengthened in writing, speaking, and prayer. This day my body is disordered and my soul asleep. I am unable to think or read with attention. Blessed Lord ! remember me in this low estate, and let thy strength be now manifested in my weakness; and as the outward man perisheth, let the inward man be renewed daily, that I may be growing up to the perfect stature of Christ, and made meet for the enjoyment of thee and the fellowship of the saints in heaven!

Since writing the above, the Lord has enabled me to draw nigh to him in prayer, and given me more than usual enlargement in pouring out my desires before him. I note this, to show how visibly every good gift cometh from God. When I am weak, then am I strong through

him, that the glory may be his. When we are very dead, then ought we the more to strive to pray, for this is the time of greatest need, and it is then the Lord is most ready to hear.

Monday, September 10.-Having (through grace) got a sight this morning of my late unprofitable walk, I prayed to be made useful to others this day, and obtained faith that my prayers would be answered. I set out from my bed-chamber in the name of the Lord, trusting that in his strength I should be enabled to speak to as many as came in my way. My prayer was heard. I have spoken with seven persons this day about their souls, one of whom was a young gentleman, who received what I said with much kindness, and thanked me for it. I felt joy at having been faithful to his soul, though, I have much reason to blush at the imperfect manner in which I at all times speak of the Lord. But he knows my weakness, and will, when he sees good, give me the power of utterance. He first gives the willing mind, afterwards the power. O what comfort is there in looking back upon a day spent for God, and dedicated to his service through the blood of Jesus, which cleanseth from all our imperfections and infirmities!

Tuesday, September 11.—I desire this day to set to my seal, that God is a prayer-hearing God, and that it is our unfaithfulness and unwillingness that cause our great unprofitableness. I prayed this morning for three things which I found myself wholly unfit for, yet saw them to be duty; and the Lord cleared my way, put strength in me, and brought me off more than conqueror; I had many struggles and temptations, but the Lord got himself the victory. O that this may encourage me to put my trust in him, and to go on conquering and to conquer !

Friday, September 14.-I got up earlier than usual this morning to spend some time in prayer, but before I got on my clothes met with a trial of patience which overcame me. I fell into pride, self-conceit, and anger.

I several times asked help of God, yet continued sinning against him. Surely the Lord, by permitting this, intends to show me my own heart; perhaps I have been full of spiritual pride, and he takes this way of laying me in the dust, and causing me to abhor myself. Yes, Lord, I do abhor myself for sinning against thee. O let me become still more vile in my own eyes,

that I


be more earnest to obtain the blood of sprinkling, to cover my sins from thy sight, and to wash me from all iniquity. O let this morning's fall be a warning to me, to watch and pray continually, lest I enter into temptation. Give me that charity that beareth all things; and suffer me not to murmur at the trials thou hast in mercy sent me; but let me ever remember that I have deserved hell, and that it is of thy tender mercies I am not consumed. Since writing the above, I went out into the fields to humble myself before God, (after having confessed my fault to two friends, in order to be revenged of my proud heart). I went into a summer-house, and there poured out my heart with many tears before the Lord, and at length obtained peace, but could not be reconciled to myself. In my way home I embraced several opportunities that offered of warning others of the evil of sin. I endeavoured to explain to them the nature of it, the original depravity of their hearts, and the way of salvation by Jesus Christ. O what love is this in God, to employ such a poor sinful wretch as

I am in speaking for him! I received a letter this morning, telling me of a tradesman's daughter having been awakened by a conversation I had with her before I left town. Glory be to thee, thou Almighty Lord, who out of weakness ordaineth strength!

Saturday, September 15.- I spent some hours this morning in reading and prayer. I begged of God to employ me in his work through the day; but could not recollect any person in this family or place that I had not spoken to. I was afraid I should be idle ; but the Lord provided work for me when I least expected it. Two or three

persons came to me from a distance about business, to whom I gave books, and spoke about their souls. One woman wept, and seemed much obliged to me. My travelling bookseller coming this way, brought me a supply of books. I went out in the carriage, and called at several houses, where I dispersed many of them. I had also some opportunities of relieving the temporal wants of a few of these poor per

What joy does it give one's heart to relieve the indigent members of Christ ! Surely all that the world calls pleasure is not to be compared to it. How blind, how stupid is man,--always seeking happiness, yet neglecting the only way in which it can be obtained. Did he once know the pleasures of religion, he would soon quit the poor, empty, insipid vanities of this world.


Sunday, September 16.-Upon reviewing my life last week, I cannot but give glory to God, and bless his name, for carrying on his work in my soul, and calling me to experience his power in working in me both to will and to do of his good pleasure, and, lest spiritual pride should take possession of me, has permitted me to fall into temptation, that I might see my own vileness, and his mercy and loving-kindness in raising me up to more diligence, making me more watchful, and showing me that my only safety is in continual dependance on him. O my soul, bless God thy Lord,-forget not his benefits. Surely I am the most ungrateful of all his creatures. What am I, O Lord, that thou shouldst thus regard me! O let me ever keep in remembrance thy mercies and my unworthiness ; let my song be, Grace, grace, free grace to the chief of sinners. Thou art found of them that sought thee not, and art merciful to the evil and unthankful, that thou mayest have all the glory, the honour, and praise, for ever and ever.

Amen. So be it.

Sunday, September 23.— I rose early this morning to seek the Lord, and after struggling some time with temptations, I at last got some measure of the spirit of prayer and faith to say, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." I have besought the Lord to show me whether or not I am in a regenerate state. Surely I am not an enemy to God, since it is the prevailing desire of my soul to know him, and to bear his image. Sin is the burden of my life. I groan to be delivered from it. I find no pleasure in any thing that does not tend to the glory of God. I look upon every moment as lost that is not spent in reading, hearing, or speaking of the things of God. My views in this world are now confined to a life of conformity to his will, and obedience to his laws. I perceive sin in many things now, which formerly appeared innocent to me; and duties which then appeared unattainable, I am now enabled to perform. These things convince me that the Lord is carrying on a work of grace on my soul, and that he hath thoughts of mercy towards me.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »