Изображения страниц

Suffer me not, I beseech thee, O Lord, to be deceived in this; but if I am thine indeed, shine upon thy work, and witness it to my heart by thy Spirit. Or if I am still an alien, in a natural state, 0 let me not continue so, but convert my inmost soul. Bring me out from the bondage of sin and Satan, redeem my soul, and show unto me the way of salvation. Reveal Christ in my soul, and glorify thyself in saving a miserable sinner!

Monday, September 24.-I rose early, and besought the Lord to enable me to live this day as if it were the last day of my life, and to make me useful to others. I found much desire after Christ, and some liberty in prayer; and surely my prayers have been heard and answered, for I have had an opportunity of speaking to nine or ten people with some degree of earnestness, and a clear conviction of the truth of what I said. May the Lord bless it to their souls! Without this, it will be as water spilt upon the ground.

Tuesday, September 25.—This morning the Lord enabled me to pour out my heart before him, and to wrestle in prayer, with many tears, for nearly two hours, not only for myself, but for all men,- for the church, my friends, and every one of my family by name. I found liberty to plead with strong cries and tears for my mother, and I trust in the Lord that she will come to acknowledge the truth as it is in Jesus.

Friday, September 28.--I have this day had a long (and a too warm) debate with Mr Middleton, about the doctrine of assurance. He says he dare not preach it; and that those who say they know their sins to be forgiven, are deluded. I affirmed, that the know

[merged small][ocr errors]

ledge of the pardon of sin naturally flowed from faith ; for a man that hath faith, knows that he has it; and that those who have it, are pardoned and justified in the name of the Lord Jesus ; their transgressions are blotted out, and they have joy and peace in believing, &c. Blessed God, remove darkness from our minds; reveal unto us what thou wouldst have us to believe; teach us what is needful for our salvation; and suffer us not to wander into error; but lead us into all truth, for thine own name's sake. Thou art truth. .

Saturday, September 29.-More and more confirmed in the doctrine of the knowledge of remission of sins in this life. I find Calvin, John Knox, Rous, all mention faith as a sure trust and knowledge of forgiveness through the blood of Jesus. Calvin makes this knowledge of pardon of the essence of faith, and the motive to love and obedience.

Sunday, September 30.—I waked this morning with a conviction of my great ignorance of God, and distance from him. I see my distress proceeds from the weakness of


faith. At times I have peace, and never lose hope of receiving faith. But I cannot be established till the Lord give me the witness of the Spirit. I have gained last week some self-knowledge, and see a tendency to passion and impatience that I did not know of before. Lord, give me a humble heart.

Lady Glenorchy to Lady Maxwell. “My dear Madam,- I have been much distressed, since I wrote to you, with company to whom I had not the power to be so faithful as I wished, and saw to be my duty. I feel exceedingly condemned for not speaking more boldly to them, and my own soul has suffered loss by hearing all their carnal conversation for four days. My friend, Miss Hill, came yesterday, which is a comfort to me. How good is the Lord to send me a helper, when I stand so much in need of one! She is grown in self-knowledge since I saw her, and sees it as her privilege to be wholly devoted to God. I trust we shall be faithful to each other, and to those around us. But, my dear madam, you must really continue your friendly admonitions and counsels, and tell me all you have seen amiss in me since the Lord was pleased to give me the comfort of your acquaintance. This is an act of friendship I demand of you, as an evidence of the faith you profess; it is a precept of the gospel which ought to be observed, however disagreeable it may be to flesh and blood. I think I can bear to be told my faults; I wish to know them, that I may spread them before the Lord, and ask his grace to conquer every thing that would separate me from him. If I know any thing of myself, I wish to be wholly his without reserve; and it is my greatest grief that I perceive every day more and more the distance I am from that mind that was in Christ, &c. O that he would speak the word, and I should be whole. I can truly say, my soul longeth for his salvation. Help, my dear madam, with your prayers. I have time for no more just now. May the best blessings of the Lord Jesus rest upon you. Farewell.”

July 22, 1770."

Lady Glenorchy to Lady Maxwell.

My dear Madam-Your question is of the utmost importance ; and it is not my interest to deal deceitfully with you in answering it. My soul does not pros


per; I have suffered already from that contagious air you mention, and feel myself falling into a lifeless inactive spirit: my thoughts are dissipated; my religion lies floating in the head, and my heart is not impressed with that deep seriousness and holy desire after communion with God that I have formerly felt; in short, I am declining fast, under the power of temptation, and in the utmost danger of getting altogether into a carnal spirit. I therefore beg you will write me whatever is most alarming ; try to rouse me up to a sense of my danger. Your words are generally blessed to

O that the Lord would now put it into your heart to say something that would reach mine, and pierce me to the quick! for I am as one asleep on the top of a mast—in imminent danger of falling into eternity. I have been confined with a fever of cold since Monday ; the fever still continues, but so slight, that I have got up to write ; yet who knows but this may be a messenger to call me hence! Miss Hill, in some respects, is a help to me, yet in others I feel worse since she came, as I am inclined to spend too much time with her, and less in


closet. O, my dear madam, what a cordial an hour's conversation with you would be to my dying soul! I am now going to settle all my worldly affairs, and shall leave you my sole executrix. You know my intentions, and I doubt not will fulfil them. I feel my mind quite easy in leaving all I have to you: I hope I shall live to execute it. My body is at present so weak, that I must give over writing for this day, and will only now add my repeated request, that you would be free with me, and write me, as often as you can, every thing that will tend to stir me up to more fidelity towards God and man. Surely none ever misimproved so many mercies as I have done; none will deserve so much punishment; and yet, when I think of the love of God, I cannot fear. I see him ready to forgive, already reconciled in Jesus; yet still I cannot love him and serve him as I ought. What strange perverseness this ! My heart is ready to break when I think of its ingratitude! May the Lord be your sun and shield now and for ever. Yours, affectionately,

W. G."
Saturday, August 14, 1770.

Lady Glenorchy to Lady Maxwell.

for you.

“My dear Madam-Your letter last night was a very great comfort to me in many respects, both as it told me you were better, and in the country, which I much wished you to be, and also, as you gave me a direction

I have been very much distressed with the apprehension of losing you; and have seen by this how much my heart is still attached to creature-comforts. A number of people here have added greatly to my trouble, as I could not tell them the cause of my grief, none of them being acquainted with you, nor enough acquainted with the nature of Christian friendship, to understand all I felt at being left behind you in this perverse world. After several days of hard struggling and wrestling for submission to the divine will, I did at last obtain some measure of resignation, and was enabled to bless God for the comfort I had enjoyed in your company, of which I surely was utterly unworthy. I left it to God to continue or withdraw this blessing as seemed best to him. I would gladly hope the Lord has yet much to do with you here ; and rejoice at your present situation, as you will have . many opportunities of speaking for him in the coun


could not have in town. I have reason to be thankful for those given me every day

try, which

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »