« ZurückWeiter »
was pleading for more compassion for immortal souls, my heart seemed to be opened at once, and I was enabled to cry with great ardency, for a few minutes.—Oh, I was distressed to to think, that I should offer such dead cold services to the living God! My soul seemed to breathe after holiness, a life of constant devotedness to God. But I am almost lost sometimes in the pursuit of this blessedness, and ready to sink, because I continually fall short and miss of my desire. O that the Lord would help me to hold out, yet a little while, till the happy hour of deliverance comes !
Saturday, June 19. Felt much disordered; my spirits were very low: but yet enjoyed some freedom and sweetness in the duties of religion. Blessed be God.
Lord's day, June 20. Spent much time alone. My soul Jonged to be holy, and reached after God; but seemed not to obtain my desire. I hungered and thirsted; but was not refreshed and satisfied. My soul hung on God, as my on!y portion. O that I could grow in grace more abundantly every day!
The next day he speaks of his having assistance in his studies, and power, fervency, and comfort in prayer.
Tuesday, June 22. In the morning, spent about two hours in prayer and meditation, with considerable delight. Towards night, felt my soul go out in longing desires after God, in secret retirement. In the evening, was sweetly composed and resigned to God's will; was enabled to leave myself and all my concerns with him, and to have my whole dependence upon him. My secret retirement was very refreshing to my soul; it appeared such a happiness to have God for my portion, that I had rather be any other creature in this lower creation, than not come to the enjoyment of God. I had rather be a beast, than a man, without God, if I were to live here to eternity. Lord, endear thyself more to me!
In his diary for the next seven days, he expresses a variety of exercises of mind. He speaks of great longings after God and holiness, and earnest desires for the conversion of others; of fervency in prayer, power to wrestle with God, composure, comfort, and sweetness, from time to time; but expresses a sense of the vile abomination of his heart, and bitterly complains of his barrenness, and the pressing body of death; and says, he“ saw clearly that wbatever he enjoyed, better than hell, was of free grace.” He complains of being exceeding low, much below the character of a child of God; and is sometimes very disconsolate and dejected.
Wednesday, June 30. Spent this day alone in the woods, in fasting and prayer; underwent the most dreadful conflicts in my soul that ever I felt, in some respects. I saw myself so vile, that I was ready to say, “I shall now perish by the hand of Saul.” I thought, and almost concluded, I had no power to stand for the cause of God, but was almost “afraid of the shaking of a leaf.” Spent almost the whole day in prayer, incessantly. I could not bear to think of Christians shewing me any respect. I almost despaired of doing any service in the world: I could not feel any hope or comfort respecting the Heathen, which used to afford me refreshment in the darkest hours of this nature. the day in the bitterness of my soul. Near night, I felt a little better; and afterwards enjoyed some sweetness in secret prayer.
Thursday, July 1. Had some sweetness in prayer this morning.–Felt exceeding sweetly in secret prayer to-night, and desired nothing so ardently as that God should do with me just as he pleased.
Friday, July 2. Felt composed in secret prayer in the morning.-My desires ascended to God this day, as I was travelling: and was comfortable in the evening. Blessed be God for all my consolations.
Saturday, July 3. My heart seemed again to sink. The disgrace I was laid under at college, seemed to damp me; as it opens the mouths of opposers. I had no refuge but in God. Blessed be his name, that I may go to him at all times, and find bim a present help.
Lord's day, July 4. Had considerable assistance. In the evening I withdrew, and enjoyed a happy season in secret prayer. God was pleased to give me the exercise of faith, and thereby brought the invisible and eternal world near to my soul; which appeared sweetly to me. I hoped, that my weary pilgrimage in the world would be short ; and that it would not be long before I was brought to my heavenly home and Father's house. I was resigned to God's will, to tarry his time, to do his work, and suffer his pleasure. I felt thankfulness to God for all my pressing desertions of late; for I am persuaded they have been made a means of making me more humble, and much more resigned. I felt pleased, to be litile, to be nothing, and to lie in the dust. I enjoyed life and consolation in pleading for the dear children of God, and the kingdom of Christ in the world: and my soul earnestly breathed after Vol. III.
holiness, and the enjoyment of God. O come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.
By his diary for the remaining days of this week, it appears that he enjoy. ed considerable composure and tranquility, and had sweetness and servency of spirit in prayer, from day to day.
Lord's day, July 11. Was deserted, and exceedingly dejected in the morning. In the afternoon, had some life and assistance, and felt resigned. I saw myself exceeding vile.
On the two next days he expresses inward comfort, resignation, and strength in God.
IVednesday, July 14. Felt a kind of humble resigned sweetness: spent a considerable time in secret, giving myself up wholly to the Lord.—Heard Mr. Bellamy preach towards night: felt very sweetly part of the time : longed for bearer access to God.
The four next days, he expresses considerable comfort and fervency of spirit, in Christian conversation and religious exercises.
Monday, July 19. My desires seem especially to be carried out after weanedness from the world, perfect deadness to it, and to be even crucised to all its allurements. My soul longs to feel itself more of a pilgrim and stranger here below; that nothing may divert me from pressing through the lonely desart, till I arrive at my Father's house.
Tuesday, July 20. It was sweet to give away myself to God, to be disposed of at his pleasure ; and had some feeling sense of the sweetness of being a pilgrim on earth.
The next day, he expresses himself as determined to be wholly devoted to God; and it appears by his diary, that he spent the whole day is a most diligent exercise of religion, and exceeding comfortably.
Thursday, July 22. Journeying from Southbury to Ripton, I called at a house by the way; wbere being very kindly entertained and refreshed, I was filled with amazement and shame, that God should stir up the bearts of any to shew so much kindness to such a dead dog as 1; was made sensible, in some measure, how exceeding vile it is, not be wholly devoted to God. I wondered, that God would suffer any of his creatures to feed and sustain me from time to time.
In his diary for the siz next days, are expressed various exercises and experiences, such as, sweet coin posure and fervency of spirit in meditation
and prayer, weanedness from the world, being sensibly a pilgrim and stranger on the earth, engagedness of mind to spend every inch of time for God, &c.
Thursday, July 29. I was examined by the Association met at Danbury, as to my learning, and also my experiences in religion, and received a licence from them to preach the gospel of Christ. Afterwards felt much devoted to God; joined in prayer with one of the ministers, my peculiar friend, in a convenient place; went to bed resolving to live devoted to God all my days.
FROM THE TIME OF HIS BEING LICENSED TO PREACH, BY THE
ASSOCIATION, TILL HE WAS EXAMINED IN NEW-YORK, BY
Friday, July 30, 1742. Rode from Danbury to Southbury; preached there from 1 Pet. iv. 8. And above all things have fervent charity, &c. Had much of the comfortable presence of God in the exercise. I seemed to have power with God in prayer, and power to get hold of the hearts of the people in preaching
Saturday, July 31. Exceeding calm and composed, and was greatly refreshed and encouraged.
It appears by his diary, that he continued in this sweetness and tranquility, almost through the whole of the next week.
Lord's day, Aug. 8. In the morning I felt comfortably in secret prayer; my soul was refreshed with the hopes of the Heathen coming home to Christ; was much resigned to God, and thought it was no matter what became of me.-Preached both parts of the day at Bethlehem, from Job xiv. 14. If a man die; shall he live again, &c. It was sweet to me to meditate on death. In the evening, felt very comfortably, and cried to God fervently in secret prayer.
It appears by his diary, that he continued through the three next dnys, engaged with all his might in the business of religion, and in almost a constant enjoyment of the comforts of it.
Thursday, Aug. 12. This morning and last night I was exercised with sore inward trials : I had no power to pray : but seemned shut out from God. I had in a great measure lost my hopes of God sending me among the Heathen afar off, and of seeing them flock home to Christ. I saw so much of my bellish vileness, that I appeared worse to myself than any devil: I wondered that God would let me live, and wondered that people did not stone me, much more that they would ever hear me preach! It seemed as though I never could nor should preach any more; yet about nine or ten o'clock, the people caine over, and I was forced to preach. And blessed be God, he gave me his presence and Spirit in prayer and preaching: so that I was much assisted, and spake with power from Job xiv, 14. Some Indians cried out in great distress *, and all appeared greatly concerned. After we had prayed and exhorted them to seek the Lord with constancy and hired an English woman to keep a kind of school among them, we came away about one o'clock, and came to Judea, about fifteen or sixteen miles. There God was pleased to visit my soul with much comfort. Blessed be the Lord for all things I meet with.
It appears, that the two next days he had much comfort, and had his heart much engaged in religion.
Lord's day, Aug. 15. Felt much comfort and devotedness to God this day. At night, it was refreshing, to get alone with God, and pour out my soul. O who can conceive of the sweetness of communion with the blessed God, but those who have experience of it! Glory to God for ever, that I may taste heaven below.
Monday, Aug. 16. Had some comfort in secret prayer, in the morning. Felt sweetly sundry times in prayer this day: but was much perplexed in the evening with vain con' versation.
Tuesday, Aug. 17. Exceedingly depressed in spirit, it cuts and wounds my heart, to think how much self-exaltation,
* It was in a place near Kent, in the western borders of Connecticut, where there is a pomber of lodiaos.