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The next day, he speaks of much dejection and discouragement, from an apprehension of his own unfitness ever to do any good in preaching; but blesses God for all dispensations of providence and grace; finding that by all God weaned him more from the world, and made him more resigned.
The next ten days, he appears to have been for the most part under great degrees of melancholy, exceedingly dejected and discouraged : speaks of his being ready to give up all for gone respecting the cause of Christ, and exceedingly longing to die : yet had some sweet seasons and intervals of comfort, and special assistance and enlargement in the duties of religion, and in performing public services, and considerable success in them.
Thursday, Sept. 30. Still very low in spirits; I did not know how to engage in any work or business, especially to correct some disorders among christians; felt as though I had no power to be faithful in that regard. However, towards noon, I preached from Deut. viii. 3. And thou shall remember, &c. and was enabled with freedom to reprove some things in Christians' conduct, that I thought very unsuitable and irregular; insisted near two hours on this subject.
Through this and the two following weeks, he passed through a variety of exercises : he was frequently dejected, and felt inward distresses: and sometimes sunk into the depths of melancholy; at which turns, he was not exercised about the state of his soul, with regard to the favour of God, and his interest in Christ, but about his own sinful infirmities, and unfitness for God's service. His mind appears sometimes extremely depressed and sunk with a sense of inexpressible vileness. But in the mean time, he speaks of many seasons of comfort and spiritual refreshment, whereio his heart was encouraged and strengthened in God, and sweetly resigned to his will; of some seasons of very high degrees of spiritual consolation, and of his great longings after holiness and conformity to God; of his great fear of offending God, and of his heart being sweetly melted in religious duties; of his longing for the advancement of Christ's kingdom, of bis having at times much assistance in preaching, and of remarkable effects on the authority.
Lord's day, Oct. 17. Had a considerable sense of my helplessness and inability ; saw that I must be dependent on God for all I want; and especially when I went to the place of public worship. I found I could not speak a word for God without his special help and assistance. I went into the assembly trembling, as I frequently do, under a sense of my insufficiency to do any thing in the cause of God, as I ought to do.-But it pleased God to afford me much assistance, and there seemed to be a considerable effect on the hearers.-la the evening, I felt a disposition to praise God, for his goodness to me, that he had enabled me in some measure to be faithful; and my soul rejoiced to think, that I had thus performed the work of one day more, and was one day nearer my eternal
, and I trust my heavenly home. O that I might be “faithful to the death, fulfilling as an hireling my day," till the shades of the evening of life shall free my soul from the toils of the day! This evening, in secret prayer, I felt exceeding solemn, and such longing desires after deliverance from sin, and after conformity to God, as melted my heart. Oh, I longed to be " delivered from this body of death !" I felt inward pleasing pain, that I could not be conformed to God entirely, fully, and for ever.--I scarce ever preach without being first visited with inward conflicts and sore trials. Blessed be the Lord for these trials and distresses as they are blessed for my humbling
Monday, Oct. 18. In the morning, I felt some sweetness, but still pressed through trials of soul. My life is a constant mixture of consolations and conflicts, and will be so till I arrive at the world of spirits.
Tuesday, Oct. 19. This morning and last night, I felt a sweet longing in my soul after holiness. My soul seemed so to reach and stretch towards the mark of perfect sanctity, that it was ready to break with longings.
Wednesday, Oct. 20. Exceeding infirm in body, exer. cised with much pain, and very lifeless in divine things.-Felt a little sweetness in the evening.
Thursday, Oct. 21. Had a very deep sense of the vanity of the world, most of the day; had little more regard to it, than if I had been to go into eternity the next hour. Through divine goodness, I felt very serious and solemn. O, I love to live on the brink of eternity, in my views and meditations! This gives me a sweet, awful, and reverential sense and apprehension of God and divine things, when I see myself as it were standing before the judgment-seat of Christ.
Friday, Oct. 22. Uncommonly weaned from the world to day: my soul delighted to be a stranger and pilgrim on the earth; I felt a disposition in me never to have any thing to do with this world. The character given of some of the ancient people of God, in Heb. xi. 13. was very pleasing to me, “They confessed that they were pilgrims and strangers on the eartb," by their daily practice; and that I could always do so!-Spent some considerable time in a pleasant grove, in prayer and meditation. O it is sweet, to be thus weaned from friends, and from myself, and dead to the present world, that so I may live wbolly to and upon the blessed God! Saw myself little, low, and vide in myself.--In the afternoon, preached at Bethlehem, from Deut. viii. 2. God helped nie to speak to the hearts of dear christians. Blessed be the Lord for this şeason: I trust, they and I shall rejoice on this account to all eternity.--Dear Mr. Bellamy came in, while I was inaking the first prayer, (being returned horne from a journey); and after meeting, we walked away together, and spent the evening in sweetly conversing on divine things, and praying together, with sweet and tender love to each other, and returned to rest with our hearts in a serious spiritual frame.
Saturday, Oct. 23. Somewhat perplexed and confused. Rode this day from Bethlehem to Simsbury.
Lord's day, Oct. 24. Felt so vile and unworthy, that I scarce knew how to converse with human creatures.
Monday, Oct. 25. [At Turky-Hills] In the evening I enjoyed the divine presence in secret prayer. It was a sweet and comfortable season to me; my soul longed for God, for the living God: enjoyed a sweet solemnity of spirit, and longing desire after the recovery of the divine image in my soul. « Then shall I be satisfied, when I shall awake in God's likeness," and never before.
Tuesday, Oct. 26. [At West-Suffield] Underwent the most dreadful distresses, under a sense of iny own unworthiness. It seemed to me, I deserved rather to be driven out of the place, than to have any body treat me with any kindness, or come to hear me preach. And verily my spirits were so depressed at this time, (as at many others,) that it was impossible I should treat immortal souls with faithfulness. I could not deal closely and faithfully with them,. I felt so infinitely vile in myself. Oh, what dust and ashes I am, to think of preaching the gospel to others ! Indeed I never can be faithful for one moment, but shall certainly “daub with untempered mortar,” if God do not grant me special help.- In the evening I went to the meeting-house, and it looked to me near as easy for one to rise out of the grave and preach, as for ine. However, God afforded me some life and power, both in prayer and sermon ; and was pleased to lift me up, and shew me that he could enable me to preach the wonderful goodness of God to so vile a sinner !— Returned to my quarters; and enjoyed some sweetness in prayer alone, and mourned that I could not live more to God.
Wednesday, Oct. 27. I spent the forenoon in prayer and meditation ; was not a little concerned about preaching in the afternoon : felt exceedingly without strength, and very helpless indeed; and went into the meeting-house, ashamed to see any come to hear such an unspeakably worthless wretch. However,
God enabled me to speak with clearness, power, and pungency. But there was some noise and tumult in the assembly, that I did not well like ; and endeavoured to bear public testimony against it with moderation and mildness, through the current of my discourse.-In the evening, was enabled to be in some measure thankful and devoted to God.
The frames and exercises of his mind, during the four next days were mostly very similar to those of the two days past ; excepting intervals of considerable degrees of divine peace and consolation.
The things expressed within the space of the three following days are such as these ; some seasons of dejection, mourning for being so destitute of the exercises of grace, longing to be delivered from sin, pressing after inore of God, seasons of sweet consolation, precious and intimate converse with God in secret prayer, sweetness of christian conversation, &c.— Within this time he rode from Suffield lo Eastbury, Hebron, and Lebanon.
Thursday, Nov. 4. (At Lebanon] Saw much of my nothingness most of this day : but felt concerned that I had no more sense of my insufficiency and unworthiness. ( it is sweet lying in the dust! But it is distressing to feel in my soul that hell of corruption, which still remains in me.—In the afternoon, had a sense of the sweetness of a strict, close, and constant devotedness to God, and my soul was comforted with his consolations. My soul felt a pleasing, yet painful concern, Jest I should spend some moments without God. () may I always live to God! - In the evening, I was visited by some friends, and spent the time in prayer and such conversation as tended to our edification. It was a comfortable season to my soul: I felt an intense desire to spend every moment for God. God is unspeakably gracious to me continually. In times past, he has given me inexpressible sweetness in the performance of duty. Frequently my soul has enjoyed much of God; but has been ready to say, “ Lord, it is good to be here;" and so to indulge sloth, while I have lived on the sweetness of my feelings. But of late, God has been pleased to keep my soul hungry, almost continually; so that I have been filled with a kind of pleasing pain. When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of him the more insatiable, and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable ; and the Lord will not allow me to feel as though I were fully supplied and satisfied, but keeps me still reaching forward. I feel barren and empty, as though I could not live, without more of God; I feel ashamed and guilty before him. Oh! I see, that “the law is spiritual, but I am carnal.” I do not, I cannot live to God. Ob for holiDess! Oh for more of God in my soul! On this pleasing pain ! It makes my soul press after God; the language of it is, “ Then shall I be satisfied, when I awake in God's likeness," (Psal. xvii. ult.); but never, never before: and consequently I am engaged to “press towards the mark,” day by day. O that I may feel this continual hunger, and not be retarded, but rather animated by every cluster from Canaan, to reach forward in the narrow way, for the full enjoyment and possession of the heavenly inheritance! O that I may never loiter in my heavenly journey!
These insatiable desires after God and holiness continued the two next days, with a great sense of his own exceeding unworthiness, and the nothingness of the things of this world.
Lord's day, Nov. 7. [At Millington] It seemed as if such an unholy wretch as I never could arrive at that blessedness, to be “holy, as God is holy.” At noon, I longed for sanctification, and conformity to God. Oh, that is THE ALL, THE ALL! The Lord help me to press after God for ever.
Monday, Nov. 8. Towards night, enjoyed much sweetness in secret prayer, so that my soul longed for an arrival in the heavenly country, the blessed paradise of God. Through divine goodness, I have scarce seen the day, for two months, but death has looked so pleasant to me at one time or otber of the day, that I could have rejoiced the present should be my last, notwithstanding my pressing inward trials and conflicts. I trust, the Lord will finally make me a conqueror, and more than a conqueror; and that I shall be able to use that triumphant language, “O death, where is thy sting!” And, “O grave, where is thy victory!"
Within the next ten days, the following things are expressed: longing and wrestling to be holy, and to live to God; a desire that every single thought might be for God; seeling guilty, that bis thoughts were no more swallowed up in God; sweet solemnity and calmness of mind; submission and resignation to God; great weanedness from the world ; abasement in the dust; grief at some vain corsversation that was observed; sweetness from time to time in secret prayer, and in conversing and praying with Christian friends. And every day he appears to have been greatly engaged in the great busidess of religion and living to God, without interruption.
Friday, Nov. 19. [At New Haven] Received a letter from the Reverend Mr. Pemberton of New York, desiring nie speedily to go down thither, and consult about the Indian affairs in those parts; and to meet certain gentlemen there who were intrusted with those affairs. My mind was instantly seized with concern; so I retired with two or three Chrisci