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own, and the like. God thus helped me to see, in the surest manner, from time to time, that these, and the like doctrines necessarily connected with them, are the only foundation of safety and salvation for perishing sinners; and that those divine dispositions, which are consonant hereto, are that holiliness, “ without which no man shall see the Lord.” The exercise of these God-like tempers—wherein the soul acts in a kind of concert with God, and would be and do every thing that is pleasing to him, I saw, would stand by the soul in a dying hour; for God must, I think, deny himself, if he cast away his own image, even the soul that is one in desires with himself.
Lord's day, May 17. (At Millington) Spent the forenoon at home, being unable to attend the public worship. At this time, God gave me some affecting sense of my own vileness, and the exceeding sinfulness of my heart; that there seemed to be nothing but sin and corruption within me. “ Ionumerable evils compassed me about :” my want of spirituality and holy living, my neglect of God, and living to myself. All the abominations of my heart and life seemed to be open to my view; and I had nothing to say, but, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”—Towards noon, I saw, that the grace of God in Christ is infinitely free towards sinners and such sinners as I was. I also saw, that God is the supreme good, that in his presence is life; and I began to long to die, that I might be with him, in a state of freedom from all sin. Oh, how a small glimpse of his excellency refreshed my soul! Oh, how worthy is the blessed God to be loved, adored, and delighted in, for himself, for his own divine excellencies !
Though I felt much dulness, and want of a spirit of prayer, this week; yet I had some glimpses of the excellency of divine things; and especially one morning, in secret meditation and prayer, the excellency and beauty of holiness, as a likeness to the glorious God, was so discovered to me, that I began to long earnestly to be in that world where holiness dwells in perfection. I seemed to long for this perfect holiness, not so much for the sake of my own happiness, (although I saw clearly that this was the greatest, yea, the only happiness of the soul,) as that I might please God, live entirely to him, and glorify him to the utmost stretch of my rational powers and capacities.
Lord's day, May 24. (At Long-Meadow in Springfield) Could not but think, as I have often remarked to others, that much more of true religion consists in deep humility, brokenness of heart, and an abasing sense of barrenness and want of grace and holiness, than most who are called Christians, ima. gine; especially those who have been esteemed the converts of the late day. Many seem to know of no other religion but elevated joys and affections, arising only from some flights of imagination, or some suggestion made to their mind, of Christ being their's, God loving them, and the like.
On Thursday, May 28. He came from Long-Meadow to Northampton; appearing vastly better than, by his account, he had been in the winter; indeed so well, that he was able so ride twenty-five miles in a day, and to walk half a mile; and appeared cheerful, and free from melancholy: but yet undoubtedly, at that time, in a confirmed, incurable consumption.
1 bad much opportunity, before this, of particular information concerning him, from many who were well acquainted with bim; and bad myself once an opportunity of considerable conversation and some acquaintance with him, at New-Haven, near four years before, at the time of the commencement, when he offered that confession to the rector of the college, which has been already mentioned in this history ; I being one he was pleased then several times to consult on that affair: but now I had opportunity for a more full acquaintance with him. I found him remarkably sociable, pleasant, and entertaining in his conversation ; yet solid, savoury, spiritual, and very profitable. He appeared meek, modest, and humble; far from any stiffness, moroseness, superstitious demureness, or affected singularity in speech or behaviour, and seeming to dislike all such things. We enjoyed not only the benefit of his conversation, but had the comfort and advantage of hearing him pray in the family, from time to time. His manner of praying was very agreeable; most becoming a worm of the dust, and a disciple of Christ, addressing an infinitely great and holy God, and Father of mercies; not with florid expressions, or a studied eloquence; not with any intemperate vehemence, or indecent boldness. It was at the greatest distance from any appearance of ostentation, and from every thing that might look as though he meant to recommend himself to those ihat were about him, or set himself off to their acceptance. It was tree also from vain repetitions, without impertinent excursions, or needless multiplying of words. He expressed himself with the strictest propriety, with weight, and pungency; and yet what bis lips uttered seemed to flow from the fulness of his heart, as deeply impressed with a great and solemn sense of our necessities, unworthiness, and dependence, and of God's infinite greatness, excellency, and sufficiency, rather than merely froin a warm and fruitful brain, pouring out good expressions. And I know not, that ever I heard him so much as ask a blessing or return thanks at table, but there was something remarkable to be observed both in the matter and manner of the performance. In his prayers, he insisted inuch on the prosperity of Zion, the advancement of Christ's kingdom in the world, and the flourishing and propagation of religion among the Indians, And he generally made it one petition in his prayer, " that we might not oullive our usefulness."
Lord's day, May 31. [At Northampton,] I had little inward sweetness in religion, most of the week past; not reali. sing and beholding spiritually the glory of God, and the blessed
Redeemer; from whence always arise my comforts and joys in religion, if I have any at all: and if I cannot so behold the excellencies and perfections of God, as to cause me to rejoice in him for what he is in hiinself, I have no solid foundation for joy. To rejoice, only because I apprehend I have an interest in Christ, and shall be finally saved, is a poor mean business indeed.
This week, he consulted Dr. Mather, at my house, concerning his illness; who plainly told him, that there were great evidences of his being in a confirmed consumption, and that he could give him no encouragement, that he should ever recover. But it seemed not to occasion the least discomposure in bim, pot to make any manner of alteration as to the cheerfulness and serenity of bis mind, or the freedom or pleasantness of his conversation.
Lord's day, June 7. My attention was greatly engaged, and my soul so drawn forth, this day, by what I heard of the “exceeding preciousness of the saving grace of God's Spirit,” that it almost overcame my body, in my weak state. I saw, that true grace is exceeding precious indeed ; that it is very rare; and that there is but a very small degree of it, even where the reality of it is to be found; at least, I saw this to be my case.
In the preceding week, I enjoyed some comfortable seasons of meditation. One morning, the cause of God appeared exceeding precious to me: the Redeemer's kingdom is all that is valuable in the earth, and I could not but long for the promotion of it in the world. I saw also, that this cause is God's, that he has an infinitely greater regard and concern for it, than I could possibly have; that if I have any true love to this blessed interest, it is only a drop derived from that ocean : hence, I was ready to “ lift up my head with joy;" and conclude, “Well, if God's cause be so dear and precious to him, be will promote it.” And thus I did as it were rest on God, that surely he would promote that which was so agreeable to his own will; though the time when, must still be left to his sovereigo pleasure.
He was advised by physicians still to continue riding, as what would tend, above any other means, to prolong his life. He was at a loss, for some time, which way to bend his course next; but finally determined to ride from hence to Boston ; we having concluded that one of this family should go with bim, and be helpful to him in his weak and low state.
Tuesday, June 9. I set out on a journey from Northampton to Boston. Travelled slowly, and got some acquaintance with divers ministers on the road, VOL. III.
Having now continued to ride for some considerable time together. I felt myself much better than I had formerly done; and found, that in proportion to the prospect I had of being restored to a state of usefulness, so I desired the continuance of life: but death appeared, inconceivably more desirable to me, than a useless life; yet blessed be God, I found my heart, , at times, fully resigned and reconciled to this greatest of allictions, if God saw fit thus to deal with me.
Friday, July 12. I arrived in Boston this day, somewhat fatigued with my journey. Observed, that there is no rest, but in God : fatigues of body, and anxieties of mind, attend us, both in town and country; no place is exempted.
Lord's day, June 14. I enjoyed some enlargement and sweetness in family-prayer, as well as in secret exercises ; God appeared excellent, his ways full of pleasure and peace, and all I wanted was a spirit of holy fervency, to live to him.
Wedesday, June 17. This, and the two preceding days, I spent mainly in visiting the ministers of the town, and was treated with great respect by them.
On Thursday, June 18. I was taken exceeding ill, and brought to the gates of death, by the breaking of small ulcers in my lungs, as my physician supposed. In this extreme weak state I continued for several weeks, and was frequently reduced so low, as to be utterly speechless, and not able so much as to whisper a word; and even after I had so far revived, as to walk about the house, and to step out of doors, I was exercised every day with a faint turn, which continued usually four or five hours : at which times, though I was not so utterly speechless, but that I could say l'es or No, yet I could not converse at all, nor speak one sentence, without making stops for breath ; and divers times in this season, my friends gathered round my bed, to see me breathe my last, which they looked for every moment, as I myself also did.
How I was, the first day or two of my illness, with regard to the exercise of reason, I scarcely know; I believe I was somewhat shattered with the violence of the ferer, at times: but the third day of my illness, and constantly afterwards, for four or five weeks together, I enjoyed as much serenity of mind, and clearness of thought, as perhaps I ever did in my life; and I think, my mind never penetrated with so much ease and freedom into divine things, as at this time; and I never felt so capable of demonstrating the truth of many inportant doctrines of the gospel as now. And as I saw clearly the truth of those great doctrines, which are justly stiled the
doctrines of grace; so I saw with no less clearness, that the essence of religion consisted in the soul's conformity to God, and acting above all selfish views, for his glory, longing to be for him, to live to him, and please and honour him in all things : and this from a clear view of his infinite excellency and worthiness in himself, to be loved, adored, worshipped, and served by all intelligent creatures. Thus I saw, that when a soul loves God with a supreme love, he therein acts like the blessed God himself, who most justly loves himself in that manner. So when God's interest and his are become one, and be longs that God should be glorified, and rejoices to think that he is unchangeably possessed of the highest glory and blessedness, herein also he acts in conformity to God. In like manner, when the soul is fully resigned to, aud rests satisfied and contented with the divine will, here it is also conformed to God.
I saw further, that as this divine temper, whereby the soul exalts God, and treads self in the dust, is wrought in the soul by God's discovering his own glorious perfections in the face of Jesus Christ to it, by the special influences of the holy Spirit, so he cannot but have regard to it, as his own work; and as it is bis image in the soul, he cannot but take delight in it. Then I saw again, that if God should slight and reject his own moral image, he must needs deny himself; which he cannot do. And thus I saw the stability and infallibility of this religion; and that those who are truly possessed of it, have the most complete and satisfying evidence of their being interested in all the benefits of Christ's redemption, having their hearts conformed to him; and that these, these only, are qualified for the employments and entertainments of God's kingdom of glory; as none but these have any relish for the business of heaven, which is to ascribe glory to God, and not to themselves; and that God (though I would speak it with great reverence of his name and perfection) cannot, without denying himself, finally cast such away.
The next thing I had then to do, was to inquire, whether this was my religion: and here God was pleased to help me to the most easy remembrance and critical review of what had passed in course, of a religious nature, through several of the Jatter years of my life. And although I could discover much corruption attending my best duties, many selfish views and carnal ends, much spiritual pride and self-exaltation, and innumerable other evils which compassed me about; yet God was pleased, as I was reviewing, quickly to put this question out of doubt, by shewing me, that I had, from time to time, acted