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evening; and then was able to sit up and discourse with friends. Oh, how was this day spent in prayers and praises among my dear people! One night hear them, all the morning, before public worship, and in the evening, till near midnight, praying and singing praises to God, in one or other of their houses. My soul was refreshed, though my body was weak.
This week, in two days, though in a very low state, he went to Elisabeth-Town, to attend the meeting of the Synod there: but was disappointed by its removal to New York. He continued in a very composed, comfortable frame of mind.
Saturday, Oct 11. Towards night was seized with an ague, which was followed with a hard fever, and considerable pain: was treated with great kindness, and was ashamed to see so much concern about so unworthy a creature, as I knew myself to be. Was in a comfortable frame of mind, wholly submissive, with regard to life or death. It was indeed a peculiar satisfaction to me, to think, that it was not my concern or business to determine whether I should live or die. I likewise felt peculiarly satisfied, while under this uncommon degree of disorder ; being now fully convinced of my being really weak, and unable to perform my work. Whereas at other times my mind was perplexed with fears, that I was a mis-improver of time, by conceiting I was sick, when I was not in reality so. Oh, how precious is time! And how guilty it makes me feel, when I think I have trifled away and mis-improved it, or neglected to fill up each part of it with duty, to the utmost of my ability and capacity!
Lord's day, Oct. 12. Was scarce able to sit up, in the foreooon : in the afternoon, attended public worship, and was in a composed comfortable fram
Lord's day, Oct. 19. Was scarcely able to do any thing at all in the week past, except that on Thursday I rode out about four miles; at which time I took cold. As I was able to do little or nothing, so I enjoyed not much spirituality, or lively religious affection; though at some times I longed much to be more fruitful and full of heavenly affection; and was grieved to see the hours slide away, while I could do nothing for God.-Was able this week to attend public worship. Was composed and comfortable, willing either to die or live; but found it hard to be reconciled to the thoughts of living useless. Oh that I might never live to be a burden to God's creation ; but that I might be allowed to repair home, when my sojourning work is done!
This week, he went back to his Indians at Cranberry, to take some care of their spiritual and temporal concerns; and was much spent with riding; though he rode but a little way in a day.
Thursday, Oct. 23. Went to my own house, and set things in order. Was very weak, and somewhat melancholy: laboured to do something, but had no strength; and was forced to lie down on my bed, very solitary.
Friday, Oct. 24. Spent the day in overseeing and directing my people, about mending their fence, and securing their wheat. Found, that all their concerns of a secular nature depended upon me.-- Was somewhat refreshed in the evening, having been able to do something valuable in the day-time. Oh, how it pains me, to see time pass away, when I cau do nothing to any purpose !
Saturday, Oct. 25. Visited some of my people; spent some time in writing, and felt much better in body, than usual. When it was near night, I felt so well, that I had thoughts of expounding: but in the evening was much disordered again, and spent the night in coughing, and spitting blood.
Lord's day, Oct. 26. In the morning, was exceeding weak: spent the day, till near night, in pain to see my poor people wandering as sheep not having a shepherd, waiting and hoping to see me able to preach to them before night. It could not but distress me, to see them in this case, and to find myself unable to attempt any thing for their spiritual benefit. But towards night, finding myself a little better, I called them together to my house, and sat down, and read and expounded Matth. v. 1–16. This discourse, though delivered in much weakness, was attended with power to many of the hearers; especially what was spoken upon the last of these verses; where I insisted on the infinite wrong done to religion, by having our light become darkness, instead of shining before men. Many in the congregation were now deeply affected with a sense of their deficiency, in regard of a spiritual conversation, that might recommend religion to others, and a spirit of concern and watchfulness seemed to be excited in them. There was one, in particular, who had fallen into the sin of drunkenness soine time before, now deeply convinced of his sin, and the great dishononr done to religion by his mis. conduct, and he discovered a great degree of grief and concern on that account. My soul was refreshed, to see this. And though I had no strength to speak so much as I would have done, but was obliged to lie down on the bed; yet I rejoiced
to see such an humble melting in the congregation; and that divine truths, though faintly delivered, were attended with so much efficacy upon the auditory.
Monday, Oct. 27. Spent the day in overseeing and directing the Indians, about mending the fence round their wheat: was able to walk with them, and contrive their business, all the forenoon. In the afternoon, was visited by two dear friends, and spent some tine in conversation with them. Towards night, I was able to walk out, and take care of the Indians again. In the evening, enjoyed a very peaceful frame.
Tuesday, Oct. 28. Rode to Prince-Town, in a very weak state : had such a violent fever, by the way, that I was forced to alight at a friend's house, and lie down for some time. Near night, was visited by Mr. Treat, Mr. Beaty, and his wife, and another friend: my spirits were refreshed to see them; but I was surprized, and even ashamed, that they had taken so much pains as to ride thirty or forty miles to see me. Was able to sit up most of the evening; and spent the time in a very comfortable manner with my friends.
Wednesday, Oct. 29. Rode about ten miles with my friends that came yesterday to sce me; and then parted with them all but one, who stayed on purpose to keep me company, and cheer my spirits. Was extremely weak, and very feverish, especially towards night; but enjoyed comfort and satisfaction.
Thursday, Oct. 30. Rode three or four miles, to visit Mr. Wales: spent some time, in an agreeable manner, in conversation; and though extremely weak, enjoyed a comfortable, composed frame of mind.
Friday, Oct. 31. Spent the day among friends, in a comfortable frame of mind, though exceeding weak, and under a considerable fever.
Saturday, Nov. 1. Took leave of friends, after having spent the forenoon with them, and returned home to my own house. Was much disordered in the evening, and oppressed with my cough; which has now been constant for a long time, with a hard pain in my breast, and fever.
Lord's day, Nov. 2. Was unable to preach, and scarcely able to sit up, the whole day. Was grieved, and almost sunk, to see my poor people destitute of the means of grace; especially considering they could not read, and so were under great disadvantages for spending the Sabbath comfortably. Oh, me thought, I could be contented to be sick, if my poor flock had
a faithful pastor to feed them with spiritual knowledge! A view of their want of this was more affictive to me, than all my bodily illness.
Monday, Nov. 3. Being now in so weak and low a state, that I was utterly incapable of performing my work, and having little hope of recovery, unless by much riding, I thought it my duty to take a long journey into New-England, and to divert myself among my friends, whom I had not now seen for a long time. And accordingly took leave of
my gregation this day.—Before I left my people, I visited them all in their respective houses, and discoursed to each one, as I thought most proper and suitable for their circumstances, and found great freedom and assistance in so doing. I scarcely left one house but some were in tears; and many were not only affected with my being about to leave them, but with the solemn addresses I made them upon divine things; for I was helped to be fervent in spirit, while I discoursed to them.When I had thus gone through my congregation, (which took me niost of the day), and had taken leave of them, and of the school, I left home, and rode about two miles, to the house where I lived in the summer past, and there lodged. Was refreshed, this evening, in that I had left my congregation so well-disposed and affected, and that I had been so much assisted in making my farewel-addresses to them.
Tuesday, Nov. 4. Rode to Woodbridge, and lodged with Mr. Pierson ; continuing still in a very weak state.
Wednesday, Nov. 5. Rode to Elisabeth-Town; intending, as soon as possible, to prosecute my journey into NewEngland. But was, in an hour or two after my arrival, taken much worse.
After this, for near a week, I was confined to my chamber, and most of the time to my bed : and then so far revived as to be able to walk about the house; but was still confined within doors.
In the beginning of this extraordinary turn of disorder, after my coming to Elisabeth-Town, I was enabled through mercy to maintain a calm, composed, and patient spirit, as I had been before from the beginning of my weakness. After I had been in Elisabeth-Town about a fortnight, and had so far recovered that I was able to walk about the house, upon a a day of thanksgiving kept in this place, I was enabled to recall and recount over the mercies of God, in such a manner as greatly affected me, and filled me with thankfulness and praise. Especially my soul praised God for his work of grace among
the Indians, and the enlargement of his dear kingdom. My soul blessed God for what he is in himself, and adored him, that he ever would display himself to creatures. I rejoiced, that he was God, and longed that all should know it, and feel it
, and rejoice in it. “Lord, glorify thyself,” was the desire and cry of my soul. Oh that all people might love and praise the blessed God; that he might have all possible honour and glory from the intelligent world !*
After this comfortable thanksgiving-season, I frequently enjoyed freedom, enlargement, and engagedness of soul in prayer, and was enabled to intercede with God for my dear congregation, very often for every family, and every person, in particular. It was often a great comfort to me, that I could pray heartily to God for those, to whom I could not speak, and whom I was not allowed to see. But at other times, my spirits were so flat and low, and my bodily vigour so much wasted, that I had scarce any affections at all.
In December, I had revived so far as to be able to walk abroad, and visit friends, and seemed to be on the gaining hand with regard to my health, in the main, until Lord's day, December 21. At which time I went to the public worship; and it being sacrament day, I laboured much at the Lord's table, to bring forth a certain corruption, and have it slain, as being an enemy to God and my own soul; and could not but hope, that I had gained some strength against this, as well as other corruptions; and felt some brokenness of heart for
After this, having perhaps taken some cold, I began to decline as to bodily health; and continued to do so, till the latter end of January, 1747. Having a violent cough, a considerable fever, an asthmatic disorder, and no appetite for any manner of food, nor any power of digestion, I was reduced to so low a state, that my friends, I believe, generally despaired of my life; and some of them, for some time together, thought I could scarce live a day. At this time, I could think of nothing, with any application of mind, and seemed to be in a great measure void of all affection, and was exercised with great temptations; but yet was not, ordinarily, afraid of death.
On Lord's day, Feb. 1. Though in a very weak and low state, I enjoyed a considerable deal of comfort and sweetness in divine things ; and was enabled to plead and use arguments
* About this time he wrote the seventh letter among his remains.