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had I in every trial but believed all the way through, how sweetly might I have gone on! Now I see what a gracious Providence hath superintended all I "Praise the Lord, O my soul; and ail that is within me praise His holy name t"
June 7. What a deliverance hath the Lord wrought for me! A year ago, I thought there was nothing before me (temporally) but ruin. This day twelvemonths, I cried out, " Thou hast not delivered Thy people at all." How wonderful a chain of providences! As soon as we determined to marry in a fortnight, and leave the event to the Lord, the house and all was sold in ten days, and a way made for every one! But wanting a hundred pounds more to get out of that situation, we prayed the Lord to appear in our behalf, and immediately my youngest brother supplied our every need, though he knew not any thing of our necessity.
44 In all my ways Thy hand I own!
September 12. I have seen forty-three years! Lord, to what purpose! Most of this day I have spent in secret prayer,—yet my soul is rather sorrowful. I have a variety of people and different calls of God to attend unto,—and I seem to want more wisdom, light, and love. My spiritual sphere of action is different. I have in many respects a wider call for action than before—but such a one as requires the momentary teaching of the Lord, both in conversing and writing.—Yet I do not feel all that I felt at Hoxton.—No, I do not so live by faith as I did then. But I lie before Thee, O Lord !—Do all thy will on thy poor creature, for whom thou hast appeared in so marvellous a manner!
October. The animating example of my dear husband stirs me up much—What a spiritual life does he live —night and day he is always on the stretch for God.—• I am a good deal encouraged for the people. I have much liberty in meeting them, and my soul feels sweet fellowship with some among them.
November 1. I feel the care which a new place, and a new situation is apt to bring on, and it disturbs the peace which should be kept in my soul. "Lord, increase my faith!" There are many peculiar circumstances in our affairs, and strangers are concerned therein; but in, the end I have found it all work for good; it has been to me a good and useful lesson. First, I find it a cause of rejoicing that I have found so much love to the persons concerned in it;—and secondly, while I was praying about it, it seemed as if the Lord showed me, as immediately from Himself, that 1 was not required to have any anxious care, but that doing as well as I could, I might leave all to God. And if still I could not have things as I would wish, that it was the most profitable cross in the world ;—for it may be helpful to the soul, after doing all we can, to appear a fool in the eyes of men. Those words also bore much on my mind
"Fix on his work thy constant eye,
I now felt a sweet calm waiting on the will of God, and I could say, Lord, I leave every thing to Thee!" One only care my soul shall know P5 As I was telling the whole affair to my dearest husband, he said, "Polly, do not encumber yourself for my sake. If we must be thought ignorant and awkward, let us submit to it. I require nothing of thee, my Polly, but to be more and more devoted to God."
November 12. Glory! unceasing glory to my adorable Lord 1 This day we have been married one year. O how does my soul praise God for this gracious providence! What an help-mate is he to me, and how much better do we love one another this day, than we did this day twelvemonths!—On a close examination, I have reason to believe my soul is coming forward. I have seen this year many and great changes,~had many trials, and many comforts,—and I have learned much experience in various things which has been much blest to me. O for the moment when I shall become a whole burntsacrifice!
Having had some hurry by means of unexpected company staying in the house, and some other things ;—and reflecting how hard it is to keep up uninterrupted communion with God in outward hurry,—it was opened before me, That the very spirit of the Christian life stood in the strictest observation of these words, "If a man offend not in tongue, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." Now, for want of this watchfulness, I offend often, and that causes distraction of spirit, and much hurt many ways. If I had a more constant waiting, a more continual attention to the Spirit of God, I believe I should find much more room for silence than I usually do ;—and that when it was my duty to speak, my words would have more weight. O my God, bring me to this! by the way that thou knowest, give me a watchful mind. An eye always fixed on Thee, and a far deeper sense of Thy sacred presence! I also want a greater power of faith to lead on these precious souls that are under my care to more abundant life. Many are now just on the river's brink, but it seems they want a better helper to assist in bringing them over.
May 21, 1783. This day has been a day of trial. In the morning as I walked out about six o'clock, Mr. ***'s letter of last night, came with pain to my mind.—I do not like the good that is in my dearest Mr. Fletcher to be evil spoken of. Before dinner I strove to get near to God, but having been up most of last night, I was very heavy. In the afternoon I could do but little, but I strove to pray. That passage in Mr. Wesley's Notes on the first Epistle of St. John, was much blest, and very sweet t$ me. "Love is the beginning of eternal life.—The same in substance with glory." Also, St. John's words, "He that abideth in Him sinneth not."—I saw love comprised all in itself. For two hours I was led to lie before the Lord, though with many distractions, yet mingled with faith and longing desire. O when wilt Thou take up in me thine everlasting abode!
May 22. I have this day been engaged in company, and sweetly met the order of God therein.—I was enabled to be watchful; and blessed be God, my tongue has been kept. We took sweet counsel together, and I felt the Lord was the director of all within and without.
August 5, Since the above, (May 22,) what have I seen of the goodness of the Lord 1 A fever has been in the parish, which took off many whom we saw it our duty to attend. It brought eternity very near, and that always does me good. It came into our family; and Sally was attacked with it. But my gracious God supported me under all burdens, and raised her up again in a wonderful manner. Soon after her recovery, Dr. Coke came in his way from Dublin. When I heard he was below, I felt an unusual spring of pleasure, with something of a conviction that he brought a message from the Lord. 1 instantly felt a spirit of submission, and as it were a listening to the will of God. So I have often felt when some conviction of fresh duty was about to be made plain to me. A few days before this, as I was one morning at prayer, I thought of one of our neighbours, (a speaker among the friends,) who was gone to Ireland. It was suggested, Should I be called thither, could I resolve to go? It really seemed I could not. The sea, tome ever terrible, appeared thenjioubly so, and I groaned under the thought,—where is faith and resignation?
When we came into the parlour, we found the Doctor had brought some letters from Dublin to each of us, by which it seemed the clouS moved that way. We said but little then, but went to church, where the Doctor preached. Before we came out, my soul was all readiness to go to the worid's end, if my adorable Lord so ordered it.
When we came home, I followed my dear to his study, and told him if he saw it his call to go, I saw it mine to follow him. He tenderly objected my health, as I had been very poorly some time, and in such a state of relaxation, that I waked for several mornings with blood in my mouth: but I believed that was not to hinder. Since that day we have been preparing for our journey,—and I have enjoyed some communion with God in so doing. Satan is net wanting to suggest every thought that can raise fear. One day I was thinking, what would save me from all painful fear? If the Lord was to give me a promise of our safe return,—that my dear husband's health should not be hurt, and that we should have much success when there,—would that do? I hesitated, and my confidence seemed to be shook by temptation. I then thought, What will enable me to drink this cup to the glory of my Lord? My heart presently answered, Nothing but an entire resignation; a losing of my whole will in that of my Lord's,—and here I instantly found I was on a solid rock.
This trial is not come single.—My dear husband's health is not very good. What the Lord will do with us I know not. We are, however, ready for setting off. I feel my heart much enlarged, and my spirit so willing to do and suffer the whole will of God, that it amazes me. When I think of my dear husband's life or health being in danger, I am not anxious as I used to be, but can rest in the love and wisdom of my unchangeable Friend. For this I praise Him, because no words can express the treasure I possess in our union. It is such as I had no idea was to be enjoyed in a married state; and in proportion as I get nearer to God, I find a daily increase of that union,—and yet I am enabled so to give him up to the Lord, that it holds my soul in a quiet dependence and sweet adherence to the will of God.