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1685. Will, as he was pleased to manifest it to me, so that
thereby some Change was wrought on me, both inwardly and outwardly.
And I then began to delight in Reading and Sobriety, which before were irksome to me: And when I read the holy Scriptures, I desired that God would open chem to my Understanding, which he did to my Edification many Times. I also begged earnestly of the Lord, that he would be pleas’d to be with me, and make me like to those his Children and Servants, of whom I read in the holy Scriptures, who faithfully served him all their Days. And when I read of the Crucifixion of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus CHRIST, it would break my Soul into Tenderness. I thought it was enough to awaken and humble any Soul that was well-meaning, and had any Sense of the Power, Love, and Grace of Christ. Thus. I went on for several Years, feeling that Peace which passeth natural Understanding, which many Times accompa
nied my poor and needy Soul: And being advanced 1690. to about 14 or 15 Years of Age, 'I remember that.
I used to shun the Cross of speaking in the plain Lan
guage (which I always read in the holy Scriptures Southwark to those whom I conversed with, except my Father
and Mother, who would not allow me to speak other wise: I was convicted in my Conscience that it was no right to play the Hypocrite after that Manner ; ant on a certain Time I had Occasion to speak with ai Officer, a great Man in our Neighbourhood, and m Heart moved within me for fear I should shun th Cross of Christ; For it was Christ's Language to al as we may read in the New Testament; and the Scris tures, from Genesis to the Revelations, fpeak Thee an Thou, to a single Person in a general Way.
So I took up the Cross, and said Thee to him and he was much affronted, and said, Thee! what do thou Thee me for? I soberly asked him, if he d not say Thée co his Maker in his Prayers ? and wh
ther he was too good, or too great, to be spoke to 169o.
About the twentieth Year of my Age, I was pres- 1694.
in the Dark, not having any Thing to lie upon but Casks; and what made it worse to me, I was among wicked, debauched Men ; and as we were shut up in Darkness, so was their Conversation dark and hellish. In the Morning (for which I longed more than the Watchmen) the Lieutenant called us up on Deck, and examined us whether we were willing to serve the King. He called me to him, and asked me, if I were willing to serve bis Majesty? I answer'd, that I was willing to serve him in my Business, and according to my Conscience ; but as for War or Fighting, Christ had forbid it, in his excellent Sermon on the Mount; and for that Reason I could not bear Arms, nor be instrumental to destroy or kill Men. Then the Lieutenant looked on me, and on the People, and said, Gentlemen, what fall we do with this Fellow? bé fwears be will not Fight. The Commander of the Vessel made Answer, No, no! be will neither Swear por Fight. Upon which they turn'd me on Shore. I was thankful that I was delivered out of their Hands; and my tender Parents were glad to see me
Now as I grew in Years, the World began to take 800 much Root in me ; and my unwearied Enemy would tell me that it was lawful enough (and indeed see that he hurts many with lawful Things, with
1694. whom he knoweth the unlawful Things will not take)
and here I had been loft if God had not been gracious to me. But he, in whose Presence I delighted, withdrew, and deprived me of that Enjoyment which was graceful and comfortable above all Things to my Soul. Then did I pray, with Tears, O that it might · be with me as it was at other Times before! and I was willing to let the World go, rather than Grace and God's Glory. The Psalmist faith, No good Thing will be witb-bold from ibem that walk uprightly, Plal.
Ixxxiv. Verse 11. 1695. About this Time there was a great Concern on my My Mind, rightly to distinguish between the Voice of
Christ, and the Whisperings of Satan, and thus it open'd to me: That Christ, the Truth, always speaketh Good, and for a good Énd, and that there is divine Life to the Soul in this Speaking ; but the Devil never speaks Good, unless sometimes for a bad End, and then not Good in Reality, only colourd with a good or fair Shew.
And keeping under this Exercise, the Lord appear'd to me again, and many Times refresh'd my Heart with his Goodness. And when I was in my Business amongst Men, I did witness the holy Ghost, the Comforter, to be near me, which was more to me than all the World, or the Riches, Glory, and Beauty of it ; the Love of God being so sweet to my Soul and Spirit, my Breathings, Prayers, and Supplications, were to the Lord, that my Neighbours, Acquaintance, and Relations, might also partake of the like precious Faith and Love which I enjoy'd, and that the Children of Men might answer that great and good End for which the Lord did create them ; which is, that Glory, Honour and Praise, might ascend and be given to him.
I had such a Sense and Fear of Dishonouring God, that I often, with Tears, cry'd, Never let me live to difhonour Thee. Oh! it had been better for me, that
k I had never been born, or my Mother's Womb had 16959 been my
Grave, than that I should live to dishonour Thee, or wilfully reproach the Name of Christ, who, with the Father, is only worthy of divine Honour.
In this concern I felt the Gospel Power of our Lord Jesus Christ to work upon my Soul, and the Word of God was as a Seed in my Heare, growing and opening in me, speaking to me, and making my Understanding fruitful in the Things of his Kingdom; and in that Ability which was given me of God, through his Grace and holy Spirit, I exhorted People to Repentance and Amendment of Life ; and I always humbly desir'd the Help and divine Influence of God's eternal
Word therein. Oh! I did fervently pray, that I al might minifter the Gospel in the Power of Jesus ; for
I clearly difcern'd in the Light of the Son of God, that
all Ministring out of Christ's Power, was neither editysiding nor efficacious unto Souls: Therefore I did earnestly a beseech God for the Continuance of the Gift of his
Spirit, that I might be enabled to preach the Gofpel in the Power of Christ Jesus. The Concern that was
upon me on this Account at that Time, is hard to be . els express'd in Words.
The latter End of the Year 1695, my Father sent me into Eflex, on some Business, which, when I had accomplished, I visited some Meetings of Friends there,
and my Mind being much affected with the Apprehen5,
fion of an impending Storm, (the Nation being about this Time threatened with an Invasion from France, in favour of the late King James, so that there was Expectation of much Bloodshed and Confusion in the
Land) I wrote a Letter to my Parents, and another 1
to Friends of the Evening meeting (kept Weekly at my Father's House) expressing my great Thankfulness to the Almighty, in Remembrance of the many precious Vifications of divine Love and Favour we had been made Parcakers of, to the uniting our Hearts to him, and to one another; and my earnest Prayers
1695. and Supplications, that we might be preserved in truc
Love, and the Unity of the Spirit, which is the Bond of everlasting Peace, and that the World might be made sensible of this true Peace, which abounds in those who love and fear the Lord, and truly believe in the Name of Jesus. Ob! surely they would then depart from Sin, and abandon Iniquity, by which they incur the Wrath of the Lord, and provoke the just One to Anger; jo that the Line of Confufion seems to be stretched over the City and Nation, and the Eye of the Faithful seeth it to the Grief of their Souls, Yet the Mercy of the Lord, even of ibe just God (who will render a just Reward to every one according to bis Deeds done in the Body) is still handed forth to the Land. Ob that the Inbabitants thereof would consider their Ways, and be wise, and turn to ibe Lord with unfeigned Repentance, while the Day of Mercy lasteth, before it be said, Now it is hid from thine Eyes, for the Lord, even the God and Father of Spirits, bath said, My Spirit shall not always strive with Man, for that he also is Flesh,
Gen. vi. 3. 1696. On the Expiration of my Apprenticeship, having
ferved my Father faithfully seven Years, I entered more strongly into Covenant with my heavenly Father and Master, to serve him all my Days, thro' his Affiftance ; and was soon after drawn forth, in the Spiric and Love of Christ, to visit the Meetings of Friends Westward from London, viz. thro? Surry, Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Devonshire, and Cornwall, to the Land's End; in which Journey I was accompanied by William Hornould. At one of our Meetings at Falmouth in Cornwall, two Men (called Gentlemen) came from the Inn to hear the Strangers; and after Meecing, they said they could take their Oaths that I was a Jesuit, and that they had heard me preach in a Romilla Chapel in France ; which was utterly false : For I never was in France in my Lite. Besides, had I