« AnteriorContinuar »
The four next days, he expresses considerable comfort and fervency of spirit, in Christian conversation and religious exerCISeS.
July 19, “My desires seem especially to be after weanedness from the world, perfect deadness to it, and that I may be crucified to all its allurements. My soul desires to feel itself more of a pilgrim and stranger here below ; that nothing may divert me from pressing through the lonely desart, till I arrive at my Father's house.
July 20. “It was sweet to give away myself to God, to be disposed of at his pleasure. I had some feeling sense of the sweetness of being a pilgrim on earth.”
The next day, he expresses himself as determined to be wholly devoted to God ; and it appears by his diary, that he spent the whole day in a most diligent exercise of religion, and with great comfort.
July 22. “Journeying from Southbury to Ripton, I called at a house by the way, where being very kindly entertained and refreshed, I was filled with amazement and shame, that God should stir up the hearts of any to show so much kindness to such a dead dog as I; was made sensible in some manner, how exceeding vile it is not to be wholly devoted to God. I wondered that God would suffer any of his creatures to feed and sustain me from time to time.”
In his diary for the six neat days, are expressed various exercises and experiences, such as, sweet composure and fervency of spirit in meditation and prayer, weanedness from the world, being sensibly a pilgrim and stranger on the earth, engagedness of mind to spend every moment of time for God, &c.
July 29. “I was examined by the Association met at Danbury, as to my learning, and also my ea perience in religion, and received a licence from them to preach the gospel of Christ. Afterwards felt much devoted to God; joined in prayer with one of the ministers, my peculiar friend, in a convenient place, and went to bed resolving to live devoted to God all my days.” CHAPTER III.
From his Licensure, till his Examination and Commission as a Missionary.
July 30, 1742. “Rode from Danbury to Southbury; preach. ed there, from 1 Pet. iv. 8. And above all things have fervent charity, &c. Had much of the comfortable presence of God in the exercise. I seemed to have power with God in prayer. and power to get hold of the hearts of the people in preaching.
July 31. “I was calm and composed, as well as greatly re; freshed and encouraged.”
It appears by his diary, that he continued in this sweetness and tranquillity, almost through the whole of the next week.
Lord's day, Aug. 8. “In the morning I felt comfortably in secret prayer; my soul was refreshed with the hopes of the Heathen coming home to Christ; was much resigned to God. and thought it was no matter what became of me.—Preached both parts of the day at Bethlehem, from Job xiv. 14. If a man die, shall he live again, &c. It was sweet to me to meditate on death. In the evening, felt very comfortably, and
cried to God fervently in secret prayer.”
It appears by his diary, that he continued through the three next days, engaged with all his might in the business of religion. and in almost a constant enjoyment of its comforts. o
Aug. 12. “This morning and last night I was exercised with sore inward trials; I had no power to pray: but seemed shut out from God. I had in a great measure lost my hopes of God's sending me among the Heathen afar off, and of seeing them flock home to Christ. I saw so much of my vileness, that I wondered that God would let me live, and that people did not stone me; much more that they would ever hear me preach It seemed as though I never could nor should preach any more, yet about nine or ten o’clock, the people came over, and I was forced to preach. And blessed be God, he gave me his pre sence and Spirit in prayer and preaching: so that I was much assisted, and spake with power from Job xiv. 14. Some Indians cried out in great distress,” and all appeared greatly concerned. After we had prayed and exhorted them to seek the Lord with constancy, and hired an English woman to keep a kind of school among them, we came away about one o'clock and came to Judea, about fifteen or sixteen miles. There God was pleased to visit my soul with much comfort. Blessed be the Lord for all things I meet with.”
It appears that the two next days he had much comfort, and had his heart much engaged in religion.
Lord's day, Aug. 15. “Felt much comfort and devotedness to God this day. At night, it was refreshing to get alone with God, and pour out my soul. Oh, who can conceive of the sweetness of communion with the blessed God, but those who have experience of it ! Glory to God for ever, that I may taste heaven below. Aug. 16. “Had some comfort in secret prayer, in the morning.—Felt sweetly sundry times in prayer this day: but was much perplexed in the evening with vain conversation. Aug. 17. “Exceedingly depressed in spirit, it cuts and wounds my heart, to think how much self-exultation, spiritwal pride, and warmth of temper, I have6. had intermingled with my endeavours to promote God's work: and sometimes I long to lie down at the feet of opposers, and confess what a poor imperfect creature I have been, and still am. The Lord forgive me, and make me for the future wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove / Afterwards enjoyed considerable comfort and delight of soul. Aug. 18. “Spent most of this day, in prayer and reading.— I see so much of my own extreme vileness, that I feel ashamed and guilty before God and man; I look to myself like the vilest fellow in the land: I wonder that God stirs up his people to be so kind to me. Aug. 19. “This day, being about to go from Mr. Bellamy's at Bethlehem, where I had resided some time, I prayed with him, and two or three other Christian friends. We gave ourselves to God with all our hearts, to be his for ever: eternity looked very near to me, while I was praying. If I never should see these Christians again in this world, it seemed but a few moments before I should meet them in another world. Aug. 20. “I appeared so vile to myself, that I hardly dared to think of being seen, especially on account of spiritual pride. However, to-night I enjoyed a sweet hour alone with God, (at Ripton:) I was lifted above the frowns and flatteries of this lower world, had a sweet relish of heavenly joys, and my soul did, as it were, get into the eternal world, and really taste of heaven. I had a sweet season of intercession for dear friends in Christ; and God helped me to cry fervently for Zion. Blessed be God for this season. Aug. 21. “Was much perplexed in the morning.—Towards noon enjoyed more of God in secret; was enabled to see that it was best to throw myself into the hands of God, to be disposed of according to his pleasure, and rejoiced in such thoughts. In the afternoon rode to New-Haven; was much confused all the way.—Just at night, underwent such a dreadful conflict as I have scarce ever felt. I saw myself exceeding vile and unworthy; so that I was guilty, and ashamed that any body should bestow any favour on me, or show me any respect. Lord's day, Aug. 22. “In the morning continued still in perplexity.—In the evening enjoyed comfort sufficient to overbalance all my late distresses. I saw that God is the only soulsatisfying portion, and I really found satisfaction in him. My soul was much enlarged in sweet intercession for my fellow-men every where, and for many Christian friends in particular, in distant places. Aug. 23. “Had a sweet season in secret prayer: the Lord drew near to my soul, and filled me with peace and divine consolation. Oh, my soul tasted the sweetness of the upper world; and was drawn out in prayer for the world, that it might come home to Christ' Had much comfort in the thoughts and hopes of the ingathering of the Heathen ; was greatly assisted in intercession for Christian friends.”
* It was in a place near Kent, in the western borders of Connecticut, where there is a number of Indians,
He continued still in the same frame of mind the neart day, but in a less degree.
Aug. 25. “In family prayer, God helped me to climb up near him, so that I scarce ever got nearer.”
The four next days he appears to have been the subject of desertion, and of comfort and fervency in religion, interchangeably, together with a sense of vileness and unprofitableness.
Aug. 30. “Felt somewhat comfortably in the morning; conversed sweetly with some friends; was in a serious composed frame ; and prayed at a certain house with some degree of sweetness. Afterwards, at another house, prayed privately with a dear Christian friend or two ; and, I think, I scarce ever launched so far into the eternal world as then ; I got so far out on the broad ocean, that my soul with joy triumphed over all the evils on the shores of mortality. I think, time, and all its ‘gay amusements and cruel disappointments, never appeared so inconsiderable to me before. I was in a sweet frame ; I saw myself nothing, and my soul reached after God with intense desire. Oh, I saw what I owed to God, in such a manner, as I scarce ever did I knew that I had never lived a moment to him as I should do ; indeed, it appeared to me, that I had never done any thing in Christianity: my soul longed with a vehement desire to live to God.—In the evening, sung and prayed with a number of Christians: felt the powers of the world to come in my soul, in prayer. Afterwards prayed again privately, with a dear Christian or two, and found the presence of God ; was somewhat humbled in my secret retirement: felt my ingratitude, because I was not wholly swallowed up in God.”
He was in a sweet frame great part of the next day.
Sept. 1. “Went to Judea, to the ordination of Mr. Judd. Mr. Bellamy preached from Matt. xxiv. 46. “Blessed is that servant,” &c. I felt very solemn most of the time ; had my thoughts much on that time when our Lord will come; that time refreshed my soul much ; only I was afraid I should not be found faithful, because I have so vile a heart. My thoughts were much in eternity, where I love to dwell. Blessed be God for this solemn season.—Rode home to night with Mr. Bellamy, conversed with some friends till it was very late, and then retired to rest in a comfortable frame.
Sept. 2. “About two in the afternoon, I preached from John vi. 67. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? and God assisted me in some comfortable degree ; but more especially in my first prayer ; my soul seemed then to launch §. into the eternal world, and to be as it were, separated rom this lower world. Afterwards preached again from Isa. v. 4. What could have been done more, &c. God gave me some assistance ; but I saw myself a poor worm.”
On Friday, Sept. 3. He complains of having but little life in the things of God, the former part of the day, but afterwards speaks of sweetness and enlargement.
Sept. 4. Much out of health, exceedingly depressed in my soul, and at awful distance from God. Towards night, spent some time in profitable thoughts on Rom. viii. 2. For the law of the spirit of life, &c. Near night, had a very sweet season in prayer; God enabled me to wrestle ardently for the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom; pleaded earnestly for my own dear brother John, that God would make him more of a pilgrim and stranger on the earth, and fit him for singular serviceableness in the world ; and my heart sweetly exulted in the