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Lord, in the thoughts of any distresses that might alight on him or on me, in the advancement of Christ's kingdom. It was a sweet and comfortable hour unto my soul, while I was indulged with freedom to plead, not only for myself, but also for many other souls. Lord's day, Sept. 5. “Preached all day: was somewhat strengthened and assisted in the afternoon; more especially in the evening: had a sense of my unspeakable failures in all my * I found, alas ! that I had never lived to God in my ife. Sept. 6. “Was informed, that they only waited for an opportunity to apprehend me for preaching at New-Haven lately, that so they might imprison me. This made me more solemn and serious, and to quit all hopes of the world's friendship ; it brought me to a further sense of my vileness, aud just desert of this, and much more, from the hand of God, though not from the hand of man. Retired into a convenient place in the woods, and spread the matter before God. Sept. 7. “Had some relish of divine things, in the morning. Afterwards felt more barren and melancholy. Rode to NewHaven to a friend's house, at a distance from the town ; that I might remain undiscovered, and yet have opportunity to do business privately, with friends which come to commencement. Sept. 8. “Felt very sweetly, when I first rose in the morning. In family prayer, had some enlargement, but not much spirituality, till etermity came up before me, and looked near ; I found some sweetness in the thoughts of bidding a dying farewell to this tiresome world. Though sometime ago I reckoned upon seeing my dear friends at commencement; yet being now denied the opportunity, for fear of imprisonment, I felt totally resigned, and as contented to spend this day alone in the woods, as I could have done, if I had been allowed to go to town. Felt exceedingly weaned from the world to-day. #. the afternoon, I discoursed on divine things, with a dear Christian friend, whereby we were both refreshed. Then I prayed, with a sweet sense of the blessedness of communion with God: I think I scarce ever enjoyed more of God in any one prayer. O it was a blessed season indeed to my soul | I know not that ever I saw so much of my own nothingness, in my life ; never wondered so, that God allowed me to preach his word. This has been a sweet and comfortable day to my soul. Blessed be God. Prayed again with my dear friend, with something of the divine presence. ... I long to be wholly conformed to God, and transformed into his image. Sept. 9. “Spent much of the day alone; enjoyed the presence of God in some comfortable degree : was visited by some dear friends, and prayed with them : wrote sundry letters to friends: felt religion in my soul while writing: enjoyed sweet meditations on some scriptures. In the evening, went very privately into town, from the place of my residence at the farms, and conversed with some dear friends; felt sweetly in singing hymns with them : and made my escape to the farms again, without being discovered by any enemies, as I knew of Thus the Lord preserves me continually. Sept. 10. “Longed with intense desire after God; my whole soul seemed impatient to be conformed to him, and to become “holy, as he is holy.” In the afternoon, prayed with a dear friend privately, and had the presence of God with us; our souls united together to reach after a blessed immortality, to be unclothed of the body of sin and death, and to enter the blessed world, where no unclean thing enters. O, with what intense desire did our souls long for that blessed day, that we might be freed from sin, and for ever live to and in our God In the evening, took leave of that house; but first kneeled down and prayed ; the Lord was of a truth in the midst of us ; it was a sweet parting season; felt in myself much sweetness and affection in the things of God. Blessed be God for every such divine gale of his Spirit, to speed me on in my way to the new Jerusalem 1 Felt some sweetness afterwards, and spent the evening in conversation with friends, and prayed with some life, and retired to rest very late.”
The five next days, he appears to have been in an exceedingly comfortable frame of mind, for the most part, and to have been the subject of the like heavenly exercises as are often exressed in preceding passages of his diary; such as, having his i. much engaged for God, wrestling with him in prayer with power and ardency; enjoying at times sweet calmness and composure of mind, giving himself up to God to be his forever with great complacence of mind; being wholly resigned to the will of God, that he might do with him what he pleased ; longing to improve time, having the eternal world, as it were, brought nigh; longing after God and holiness, earnestly desiring a complete conformity to him, and wondering how poor souls do to exist without God.
Sept. 16. “At night, enjoyed much of God, in secret prayer : #. an uncommon resignation, to be and do what God pleased. Some days past, I felt great perplerity on account of my past conduct: my bitterness, and want of christian kindness and love, has been very distressing to my soul: the Lord forgive me my unchristian warmth, and want of a spirit of meekness |
The next day, he speaks of much resignation, calmness, and peace of mind, and near views of the eternal world.
Sept. 18. “Felt some compassion for souls, and mourned that I had no more. I feel much more kindness, meekness. gentleness, and love towards all mankind, than ever. I long to be at the feet of my enemies and persecutors: enjoyed some sweetness in feeling my soul conformed to Christ Jesus, and given away to him for ever.
The neart day, he speaks of much dejection and discouragement, from an apprehension of his own unfitness, ever to do any good in preaching; but blesses God for all dispensations of providence and grace; finding that by all God weaned him more from the world, and made him more resigned.
The next ten days, he appears to have been for the most part under great degrees of melancholy, exceedingly dejected and discouraged : speaks of his being ready to give up all for gone respecting the cause of Christ, and exceedingly longing to die: yet had some sweet seasons and intervals of comfort, and special assistance and enlargement in the duties of religion, and in performing public services, and considerable success in - them.
Sept. 30. “Still very low in spirits; I did not know how to engage in any work or business, especially to correct some disorders among Christians; felt as though I had no power to be faithful in that regard. However, towards noon, I preached from Deut. viii. 2. And thou shalt remember, &c. and was enabled with freedom to reprove some things in Christians' conduct, I thought very unsuitable and irregular; insisted near two hours on this subject.”
Through this and the two following weeks, he passed through a variety of exercises: he was frequently dejected, and felt inward distresses; and sometimes sunk into the depths of melancholy; at which turns he was not exercised about the state of his soul, with regard to the favour of God, and his interest in Christ, but about his own sinful infirmities, and unfitness for - God's service. His mind appears sometimes extremely depressed and sunk, with a sense of inexpressible vileness. But in the mean-time, he speaks of many seasons of comfort, and spiritual refreshment, wherein his heart was encouraged and strengthened in God, and sweetly resigned to his will; of some seasons of very high degrees .# spiritual consolation, and of his great longings after holiness, and conformity to God; of his great fear of offending God, and of his heart being sweetly melted in religious duties; of his longing for the advancement of Christ's kingdom, of his having at times much assistance in Pro , and of remarkable effects on the audience.
Lord's day, Oct. 17. “Had a considerable sense of my helplessness and inability; saw that I must be dependent on God for all I want; and especially when I went to the place of public worship. I found I could not speak a word for God, without his special help and assistance. I went into the assembly trembling, as I frequently do, under a sense of my insufficiency to do any thing in the cause of God, as I ought to do. But it pleased God to afford me much assistance, and there seemed to be a considerable effect on the hearers. In the evening, I felt a disposition to praise God, for his goodness to me, that he had enabled me in some measure to be faithful; and my soul rejoiced to think, that I had thus performed the work of one day more, and was one day nearer my eternal, and I trust my heavenly home. Oh that I may be “faithful to the death, fulfilling as an hireling my day,” till the shades of the evening of life shall free my soul from the toils of the day! This evening, in secret prayer, I felt exceedingly solemn, and such longing desires after deliverance from sin, and after conformity to God, as melted my heart. O I longed to be “delivered from this body of death !” I felt inward, pleasing pain, that I could not be conformed to God entirely, fully, and forever. I scarce ever preach without being first visited with inward conflicts, and sore trials. Blessed be the Lord for these trials and distresses, as they are blessed for my humbling. Oct. 18. “In the morning, I felt some sweetness, but still pressed through trials of soul. My life is a constant mixture of consolations and conflicts, and will be so till I arrive at the world of spirits. Oct. 19. “This morning, and last night, I felt a sweet longing in my soul after holiness. My soul seemed so to reach and stretch towards the mark of perfect sanctity, that it was ready to break with longings. Oct. 20. “Very infirm in body, exercised with much pain, and very lifeless in divine things. Felt a little sweetness in the evening. Oct. 21. “Had a very deep sense of the vanity of the world, most of the day; had little more regard to it, than, if I had been to go into eternity the next hour. Through divine goodness, I felt very serious and solemn. O, I love to live on the brink of eternity, in my views and meditations ! This gives me a sweet, awful, and reverential sense and apprehension of God and divine things, when I see myself as it were, standing before the judgment seat of Christ. 8. 22. “Uncommonly weaned from the world to-day: my soul delighted to be a stranger and pilgrim on the earth; I felt a disposition in me never to have any thing to do with this world. The character given of some of the ancient people of God, in Heb. xi. 13, was very pleasing to me, “They confessed that they were pilgrims and strangers on the earth,” by their daily practice ; and Oh that I could always do so! Spent some considerable time in a pleasant grove, in prayer and meditation. Oh it is sweet, to be thus weaned from friends, and from myself, and dead to the present world, that so I may live wholly to and upon the blessed God! Saw myself little, low, and vile in myself. In the afternoon, preached at Bethlehem, from Deut. viii. 2. God helped me to speak to the hearts of dear christians. Blessed be the Lord for this season: I trust they and I shall rejoice on this account, to all eternity. Dear Mr. Bellamy came in, while I was making the first prayer, (being returned home from a journey :) and after meeting, we walked away together, and spent the evening in sweetly conversing on divine things, and praying together, with sweet and tender love to each other, and retired to rest with our hearts in a serious spiritual frame. Oct. 23. “Somewhat perplexed and confused. Rode this day from Bethlehem to Simsbury. Lord's day, Oct. 24. “Felt so vile and unworthy, that I scarce knew how to converse with human creatures. Oct. 25. “[At Turkey Hills.] In the evening, I enjoyed the divine presence, in secret prayer. It was a sweet and comfortable season to me; my soul longed for the living God: enjoyed a sweet solemnity of spirit, and longing desire after the recovery of the divine image in my soul. “Then shall I be satisfied when I shall awake in God's likeness,” and never before. Oct. 26. “[At West Suffield.] Underwent the most dread. ful distresses, under a sense of my own unworthiness. It seemed to me, that I deserved rather to be driven out of the place, than to have any body treat me with any kindness, or come to hear me preach. And verily my spirits were so depressed at this time, (as at many others,) that it was impossible I should treat immortal souls with faithfulness. I could not deal closely and faithfully with them, I felt so infinitely vile in myself... O what dust and ashes I am, to think of preaching the gospel to others l Indeed, I never can be faithful for one moment, but shall certainly “daub with untempered mortar,” if God do not grant me special help. In the evening, I went to the meeting house, and it looked to me near as easy for one to rise out of the grave and preach, as for me. However, God afforded me some life and power, both in prayer and sermon; and was pleased to lift me up, and show me that he could enable me to . preach. O the wonderful goodness of God to so vile a sinner Returned to my quarters; and enjoyed some sweetness in prayer alone, and mourned that I could not live more to God. Oct. 27. “I spent the forenoon in prayer and meditation; was not a little concerned about preaching in the afternoon: felt