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NAy judgment told me that religion would make me happy. I was sensible that I had delayed too long already to seek this ‘one thing needful.” The time had now come, in which I had promised to attend to the things that belonged to my peace. I saw that the longer I waited, the more difficult would be the work of repentance. The revival of religion which commenced in January, 1820, found me in this state of mind. Seeing some of my young companions concerned about their souls, I was more deeply impressed with the value of my own, and the danger of losing it, by living longer in sin. For others, I thought there was mercy; but with me, I feared it was too late. While reflecting on my past life, and the numberless privileges I had enjoyed, it seemed that they had only served to harden my heart. I desired conviction, not from a love of holiness, but because I was sure that this was my last call. Thus burdened and distressed on account of my sins, I tried to call upon God. My convictions were not so distressing, nor of so long continuance, as are frequently experienced; but at a time when hope had nearly expired, when I viewed death not far distant, and eternal misery my portion, it was then I cried unto the Lord, and I trust he heard my feeble cries. My burden of sin was removed, and my mind was at ease for a short time. But soon I viewed myself in a worse situation than before. I thought God had left me to hardness of heart and blindness of mind, and that I had grieved away the Holy Spirit, or else was about to take up with a false hope. I was fearful that the change in my feelings was not a change of heart. Yet not knowing but my sins had been forgiven, I was fearful that I should deny what Jesus had done for my soul. It appeared to be a dreadful sin, either to despise the day of small things, or to build on a sandy foundation. I thought if I could but be a Christian, I should be thankful, though I were the least of all. My views of myself, of hell, of heaven, and of the character of God, had been so limited, and my sins so aggravated beyond those of many others, that it seemed hardly possible that I had experienced religion. After continuing in this distressing state of mind several days, I trust I was made to see light more clearly.
My evidences of adoption into the family of Christ began to brighten. I felt to take Jesus as my Prophet,
Priest and King. On the first of March, related my
experience to the church under the pastoral care of
Rev. Alfred Bennet. On the 4th, with fourteen others, some of whom were my most intimate friends, I followed the example of my Saviour in the delightful ordinance of Christian Baptism. Never will that solemn and interesting day be forgotten. The sermon in the afternoon was from Matt. xv. 25, “Lord help me.” How earnestly did I desire that God would help us to keep the solemn vows we had taken upon us. “March 19. For the first time commemorated the death and sufferings of a once crucified Saviour, but with many fears, lest I had deceived myself and others in going thus far, and lest by going forward in this ordinance 1 should add sin to sin. For several weeks subsequent to this I enjoyed my mind better than ever before. I now felt satisfied that I had done what the Lord required of me. April 21. God has seen fit to spare my life to the close of my seventeenth year. He only knows whether I shall see the close of another year. If I should not, may my work be done and well done—may my soul be prepared to meet death with a smile—may the vanities and sins of my past life be forgiven, and may I' spend my time henceforth in the service of my Saviour.
O thou Friend of sinners, cause me to be as much engaged in thy service, as I have been in the service of sin and Satan. May it be my only desire to please thee. Keep me from every evil and false way, and lead me in the way everlasting.” The happiness she had sought in vain in the gaieties of the fashionable world, she now realized in obedience to the commands of Christ. In the society and converse of the pious, in the exercise of private and public devotion, in benevolent exertions to ameliorate the condition of mankind, and in the cultivation of her mind, she enjoyed happiness in the true sense of the word. From numerous entries made in her diary about this time, she seems to have been led on the one hand, to see more distinctly the loveliness of the Saviour's character; and on the other, to feel and lament more deeply the sinfulness of her own heart. She felt to admire the surprising grace of God, that disclosed to her the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the perfect loveliness of holiness. “June 7. In Church meeting to-day, sister D., who but a few days since was apparently almost in etermity, most earnestly entreated the members to live to the glory of God. This was loud preaching. It was almost as if one had arisen from the dead. I think I do feel more engagedness in the service of God. A little boy, perhaps ten years old, who offered himself for baptism, was asked by the Pastor how he thought a professor of religion ought to live. “Like a Christian,” was his reply. Well, how ought a Christian to live 1 He answered without hesitation, “Like Christ.” May I ever remember, that as a professor of religion, I ought to live like Christ “June 11. This has been a day long to be remem. bered. The truths of the gospel have been sweet to my soul. Our pastor preached to the young people. Never did the character, perfections and government of God appear so lovely, and never did I so earnestly desire wisdom and grace, to guide my footsteps aright, while in the slippery paths of youth. This evening, have felt my mind peculiarly drawn out to God in prayer, for the prosperity of Zion, and for the salvation of sinners. O, my own dear sister, and my former companions in vanity, how will they stand before their Judge, and pass the solemn test.’ “June 18. I have much reason to bless God for sorrows as well as joys. My mind this day has been upon God more than usual, and I have lost sight of myself, amidst the charms of Jesus. My greatest desire is to be submissive to the authority of Christ, and willing to bear his cross. Being awakened last night by a severe thunder shower, I continued a long time meditating on the approaching day of judgment, when the trumpet shall sound and the dead arise. With pleasure l look forward to the day, when, through the abundant grace of God, I hope to be delivered from sin, and go to dwell with Jesus. But where will the sinner and ungodly appear? Oh, my heart is pained for them. This evening, the reading of God's word has been very refreshing to my soul; it is sweeter than honey or the honey-comb, How many poor souls have not the Bible and means of grace, and how many who do possess them, love them not. Why am I thus distinguishingly blessed of God? Life is desirable only that I may glorify God, and death pleasant because I hope to be delivered from sin. “Dec. 19. I am now placed in circumstances where I ought to let my light shine. None of my class-mates profess to love Jesus; but I am a professed follower of the Lamb. How shall I convince them of the worth and blessedness of religion, but by living soberly, righteously, and godly before them, so that they may take knowledge of me, that I have been with Jesus 2 “March 1, 1821. For some days past I have been awakened from a state of luke-warmness and stupidity. I find but little comfort in a review of the past winter. Whatever proficiency 1 may have made in science, 1 have made little or none in religion. I have brought forth little or no fruit to the glory of God. O, my leanness, my leanness! But I have to-day enjoyed more of the presence of God than I have before for a long time. “March 8. Have had a deeper and more abiding sense of eternal things on my mind than usual. In reading Fuller's ‘Symptoms of a Backsliding Spirit,” I find my own character delineated. I am among those whom he describes as having left their first love. O, that the unbelief and hardness of my heart may be removed. O God, call forth all the faculties of my soul into thy delightful service. “April 21. Eighteen years of my life this day, are gone to join themselves to those beyond the flood. Still I am spared a living monument of God's mercy. Surely, goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life. But alas ! how few returns of love and obedience have I made O, for more, holiness of heart. Having entered this new year of my life, let me dedicate myself anew to the service of God. “Aug. 16. Death has been commissioned again to enter our circle of relatives. A beloved aunt is no more ; her soul has taken its flight to vast eternity! May her bereaved husband be comforted by the smiles of Jesus. O may the children experience the sweets of pardoning mercy and redeeming love. May this providence lead me to think less of the world and its vani