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good Lord condescended to hear my petition, and on that very day a situation was provided for me, my former engagement broken off, and God fixed me in the place where I folicited, and "where he has kept me to this day; and the promise he gave me before my first removal was fulfilled; the Lord was with me, and kept me in all places whither I went : he was with me in London; he was with me when I waited upon him, and spent my fabbaths alone; he was with me and blessed me under the hedge; and he has never left me, but brought me again into this land ! “O how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee !" Psalm xxxi. 19. “If we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us; and, if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him," 1 John v. 14, 15. And how sweet and acceptable is every thing that is much wanted, and comes in answer to earnest prayer! “ Before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear,” Ifa. Ixv. 24. This endears the Lord to us; “Whoso is wise and will observe these things, even he shall understand the lovingkind. ness of the Lord,” Psalm cvii. 43. · A few months after this affair, in the year 1800, a way was opened for me, and I got settled in business; and for a long time every thing I engaged in went on as prosperously as could be defired. Nevertheless, my ruined and loft state was my meditation day and night, which brought me down very low, and my distress kept increasing upon me; my natural strength was much abated, and extreme weakness of body, succeeded; for the arrows of God stuck fast in me, and his hand pressed me fore, therefore I was feeble and fore broken, Psalm xxxviii. 2 and 8. In the month of November you came down to Leicester, and I heard you preach from these words, « Thou, which hast shewed me great and fore troubles, Thalt quicken me again, and thalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth ; thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side, Psalm lxxi. 20, 21. Never was any thing more suitable to any one than this discourse to me in my then distressed state of mind; the thirgs you brought forth were what I had felt, and I was a good deal relieved from the barden I had long laboured under, and felt encouragement to hope that he which had begun his good work in me would carry it on; fór, although I was in such a state of confusion that I could make nothing of myself, yet, as you went on with your discourse, I could see that it was God's good work, and I was greatly helped, and for some time not so much bowed down as heretofore ; but after a while I not only got back to my old place of dark ness, confusion and misery, but funk lower than ever; till, like Job, my soul was weary of my life, and .
I went mourning by reason of the disquietness of my heart. This increased my weakness so fast, that I soon was in such a debilitated state as to be apprehensive it might terminate in my diffolution; and I was much cast down, through the fear of death and judgment to come. My fins were set in order before me, and God appeared as a swift witness against me. « The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell got hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow, then called I upon the rame of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul,” Psalm cxvi. 3, 4. I had no rest in my bones because of my fin, Psalm xxxviii. 3. The caul of my heart was rent, and I went in heaviness, meditating terror, “ for the arrows of the Almighty were within me, the poison whereof drank up my spirits,” Job vi. 4. God made inquisition for blood, and I knew that I was out of the city of refuge, Numb. xxxv. 6. And the avenger of blood was behind me; should death cut me off, as the tree falls so it lies: I was sensible that where death left me judgment would find me; and, if I died in the state I was then in, all would be lost for ever, and I should be “ punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power,” 2 Theff. i. 9. These things were so weighty, that I felt myself incapable of transacting business, my mind being wholly engaged about them; and in that disconfolate
ftate I could pay but little attention to sublunary things; “ For what is a man advantaged if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” Luke ix. 25. Many passages of scripture, which seemed to make against me, laid with . very great weight upon my mind; and, amongst many others, I often thought of the fruitless cries of Esau, and frequently wept when thinking I should be like him: the words also of our Lord were very cutting to me, “ Every plant that my heavenly father hath not planted shall be rooted up,” Matt. xv. 13. Thus my way was hedged up, and fear was on every fide; for, look which way I would, there was no rest for the sole of my foot; my life hung in doubt; and I was filled with Navish and tormenting fear night and day, so that in the morning the language of my heart was, “Would God it were even,' and at even I said, “Would God it were morning, for my fin was ever before me ; and I found, as Paul says, that destruction and misery are in all the finners ways, and the way of peace have they not known, Rom. iii. 16, 17. I was bowed down under the guilt of sin, and a sense of God's wrath. The. heavens revealed my iniquity, and “I remembered God and was troubled; I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed,” Psalm lxxvii. 3. So, that, as Job says, my words were swallowed up, Job. vi. 3; and I had sorrow in my heart daily; for God, conscience, the scripture, law,
and gospel, all appeared to be against me, for day and night his hand was heavy upon me; and so distressed was I, that my days were sorrow, my travail grief, and my heart took not rest in the night, Eccl. ii. 23. Į sunk in the deep mire, where there was no standing; and, being in this perilous condition, I hastened my escape from the stormy wind and tempest, Psalm lv. 8. “The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his 'bread should fail,” Ifa. li. 14. My life was quite a burden to me, for I had no satisfaction in any thing beneath the sun; and the comforter, which should relieve my soul, was far from me, Lam. i. 16. And so distressed was I, that for some time Neep almost departed from me; “ Thou holdest mine eyes wal:ing," faith the Pfalmift, Psalm lxxvii. 4. I used to think of, and long for, the experience of these words, every night when I retired to bed, “ Thou shalt lie down, and none shall make thee afraid,” Job xi. 19. But, so far was I from this, that I was full of fear; my fore ran in the night, and ceased not; for, as Job says, - When I consider I am afraid of him," Job xxiii. 15. This my distressed state of mind brought me down so low, that I was almost worn out with trouble; “ The spirit of a man will suftain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear? Prov. xviii. 14; and in such a weak and feeble siate of body, that I was under the neces.