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putting in practice some resolutions I had formed for my daily walk. At seven we set out for Daw Green, where we had a good meeting. O what a desire did I feel for that people, while I was speaking on that word, “ The Lord thy God is a jealous God!”
March 26, 1779.—This day I set apart as a fast, to lay before the Lord the following particulars : 1. My present situation. 2. To ask for wisdom how to walk before my family. 3. For more of his love. 4. For a blessing on my journey to 5. For my relations. On the whole, it has been a good day. As to the first petition, my pre. sent situation, I found much power and liberty in believing God would undertake and appoint me some deliverance ; yea, entire deliverance, in his own time and in his own way; and I had more faith, I think, than ever before ; yet, it was mixed with sweet resignation. 2. How to walk with wisdom before my family. I felt a great plead. ing for this, and some encouragement that I should yet " adorn the Gospel.” The third, For more love. I felt freedom in asking it. The fourth, For a blessing on the few days I am to spend at I feel much of the cross in this adventure ; yet, I think I must do it, and God will be with me. As to the fifth, I could find no particular open. ing, only a willingness to do, be, or suffer, any thing for their good. Perhaps the time has not yet come. The third time I went to prayer, all seemed swallowed up in that petition ; Lord, give me “ the love that never faileth."
Wednesday in Passion Week.-I have this day offered myself up afresh to the Lord, as a whole burnt sacrifice. O give me that situation, those friends, those comforts, or crosses, which will best stand with thy own glory! 'Tis all I ask-'tis all my choice.
May 21.-Lord, my thirsty soul crieth after thee; 1 long for a fuller deliverance. Last night I met the old members of the W. band, and a sweet time we had ; the
Lord was very gracious in helping his unworthy worm, - and gave me, I believe, to speak to his glory. Since I
returned from my journey to I have been much drawn out in praise. O how good was the Lord! He made hard things easy, and was better to me than either my fears or wishes. To-day, when at prayer, I had a sight of the necessity of contemplation; I mean, of labour. ing to keep the mind on spiritual things, and to consider and weigh the word of God, his love, his fulness! “ Love without end, and without measure, grace!”.
August, 1780.-0 Lord, how peculiar are thy ways to. ward me! What wouldst thou have me to do? Here I am; command what thou wilt. Bring me to a state of poverty, reproach, a workhouse, or what thou wilt, only let me not mistake my way. It is true I have more than I owe, and as yet an income for life, enough for myself. But I cannot support these expenses and losses. And yet it seems I cannot get deliverance from them! Every an. swer to prayer is only - Stand still and see my salvation." Lord, I am ready to do so; but all cry out, “ It is mad. ness not to do something.” And yet thou seemest to frustrate all I attempt. I strive to save in every thing, and many ways I have tried to do so; but unless all did the same, it makes little difference. When I attempt new things of the kind, various difficulties arise ; and some are apt to say, “ Save in something else ; you do not run out in this !”
The other day a friend said he was desired to ask me, “ If I did not do wrong in spending so much time on the sick poor? In making medicines, clothes," &c. ? And **** said, It is a poor way of spending your time thus, for the bodies of the people. If that is your call, it is a mean call !” I have pondered the thought; and having set apart a day for fasting and prayer, the result of my most serious reflections were as follows:
What was my setting out, or first light ? Why, from seven years old, (the first time I felt a spark of faith,) my conviction was,—not to be conformed to the customs, fashions, and maxims of the world; and my frequent prayer was, as a little manuscript now by me proves, Lord, bring me out from among the ungodly! Cast my lot with the poor who are rich in faith ; and make me to have my delight with the excellent of the earth. And then I will not complain for toil, poverty, or reproach.
When I was seventeen, my desires after holiness began to deepen, and I found a particular call to a farther dedi. cation of my soul to God, in those words of St. Paul to Timothy, descriptive of the character of those women, who in the primitive Church were chosen as deaconesses, “If she have lodged strangers, if she have brought up chil. dren, if she have washed the saints' feet, and diligently followed after every good work.” When I was twenty. one, being brought to the choice of my own manner of life, I was enabled in a degree to follow the plans thus formerly laid down.
As to my present way of life, of which a visiter had said a few days ago, “ I think, madam, your call is a strange one,--to the care of cows and horses, sheep and pigs ;'-referring to my farm,–I considered, I am by the order of Providence made mistress of a great family, and in straitened circumstances. There is therefore occasion for all my care and management, otherwise the embar. rassment would be much greater. And it is good for the uncommon pride of my nature to bow before that word, « In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread.” It is true, I have bread enough for myself; but having joined the interests of so many with my own, I am willing to act thus, that they may have bread too. The Lord hath been pleased, also, to enable me to help the sick: this calls for some labour, and some small expenses in preparing and applying the medicines : but many souls have been blessed, and several brought to God thereby. Some rich persons, to whose ear I could never have had access, have, through the belief that I could help their bodies, admitted the closest application to their souls; so that I dare as soon cut off my right hand as bury this trilling talent in a napkin. The souls under my roof also call for more diligent care than I am conscious I bestow upon them; and though some say, “I do not regard as any thing what you do for the family, that is only burying yourself in one house;" yet I see it my duty, and I must apply thereto.
Again, I believe I should strive to get at the neighbours who live within my knowledge, and do good to their souls, if I can. To this it is replied, “ You spend too much time on one neighbourhood.” But perhaps I shall soon be called to leave this neighbourhood, and this family, and then I shall not repent of that application. I am also called to keep together some precious meetings, in which the work of God flourishes, and to go sometimes to meet others in more distant places; as well as to write many
letters on the concerns of the soul. And now I ask, Lord, am I in my place or not? To which it seemed my conscience gave the following answer :—The surest mark of true piety is to fill up the duties of our own station with the utmost fidelity. We may plan fine schemes, talk of many journeys, and see ourselves converting whole worlds, but in these airy phantoms there is much danger of self having a great mixture. Whereas in the appli. cation to the order of God, in the present time, as it opens itself from moment to moment, there is no room for choice. I have heard good people say, “I am weary of life, because of the burdens which I have to bear. I want to spend all my time in a more excellent way.” And yet as soon as they throw off one burden, the Lord finds them another. But the soul truly devoted to God finds no oppressive burden in the opening of the present moment, which shows the Divine order of his providence, and brings with it, to the resigned soul, both light and power either to act or suffer. In a low degree I find that to be my case. I am called to work ; and therein I fulfil my covenant not to complain of toil, although my wages seem to be put into a bag full of holes. I cannot have my own choice herein ; nor do I complain of poverty. Thus I tm often upbraided for walking in that order, in which
till I can get out of it) undoubtedly the Lord has placed mç. I sink under his yoke, and if I can but keep free from impatience or discouragement, I may fulfil his will, and shall not complain of reproach. But, alas ! I do too often admit discouragement, and am ready to cry out,
" Ah! whither or to whom shall I,
Far from these woes, for kind protection fly ?" Yet something says in my heart, a time is at hand when the Lord will bring me out of these deep waters,—and I am determined to stand still and see his salvation.
November.—Last night I was led to pray much for a spiritual mind, both sleeping and waking. I went to bed recollected. I dreamed I was sitting up in bed with the Bible in my hand. I saw two shining appearances, but no distinct form. The appearance was as the heads of two glorious persons, and a ray of light came from them on the book in my hand, in which I was enabled to dis. cover something which quite delighted me, and I cried
out,- had I known this before, I should have made the whole house ring with shouts of praise ! I then saw all around my bed a beautiful garden filled with evergreens, and on each tree, and on the ground, lay something like a light frost. I wondered at that, till these words came to my mind, « The dew shall lie all night upon thy branches !” I then cried out, O what a delightful scene! What a lovely prospect! Here shall I for ever rest! I then threw my soul with such a Divine confidence on the Lord Jesus, as I think I never did before, and in that act I awaked. I could not recollect what the delightful dis. covery in the Bible was; but a fuller sense of God than ever before has rested on my soul.
January 11, 1781.-Many mercies have I seen within these three or four days. Nothing is so good to me, as to meet every thing in the will and order of God; abandon. ing myself, soul, body, and family, into his hands, believing he will order all right. I find many convictions about my household. I am not a faithful head. I neither lead them by example, instruction, or reproof, as I ought. Lord, teach me how to go in and out before this people ! I seem to have an impression that I shall not long remain with them. I seem to see another place, and another people, which I am called to; and outward things con. firm the impression. One thing I have been very faulty in during the last year, I have not risen early with any degree of constancy; and that is a general loss both to my own soul and my family. O Lord! when shall I be “all glorious within, and my clothing of wrought gold ?”
January 13.-I have been to-day a good deal drawn out in prayer. My exercises as to outward things are very great. I have a most narrow path to walk in! I am called to live by faith indeed. As I was at prayer this morning, I was led to ask of the Lord that he would bring me out of all my difficulties in his own way. Certainly the whole earth is the Lord's; and I asked of him such a situation in life as will most glorify himself. It was brought before me, Perhaps that will be by bringing you to entire poverty. I asked my heart, Am I willing on that condition to be made holy? And I felt I could say, “ Yes, Lord, yes.” Again, the thought was suggested, But perhaps to a parish house, while your income goos