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afraid was I of turning to any human comfort, or stopping short of all the Lord would have me to do or be, that in the midst of this terrible furnace, I can say,—that at every moment my conscience was “ quick as the apple of an eye, the slightest touch of sin to feel.” Yea, my spirit was all eye to discern its most distant approach. Yet in every thing I seemed to be accused, and also con. denined ; so that my soul was indeed sorrowful even unto death.*
One morning before I was awake, I heard singing voices, as just over my face : they answered one another with these words,
“Weep ye in Zion's deep distress,
In Zion's sorrow mourn.” Then one voice, which I well knew to be that of my dearest love, spake in distinct words, and with much emphasis
“Fight the good fight of faith with me,
My fellow soldier, fight.” It gave me some little comfort, and animated me to follow his bright example.
One day these words were applied with much power to my heart, “ These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall work out for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." What, said I, did the apostle, who had been in the third heaven, and knew well what he said,—did he call these afflictions light when put in the scale with that glory ? It was answered in my heart, Yes, as a bubble ! « compared with the glory that shall be revealed.” I got a momentary glimpse of our home above, in the celestial city; and those words were spoken through my heart,
" Heaven is thy inheritance,
Thou shalt soon remove from hence.” Very many were these little inbreakings of light, yea, often in a day ;--yet my pain was unspeakable. I was constantly perplexed with that thought, that a believer can never be in darkness; that they always “rejoico
* In all this I believe the pious and well informed reader will be satisfied that, (as the Holy Ghost testifies of Job,)“ she sinned nei nor charged God foolishly." --Ep.
with joy unspeakable and full of glory;" that nothing but sin given way to, can damp their joy.* This was an inlet to much temptation; and now I had no one to tell my troubles to! no partner to bear a share in them. In all our spiritual conflits we had been so entirely one, that cares, by being divided, were hushed into peace. A word from him would frequently light up, as it were, a candle in my soul; and was enough to turn aside the keenest temptation. But now I trod the winepress alone, and felt my dependence had been too much on the crea. ture. I had clung to him as the ivy to the oak, and now seemed to be nothing! I saw myself left in a howling wilderness alone! Yet still I could say,
“With thee I on Zion shall stand,
For Jesus hath spoken the word." But the Lord seemed to do by me as by the Canaanitish woman; He did not answer me!-I followed, and often said in my heart, (reflecting on all my unfaithfulness,) Ah ! “ It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs !” It seemed I could to all eternity have praised him for the least drop of comfort ; and yet I felt the power of these words,
"A drop will not suffice,
My soul for all thy fulness cries." In the midst of this dreadful conflict I felt some consola. tion from the thought, that by the account of his precious death, which surely the Lord himself prompted, and ena. bled me to write, (as I had hardly at the time either sense or memory,) I had helped, in a little measure, that shout of praise to go forth, which, with his dying lips, he said he wanted to reach the ends of the earth! And though I have lost my dear husband, and felt the force of the “ hour and power of darkness,” yet through all I believed I should conquer. So it is with me now; but I do not seem as yet to have the privilege of shouting victory.
As soon as the funeral was over, I found the dear chil. dren which my beloved partner had left behind, laid upon my mind. I saw there were many things to settle among them respecting the work of God; some dangerous rocks
* Yes, temptation can damp their joy; but only sin can destroy št. Her joy was not destroyed: she had " times of refreshing."-ED. to avoid, and some needful plans to propose. Therefore, before another week passed, I saw I must act among them, and meet the people the same as before ;-and though very ill, and filled with sorrow, the Lord enabled me to do so showing me the only way to bear the cross profitably was so to carry it as if I carried it not. About a fortnight be. fore my dear husband's last sickness, he was one night at the Wednesday meeting, when being greatly affected about me, as I was ill at that time, he could hardly get through it. He said to me afterward, “ My dear, I could scarcely speak to the people. I felt, I knew not how, as if thy empty chair stood by me! Something seemed to say we should soon be parted; and I thought, Must I meet these people, and see my Polly's empty chair always by me?” But now the cup was mine. Yea, and I have drunk it to the very dregs!
September 21, 1785.-Ah! Lord, my soul is exceeding sorrowful! How lonely doth my situation appear! Torn from my dear companion, and made to walk in this dreary path! But this is my greatest weight I do not feel that union with thee that would make up all. There are in. deed moments in which a glimpse of thy love seems to unite me to all good, and wipes away every tear. But these are transient touches, and I am deeply oppressed with that fear that I am not approved in thy sight, be. cause I do not rejoice evermore! I well know I want a farther plunge into thy sacred will. I am not yet “ the temple of the Holy Ghost.”
For some time back those words have been much on my mind, “ Put on the whole arınour of God, that ye may stand in the evil day, and having done all, may stand.” I have sometimes said, Lord, have I passed that evil day, or is it still to come? And I always felt with submission a desire it might not be in death. O Lord! do all thy will upon me, but make me wholly conformable with thy divine nature! Glorify thyself in thy poor creature! I feel as if soul and body would be divided by this terrible wrench! Yet I acquiesce, fully acquiesce, in thy divine disposal. Yes, I see and admire thy wisdom! I bow down to a dispensation I do not clearly understand! The Lord hath done it! and that shall be enough to satisfy me. I remember one of my dear husband's dying sayings was, Polly, let us not fear, God is love! What canst thou fear, my dearest, when God is love? I feel it is the truth : nevertheless, I do not feel perfect rest in that truth, for want of that perfect love which casteth out all fear. Nothing will do for me but the indwelling Deity! “ He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
October 3, 1785.—My sorrowful soul waiteth on thee, O Lord! O what a cloud there is on my whole situation ! Three months ago I was raised to the highest pitch of human consolation. I often thought all that God could give of temporal comforts was poured upon me. Whenever I was hearing any one speak of the afflictions they were under, I used to be humbled to the very dust. Some thing would suggest, Ah! you may well bear your crosses, and rejoice that ye have such a treasure continually aug. menting in your bosom; but let God only lay his hand on your husband, and see then whether you will bless him! It seemed to me that I so honoured any of my fellow-crea. tures who were in trouble, that I could kiss the very dust from their feet, and was often filled with astonishment, why such a wretch as I was spared their bitter cup! But now I drink it indeed; yet at the same time I can say, I see it my privilege to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth,” without asking where, or to what new cross ho will lead me. O what should I do were it not for the pri vilege of pouring out my soul in prayer ! Lord! como and make thine abode in me! . One day, when I had some reason to think this house would be wanted, and that I must quit it, I began to con. sider where I had best remove to. I reflected on my dear husband's words, when he said, a little before he lost his speech, “Stay here, my dear ;-I do not speak for the people only, but for thy sake. Thou wilt never be so well settled again. Here thou wilt be most out of the way from many things which would be a cross and a hinder. ance to thee.” It was therefore very painful for me to think of taking one single step in any thing contrary to his advice. And yet I must own, had he not all along said I must stay here, I believe I could not have resolved so to do, for every day brought me some cutting trial. A new ministry, a new plan for the work, and various causes of anxiety and trouble.
But now it appeared I must remove. I began to think of one place and another, but every one seemed to bear the gloom of night. I could see no spot in the creation for me to rest in. A peculiar inward feeling, also, seemed to turn from every place I could think of, as if the smile of God was not on my going there. I said, Lord, show me what I shall do! Only show me what is thy will ! 1 thought on two places the most likely ; and had some de. sire to draw a lot concerning them. I had the paper in my hand in order so to do, when the remembrance of my dearest love was presented strongly to my mind, as speak. ing again those words, “ Polly, do not let us look for signs; let us leave ourselves in the hand of God.” I felt an immediate light of faith, and throwing the paper out of my hand, I took up the Bible, intending to read, and for the present to drop every other thought. It opened on those words : “God shall choose our inheritance for us." All my spirit acquiesced, and I answered, “ Yea, Lord! Thou hast chosen for my dear the bright mansions above; and thou wilt choose for me all my wanderings below.” There seemed for a moment such a communion opened between the family below and that above, as I cannot express.
Soon after this I received a message from Mr. Kener. son, letting me know that I should never be turned out of the house, but might rent it; which I received as an an. swer from the Lord directing my way. It also brought to my mind a dream I had some years before I married. I dreamed a man came to me to offer me some tithes. I replied, “ Friend, I have nothing to do with tithes—I have no concern in any living.” But soon after, I said to one of my family, “ Hannah, I am going away; I have a call from the Lord; I must go.” But again I thought, I know not where, not even into what country. However, the way of duty is the way of safety. I will set out, and Goil will lead me. Immediately I left Cross Hall, and after walking a few paces, I thought I was carried in a mo. ment, I knew not how, and set down in a churchyardand some one said to me, You are to enter into this church. I went in, and walking up the aisle, I heard a kind of groan, and said, That is the sound of death. When I came out of the church, I entered into a house which was just by it. As I was on the steps, it was said inwardly