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things which tended to lessen me greatly in the eyes of others. O how needful for me to lie still in the hand of God, making it my only business to accept of every thing as from the Lord's hand, hanging on that word by faith, Thou shalt walk with me in white ! I am convinced that the most profitable of all humiliations, are those that arise, through his grace, from a view of our own blunders, and even from our corruptions.
September 14.-I have been much drawn to pray that the great design of the Lord's coming may be answered, that he may destroy the works of the devil. I see, through his grace, my understanding is darkened. I ask in Jesus' name this work to be destroyed; for by the knowledge of Christ alone can I be changed into his likeness. I sec Satan raises false fears, false views, and wandering imagi. nations : I ask deliverance from all these !* My soul lies before the Lord in a waiting posture : in particular I ask power to consecrate the faculty of speech to the service of my God, so that I may never again speak an unadvised word.
September 15.–Last Saturday (September 12) I was fifty years old. O my God, how little have I gained of thee in fifty years! Lord, let this be a jubilee year to me! I will try what prayer can do. Lord, give me a measure of that spirit in which thou didst spend whole nights in prayer! Never was I more stripped, more empty! I have no dependence but on thyself. I long for close communion. My soul pants after it. I have wonderful answers to prayer! And I feel that my humiliations do me good. Yet I do not embrace them as I ought to do. It is perhaps a minute before I rightly enter into the gra. cious design. When I look to the Lord, all is right; but I want such an habitual look as shall enable me to receive them as a hungry man does his food! Not only to take up, but to glory in the cross of the Lord Jesus. I seem to walk much more by faith than by sight. My soul seems to go out in desire and silent prayer. I am
* It is not clear that those great and precious promises, by which we are made partakers of the Divine nature, secure to believers such a deliverance from these attacks, that they should not trouble them, and at times even agonize the soul. But they secure to them such an abiding in Christ, that none of those devices should prevail to unsettle their fai.b, or separate them from his love.-Ed.
mostly in the act of crying, Come! But there seems silence on the side of the Lord! He does not answer by sweet comforts, only by power over sin, purity of mind in a good degree; and an almost constant act of sacrifice.* I love his will, bitter or sweet, but I want him as the bride in the Canticles, to kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for his love is better than wine.
September 16.—This morning at the ten o'clock hour, I had freedom in praying for an entire change. I thought, my situation, as to outward things, is the most advanta. geous to a religious life that can be. I have no cares ; indeed I have no need of care. I have plenty of all I can want. Sally, though a tender child, is one of much ability ; laying herself out to serve and please me in all things. Matty, my other servant, of a most quiet and peaceable spirit, and rigidly honest and faithful. Blessed be God, her soul also comes forward in the Divine life. Re. flecting on this, I drew from it the following encourage. ment: If I am thus favoured, is it not plain the Lord de. signs me to be one of those who are brought into close fellowship with himself ? May I not attain to a fuller sal. vation than when involved in all my perplexities? My heart was encouraged. I thought on these words, “ Men ought always to pray, and not to faint." Again, “ I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” My soul longs for this more abundant life. Lord, pour out on me thy light and truth, and make me, in a complete sense of the word, a new creature! I was led to think of the familiar manner in which our Lord conversed with the women and his disciples after his resurrection. He met them and said, “ All hail,” (i. e., happiness attend you,) and bid them “ tell his brethren he would see them in Galilee"--probably on Mount Tabor, where his glorious transfiguration was manifested before them: and where they heard the voice of God, declaring him “ the beloved Son whom they were to hear.” They
* And was there no Divine comfort in all these glorious marks and fruits of the new creation ? There was. Comtort high as heaven, and which hell can never imitate! Far superior even to those sweet consolations which are so graciously bestowed on young converts, and which some sincere souls so greatly need throughout the whole of their pilgrimage--the lambs that he carries in his bosom.-ED.
were also commanded to “ tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man should be risen from the dead.” The thought struck my mind,- perhaps in this very assem. bly they were first to tell it! All this encouraged me greatly.
October 5, Monday.--This has been a day of recollec. tion and prayer, glory be to God! I have had some views of the great designs of God on his redeemed; how through the Son, he will form his own bright and glorious image in us. We are appointed to be conformed to the image of the Son, and is he not the express image of the Father ? A little glimpse of what the Saviour is, and will be to me, . now and then for some time beamed forth, and set my soul in a longing posture. Yet it is but like seeing through the lattice. I long to know whether what I see before me, and grasp after, may be attained in this life, or must I die to prove it? Omy Divine Director, my Prophet, speak and tell me! This is all that keeps me back, not knowing what I may ask, having been so great a sinner. Something says, I shall not fully enter into the good land here.* To-day I was reading those words, “ In the last day, Jesus will present himself as judge, to angels, men, and devils." I asked myself, Do I embrace with all my soul, Jesus as my judge! My heart sprang at the thought! Yes, my adorable Judge! I choose thee with all my powers; I acquiesce beforehand in thy sentence, be it what it will : yea, and in all thou shalt appoint from this moment to that time! Many times to-day these words have been my food, « The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth !"
October 6.-I was ill most of last night, but was recol. lected, and had a sense of undeserved mercies. Reflect. ing to-day on that point which hath so often hindered me, viz. : Some say, when we have sinned we should wait for a fresh pardon, a fresh sense of it, before we believe. I prayed for light, how to walk in my present state ; and the following reflection arose in my mind. I feel my will is turned to the Lord. He who knows all things, knows, I long, I pant, to love him perfectly, and to live every
* Certainly not the good land of perfect enjoyment; but "the good land of perfect love." inducing perfect submission, and prompt kodu Tamu o perector: ninthid e obedience, we may enter into this day. See Mr.
Mr Wester's sermon entitled, " The Scripture Way of Salvation.”-Ed.
moment to his praise, with the full exertion of my powers, But sometimes, when I am waiting before God, it is sug. gested, I have indulged in the last meal, or I have spoken unadvisedly at such a time. These things have kept me in bondage long. But to-day, I clearly see my one business is to maintain faith. How is it that the soul is ever re. ceived after any fall ? Is it not at last by believing Christ hath atoned for that sin? Now I feel I could, on the recol. lection of any stumble, immediately fly to, and weep on the bosom of my Lord. But that thought has presented itself, Am I not an Antinomian ? But I will no more take man, but the word of God for my director. What were my Lord's words to Peter ? “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” So then this faith ought not to fail, though he denied his Lord with oaths and curses ! And what a word was that, when his Lord, foretelling his fall, added, “ And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” What tenderness was showed unto him! He wept bitterly, but he still claimed his interest in his Sa. viour, for he ran to the tomb to seek him. And how did our Lord wipe away his tears! He was seen of him be. fore any of the eleven, 1 Corinthians xv, 5. He was the first preacher at pentecost. The first messenger to the Gentiles. An angel must wait on him to bring him out of prison; and at last, he received the crown of martyr. dom. Did not Christ on the cross foresce, and die for all my sins before I had a being ? Did he not pay the price for all ? But it is only mine by believing. Then if I always believe, does not that word belong to me, • There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit ?"** It is true, if the will and affections draw back, the soul will find it hard so to believe as to return to the former fellowship. And yet there is no way for them but by believing. The case I mean is,—I see it my privilege to live always under the atonement; and though I do wrong, and fall short continually, yet I may and must run di. rectly to my God, just as I did with my husband. If he said, Polly, thou shouldst not have said or done so; I asked his forgiveness, and had no fear of his loving me
. See the note on the 220th page.-Ed.
the less. Nay, usually I found more tenderness when I acknowledged my fault, than before I fell into it. That word also came to my mind, “ Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” And again, “ If thou canst believe, all things are possible. He that believeth is justified from all things.”
October 31.-These words have made a great impres. sion on my mind of late—when one of the scribes asked our Lord, “ What he should do to inherit eternal life ?” He replied, “ What readest thou in the law ?” The scribe answered, “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and mind, and soul, and strength; and thy neighbour as thyself.” Our Lord replied, “ Thou hast well said ; this do, and thou shalt live." I discerned a fulness in this passage which I never did before, and all my soul cried for the possession of that spirit of love, to which this absolute promise of life is made. Many times I have observed, in prayer, or at some peculiar seasons in other means, such a spirit of purity, humility, and love, has overwhelmed my soul, as is hardly to be expressed. At other times, the Divine glory appeared but dim. I saw at once the cause. At the former times, the soul turned from every intervening object, and sunk into her proper place, discerning the immense distance between a holy God and sinful self. Then she begins to shine in his brightness. Her light is come, because the glory of the Lord is risen upon her. But if she rises out of her deep absorbment, and lets in self-esteem, what wonder if she then reflects the odious image of sin, instead of the beauty of the Lord Jesus. I perceived also, that there is a great difference between humble thoughts and de. spairing thoughts. Humble thoughts, though they may cause much pain by the horror and detestation which they cause the soul to feel, yet they exalt the Saviour, and make the soul admire the justice as well as the mercy of God. But despairing thoughts, injected by the devil, drive the soul from God, and represent him as “ a hard Master, gathering where he hath not strowed.” The faithful soul will find many such attacks, therefore the safest way is continually to give up herself to the Lord, crying, Thy will be done! That is a weapon Satan cannot stand against.