« AnteriorContinuar »
November 12.--This day, being the day of our mar. riage, many painful remembrances would present them. selves to my mind. Each year I wrote, “ we are happier and happier !" But I feel a great thankfulness that I have such an offering to bring to Him who gave up all for me! Yes, I praise thee, my Lord, that thou hast done thine own will, and not mine. At ten I took my hour before the Lord, and felt sume power afresh to dedi. cate myself to Jesus-entering into a marriage covenant with him. A light shone on my soul to discern how the husband hath undertaken the whole cause of the wife, and I saw both body and soul safe in his hands. I then entreated my adorable Husband to take all the freedom of my will into his own hand; and, as we say to the sur. geon, bind me, (for an operation,) so I entreated my Lord to conform me to himself in any way that he pleased ; only that he should be glorified. A thought again presented itself, what if, in eternity, it be his will that I should neither know nor have any communion with my dear husband? I was enabled to answer, Lord, thy glory is all in all to me! I felt that he should choose for me. And I was enabled to give up soul, body, life, death, time, and eternity to him, and covenanted to live on his will alone! And henceforward I will consider this day as my wedding day with the Lord, holding my dear husband in him, whose soul I know will have joy in heaven upon every nearer approach which I make to his Saviour and my Saviour ! his all and my all !
November 14.-After I had spent some time in prayer this morning I felt an increasing freedom in imploring that the whole mind of Christ might be brought into my soul. · Those words are much in my thoughts, “ Be ye not afraid, neither doubt, for God is your guide,” 2 Es. dras xvi, 75. Lord, increase my confidence ! I saw how impossible it was to have union where there was not similitude ; and my cry was, Fulfil that word, O Lord, on which thou hast made me to hope! Make me clean through thy word ! and present me to thyself without spot ! Afterward, reading the Life of Ignatius Loyala, and especially what pains he took, and what labour he went through to gain souls, I could not but be struck at the glaring difference between him and me. One day, having taken a step he believed to be his duty, but which caused hiin both pain and ignominy-and being rebuked by a friend, he replied, “ I should not object to traverse all the streets of Paris barefoot, with horns on my head, and clothed in the most ridiculous habit, could it but gain one soul to God."* The conviction immediately struck ine, that all I wanted was to be filled with the love of God, and that would produce every effect in its proper order. Lord, let my incessant cry be for this! O give me this most excellent gift of charity!
January 7, 1790.-And now another year is gone, and I am so much nearer eternity! Yes, my faithful Saviour ! I will rejoice in the thought, because thou art faithful, and I do believe for the fulfilment of all thy promises : they are yea and amen in thee, on whom I rely. . I believe I shall walk with thee in white ! O carry on thy work! I long to be just what my God pleases.
In the last month I have had a peculiar experience. I was often tempted to think that the deadness I felt to all earthly things might be produced by my great affliction on account of my dear husband's death, and I was some. times damped by that thought in my ardour of praise. But a few weeks ago, I was permitted to feel all the temp. tations I ever felt, except resentment, and I was conscious I could fall into the same desires of comfort on earth from which I had been so long delivered. My soul was grieved exceedingly ; yet strange, I seemed nearer to God than before! I was amazed; but these words came to my mind, “ Know that from Jesus alone is your salvation." I cried to the Lord that he would graciously prove it by removing the temptation, and so it proved. Glory be to my complete Saviour ! It is now like a dream, but I know and feel the Divine reality. .
I seem to be surrounded with blessings, and see such a care of the Almighty over all that concerns me, as I can. not express. Sally has been very ill, but raised again in answer to prayer as by miracle. My house is a sweet rest, and “ a secret place in the wilderness to hide me in.” Many storms are without, but none can touch me, I seem
* Pious Protestants well know how to appreciate this. piety is of no sect: it is truly catholic.-ED.
True hid from all the evils of which my letters inform me. I have peace within, resting in hope; and peace in all my borders. I have communion with my friends above, and none below can harm or injure me. As to temporal things--I inherit now (and have done some years) the fulness of that promise, given to me in my deep poverty, “ Thou shalt be the head and not the tail : thou shalt lend and not borrow.” It is amazing how many I can help, both by lending and giving; and when I made up my book this last Christmas, I was surprised to see on how little we had kept the house, and how large was the poor's ac. count ;* yet a little is always left to go on with. He does bless my bread and my water. I want for nothing. I live better than I think I need, and yet, according to the promise, I have always plenty of silver.
January 13.-Two days ago a gentleman and his wife came to see me from a considerable distance. He told me that for two years he had walked in the full liberty of the sons of God; but for the last eight years he had been in the darkness of unbelief. I was led to speak freely on the way of faith; and mentioned an instance I had lately heard of a good woman who, when in prayer, her eyes being shut, had a sight of paradise, where she saw our Lord as sitting in the midst of the glorified spirits. There proceeded from him such beams of purity, light, and glory, as penetrated them till they were all irradiated, and shone with his glory. She saw also the same glory stream down on the saints below, and they, in the same manner, keep. ing their eyes on the Lord, were divinely changed. But when any of them turned away their eyes, they received his beams no longer. The same glory still shone round them, but they complained of being barren and dry, and that they could get no answers to prayer. I observed that I thought this was his case. If we keep faith in exercise we shall and must receive, for we may have of God what we will take of him. As I spake I said in my heart, If this is the truth as it is in Jesus, Lord, set to thy seal! And so he did, for the power of God came down on the gentleman, and constrained him to cry out, O! now I feel it again! I feel the power of God go through me! When I came into this room my heart was as hard and as heavy as if the whole world lay on it. But now it is all gone, and I feel the power of God penetrate my whole frame. His wife also was much affected, and I trust the blessing will abide.
* In an account for one year, I find the whole expense of her wearing apparel amounted to a trifle more than two pounds.-ED
January 25.--A dream which was told me the other day by S. Colley was blessed to me. She thought she was surrounded by dangers, but looking up she saw a large eye always fixed on her, which much encouraged her faith in an overruling Providence. Then she thought she got into a river, and began to sink. It was very deep and clear, and she was much afraid ; but looking down she saw this great eye underneath her, which caused such a faith to spring up in her soul, that she laid herself down on the water with as much comfort and ease as if upon her bed. She felt she could not sink with the power of the Almighty underneath her.
January 27.-My soul was yesterday and this day much drawn out in prayer. Those words are often before me, “ None knoweth the Father but the Son, and hc to whom the Son is pleased to reveal him.”
I long for this revelation. I feel it is, in its fulness, the thing I want. Thus only St. Paul's prayer can be an. swered, Ephesians iii, 14-21. O for this revelation of thy love! I wait for it moment by moment. And thou sayest, “ They shall not be ashamed who wait for thee!" I wait for the salvations which shall be brought in at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
February 11.–The seventh of this month (on which was our quarterly meeting) I found a good day. My soul saw the way of faith, and felt a degree of that liberty which from believing flows. At our class on Tuesday night we agreed to unite our prayers the ensuing week for power over imaginations, (2 Cor. x, 5,) especially dur. ing the time of prayer; and, blessed be God, I find some answer. • February 26, Friday. I have found this a comfortable day. While talking with brother T. the way of faith was more and more beautiful in my eyes. In prayer I had a sweet discovery of the depth contained in those words, “ Whatsoever things ye ask in prayer, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Yesterday I proved that truth. I asked in the name, and in the right of my Lord, that his will might be done without interrup. tion in me all day; and that I might be kept and taught in every word and action, and enabled to abide as in the presence of God. And though I had no sensible joy, yet I found the power of God keeping me, and approving me each moment since that time. I have been poorly in body, but I so see the hand of God in all, that I seem like a little babe held in the arms of its mother. As brother T. was speaking, I saw the way of enjoying pure love clearer than ever. O! wherefore did I ever doubt? According as I believe, so it is! Surely of late the Lord is increas. ing my faith, and teaching me anew to walk with him. self. Mr. T. observed that “God brought his children through different dispensations, sometimes of sorrow, some. times of joy. That it was our part to trust him in all, believing all would be right in its season ; and equally accepting either correction or comfort. God knew what he was about to do with Job, and Job had only to lie still under the hand of God; for a time was coming in which God would surely lift him up. He had no need to plead his own cause, for he was safe in God's hand, who was then making him a spectacle of glory before angels and devils ; though to man he appeared very different."
June 26, Saturday.--I am much led this morning to pray for a resigned will, to stand to the beck of my Lord with a ready mind.-Yes, he shall do with me and mine as seems to him good. Company in the house is a great cross; they consume much time, and the serving tables seems to clash with my Sabbath employment. But in this also thou, my Lord, shalt dispose and direct : only give me a watchful mind, and then set me to entertain all the strangers thou pleasest. I know not what blessed angels may come with them as their attendants, and I will keep to my old motto:
" O that my Lord would count me meet
To wash his dear disciples' feet!