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But I see there needs a determination to be singular. Some professors, when they have company in the house, sit chatting with them all day. This I must not do. It was one of the first lessons God taught me, to keep my rules of retirement; to do my business, as to writing, visiting the sick, meeting the classes, &c., leaving them to their freedom, and taking mine. One part of my work must not overturn another.
August 14.What have I seen within these five years ! This day five years my beloved was on his deathbed. But how is it with me now? I answer, and from the ground of my heart, “ It is well.”—I have nothing to do but to praise! I love him at this moment as much as ever I did in my life ; but I love the will of God still better.— Yes, I adore thee, my almighty Saviour, that thou hast done thine own will, and not mine; and that my dearest love has been five years in glory! O that I might be permitted to feel a little of what he now is-lost and swallowed up in thee! Lord, are we not one? The head of the woman is the man, as the head of the man is Christ ;” and “ whom God kath joined together none can put asunder.” Adam and Eve were never intended to be separated : and shall sin so overturn thy original design, as that it cannot be restored by the Saviour ? Surely, no! As thou hast taken away the sting of sin, so thou hast taken away the smart of separation. We are yet one ; and shall I not feel a communication from thyself passing through that channel ? Lord, make me spiritually minded !--" meet to partake of the inheritance of the saints in light.”
August 24.—My soul is much stirred up by the thought that I have lost time more than any one that has really walked in the ways of the Lord. It seems to me that I begin to see a fulness in the word of God—such a depth in the promises, that I have been looking hitherto only for the first principles of Christianity. O for that baptism of the Spirit! that sanctifying grace! It seems as if I wanted the Lord to come and take away the last breath of nature's life! I see a great deal in these words, " The kingdom of heaven is at hand :" the kingdom of abiding 6 righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Surely that is “ the kingdom of heaven," of which our Lord said that the least member of it " was greater than John the
Baptist.” Lord, bring me into that liberty! I ask it in the name of my Saviour and Advocate.
Last night I prayed that I might not have so disturbed a night as I have found of late, but that the Lord would keep away those hurrying dreams which often disturb the quiet repose of my spirit. And it was so: I found a dit. ference. About the middle of the night I saw my dear husband before me. We ran into each other's arms. I wished to ask him several questions concerning holiness, and the degree to be expected here, &c. But I found something like a dark cloud on my memory, so that I said in myself, I cannot frame the question I would ask ; I am not permitted. At length I asked, My dear, do you not visit me sometimes ? He answered, “ Many times a day.” But, said I, Do not “principalities and powers” strive to hinder you from communing with me? He said, “ There is something in that.” And does their opposition cause you to suffer in coming to me? He answered, “ There is not much in that.” But do you know every material thing that occurs to me? “ Yes.” And may I always know that thou art near me when I am in trouble, or pain, or danger ? He paused, and said faintly, “ Why, yes ;" then added, “ but it is as well for thee not to know it, for thy reliance must not be upon me.” He mentioned also some in glory who remembered me and said, " Mr. Hey is with us also; he bid me tell thee so; and by that thou mayest know that it is I that speak to thee.” Mr. Hey died a short time before, very happy in the Lord.
September 14.- As I was in prayer about ten to-day, a thought came into my mind, God is incomprehensible; but we are called to walk by faith, therefore I am to be. lieve what I cannot comprehend. And O! what sweet condescension did I see in that stupendous goodness! He took our nature that we might be able to form some con. ception of him. He stooped to me to lift me up to him. self. “God so loved us as not to spare his own Son. Then will he not with him freely give us all things ?" I see clearly it is the infinite desire of the blessed Triune God, to communicate himself to the creature. -Ah! why is it then I do not enjoy more of him?
September 17.-I was much struck with the compari. son of the sun drawing up the vapour, and purifying it
as it draws. Ås I was walking to the Lloyds' I thought much on it, and said in my mind, How shall I know, and coincide with this attraction? Immediately it came to my mind, by that word, “ Thy will be done;" by this resig. nation we instantly enter into the attraction, whatever state we were in before :* and by a simple look to Jesus, a waiting on the Spirit to do its office on us, we continue therein. Lord give me so to wait every moment ! I was comforted in my visits yesterday morning, and again to. day. Glory be to God, souls come forward, and I have been enabled to walk about more this summer, than for a long time. Lord, make me to be as a leaf to the wind before thee! ready to obey all thy will. Great liberty and power I have found for some months, both in public and private meetings. O what a favour to be permitted to speak a word in thy name!
September 22.-I was thinking to-day, What is sin ? It is a turning out of the presence of God, and departing from union with him ; drawing back from the attraction.f While that is kept up, no sin is imputed. Many blunders may be made ; but while the heart keeps attached to Jesus, cleaving to him by faith, these words stand good, “ There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." The will being still fastened to his cross, all that is want. ing is a closer attention to the Spirit. Then these blun. ders would be rectified. My one concern must be, to keep in this presence of God, lying before him as clay, and he will do all his will in me.
September 30.-I have found it on my mind some time, that something more should be done for the souls in the lower part of the town. We have had preaching there, and prayer meetings, and yet they seem all dead and cold. Sally thought of several persons, and we got the names of twenty-eight families. We both laid it before the Lord, considering that our good class, which meets on Tuesday night, were all raised at first by inviting them
* But the call to " repent and believe the Gospel" must be first obeyed.—ED.
+ St. John tells us, “Sin is the transgression of the law; the law written in the heart," or recorded in the word. But Mrs. Fletcher evidently means, How does sin revive in those believers who were dead to sin? In this view of the question, the remarks that follow may be profitable.--Ed.
to a meeting. We proposed to do the same with these. But Sally did not feel freedom to meet them. At night, in prayer, the Lord laid it on my mind to take this meet. ing also. Therefore she and I set out in faith, determin. ing to call on as many as my strength would reach. We saw much of the Lord all the way. I have got a promise from all we have asked, which is fifteen. We visited many more, but did not see the time come to ask them. We have many still to go to. I have appointed ten o'clock on Tuesday morning for this new meeting. The Lord pour his blessing upon it! I was pleased to find some old ones, on whom my dear husband had spent much labour, seemingly without fruit, now begin to feel, and they attend the public meetings.
October 8.-The following observation was blessed to me as I read it this day. “ There is among men here on earth, an almost infinite diversity of gifts, talents, know. ledge, inclinations, &c. The scale of humanity rises through innumerable steps, from the brute man to the thinking man. The progression will continue no doubt in the life to come, and will preserve the same essential relations; or in other words, the progress which we shall inake here in knowledge and virtue, will determine the point from whence we shall begin our progress in the other life, or the place we shall there occupy."* What a powerful motive to excite us to grow continually in knowledge and love! The Judge of all will render to each according to his works ; according to the use he hath made of his talents; and to him who hath, shall be given. It follows that the degree of perfection acquired in this life, will determine in the life to come the degree of happiness or glory which each individual shall enjoy. Certainly, the degrees of glory will be as various as the degrees of holiness have been; and therefore we have the clearest reason to suppose there will be an eternal advance froin one degree of perfection to another. And because the distance between created beings and the uncreated Being is infinite, they will tend continually toward supreme per. fection; though without ever arriving at it.
November 12.--My soul has for some days been in a * This may be admitted, if the blood of Christ have previously removed all guilt. Ed.
particular exercise ; but I was enabled not to regard the violent suggestions of the enemy. I strove to pass over, or through the thoughts, as they presented themselves, and took refuge in the Lord. O, how important it is not to give in to one thought! The least turn of the eye of the mind may be sufficient to let in the tempter. It has been an amazing trial! Truly we wrestle with principali. ties and powers! In the midst of it the Lord said, I have redeemed thee : thou art mine! Sometimes it seemed as if I had lost all strength. I could not feel condemnation, and yet I would fain have condemned myself, for I hardly knew what thoughts were my own, and what were inject. d. But, strange to say, during this season, though I
most trembled to speak for God, my words seemed to be attended with more than common profit to others! Lord, awaken the spiritual powers of my soul! This day I have been renewing my solemn dedication to the Lord. On this day I took my dear husband, now in glory! And I will ever consider it as my day of marriage with the Lord.
January 1, 1791.-Last night I found much desire that I might awake so as to devote the first breath of the new year to the Lord; and I found it in some measure. Be. tween five and six I got up, and read the Psalms for the day, but did not find any thing particular, except that word, which has remained on my mind, « Salvation be. longeth unto the Lord, and his blessing is on his people !" My soul is waiting on him, and my expectation is alone from him.
April 20.—The posture of my soul is, I still wait in full reliance that the Lord will do his whole will upon me. Souls come forward, and it seems as if every one grows faster than I do. I am much pained that I do not feel more under the means. It seems as if the word preached had a more powerful effect on others than on me. Lord, why is this? Reading is to me the greatest of means, except private prayer. I think the Lord is giving me to see myself in a clearer light than ever.
July 13.--Mr. Valton's* visit I have found blessed to me. His word came with power; and while we were talking together of faith, I felt my soul refreshed. O how
* A travelling preacher and a member of the Methodist conference; now with God.-ED.