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Hithe favor of settled inesired on
that his dislike grew into a petulance when he found me often reading, I sought opportunities when he was absent and read it through again and again. Here I found many things which afforded me matter of consideration, and I felt deeply affected when reading about the sufferings of Christ.
There was nothing I desired on the earth more than to be settled in retirement and to enjoy the favor of God. I continued at Sackett's-Harbor until the news of peace, which was very pleasing to me, as I was now a friend to peace; besides, I thought too, that I should not be likely to meet with any difficulty in leaving the army under a peace establishment. As soon as circumstances would admit the company was disbanded and I returned to Eden, in the county of Niagara state of New York,* where I had married my wife, about seven months before,
When I left the army, I was fully convinced of the impropriety of war and disdained, as I thought, the proud pursuits of the world. I felt resolved to enjoy a retired life, and to walk humbly before God. After I had been home a little time I found myself retained on the peace establishment; I then resigned my commission which was accepted, and so I found myself clear from the army, but not clear from the spirit of the world; for no gooner than I had retired from the army I began to feel my mind anxious about domes. * The town is now called Boston, and the county, Erie Count f..
mighof life; in connor were equavery time of
tic concerns. All those good resolutions which I had been predetermined in, were but formed too much in my own strength, so that, as I had not fully dedicated myself to God, my strength wilted, (when tried) like the flower by the blazing sun beams at noon day. I did not forget the many promises which I had made to God in the course of my life, but no sooner than I was made to remember I was as ready to put off the work of righteousness, until a more convenient season. During eighteen months I was so much attached to worldy business, that my soul, mind and might seemed to be drank up in the business of life; in cold and in heat, wet and dry, all kinds of weather were equally improved by me, yea, I accounted the very time of eating and sleeping as lost and unprofitable.
Sometimes I conversed with certain persons who lived in the neighborhood, about the subject of religion, but as their turn of inind was calvinistic, there was little to be learned from them, but particular election and reprobation. This doctrine was so disagreeable, that the very devil within me would rise up against it. This doctrine had been detestable to me from a child, as I had suffered much from it, but more particularly because God had taught me at that time, that it was false. In conversing upon this doctrine, it was not uncommon that I met its advocates with language, all but as corrupt as the doctrine itself. Notwithstanding I was so far from God I was not without a remembrancer. The Spirit of God continued to visit me, even in a time when the world would judge by my conversation and life, that I had not so much as one good thought about me.-It was on a time when God saw fit to come more sensibly near to me than usual, that I began to consider upon my condition. I thought I could discover that from time to time wickedness had increased with my years. At this time I could really discover plainly, that my temper was much more ungovernable than it ever had been before. I could look back to the time when I was about ten or fifteen years of age-When I was a stranger to a revengeful disposition-a time when it was as much of a mystery to me, how people could be angry one with another, as it was mysterious now, that my temper was so ungovernable. When I seriously considered the progress sin was making in my soul, I felt really fearful that I should come to some bad end. If I resolved to mend, as I frequently did, it seemed as if all the powers of satan were engaged to refute and destroy the good intentions I had, and cause me to commit two offences against God, to every good resolution I formed. My sins were a constant aggravation to me, and yet I sinned. I could plainly discover a hell within my own breast, without being able to shun it.
strives most with them. Add to this, that the light of the spirit magnisies, or rather shows sin in its proper shape, showing every sin to be like a mountain. So the poor soul has a hard struggle to escape sin, and come to God. It is not uncommon that people imagine themselves out of satan's dominions because they are insensible of sin, which like a bane lurks within them. They do not groan for sin, because they are insensible of it; they are not unusually tempted, because satan is not suspicious of any loss by them.
During the 6th month, (called June) 1816, a circumstance took place, which was followed by mature considerations. Being called from my business by some unexpected means, I fell into a fretful mood, which continued for about one hour; during this time I gave way to much wicked and improper language. After my insanity was a little abated, I threw myself upon the bed and began to reflect on myself for my folly. I thought that I had become one of the most unreasonable beings on the earth. I accounted myself the fool of all fools, for having given away to the wicked influence of satan. Here I called to mind all the improprieties of my life, with all the promises I had made to God. I contrasted that heavenly mindedness which I once possessed, with my feelings and condition now; but considered myself further from God than ever. Thought I, I am the man that has lived foolish above all
men; I have often made solemn promises to the Lord, but I have as often broke themperliaps I have committed the unpardonable sin! When could it be? When I was about twelve years of age the Lord did much for me, but I was not converted; it was but a special call I had-and such was the exercise of my mind then, as I have never experienced since that time. Had I walked agreeable to that great light which I had, I I should not have done as I have, but now I really fear that my day of grace is past, and all I do is in my own strength. This perhaps is the reason, (thought I) why I am given on ver to languish out a life in fits of presumption and extreme.—My prayer'was to God, that if his mercy was not clean gone he would begin my salvation, and by his own power help me to escape the bondage of my sin.Lord, said I in my heart, I am sinful, wicked and weak; Satan is too strong for me; Lord here I am, I am thine as a creature, the work is thine, the power is thine.
I arose from my bed, resolved, the Lord helping me, to reform my life,then, or die without ever attempting to reform again. About this time I had several dreams which were very similar one to the other. I thought that the country was invaded by a foreign power, and that the inhabitants had recourse to arms for their defence, but they were not able to stand. I thought they were obliged to retreat (myself with the others,) or become