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we were near land. It served to remind us of that word, “ There is but a step between me and death !”
Since our return I have closely examined what I have lost or got in these last three months. I exceedingly praise the Lord that ever we went to Dublin, and that for various reasons. There are some souls there with whom my spirit found much fellowship; at whose feet I sat, and, I trust, learned many useful lessons. My dear Mr. Fletcher preached in several places beside the preaching house in Whitefriars-street, both to the French and Eng. lish, and we had some remarkable proofs that he was called there of God.* I have also learned more of my
* Having visited Dublin soon after the departure of these servants of God, I can add my testimony to the great and good effects which resulted from their visit, and their truly evangelical labours. Never did I see such deep impressions made on the minds of that people, except, perhaps, in the very short visits of Mr. Wesley. But he had the care of all the Churches, and was occupied with that care in every place. Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher had a liberty in that respect which our father in the Gospel could not have. They were the unencumbered helpers of the people's joy; and it was truly the joy of the Lord. Those Divine impressions were deep and abiding: and, as Mrs. Fletcher hoped, a great revival of pure religion followed in that society. It had usually consisted of about 500 persons, but it soon increased to upward of 1,000, and has never since fallen below that number. Such longing afler entire conformity to the Son of God, I never beheld! It seemed to be the general sentiment of all, from the highest to the lowest of the people. How wide this sacred influence might have extended, who can tell, if a poor sectarian spirit had not limited the labours of the man of God. · On their arrival at Dublin, their host, Mr. Smyth, a distinguished and most respectable gentleman, applied to the rector of St. Andrew's parish (in which he lived) for Mr. Fletcher to preach in his church, and as he was a beneficed minister. it was immediately granted. The church (commonly called the Round Church) was crowded to excess. Mr. Fletcher's text was, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian, Acts xxvi, 28. He showed what it was to be a Christian, from the liturgy which had just been read; beginning with the general confession, and the authoritative declaration of pardon to those “who truly repent, and un feignedly believe his holy Gospel;” and going on to that “cleansing of our hearts by the inspiration of his Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love him, and worthily magnify his holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He then proceeded to persuude them, with an earnestness and power that astonished the congregation, some of whom seemed to doubt if he were not more than human. But, alas! It was soon known that Mr. Fletcher preached that same evening at the Methodist preaching house! The pulpils of the churches were immediately shut against him,
own weakness and ignorance. I know not I ever found a more humbling season than while I was there. My continual prayer was, Ah! Lord, break me in pieces ! Melt me down and let me flow, and more fully take the mould Divine! My soul is deeply convinced of the need of being filled with “ all the fruit of the Spirit,” or I shall never bring glory to my God. O that thou wouldst accomplish all thy will upon me!
Since our return, my dear husband has taken another journey of about two hundred miles, from which he has a good deal suffered. His face is not yet well. But the unwearied patience and resignation wherewith he goes through all, is to me a continual lesson, which I wish to imitate.
November 12.-And do we see the anniversary of our blessed union yet another year ? And are we yet more happy and more tender toward each other? Yes, glory be to God! we are; and what is better, I can truly say, our souls get nearer to God. We are more spiritual, and live more for eternity. What have we passed through to. gether since this day twelvemonth! What a tender kind friend hath he proved himself to me in every circumstance of each situation! And now Providence hath so graciously brought us again to our own country, and quiet habita. tion. O that we may live to him more than ever.
Yesterday I was much blessed in offering up my whole self, with all my concerns, into the hand of God, believing he would appoint me all my work, and all my crosses. He showed me he would make his will known to me through that of my dear husband, and that I was to accept his directions as from God, and obey him as the Church does Christ. That I must give myself to his guidance as a child, and wherever we were called, or however employed
with the exception of the French church. The first time he preached there, his text was, Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions, Hebrews x, 32. He thus brought before them the faith of their ancestors, and the persecutions that had driven them from their native land, and strongly enforced the inquiry, Do ye now believe? When some of the people were asked, "Why did you go to the French church to hear Mr. Fletcher, when you could not understand one word he said ?” They answered, “We went to look at him, for heaven seemed to beam from his countenance!"-ED.
in the work of God, I should always find protection, and glorify God, while I renounced all choice by doing the will of another rather than my own. This, indeed, I have always seen ; but it was now more deeply impressed on my heart, as I was assured there was no danger in doing 80, having his guidance. I saw how often, through that unaccountable fear which presses down my spirit, I have been afraid to follow in the ways he hath pointed out, and so have hindered the order of God. Lord, from this day I covenant afresh to be in this particular at thy own disposal !
February 3, 1784.-This day my convictions have been greatly deepened concerning the sin of unwatchfulness in the usc of my tongue. We must be willing to be dumb, and not open our mouth, when God's order calls us to it; and to be fools in the eyes of man, that we may receive the true wisdom
September 12.-This day I am forty-five years old. Lord, what hath my setting sun to shine on? Must I say, A lost life? O, how much of it hath been so! What might I have been! What might I have done for thee, O God! Yet this day I have had such a sense of the goodness of God toward me as I cannot express. I am filled with favours ! I have the best of husbands, who daily grows more and more spiritual, and I think more healthful, being far better than when we first married. My call is also so clear, and I have such liberty in the work, and such sweet encouragement among the people. My servant too is much improved, and as faithful as if she was my own child. An income quite comfortable, and a good deal to help the poor with ! O what shall I render to the Lord for all the mercies he hath shown unto me!
October.- As I was retired this morning at my ten o'clock hour, I was called down to Mary G
I asked her if she still retained her spiritual liberty. I found by her answers that she did, which caused me to praise the Lord. She gave me a strange account, which I shall insert as she related it. A short time ago, she said, she was one day going out to work in the fields, but thought she would first go up stairs to prayer. While on her knees, praising God for the care he had taken of her children, she was amazed to see her eldest son, about twenty-one years old, standing before her! She started up, but thought, May be it is the enemy to affright me from prayer. Casting her eyes again to the same spot, she still saw him there, on which she ran down into the kitchen, calling on the name of the Lord. Still, wherever she looked, she saw him standing before her, pale and as if covered with dirt ! Concluding from this that he was killed, she ran to her mother, who, on hearing the account, a went directly to the pit, determined to have him home, if alive. On her drawing near the pit she heard a great tumult, for the earth had fallen in on him and two other men, and the people were striving to dig them out. At length he was got up alive and well, and came home to his mother, pale and dirty, just as she had seen him! She then fell on her knees, and began praising that God who hears and answers prayer! Many of the ungodly neighbours having been witness to the whole transaction, are much affected, and I trust this very strange occurrence will work for good.*
October.—Yesterday I was very much taken up in house affairs. Various things occurred which would at sometimes have been a burden ; but every thing seemed blessed. These words were all day the language of my heart,
" With thee delighted I forget
All time, and toil, and care;
If thou, my God, be there.? It was a day of prayer and sweet recollection. This day also I have found much of the presence of God. O for a power of self-denial in all things to do his will !
November 12.-We have been married three years this day. A good day it has been to me! My spirit has been much drawn out in prayer for a farther lift of faith, with out which I am sensible I cannot obtain the fulfilment of that promise, “ Her clothing shall be of wrought gold !!! As I was this day reflecting on the wonderful goodness of God in my providential union with my dear husband, (so far, so very far, beyond my warmest wishes,) my heart
* Was not this extraordinary dispensation permitted for the good of these ignorant ungodly persons, who were not likely to be moved by more rational means ?-Ed.
was enlarged with desire to render to my God a suitable return for all his mercies! I cried from the bottom of my soul to the Father, that he would draw me to the Son! I called on Christ as my living head! It was a peculiar season. These words have ever since abode on my mind:
“See him to thy help come down,
The excellence Divine.” November 16.-A thought struck my mind to-night, as I was looking over some part of my diary, that there is not praise enough for spiritual blessings. I express my wants, but I ought to praise the Lord without ceasing, that he gives me such an open door to pour out my wants into his bosom; and the answers to prayer I have of late found, have been so quick, so certain, and so wonderful, I am amazed!
In July last, we believed the Lord called us to York. shire for a few weeks,* and many answers to prayer did we meet with in that journey. Soon after our return, my dear husband was called to take another journey. I knew he would meet with much fatigue therein; and every jour. ney hurts him much ; but I was amazed at the calm resig. nation I felt; the language of my heart was,
" Happy to meet, yet free to part,
Through thee for ever one in heart." This autumn I have been a good deal among the people, and have found great liberty both in public and private meetings. Two dear souls have been lately brought in ; and though persecution burns hot against them, they are yet firm, and rejoice that they “are counted worthy to suffer for the cause of God.” Lord, keep them, and make them firm as the beaten anvil to the stroke!
Lord's day.—My dear husband was very poorly, and had much appearance of a fever. In the morning meeting I told the dear women we must hold him up by prayer; and indeed I felt our prayers had free access to the Lord, It would have warmed a heart of stone to have heard Mary Matthews give her simple, yet solid and wise declaration of the goodness of God. She had been a long time creep, ing hither with her sore leg ; but she seemed scarce to
* To attend the conference; the last at which Mr. Fletcher was present.-ED.