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window; I arose and went out of doors, and behold, ev. ery thing I cast my eye upon, seemed to be speaking forth the praise and wonders of the Almighty : It apo" peared more like a new world than any thing else I can compare it to: this happiness is easier felt than: described.
I set out to go down to the house where the meeting was held the preceding evening, but the family not being up, I being young, thought it not proper to go in and disturb them; and seeing a wicked swearer coming down the road, I wished to shun him, accordingly I went down to the barn, and as he drew near me I went round it and looked up towards the house, and saw the woman qvho nas bound on the journey, coming out at the back door. I made to her with all the speed I could. It seemed to me that I scarcely touched the ground, for I felt so happy, that I scarcely knew whether I was in the body or out of it.
When I got to her, she said, "good morning!" Yes said I, it is the blessedest morning that ever I saw; and walking into the house, the first words that I said were, I am happy, happy, happy enough :-My voice penetrated almost every part of the house, and a preacher coming down siairs, opened his hymn-book on these words, .
60! for a thousand tongues to sing, in My dear Redeemer's praise." ;
Indeed I did want a thousand tongues and ten thousand to the end of it; to praise God for what he had done for viy soul.
About nine o'clock I set out for home; and to behold the beautiful sun rising in the east above the hills, altho it was on the 12th of November, and the ground partly frozen, yet to me it was as pleasant as May, a When I got home to my parents, they began to reprove me for going out so early, as they were concerned about me. But when I had told them where I had been, and what I had been upon, they seemed to be struck, it being such language as they had never heard from me before, and almost unbelieving to what I said-howeyer my soul was so happy that I could scarcely settle to
work; and I spent the greatest part of the day in going from house to house, through the neighbourhood, to tell the people what God had done for me.
I wanted to publish it to the ends of the earth, and then take wings and fly away to rest. In this happy situation, I went on my way rejoicing for some weeks; concluding that I should never learn war any more.-Some said, that young converts were happier than those who were many years in the way: thought I, Lord ! let me die whilst young, if I may not feel so happy when I am old.
One day relating my past experience and trials (in a prayer meeting) my mother upon hearing thereof, said to me; How do you know that you are converted ? How do you know but what you are deceived, if you have passed through such trials as I understand you have ? I said, God has given me the evidence what ground I stand upon, and he cannot lie. Afterward walking out of doors, it was suggested to my mind, here are many in town that have prosessed thirty, or forty years, and say they do not know their sins forgiven: and can it be that a young upstart stripling, could have more knowledge and experience in these things, than they? Nay; you have only lost your conviction : You think you are converted, but your peace is a false one.
I then began to reason with the tempter; (instead of going to God in prayer, to shew me my state) Can all these things I have met with be a deception? Unbelief began to arise; and my Beloved hid his face from me. I ran to the fields and woods, sometimes kneeling and walking and bemoaning my loss; for I felt as if something of more value than silver or gold was departed from me; but found no comfort to my restless mind. I then set out to go to a house where some converts lived, hoping God would enable them to speak something for my comfort; but before I got to the house, I met my BELOVED in the way; he was the chiefest among ten thousand and altogether lovely And I went home happy in the Redeemer's love.. : * Having been sprinkled in my ipfancy, and now feeling not satisfied, I had the ceremony re-performed; as a des claration to mankind of my dedicating myself to God; and the same evening I with twelve others, united our. selves in a society, to watch over one another in love; among whom was my second cousin, and friend R. Searle.
CALL TO PREACH, &c. O NE day being alone in a solitary place, whilst
U kneeling before God, these words were suddenly impressed on my mind; “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature," Iinstantly spoke out, Lord! I am a child, I cannot go; I cannot preach. These words followed in my mind, “ Arise and go, for I have sent you.” I said, send by who thou wilt send, only not by me, for I am an ignorant illiterate youth not qualified for the important task : The reply was " What God hath cleansed, call not thou common." I then resisted the impression as a temptation of the devil; and then my Saviour withdrew from me the light of his countenance; until at length I dared not believe that God had called me to preach for fear of being deceived; and durst not disbelieve it, for fear of grieving the Spirit of God: thus I halted between two opinions. *
When I nourished and cherished the impression, the worth of souls was exhibited to my view; and cords of sweet 1:/e drew me on; and when I resisted it, a burthen of depression and distress seized my mind.
Shortly after this, my trials being very great, I took an opportunity to open my mind to my friend, R. Searle, who said his mind had been impressed the same way for about four inonths.
One day, as I went to meeting, being in August 1793, a certain person said to me, " My friend, it appears to me as though you never had any trials." My reply to her was, although my soul had been happy the greatest part of the time these nine months past, yet the remainder of my life will be a life of grief and trouble and sorrow ;' said she, I hope not:said I, you may wish so in vain for what is revealed will surely come to pass. Very shortly after this, as I was riding along one day, I was seized with an unusual weakness, and my eye-sight en.
lirely failed me, whilst my horse carried me forward about the space of half a mile; when my sight returned, and strength in some degree:-Soon after this, whilst retired in a wood, I was taken in a similar manner, and for some time I thought I was dying, but my mind was calmly stayed on God.-My bodily strength continued gradually to decline; till at length it was concluded I had the quick consumption, and by physicians and friends I was given over to die. In the beginning of this illness, the sacrament was administered to the society ; at which I attended.
It was suggested to my mind, “what good does it do to kneel down there and eat a little bread and drink a little wine; why is it not as good to eat bread and milk at home? I replied, it is a command of God; and threw it out of my mind; and partook, and felt measurably happy. But the same suggestion returned in the evening, and so harrassed my mind for a space of time, that I, instead of resisting it by watching unto prayer, began to give way by querying with the enemy until my happiness of mind fled: and shortly after this, being brought apparently near the borders of eternity; and not enjoying that consolation as heretofore, the language of my heart was, :" I have fall’n from my heaven of grace,
I am brought into thrall,
I am stript of my all,
Oh ! how I felt, cannot be described by tongue : at this critical period of life, not to see my way so clearly ag formerly ; but it was not long before God blessed these words to the comforting of my soul (though all but my confidence was given up before.) “ Peace, troubled soul, thou need'st not fear
Thy great Provider stia is near;" so that now I could look beyond the grave, and see my way to joys on high..
One thing I desired to live for, viz. to attain to higher degrees of holiness here, that I might be happier hereafter; and what I desired to depart for, was to get
out of this trying world, and be at rest with saints above; yet I was resigned to go or stay. But it pleased kind Providence to rebuke the disorder beyond the expectation of all, and in a measure to restore me to health, so that after about five months confinement, I was enabled once more to attend meeting; and faling into conversation with R. Searle about the dealings of God towards us, the impression came upon my mind stronger than ever, that I should have to call sinners to repentance. After returning home, I began to consider the matter on every side more attentively than 1 had done hitherto; and to make it a matter of earnest prayer to God; that if the impression was from him, it might increase; but if not, that it might decrease. My mind soon became so powerfully exercised as to cause some sleep to depart from me-till at length my trials were so great, that I was resolved to fast and pray more fervently; that if the will of God was to be known I might find it out, and on the 23d day of my so doing, according to what my bodily strength would admit of: it being one Sunday afternoon whilst engaged in prayer in the wilderness, in an uncommon manner the light of God's countenance shined forth into my soul, so that I was as fully convinced that I was called to preach, as ever I was that God had pardoned my sins.
This continued for about the space of forty-eight hours, when I again began to doubt; but after eleven days it pleased the Lord to banish all my doubts and fears, and to fill me with his love.
1794. One day, a prayer meeting being appointed in the town, and feeling it my indispensible duty to go, I sought for my parents' consent in vain; still something was crying in my ears—"gogo" but fearing that my parents would call me a disobedient child, I resisted what I believe was required of me, and felt conscience to accuse me, and darkness to cover my mind." But at length finding a spirit of prayer, I had faith to believe that God would bless me, though from the 14th of May to the 9th of June, I felt the sharp keen fiery darts of the enemy. June 12th, this scripture afforded me some strength, "fear not, the night is far spent, the day is at
hand." ; .