« ElőzőTovább »
struct them; laboured with some that were much disaffected to Christianity. My mind was much burdened with the weight and difficulty of my work. My whole dependence and hope of success seemed to be on God: who alone I saw could make them willing to receive instruction. My heart was much engaged in prayer, sending up silent requests to God, even while I was speaking to them. Oh that I could always go in the strength of the Lord!
June 25. "Was somewhat better in health than of late; and was able to spend a considerable part of the day in prayer and close study. Had more freedom and fervency in prayer than usual of late; especially longed for the presence of God in my work, and that the poor Heathen might be converted. And in evening prayer, my faith and hope in God were much raised. To an eye of reason, every thing that respects the conversion of the Heathen, is as dark as midnight; and yet I cannot but hope in God for the accomplishment of something glorious among them. My soul longed much for the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom on earth. Was very fearful lest I should admit some vain thought, and so lose the sense I then had of divine things. Oh for an abiding heavenly temper!
June 26. "In the morning, my desires seemed to rise, and ascend up freely to God. Was busy most of the day in translating prayers into the language of the Delaware Indians; met with great difficulty, because my interpreter was altogether unacquainted with the business. But though I was much discouraged with the extreme difficulty of that work, yet God supported me; and especially in the evening, gave me sweet refreshment. In prayer, my soul was enlarged, and my faith drawn into sensible exercise; was enabled to cry to God for my poor Indians; and though the work of their converson appeared impossible with man, yet, with God, I saw all things were possible. My faith was much strengthened, by observing the wonderful assistance God afforded his servants Nehemiah and Ezra, in reforming his people, and re-establishing his ancient church. I was much assisted in prayer for my dear Christian friends, and for others whom I apprehended to be Christless; but was more especially concerned for the poor Heathen, and those of my own charge; was enabled to be instant in prayer for them; and hopeful that God would bow the heavens and come down for their salvation. It seemed to me, that there could be no impediment sufficient to obstruct that glorious work, seeing the living God, as I strongly hoped, was engaged for it. I continued in a solemn frame, lifting up my heart to God for assistance and grace, that I might be more mortified to this present world, that my whole soul might be taken up continually in concern for the advancement of Christ's kingdom. Earnestly desired that God would purge me more.
more, that I might be as a chosen vessel to bear his name among the Heathens. Continued in this frame till I fell asleep.
June 27. "Felt something of the same solemn concern, and spirit of prayer, which I enjoyed last night, soon after I rose in the morning. In the afternoon, rode several miles to see if I could procure any lands for the poor Indians, that they might live together, and be under better advantages for instruction.While I was riding, had a deep sense of the greatness and difficulty of my work; and my soul seemed to rely wholly upon God for success, in the diligent and faithful use of means. Saw, with the greatest certainty, that the arm of the Lord must be revealed, for the help of these poor Heathen, if ever they were delivered from the bondage of the powers of darkness. Spent most of the time, while riding, in lifting up my heart for grace and assistance.
June 28. Spent the morning in reading several parts of the holy scripture, and in fervent prayer for my Indians, that God would set up his kingdom among them, and bring them into his church. About nine, I withdrew to my usual place of retirement in the woods; and there again enjoyed some assistance in prayer. My great concern was for the conversion of the Heathen to God; and the Lord helped me to plead with him for it. Towards noon, rode up to the Indians, in order to preach to them; and, while going, my heart went up to God in prayer for them; could freely tell God, he knew that the cause in which I was engaged was not mine; but that it was his own cause, and that it would be for his own glory to convert the poor Indians and blessed be God, I felt no desire of their conversion, that I might receive honour from the world, as being the instrument of it. Had some freedom in speaking to the Indians."
The next day, he speaks of some serious concern for the kingdom of the blessed Redeemer; but complains much of barrenness, wanderings, inactivity, &c.
June 30. "My soul was very solemn in reading God's word; especially the ninth chapter of Daniel. I saw how God had called out his servants to prayer, and made them wrestle with him, when he designed to bestow any great mercy on his church. And, alas! I was ashamed of myself, to think of my dulness and inactivity, when there seemed to be so much to do for the upbuilding of Zion. O how does Zion lie waste! I longed, that the church of God might be enlarged: was enabled to pray, I think, in faith; my soul seemed sensibly to confide in God, and was enabled to wrestle with him. Afterwards, walked abroad to a place f VOL. X.
sweet retirement, enjoyed some assistance in prayer, had a sense of my great need of divine help, and felt my soul sensibly depend on God. Blessed be God, this has been a comfortable week to me.
Lord's day, July 1. "In the morning, was perplexed with wandering vain thoughts; was much grieved, judged and condemned myself before God. O how miserable did I feel, because I could not live to God! At ten, rode away with a heavy heart, to preach to my Indians. Upon the road I attempted to lift up my heart to God; but was infested with an unsettled wandering frame of mind; and was exceeding restless and perplexed, and filled with shame and confusion before God. I seemed to myself to be "more brutish than any man ;" and thought, none deserved to be "cast out of God's presence" so much as 1. If I attempted to lift up my heart to God, as I frequently did by the way, on a sudden, before I was aware, my thoughts were wandering "to the ends of the earth;" and my soul was filled with surprise and anxiety, to find it thus. Thus also, after I came to the Indians, my mind was confused; and I felt nothing sensibly of that sweet reliance on God, with which my soul has been comforted in days past. Spent the forenoon in this posture of mind, and preached to the Indians without any heart. In the afternoon I felt still barren, when I began to preach; andfor about half an hour, I seemed to myself to know nothing, and to have nothing to say to the Indians; but soon after, I found in myself a spirit of love, and warmth, and power, to address the poor Indians; and God helped me to plead with them, to "turn from all the vanities of the Heathen, to the living God." I am persuaded that the Lord touched their consciences; for I never saw such attention raised in them. When I came away from them, I spent the whole time while I was riding to my lodgings, three miles distant, in prayer and praise to God. After I had rode more than two miles, it came into my mind to dedicate myself to God again; which I did with great solemnity, and unspeakable satisfaction; especially gave up myself to him renewedly in the work of the ministry. This I did by divine grace, I hope, without any exception or reserve; not in the least shrinking back from any difficulties that might attend this great and blessed work. I seemed to be most free, cheerful, and full in this dedication of myself. My whole soul cried "Lord, to thee I dedicate myself! O accept of me, and let me be thine forever. Lord, I desire nothing else; I desire nothing more. O come, come, Lord, accept a poor worm. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee." After this was enabled to praise God with my whole soul, that he had enabled me to devote and consecrate all my powers to him in this solemn manner. My heart rejoiced in my particular work as a missionary; rejoiced in my ne
cessity of self-denial in many respects; and still continued to give up myself to God, and implore mercy of him, praying incessantly, every moment with sweet fervency. My nature being very weak of late, and much spent, was now considerably overcome: my fingers grew very feeble, and somewhat numb, so that I could scarcely stretch them out straight; and when I lighted from my horse, could hardly walk; my joints seemed all to be loosed. But I felt abundant strength in the inner man. Preached to the white people: God helped me much, especially in prayer. Sundry of my poor Indians were so moved as to come to meeting also; and one appeared much concerned.
July 2. "Had some relish of the divine comforts of yesterday; but could not get that warmth and exercise of faith, which I desired. Had sometimes a distressing sense of my past follies, and present ignorance and barrenness: and especially in the afternoon, was sunk down under a load of sin and guilt, in that I had lived so little to God, after his abundant goodness to me yesterday. In the evening, though very weak, was enabled to pray with fervency, and to continue instant in prayer, near an hour. My soul mourned over the power of its corruption, and longed exceedingly to be washed and purged as with hyssop. Was enabled to pray for my dear absent friends, Christ's ministers, and his church; and enjoyed much freedom and fervency, but not so much comfort, by reason of guilt and shame before God. Judged and condemned myself for the follies of the day.
July 3. "Was still very weak. This morning, was enabled to pray under a feeling sense of my need of help from God, and, I trust, had some faith in exercise; and blessed be God, was enabled to plead with him a considerable time. Truly God is good to me. But my soul mourned, and was grieved at my sinfulness and barrenness, and longed to be more engaged for God. Neår nine, withdrew again for prayer; and through divine goodness, had the blessed spirit of prayer; my soul loved the duty, and longed for God in it. O it is sweet to be the Lord's, to be sensibly devoted to him! What a blessed portion is God! How glorious, how lovely in himself! O my soul longed to improve time wholly for God!--Spent most of the day in translating prayers into Indian.In the evening, was enabled again to wrestle with God in prayer with fervency. Was enabled to maintain a self-diffident and watchful frame of spirit, in the evening, and was jealous and afraid lest I should admit carelessness and self-confidence."
The next day, he seems to have had special assistance and fervency most of the day, but in a less degree than in the preceding day. Tuesday was spent in great bodily weakness; yet seems to have been spent in continual distress and great
bitterness of spirit, in consequence of his vileness and corruption. He says, "I thought that there was not one creature living so vile as I. O my inward pollution! O my guilt and shame before God! I know not what to do. I longed ardently to be cleansed and washed from the stains of inward pollution; O, to be made like God, or rather to be made fit for God to own!"
July 6. Awoke this morning in the fear of God: soon called to mind my sadness in the evening past; and spent my first waking minutes in prayer for sanctification, that my soul may be washed from its exceeding pollution and defilement. After I arose, I spent some time in reading God's word, and in prayer. I cried to God under a sense of my great indigence. I am, of late most of all concerned for ministerial qualifications, and the conversion of the Heathen. Last year, I longed to be prepared for a world of glory, and speedily to depart out of this world; but of late all my concern almost is, for the conversion of the Heathen; and for that end I long to live. But blessed be God, I have less desire to live for any of the pleasures of the world, than I ever had. I long and love to be a pilgrim; and want grace to imitate the life, labours, and sufferings of St. Paul among the Heathen. And when I long for holiness now, it is not so much for myself as formerly; but rather that thereby I may become an "able minister of the New Testament," especially to the Heathen. Spent about two hours this morning in reading and prayer by turns; and was in a watchful tender frame, afraid of every thing that might cool my affections, and draw away my heart from God. Was a little strengthened in my studies; but near night was very weak and weary.
July 7. "Was very much disordered this morning, and my vigour all spent and exhausted: but was affected and refreshed in reading the sweet story of Elijah's translation, and enjoyed some affection and fervency in prayer: longed much for ministerial gifts and graces, that I might do something in the cause of God. Afterwards was refreshed and invigorated, while reading ALLEINE's first Case of Conscience, &c. and enabled then to pray with some ardour of soul, and was afraid of carelessness and self-confidence, and longed for holiness.
Lord's day, July 8. "Was ill last night, not able to rest quietly. Had some small degree of assistance in preaching to the Indians; and afterwards was enabled to preach to the white people with some power, especially in the close of my discourse, from Jer. iii. 23. Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, &c. The Lord also assisted me in some measure in the first prayer; blessed be his name. Near night, though very weary, was enabled to read God's word with some sweet relish