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June 19. “Felt much disordered ; my spirits were very low : but yet enjoyed some freedom and sweetness in the duties of religion. Blessed be God.
Lord's day, June 20. “Spent much time alone. My soul earnestly wished to be holy, and reached after God; but seemed not to obtain my desire. I hungered and thirsted; but was not refreshed and satisfied. My soul rested on God, as my only portion. Oh that I could grow in grace more abundantly every day!"
The next day he speaks of his having assistance in his studies, and power, fervency, and comfort in prayer.
June 22. “In the morning spent about two hours in prayer and meditation, with considerable delight. Towards night felt my soul go out in earnest desires after God, in secret retirement. In the evening, was sweetly composed and resigned to God's will; was enabled to leave myself and all my concerns with him, and to have my whole dependence upon him. My secret retirement was very refreshing to my soul; it appeared such a happiness to have God for my portion, that I had rather be any other creature in this lower creation, than not come to the enjoyment of God. I had rather be a beast, than a man, without God, if I were to live here to eternity. Lord, endear thyself more to me!
In his diary for the next seven days, he expresses a variety of exercises of mind. He speaks of great longings after God and holiness, and earnest desires for the conversion of others; of fervency in prayer, power to wrestle with God, composure, comfort, and sweetness, from time to time ; but expresses a sense of the abomination of his heart, and bitterly complains of his barrenness, and the body of death ; and says," he saw clearly that whatever he enjoyed, better than hell, was of free grace."
He complains of falling much below the character of a child of God; and is sometimes very disconsolate and dejected.
June 30. “ Spent this day alone in the woods, in fasting and
prayer ; underwent the most dreadful conflicts in my soul, which I ever felt, in some respects. I saw myself so vile, that I was ready to say, 'I shall now perish by the hand of Saul. I thought that I had no power to stand for the cause of God, but was almost afraid of the shaking of a leaf.' Spent almost the whole day in prayer, incessantly. I could not bear to think of Christians showing me any respect. I almost despaired of doing any service in the world: I could not feel any hope or comfort respecting the heathen, which used to afford me some
refreshment in the darkest hours of this nature. I spent the day in bitterness of soul. Near night I felt a little better; and afterwards enjoyed some sweetness in secret prayer.
July 1. “ Had some enjoyment in prayer this morning; and far more than usual in secret prayer to-night, and desired nothing so ardently as that God should do with me just as he pleased.
July 2. “Felt composed in secret prayer in the morning. My desires ascended to God this day, as I was travelling : and was comfortable in the evening. Blessed be God for all my consolation,
July 3. “ My heart seemed again to sink. The disgrace I was laid under at College, seemed to damp me; as it opens the mouths of opposers. I had no refuge but in God. Blessed be his name, that I may go to him at all times, and find him a present help.
Lord's day, July 4. “ Had considerable assistance. In the evening I withdrew, and enjoyed a happy season in secret prayer. God was pleased to give me the exercise of faith, and thereby brought the invisible and eternal world near to my soul which appeared sweetly to me. I hoped that my weary pilgrimage in the world would be short; and that it would not be long before I was brought to my heavenly home and Father's house. I was resigned to God's will, to tarry his time, to do his work, and suffer his pleasure. I felt thankfulness to God for all my pressing desertions of late ; for I am persuaded that they have been made a means of making me more humble, and much more resigned. I felt pleased to be little, to be nothing, and to lie in the dust. I enjoyed life and consolation in pleading for the dear children of God, and the kingdom of Christ in the world : and my soul earnestly breathed after holiness, and the enjoyment of God. O come, Lord Jesus, come quickly."
By his diary for the remaining days of this week, it appears that he enjoyed considerable composure and tranquillity, and had sweetness and fervency of spirit in prayer, from day to day.
Lord's day, July 11. “ Was deserted and exceedingly dejected in the morning. In the afternoon, had some life and assistance, and felt resigned. I saw myself to be exceeding vile.”
On the two next days he expresses inward comfort, resignation, and strength in God.
July 14. " Felt a degree of humble resigned sweetness : spent a considerable time in secret, giving myself up wholly to the Lord. Heard Mr. Bellamy preach towards night; felt very sweetly part of the time: longed for nearer access to Gock" Von X
The four next days, he expresses considerable comfort and fervency of spirit, in Christian conversation and religious exercises.
July 19, “ My desires seem especially to be after weanedness from the world, perfect deadness to it, and that I may be crucified to all its allurements. My soul desires to feel itself more of a pilgrim and stranger here below; that nothing may divert me from pressing through the lonely desart, till I arrive at my Father's house.
July 20. “ It was sweet to give away myself to God, to be disposed of at his pleasure. I had some feeling sense of the sweetness of being a pilgrim on earth."
The next day, he expresses himself as determined to be wholly devoted to God; and it appears by his diary, that he spent the whole day in a most diligent exercise of religion, and with great comfort.
July 22. “Journeying from Southbury to Ripton, I called at a house by the way, where being very kindly entertained and refreshed, I was filled with amazement and shame, that God should stir up the hearts of any to show so much kindness to such a dead dog as I; was made sensible in some manner, how exceeding vile it is not to be wholly devoted to God. I wondered that God would suffer any of his creatures to feed and sustain me from time to time."
In his diary for the six next days, are expressed various exercises and experiences, such as, sweet composure and fervency of spirit in meditation and prayer, weanedness from the world, being sensibly a pilgrim and stranger on the earth, engagedness of mind to spend every moment of time for God, &c.
July 29. “ I was examined by the Association met at Danbury, as to my learning, and also my experience in religion, and received a licence from them to preach the gospel of Christ. Afterwards felt much devoted to God ; joined in prayer with one of the ministers, my peculiar friend, in a convenient place, and went to bed resolving to live devoted to God all my days."
From his Licensure, till his Examination and Commission as a
July 30, 1742. “ Rode from Danbury to Southbury; preached there, from 1 Pet. iv. 8. And above all things have fervent charity, &c. Had much of the comfortable presence of God in the exercise. I seemed to have power with God in prayer, and power to get hold of the hearts of the people in preaching.
July 31. “ I was calm and composed, as well as greatly refreshed and encouraged."
It appears by his diary, that he continued in this sweetness and tranquillity, almost through the whole of the next week.
Lord's day, Aug. 8. “ In the morning I felt comfortably in secret prayer; my soul was refreshed with the hopes of the Heathen coming home to Christ; was much resigned to God, and thought it was no matter what became of me.-Preached both parts of the day at Bethlehem, from Job xiv. 14. If a man die, shall he live again, &c. It was sweet to me to meditate on death. In the evening, felt very comfortably, and cried to God fervently in secret prayer."
It appears by his diary, that he continued through the three next days, engaged with all his might in the business of religion, and in almost a constant enjoyment of its comforts.
Aug. 12. “This morning and last night I was exercised with sore inward trials : I had no power to pray: but seemed shut out from God. I had in a great measure lost my hopes of God's sending me among the Heathen afar off, and of seeing them flock home to Christ. I saw so much of my vileness, that I wondered that God would let me live, and that people did not stone me; much more that they would ever hear me preach! It seemed as though I never could nor should preach any more, yet about nine or ten o'clock, the people came over, and I was forced to preach. And blessed be God, he gave me his pre sence and Spirit in prayer and preaching: so that I was mach
assisted, and spake with power from Job xiv. 14. Some Indians cried out in great distress,* and all appeared greatly concerned. After we had prayed and exhorted them to seek the Lord with constancy, and hired an English woman to keep a kind of school among them, we came away about one o'clock and came to Judea, about fifteen or sixteen miles. There God was pleased to visit my soul with much comfort. Blessed be the Lord for all things I meet with."
It appears that the two next days he had much comfort, and had his heart much engaged in religion.
Lord's day, Aug. 15. “ Felt much comfort and devotedness to God this day. At night, it was refreshing to get alone with God, and pour out my soul. Oh, who can conceive of the sweetness of communion with the blessed God, but those who have experience of it! Glory to God for ever, that I may taste heaven below.
Aug. 16. “ Had some comfort in secret prayer, in the morning.-- Felt sweetly sundry times in prayer this day: but was much perplexed in the evening with vain conversation.
Aug. 17. “Exceedingly depressed in spirit, it cuts and wounds my heart, to think how much self-exultation, spiritual pride, and warmth of temper, I have formerly had intermingled with my endeavours to promote God's work: and sometimes I long to lie down at the feet of opposers, and confess what a poor imperfect creature I have been, and still am. The Lord forgive me, and make me for the future wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove! Afterwards enjoyed considerable comfort and delight of soul.
Aug. 18. “Spent most of this day in prayer and reading.I see so much of my own extreme vileness, that I feel ashamed and guilty before God and man; I look to myself like the vilest fellow in the land : I wonder that God stirs up his people to be so kind to me.
Aug. 19. “ This day, being about to go from Mr. Bellamy's at Bethlehem, where I had resided some time, I prayed with him, and two or three other Christian friends. We gave ourselves to God with all our hearts, to be his for ever : eternity looked very near to me, while I was praying. If I never should see these Christians again in this world, it seemed but a few moments before I should meet them in another world.
Aug. 20. “ I appeared so vile to myself, that I hardly dared to think of being seen, especially on account of spiritual pride. However, to-night I enjoyed a sweet hour alone with God, (at
* It was in a place near Kent, in the western borders of Connecticut, where there is a number of Indians.