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another questioned me about my present conduct, some with surprise and harshness, and some with tenderness, which is harder to bear. At the close of the meeting I was asked to pray, and while I was pleading for the light of God to guide and direct us ; my heart was so softened I could not proceed. I remained alone in the chapel some time after our friends had gone away.
Eactracts from the Correspondence which passed between Alexander Kilham and Hannah Spurr previous to their Marriage.
My valued mother became intimately acquainted with my father in the summer of 1797. No record of this event appears in her journal. It is evident that till 1799 she kept no regular account of herself, except noting her thoughts and feelings on loose sheets of paper, in a short-hand of her own. After the death of my inestimable father she copied the whole in regular order till the abovenamed period; and it is supposed the remembrance of her bereavement was too vividly before her to permit her to continue this writing, therefore she deferred it to a season of calmer resignation. Probably the care of her infant, and afterwards a scene of more active exertion, caused her never to make up this blank in her journal.
Extracts from the letters which passed between my beloved parents at this interval may help to make up the deficiency.
“September 18, 1797. “Bear with me while I entreat you not to shrink from suffering, if you see such is the will of God concerning you. Be actuated by the charity which beareth all things: be willing to be reviled, despised and rejected of men: let your name be cast out as evil, only take care that it be undeservedly! While you look to God, men have but little power over you: they may indeed, in some degree, wound your peace, but you will not suffer loss in the conflict, if the fault be not your own. You have real enjoyment while in Christ Jesus, and doing the will of God; but whenever you deviate in any degree from His will, however specious appearances may be, however gratifying to natureit must eventually be productive of evil to yourself as well as to others. The Lord will support you under the burdens He himself lays upon you. You have nothing to fear but sin; then determine by the grace of God to stand unmoved in the fire; —your Saviour will be with you; but rather let the flame consume you, than that you should do anything to grieve the Spirit of God. “Your sincere friend, “HANNAH SPURR.”
“October 1, 1797. “It is impossible to describe the joy I feel in seeking the salvation of my fellow-creatures. I feel a lively hope that God will grant His protecting cloud, that we may adore and love Him for ever. My soul does enter within the veil and seeks her meat from God. Oh, that I may be fed more abundantly, and rejoice continually in His salvation. After preaching I returned home weary and faint. One of my brothers came from Epworth, and informed me my aged father is well, who has known the grace of God more than fifty
years. “Your affectionate friend, “Alexander KilHAM."
“October 2, 1797. “How must I overcome indolence 2 I have had quite a contest with myself the few last days on account of it. Idleness is a sin which of all others I most dread—I might say, which I most despise ! A voluntary feebleness of mind and contractedmess of soul arise from the constant gratification of one’s own will. If the soul has no other spring of action than that which self-will gives, it will often be slothful as well as obstinate. For my own part I find if I am not in the habit of giving myself up in some way or other for the glory of God, and the good of my neighbours, my mind becomes selfish, effeminate, and unhappy. “The flesh warreth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other.' I would that the Spirit were always conqueror:
and it is my own fault when it is not “ H. S.”
“October 3, 1797.
“It appears to me that idleness is one of the greatest evils in the world;—it might justly be entitled ‘Legion P Scarcely a crime of importance but has its origin here. I will name some of the principal causes of it: injudicious education, indulgence of parents, the propensities of our own heart, self-indulgence, dejection of mind, and no settled occupation. Now in order to lessen the influence of this evil a change in the heart should be wrought by the Holy Spirit, which will lead us to redeem the time, and will stimulate us to exertion by a humbling recollection of our former waste of time. We should strive to feel the im
port of the text, ‘Be diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; and should constantly reflect on the greatness of the work we have to accomplish, and the shortness of our stay in this wildnerness. We should form a plan for religious exercises and temporal engagements, and endeavour to live to it as near as possible. We should avoid all needless indulgence; and should never allow depression of spirits, or light affliction, to hinder our labours, remembering we can never do too much in promoting the glory of God and the salvation of our fellow-creatures. “ A. K.”
“October, 1797. “I was reflecting the other day on the Lord's dealings with my soul, from the time I went to Nottingham, and have cause to believe that the gracious visitation from on high which I received there, was intended to prepare my soul for the exercises I have had since my return. I have been much led, the last few days, to pray that my soul may be more abundantly quickened. I would rise above all selfish cares : I would seek the glory of God, and the good of His cause. Oh, that our hearts may be established in righteousness! I have felt thankful this week on account of the friends to whom we are united; there is something in them which will bear enquiry: I have had cause to bless God on their account. I believe God will be our present helper in every difficulty,
and that our souls shall praise Him for ever! “H. S.”