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23. By these means I was at last brought to an extremity, For, 1/7, My fins were set in order before me. Plalm l. 21. Innumerable evils compaled me about, mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, lo thut Lum not able to look up, They are moe than the hairs upon my head, therefor my heart faileth me. Plalm xl. 12. 2dly, They were set in order in the dreadfulness of their nature and aggravations, and all shifts, exte. nuations, pleas, and defences were rejected, and my mouth stopped before God. Rom. iii. 19. 3dly, All the vain ways I had taken for my relief baffled my expectation, and increased my pain, they were the staff of a broken reed, Ifa. xxxvi. 6 they pierced my arm, when I essayed to lean on them and I was ashamed, and even confounded, that I had hop'd. Job vi. 20. 4thly, The wrath of God was dropp'd into my soul, and the poison of his arrows drunk up my spirits. Job
vi. 4. 5thly, I was as yet unsanctified, as to the truths : of religion, and mine enemies oft told me, that even
in God there was no succour for me, Psalm iii. 2. Yea, 6thly, At sometimes Satan to intangle me more, as faulted all the truths of religion at once, and then I was dreadfully confounded, when the Lord commanded that mine enemies should be round about . me. And they compaled me about like bees, Psalm
cxviii. 11, 12. 7thly, All ways I took to bear down my corruptions, prov'd of no avail; For fin reviv'd and I died, ye? -taking occasion by the commandment, it New me. Rom. vii. 9, II. '
24. By the extremity of this anguish I was for sometime about the closs of 1697, and beginning of 1.1698, dreadfully cast down. I was weary of my life. 1. Oft did I use Job's words, I loath it, I would not live
alway. Job yii, 16. And yet I was afraid to dy : I had no rest, my fore run in the night, and it ceased not in the day, Pfalm lxxviin 2. At night I wished for day: And in the day I wish'd for night, Deut. xxviii. 66, 67, I said, My couch mall comfort me.
Job vii, 13. But then darkness was as the shadow of death. Job x, 21. When I was in this case, I was oft brought to the brink of despair. He filled me with bitterness, he made me drunk with wormwood. Lam. iji. 1o, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. 'He broke all my « teeth with gravelftones; he 'covered me with sashes. He removed my soul far from peace: I for
gat prosperity. And I said, My strength and my "hope is perished from the Lord; remembring mine e affliction, and my misery, the wormwood and the « Gall. My soul had them still in remembrance, and
was bowed in me. Now I was made to think it a wonder, that I was not consumed, and though I dreaded destruction from the Almighty, yet I could not but justifie him, if he had destroyed me; righten 'ous is the Lord, for I have rebelled. Lam. i. 18; I was made to fear that the Lord would make me a Magor. m abib, a terror to myself, Jer. xx. 4. and all round about : And that he would make some dreadful dis. covery of my wickedness, that would make me a reproach to religion, and give the enemies advantage, which put me upon the Psalmist's prayer, Psalm xxxix. 8. Deliver me from all my transgressions, make me not the reproach of the foolish. I was made to wonder, that I was not already cut off. And in. deed this was sometime reviving, Lam: iii. 20, 2r. * It is of the Lord's mercies, that we are not consum
ed, because his compassions fail not. This I recal " to my mind, therefor have I hope.' But this hope was easily clouded. It amounted to no more than this, who can tell but he may be gracious. 2 Sam. xii. 22. And to this my fearful heart suggested the greatness of my sins, as what were above the reach of par. doning mercy. And Satan daily urg'd me to give o. ver, and take some desperate course, to say, There is no hope. Ifa. lvii. 10. -Thus I walk'd about, dejected, weary and heavy laden, weary of my disease, and weary of the vain courses I had taken for relief, and
uncertain what to do, what course to take. Psalm xiii. 2. “ I took counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily.
CH A P. II. Containing an account of the outgate I got about the
close of January 1698, and the state of matters
thereon. 1. TF this extremity had lasted much longer, my
1 Soul had funk under the weight of in and en ven that while I was in this case, had ruin'd me, if
the Lord had not secretly supported in time of the · greatest extremity, and as it were held me by the
hand, even while I carried most wickedly. Psalm lxxiii. 22, 23..' So foolish was I and ignorant: I was 'as a beast before thee. Nevertheless, thou hast ? holden mne by my right hand.' And at this extremity, the Lord stepp'd in, when I had deltroy'd my felf, he let me see help in him. Holi xiii. 9. He found me lying wallowing in my blood, in a helpless and hopeless condition. I had none that would, or could save me. I was forsaken of all my lovers. I was caught in the thicket. I was quite overcome, neither was I in case to fight, nor flee. And then the Lord passed by me, cast his skirt over me, and made this time, a time of love. Ezek. xvi. 8. And. Abraham call'd the name of that place, Jehovah-jireh : As it is faid, To this day, in the mount of the Lord it mall be reen. Gen. xxii. 14.
2. I cannot be very positive about the day, or hour of this deliverance, nor can I satisfy many other ques. tions about the way and manner of it. But this is of no consequence, if the work is in substance sound: John iii. 8. For the wind bloweth where it listeth,
and thou heareit the found thereof, but canft not ' tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: So is every one that is born of the spirit.' Many things
about the way and manner we may be ignorant of, while we are sufficiently sure of the effects. As to these things, I must say with the blind man, I know not : One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I fee. John ix. 25.
3. However, it was toward the close-of January, or the beginning of February 1698, that this season. able relief came; and so far as I can remember, I was at secret prayer in very great extremity, not far from defpair, when the Lord seasonably stepp'd in, and gave this merciful turn to affairs; When I said, My foot Nippethy thy mercy held me up. Psalm xciv. 18. And when there was none to save, then his own arm brought salvation. 2 Cor. iv. 6. • God who com• manded the light to shine out of darkness, shined
into my mind, to give the light of the knowlege of ' his glory in the face of Jesus Christ.'
4. That which yielded me this relief, was a difcovery of the Lord, as manifested in the word. He faid to me, Thou haft destroyed thyself, out in me is thy help. Now, the Lord discovered in the manner afterwards to be mentioned; several things, which I Mall here take notice of. 1. He let me see, that there are forgivenellefs with him, that with him there is mercy, and plentious Redemption. Pfalms cxxx. 4.7. • He made all his goodness pass before me, and he • proclaimed his name, the Lord, the Lord God, mer• ciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant . in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thous
ands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and fin, who
will be gracious to whom he will be gracious, ' and will shew mercy to whom he will thew mer: ocy.' Exod. xxxiii. 19. Exod. xxxiv. 5. This was a strange fight to one, who before look'd on God only as a consuming fire, Heb. xii. 29. which I could not fee and live. Exod. xxxiii. 28. 2dly, He brought me from Sinai and its thunderings, to mount Ziap, 6 and to the Mediator of the New Covenant, and to
- the the blood of springling, that cleanseth from all fin, " and speaks better things than the blood of sibeli' Heb. xii. 22, 24. He revealed Christ in his g!ory, I now with wonder“ beheld his glory, as the Glory of • the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and • truth. Johni. 14. And I was hereon made to say, • Thou art fairer than the fons of men' Pfalm xlv. 2. 3dly, Hereon he let me see that he who had before rejected all that I could offer, was 'well pleased in the be• loved. Psalm xl. 6, 7. Sacrifice and offering thou • didst not desire, mine eårs halt thou opened. Burnt • offerings and sin offerings halt thou not required
Then said I, Lo I come: In the volume of the
book, it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, • O my God.' And 4thly, Hereby I was further fully satisfied, that not only there was forgiveness of fins, and justification by free grace, through the Redemption that is in Jefus : Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remiffion of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God: Rom. iii. 24, &c. But moreover, I saw with wonder and delight, in some measure, how God by this means might be just in justifying, even the ungodly who believe in Jesus. Rom. iv, 5. How was I ravish'd with delight, when made to see, That the God in whom, a litrle before I thought there was no hope for 'me, or any finner in my case, if there was any luch; notwithstanding his spotlels purity, his deep hatred of fin, his inflexible justice and righteousness, and his untainted faithfulness, pledg'd in the threatnings of the law, might not only pardon, but without prejudice to his justice, or other attributes, be just in justifying, even the ringod. ly! The reconciliation of those seemingly inconsistent attributes with one another, and sinners salvation quite surpriz'd, and astonished me. And, 5thly, The Lord further opened the gospel.call to me, a d let ine see, That to me, even to me, was the word of