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the temptation came, that at first I had no such thought about it.
In the midst of these tossings to and fro, I one
day came to Mr. B 's, at G , and
there was a person at their house, one of our church, helping them; and I, as usual, could not keep my mouth shut, though I often have wished I could, and began to relate how things were with me. A day or two aster I was informed, that while I was telling my experience to them, this person, who was in distress concerning her soul, was quite let at liberty, had all her doubts and sears cleared up; the way was quite open between God and her, the love of God was shed abroad in her heart, and she expressed herself very clearly indeed, and is one that seems as if she would declare it also amongst God's children. She has no ifs about it, but is positive; so I must give it up, believing it to be genuine. But I remain still in prison, not one gleam for me. I tried to suck consolation from it, but I could not; therefore she fang songs to a heavy heart.
I also came to another place one day, where was another of our church, not thinking any thing in the least of usefulness, and began to speak my experience as usual; this was set at liberty in the. fame manner (this also had been very much distressed for some time), and thanked and praised God that I ever came near them; for the Lord had done great things for them, and had made me the instrument, in his hand, whereby he chofe to deliver them. And I dare not disbelieve these things; for if I did, I knoW conscience would testisy against me. This cramps me; there was no comfort for me; I remained just the fame, still shut up; but they got what I wanted,and 1 had what they had losti and was like a fool before them in mine own eyes; I could see them shine; but it rather created jealousy and murmuring, instead of u rejoicing with them that do re"joice."
Another time I came to G * and had occasion to stay all night. The next morning I began to be rather dissatisfied in my mind, because I had not seen any traces of the hand of the Lord with me* and began to conclude that I had acted wrong in staying, and to murmur at myself, &c. I came
down stairs; Mrs. B being in the room, aster
we had exchanged a sew words, she began to weep bitterly. I asked her the cause; she faid it was her wicked sinful heart that was the occasion of it. On talking a little, I found that her views were* that she could not be a Christian, and, at the fame time^ seel herself such a miserable sinner. I selt a secret pricking to be useful to her; I took hold of the Bible, for the second time in this way, and endeavoured to explain, in my rough way, part of the 7th chapter of the Romans; and while I was doing this, the Lord blessed it to her foul, and made her as light as a seather, and she told me asterwards that she had a comfortable day of it: but was myself, all this time, in a very uncomfortable state. These 8 thingsthings I cannot account for, though you touched a little on them in one of your letters to me; but I hope you will be more full upon it; for I am asraid of being fkken by Satan as an angel of light; almost every thing makes me start.
Another thing I have wondered at, which is thk: that at the fame time some have been comforted by me in this dark state, others have been cramped, and staggered, and in some measure brought into bondage. Mr. B • himself, who enjoys much constant consolation, can hardly stand against me. This also has troubled me much, insomuch that I have wished I had never been near them. And I sind a sear in me, lest I should bring thofe that are in liberty into bondage.
I shall now give you my thoughts about my being a minister. Your kind letters, I must consess, have much weight with me, and I cannot altogether shake it off. I am set upon my watch-tower, to see what the Lord will fay unto me. I hope the Lord will never suffer me to go before him, nor stay behind him; but that he will go before me, and also be my rereward, through this wilderness. Your charge is great, and the office is great; but, to be sure, our God is greater than all; and, I am sure, if it ever comes to pass, it must be in God's power, not in my wisdom; for, since these things have been about me, I have looked before now into the Bible to see if I could, find any thing which 1 think ministers must do;
bur but no, I could sec nothing: so as to be able to deliver it publicly I have found no memory, scarce any light into the word, and have been confounded. A minister, thought I; no such thing: for I can see others far enough before me in knowledge, in understanding, in gifts, &c.; yet, aster all this, I cannot, dare not, altogether hold my peace; those things before related cramp me, so when I am amongst them I tell them, without a book, my experience and my seelings. I want no memory for that; for it is in me as plain sometimes as it is 10 read a book, and this I know from painful experience. If ever it comes to pass, my dearly beloved, it lays in the passage I lately had, " Great and mighty things." May the Lord's will, and only his, be done. Amen.
My dear friend, it is only formality to apologize about my writing to you, for write to you I must; and I hope you will not be offended at it. Be pleased to favour me with an answer to this, as full as you can; tell me all your thoughts. I shall, from time to time, acquaint you how I go on. O, my friend, I am thankful that I have a spiritual friend that I can make so free with; and 1 believe the Lord himself brought our acquaintance about for wise and good ends; for my good, and for his glory in the end. Give my love to your spouse, and all that love Jesus Christ in sincerity: and may the Lord bless you, and keep you up against all
your enemies. That, as you have done, and may yet do, witness a good consession amongst many brethren, is the prayer of one that loves you, I hope, in the truth, and for the truth's fake.
P. S. I have sent a letter by this post to our dearly beloved friend Mr. Oxenhara. My wise desires her hearty love to you and yours, as also our other friends. I have given Mr. Oxenham a small account how we go on. Pray, pray for us, my friend, that the Lord would send us a single eye, that our litde body may be full of light. I hope you will excuse all blunders.