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THE INNER LIFE; OR, THE OPERATIONS OF DIVINE
GRACE IN THE SOUL;
(Concluded from page 198.) Sunday, May 20th, 1866.-Again I am at home; only one servant; Sarah gone for her holiday; and I cut my finger somewhat badly. I hope to go out this evening. I love a quiet Sabbath-emblem of eternal rest! Many wonderful things have occurred since last I wrote. Mercies beyond number to us and to our children, and to many of our dear friends. God's judgments are still abroad in the land, and will be yet, until “He come whose right it is to reign.” Sometimes I have been greatly cast down, fearing I have never known God only as a God of providence, and not as a God of grace. Last night my heart was heavy within me, fearing this; and this morning the load followed me. But is it so, Lord -- dear Lord? Then, let me never have one moment's rest or peace until Thou art all and in all to me. Lord, I love Thee above all things, and Thou hast made me willing to bow to Thy will. Lord, Thou art dearer to me than ALL beside. I can say and feel, “None but Christ, none but Christ.” Yet I fear I am so unlike what I ought to be, yea, or desire to be, that many stand in doubt of me, and think I have a name to live while I am dead. Indeed, I do not wonder; for, when I desire to speak of Jesus, I am tongue-tied, and when I feel the most say the least; and sometimes I do not feel, and cannot speak. I am naturally very reserved about my own feelings; and then I cannot speak calmly ; if I speak I am sure to weep. This keeps me back. I fear, I dread, the tears which I know will come, and, alas! I am silent. I could not speak what I have written in this book; I could not. I should shed torrents of tears, and therefore many doubt; and also there is much outwardly to make them doubt, and I am accounted cold. Ah, they know not me. But yet I blame them not, for I hate myself and my doings; and long to fly from my horrid sin and cold-heartedness, idleness, lukewarmness, selfishness, worldliness, to Jesus - to dwell with Him in purity and peace. Lord, I would not justify self; I acknowledge I am vile-altogether vile—no good left. Lord, I desire to ascribe all glory to Thee and shame to myself, for my many, many shortcomings. Lord, forgive! Five children yet, Lord, without the bonds of the covenant manifestively; and unbelief says, “Can their worldly minds be changed, and their enmity to God be subdued ?" Yes, Lord, Thou alone canst do this. In Thy hands, Lord, we leave them. Lord, bless them all. In Thy time it shall be done. Bless the Lord for their present merciful circumstances. Thanks—thanks we owe, O God.
Monday, June 11th.—During the last three weeks I have been kept leaning upon my God. The constant language of my heart has been, “Lord, lead me; Lord, lead all that are around and about me. As a little child, lead us, 0 our God.” I have been so happy. But I have nearly always found that this peace comes before a storm. It is only a little rest to prepare one for the next battle. Thank God for even this short season. And now my dear husband is gone to London, and I could not bear to see him go, I felt so oppressed in my spirit. But, Lord, I take it to Thee; I know all Thy dealings are love and mercy. ALL love. If Thou shouldst take them all away, still by Thy grace I would not repine ; but seek enduring happiness in Thee, and Thee alone. I leave all with Thee. Thy will be done.
July 22nd.—The storm has come. The battle has truly followed the rest. Oh for that eternal rest and everlasting peace!
Tuesday, July 24th.—The children of the schools are having their treat. Since I began writing my feelings, my hopes, and my fears in this book, I have never been in despair. Many have been my trials, but there was something to cheer and comfort me. But now the pains of hell have got hold upon me, I have found trouble and sorrow. My heart is bursting, for the boy—the son—for whom I have so earnestly pleaded, so fondly hoped, has cast off all restraint, and is swallowing down iniquity like water. O my God, what shall I do? I cannot even pray for him. But this boy, this one who has caused so much sorrow, so many wakeful nights, so many bitter tears, I feel as to this world there is no hope ; and I feel, Lord, as if Thou wouldst not convert—that all my prayers have been lost, all my faith presumption. Surely, Lord, in this black year of trouble, for our sins and iniquities Thou art afflicting us very sore. Lord, we bow. Thou art good and just; Thy will be done. Wherever we look, trouble is everywhere. Heard bad news from Southampton -sad news almost everywhere. And it will soon be worse ; more trouble is coming to us all. The Lord will judge even His own people; but I fear I am fainting in the day of adversity, for so painful is my position. My dear husband looks to me for strength, and I have none. I cannot ask for any; all I can cry is, “ Thy will, O Lord, be done." Even if E- is lost, “Thy will, O Lord, be done." Still, in my saddest hours a something secret whispers, “God can help when creatures fail.” Lord, do help. Thou must help, for man cannot. Lord, do. May my next entry be one of praise and thanksgiving. Lord, grant this for Christ's sake and help our relatives, too. Lord, help them; for we shall yet praise Thee.
Sunday, October 14th.—The last entry was written under severe depression, caused by an attack of the heart disease, from which I suffer. It was brought on by our thoughtless extravagant E- , by his foolish conduct: but disease magnified troubles; all was not as recorded above, and I trust there is yet hope of our son. God's will be done concerning him, body and soul. We have much to thank our God for as regards all our children, praise Ilim! As regards ourselves, much-much, praise Him! I have been reading all I have written hitherto. What ups and downs has the child of God to record! and so it shall be unto the end. Times of sorrow, times of joy; all are according to His will-all is right -all is well. A grandson born unto my dear husband. Another tie to earth, another errand to the throne. Five children yet unconverted as far as we know. Lord, when shall we have to record, “Only three now left ?" when “Only two ?" when “Not any—all are the Lord's?” Perhaps never on earth, but the angels shall record it. Lord, we are willing, Thou hast made us so, to wait Thy time. Be it so, O Lord. Amen.
December 9th, Sabbath ere.- Very wet. What shall I record ? « Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Is not this enough? Yes, as far as I am concerned, Lord ; and I desire day by day to rejoice in this assurance, “ The Lord is my portion." Is this presumption ? No; for He has declared it. Jesus, Thou precious Saviour, the “altogether lovely," the “chief among ten thousand," has died for such as me ; lost, undeserving, the vilest, the most forgetful, the most ungrateful, yet a saved sinner ! Would that I could never forget this ! Would that all coldness, all hardness, were for ever gone, that Jesus only were my song. Lord, do make this cold heart warm. Do keep Thy love in my heart. Make me to every moment realize this blessed truth, “ Christ is all.” May He be my all-evermore. And, Lord, Thou knowest best about my children. Thanks, thanks, Lord, for what Thou hast already done. Thy time is best. Thou knowest all my earnest longings for their salvation; and “didst Thou ever say to the seeking seed of Jacob, Seek ye my face in vain ?" Never, Lord, never; and Thy poor sinful worm must hold Thee to Thy word. Thou wilt hear prayer for the four younger. For E- I cannot pray. I never can finish a petition for him. A dark cloud seems to come, and I cannot utter nor send up one request for him for him for whom I have spent hours in prayer: I can only ask the Lord to have mercy upon us : never since that black conflict last summer, when I suffered far, far more than ever I went through at his birth. My heart quails at the thought of all I suffered, and all he said. Ah, ungrateful boy, if ever conscience speaks to you in this world, how will you bear the agony ! But it is past, and E- is not now the darling of my heart. I can say from my heart, “Lord, Thy will be done. Thy will is best; Thy will be done."
therefore would we thank Thee, O Lord, for this great trouble, knowing all things must work for our good. Lord, support us; Lord, bless all the six children. E is not. O God, Thy will be done. We thank Theo for health. If it be Thy will, continue it, Lord. “ Just and true are Thy ways, 0 Thou King of saints." Help and support us in all that is before us. Come what will, Thou art ours for time and eternity; and guide us, Lord, with respect to C and A- Let our next entry be praise to Thee for directing grace and providing grace. Lord, all our expectation is from Thee. Under whatever circumstances shall we next write? Praise, praise, I think. Unto Him shall be all the glory. Amen, amen. Soon shall the last entry be made—800n He that shall come will come.
Sunday morning, January 6th, 1867.-The first Sabbath in a new year. Kept at home from a painful cut on my knee, caused by falling down on my way to church on this day fortnight. It is not much, yet enough to hinder me from walking. On this day I desire to set my seal to the glorious truth that God is faithful ; that He hath helped us through another year; that nothing has befallen us but that which shall and has turned out for our good. Therefore we place our hands in Thine, O God, and say, “Lead on, ( Thou our God.” All things are ours, for Christ is ours; and we are Christ's, and Christ's are God's. What, then, shall harm us? We bless Thee, 0 our God, most of all, for the sorrows, vexations, and trials; for without these we should never have known Thy love. We never should have known the vileness of our own hearts—the treachery, the deceit-and Thy supporting grace. Lord, we desire now humbly and fervently to devote ourselves to Thy service, to Thy leadings; to have no will, whatever may happen, but Thine. Undertake for us this year, O Lord ; and, if we live to see the close, may we still be able to say, as we do now with our whole heart, “ALL is well, ALL shall be well.” Although our house be not as we could wish, with God," yet we will trust Thee. E- more carnal, more hard than ever. M- , though dutiful for the most part, yet the world is his god. Dear C— , though loving and amiable, yet he is far off from God. A- , though we sometimes hoped well of him, yet he is still in the gall of bitterness. M- , dear child, though she likes good things, yet I do not think her heart is renewed. The Lord's blessed power can subdue them all by His sovereign grace in a moment, or it may be years. He knoweth what is best. “ T'hy will be done.” “Cast thy burden on the Lord.” Lord, I do so. Amen.
Sunday, February 10th.—Just room for a few lines, and the book is filled, except one space.* Five years all but ten weeks since it was begun; and now what shall I say? What shall I write ? I am still a prisoner, cannot walk; my knee was more injured than I thought. The Lord's will be done. But all glory be to His name, there is hope for E- He has asked me to pray for him. He honours religion ; he longs for it himself. He mourns over his faults. He wished to do better. The spell is broken; the devil is discomfited. I can pray for E . Salvation is near. The space is soon to be filled.* Glory be to God. Amen.
Sunday, August 4th.—Six months since I wrote anything to the praise of my God in this way, and now I fear my heart is very, very cold; and the pens and ink are so bad I know not how to write. But this I must record to the praise of my God, that “goodness and mercy have followed me all my life long." Our son E— has again caused us sorrow by his love of self-gratification in every way, and on Whit Tuesday last he sailed for Queensland; he went as surgeon to a ship called the Y— AWhere he is now our Father knows; His eye is upon him; His care over him. We leave this child in our Father's care." He is faithful that hath promised.” Our youngest son left us yesterday. He has chosen the sea as his future course. He is gone, and will soon (D.V.) be on his way to India. Bombay is his destination. The Lord bless the lad, and keep him from sin. Convert him-convert him, Lord. Thou hast not yet heard our prayers. Five children in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. How long, O Lord, how long ? Two have gone from us ; the third (the eldest of all) is a comfort to us-great indeed. His church is consecrated, his income is increased. To God be all the glory. Four at home; Lord, bless them; Lord, convert them. One (our dear daughter E- ) is Thine. Praise be to Thee, O God. I have had much of Thy presence the last six months; much comfort, much happiness, much trial, much humbling. O Lord, I know it is all love, everlasting love. All Thy dealings are love. I desire, Lord, if it be Thy will, I beseech Thee, when I write again, may it be to record the conversion of one or more of these five children. All would be nothing to Thee, Lord. “Is there any thing too hard for the Lord ?"
[This closes the Diary of one who, within the short space of four months and three days, was to have done with all sin, all sorrow, all anxiety-to have crossed the Jordan—and to have sat down for ever and ever with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God above. She has left at least one behind dark and desolate! All seems a dismal blank-an utter void! There is the envying of her bliss, but the dread of the ordeal through which she passed to its attainment. The condition of that be
# This is the space the beloved writer had left under the date August 20, 1865, wherein she hoped to have recorded the conversion of one whom she called the “ darling of her heart--one who was unquestionably her idol. Her anguish on his account, as detailed under date June 24, 1866, will never be forgotten by her surviving husband. He had seen her distress at the loss of our loved Alice, in February, 1863, but that was as nothing compared with her present grief. For a season she was the very picture of despair, and we trembled for the consequences.-Ed.
reaved and sorrowing one reminds him of the simple lines of his longsainted father, as expressed when he himself was in similar circumstances:
“Her harp is always tuned;
She plays it very free;
Upon the willow tree.
Should meet them both above;
All singing sov'reign love.
Of Christ begin to tell ;
But each one say, • 'Tis well!'” -EDITOR.
NO NIGHT THERE.
Rev. xxii. 5.
"G. D. C.