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and there HE (the king) gives us his loves. A-lack-aday! my paper is done; but not the love of your affectionate
Nov. 8, Mr. E. writes, “Oh! how my soul pants after holiness and God. It is an easy thing to preach and talk about religion with seriousness and zeal ; but to maintain close communion with God, I find it is necessary to use much self-denial and a taking up of the daily
“ Mon. 10.—This forenoon my soul drank deeply into the spirit of piety. Found great freedom in prayer, and near access to the throne of grace, while imploring God to look upon us in mercy, in the present distracted, divided state of our Zion. A spirit of division, contention, and uncharitableness is too prevalent in the minds of both preachers and people. Unless the Lord interpose in an almost miraculous way, we shall bite, and devour, and destroy one another. Oh! how is the whole world, political, religious, and natural, agitated and convulsed. In some places there are earthquakes; in others, the plague ; tens of thousands are cut off with the edge of the sword. What animosities and civil broils in almost all kingdoms and states : what revolutions and counterrevolutions of empires. What disputes and controversies among professors of religion. What! is Apollyon let loose
upon the human race ? Certainly, some great events are at hand. But the Lord Jehovah reigns. He sitteth above the water floods, and remaineth king for ever.
“ Tues. 11.–Rode through heavy rain and a strong wind into Bolland. Much comforted with the Lord's presence. This makes the hardest work easy. Dined with a pious woman at Brockthorne. Greatly refreshed in conversation with her. The Lord's precious jewels are frequently hidden ones; and I have often the happiness of meeting with them in obscure corners.
Mon. 24.-Set off early from Heptonstall for Thorner. Spent an hour with Mr. Atmore at Halifax. Dined at Birstal. Drank tea at Leeds. Here I found the whole society convulsed with the present disputes about the Sacraments. Bitterness, and wrath, and clamour, and evil-speaking appear to be too prevalent. O what a
pity that the people of God should bite and devour one another about matters of only secondary importance. Arrived at Thorner about eight o'clock at night; was kindly received by my affectionate relatives, and much refreshed with hearing of the prosperity of the work of God in the neighbourhood.
· Wed. 26.—Returned to Leeds. Much pained with seeing and hearing of the violence of the high church folks here. “Divide! divide! divide!' is their cry. They seem perfectly willing to sacrifice most of the best preachers in the Connexion, and thousands of the people, rather than allow them liberty of conscience. O thou God of truth and love, can this be agreeable to thy will ?
“ Thurs. 27.–Visited Exley and Greetland. Preached and made a collection for Lancaster chapel. The work of God goes on well here.
“Sun. 30.—Preached in the morning at Baildon; noon at Bingley; and evening at Keighley; at all which places, I made collections for Lancaster chapel. It has been a good day. Glory be to God.
“The spirit of party and high church bigotry runs high in this circuit. The poor people having read and thought on one side only, seem earnestly to wish for a division. I fear they will have their wish. But, oh! how dreadful will be the consequences. Will the Lord punish us, by suffering us to divide ? Turn us again, O Lord, and make thy face to shine upon us.
“ Dec. 20.—This has been a good day, though very laborious. Rode and walked about twenty miles. The cold was extreme. After dinner, set off, accompanied by a lad as my guide, from Clapham to Largill. He lost his
way, and we were bewildered and benighted in the fells or moors.
The wind blew furiously, and the frost was the most piercing I ever felt. I began to fear we should be obliged to wander about all night. At length, however, we came to a house: the man refused to go with us and shew us the way, though I offered to pay him well. At last, however, he consented; and took us through bogs and marshy places, which were frozen very hard, till we got into the right way. Under the conduct of a gracious Providence, we arrived safely, and were kindly received. The congregation was very large. Many had come four miles, notwithstanding the extreme cold,
Glory be to God, it was a refreshing season. Oh! how my own soul was blessed and comforted. My gracious Lord satisfied me well in his service.
“Sat. Jan. 17, 1795.—I have had much conversation with Brother M
present state of our Connexion. It seems as though a division of preachers and people is unavoidable. Many, I hear, are determined either to have an act of absolute uniformity, laying aside the administration of the Lord's Supper every where, or else a division of the Body. Things are brought to an awful crisis indeed. My mind has been hurt by thinking and speaking too much on this subject. I will endeavour, through grace, to secure the blessedness of the peace makers. I would give up all, excepting a good conscience, for the sake of peace. But if high churchmen make decrees subversive of Christian liberty, I do not see how I can with a good conscience submit to them. O thou Great Head of the Church, take all our affairs into thine own hands, and manage them in such a way as will be most conducive to the interests of thy kingdom. Let not the enemy, O God,—let not the enemy triumph. Let him not divide and devour.
“ Tues. 20.—The Lord condescended to bless me with liberty of access in secret prayer this morning. In the afternoon, a kind of dulness rested upon my spirits. I was in a dull town, (Clithero,) among a dead people. There has been preaching here thirty years; and I cannot find that there are six believers in the whole society. O Lord, breathe upon the dry bones, that they may live before thee.
Thnrs. 22.—My mind has been deeply impressed to-day with a sense of the vanity of the world, the shortness and uncertainty of life, and the necessity of making God my all. I could scarcely resist the temptation, sometimes, to look upon the evils of human life with a gloomy eye, and complaining spirit. Yet God preserved
I know he cannot do wrong. His judgments are abroad in the earth in a remarkable manner.
The weather is so extremely cold now, and has been so for nearly six weeks, that many poor people, I fear, will be almost starved to death. Fevers and other disorders abound; and thousands are frequently falling in the field of battle. When I consider the wickedness of mankind, I am not
surprised at these calamities, but rather astonished that the world is not consumed.
“Frid. March 6.—Yesterday and to-day I have been preserved in a serious, prayerful frame, and have been enabled also to study with advantage. Yet I have been to much perplexed with wandering thoughts in the duty of secret prayer. I feel a constant sense of the divine prea: sence, and a continual cleaving to the Lord; but still, when I kneel down before God in prayer, a thousand things crowd into my mind. O Lord, deliver me from every thing that would hinder me from drawing near to thee acceptably and profitably. I hate vain thoughts; but thy law do I love, O Lord.
"April 25.--A day, the remembrance of which will be for ever precious. In my way to Clapham, the Lord manifested himself to me in a very gracious manner.
I felt what is beautifully expressed by our poet :
O’erwhelmed by thy stupendous grace,
I would be by myself abhorred;
All glory be to Christ my Lord.'
After dining at Clapham, I set off for Largill. My heart was filled with comfort all the way.
In the evening I walked out to meditate on heaven. Faith was to me 'the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.' I felt what is expressed in these lines:
"The opening heavens around me shine,
With beams of sacred bliss,' &c. “ Wed. 29.—Much depressed on account of the low state of religion in this barren part of the circuit. We seem to ramble in these mountains to little purpose. None are awakened; and the few we have in society seem very dull. Some time ago, there was a blessed prospect of a revival at Settle, and its vicinity; but a professor of note by his scandalous conduct has done much harm. O that God would arise, and maintain his
“Frid. June 5.–A day of continual feasting on the excellencies and glories of my God. Oh! what love does he show to a poor worm.
O may my every breath be praise.
"Sat. 6.-This evening I walked in a solitary place
between the mountains in the neighbourhood of Clape bee ham. While I viewed the ponderous hills and hanging e bey rocks, an affecting sense of the greatness and goodness e ber of God rested upon my mind; and oh! what ardent Luty longings to be holy. I felt what is expressed by our e pr poet, —
'My soul breaks out in strong desire
The perfect bliss to prove, usan
My longing heart is all on fire frul
To be dissolved in love.'
Sat. 13.—Another week is gone. I may say of it, one of the best weeks of my life. The Lord has guided me continually; he has watered me almost every moment. My soul has been often brought into his banqueting house, and his banner over me has been love. Glory be to his holy name.
Wed. 24.—Oppresed most of the day under a sense of my inward impurity. In the afternoon, in conversation with a pious friend, I opened all my heart, in which I found great relief. I had such views of the holiness and purity of God and his service, and my own imperfections, as I never experienced before. My holy duties, yea the
very best of them, appeared to me to need the atoning blood. I was particularly affected and humbled with this idea :-Suppose all my prayers were written down, and all my wanderings, &c. interlined, oh! how strange a mixture would they exhibit. These things reached the bottom of my heart, and brought my soul to the dust. Yet in the evening I felt great encouragement, was remarkably assisted in preaching, and perceived an increase of love while recommending it to others. I still trust, after all my instability, that my Lord will root and ground me in love. O may I dwell in love, and dwell in God, and God in me.”
While my father was thus writing bitter things against himself, and deeply humbled before God on account of the instability with which he deemed himself chargeable, the people among whom he laboured regarded him as a pattern of Christian consistency; they admired his uniform seriousness and spirituality, his self-denying and unwearied diligence in the discharge of every ministerial duty, his mingled gentleness and firmness in the administra