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and dogmatical,—determined, if possible, to force every body to think as they do themselves. I see, on the other hand, those preachers and people who wish to have the sacred ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper among themselves, are of a more quiet and peaceable temper, and only wish to enjoy the liberty of conscience, which nature, the Holy Scriptures, and the laws of our country, give to every man. If I am not greatly mistaken, we must either have an Act of Toleration made, or many of our people will separate from the main body, and many of the preachers will be forced away too. So we shall have two Conferences, and two Connexions ! Lord, prevent it.
“Sat. night, Feb. 25.—Mr. Pawson and I spent an hour in social prayer and serious conversation about the state of our souls, the state of the people under our care, and the means which may be used to make us holy, happy, and useful. It was a sweetly solemn season.
“ Tues. March 6.—I have sometimes had a concern upon my mind lest I should not be following the
openings of Providence in marrying ; upon which I have been led to inquire, · When may it be said that we are under the conduct and care of Providence ?' Answer:1. When we enter upon no engagement or business that is not warranted from the word of God. 2. When we aim not merely at our own comfort and convenience, but also and principally at the glory of God; desiring comfort only so far as may be to his glory. 3. When we enter upon every concern of life, especially such an important one as marriage, in the fear of God. 4. When we engage the God of Providence on our side by prayer and supplication.
5. When we trust in God for every thing necessary for life, &c. My conscience bears me witness that I do thus follow Providence to the best of my knowledge.
“ April 8.--I spent this day at Dewsbury, having exchanged with Mr. Bramwell. My mind was preserved in a spiritual and heavenly frame; though I had not much liberty in preaching at noon. I rejoice to find a considerable increase of the power of godliness in this neighbourhood, through the labours of Mr. Bramwell. When a preacher is like Barnabas, a good man, filled with the Holy Ghost, and with faith, power attends his
word, and his labours are crowned with success. I spent a very profitable evening in company with Brothers Drake and Parkin. Brother Parkin is indeed a pattern of piety and good sense. O that I may imitate him!
April 9.—Returned to Halifax to-day with my heart wholly set upon living in a more watchful and spiritual way than ever I have done. I see it amiable to live constantly within the vail; to have the mind constantly so engaged with God, that nothing may interrupt my communion with him.”
During the period over which the above extracts from my father's journal are spread, his visits to Thorner were as frequent as was consistent with the claims of the great work in which he was engaged; and in the intervals between his visits a regular correspondence was kept up. Were it proper to give the entire correspondence, and a minute account of those visits, and of the manner in which their time was spent together, both the parties would rise in public estimation. Their “conversation was in heaven. The negociation in which they were engaged was felt to be too important to admit of the least degree of levity in its prosecution: and the bearing of their proposed union upon their well-being both in time and eternity wes so clearly seen, that they were led constantly to speak, and write, and act as in the sight of God, and for eternity. Their affection for each other was increased by every interview, and by every interchange of thought and feeling by letter; but they both stood on their guard against such inordinate affection as unfits for communion with God. It was their habitual endeavour that their intercourse might be such as could be reflected upon with satisfaction in the near prospect of eternity, and such as might be tributary to their everlasting joy. That the reader may have a full view of my
father's spirit and conduct in all the varying circumstances and relations of life, and from a conviction that his example in this particular is instructive and edifying, one letter will be selected from his correspondence with Miss Pawson, as a specimen of the whole. It was written not many days before the time appointed for their marriage, and contains many valuable suggestions which may be of use to those who have entered or are about to enter upon the same important relation.
“Halifax, April 20, 1792. MY DEAREST MARY. “I now write to you as my own.
We have not yet been formally united in matrimonial bonds; but both our souls are one. I consider you now as a part of myself; and whenever I think of my own interest or happiness here or hereafter, I think of yours also ; for they seem to me inseparable. May our gracious God ever keep us of one mind and judgment.
“ It affords me real pleasure to find you are so well satisfied respecting our marriage ; and I must tell you
that I esteem it a very great blessing, that providence has provided for me as it has done.
“I hope, my dearest friend, we shall enter upon the marriage state with the utmost devotion, and as we proposed, solemnly dedicate our all to God. By this means we shall engage God on our side, and shall have the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
“ We are going to set out together on a journey which no doubt will be attended with pleasures and pains of various kinds. I neither expect nor desire that we may get through the world without trials. Uninterrupted prosperity and pleasure are not suited to our present state. We should grow secure and camal, were we not frequently reminded, that this is not our rest. However, we are assured of this, that all things work together for good to them that love God. Every providential affliction will be sanctified, if we are careful “in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, to make our requests known unto God.' I find some degree of pleasure in the hope, that whatsoever trials we have besides, my dear Mary and I shall never take a pleasure in wounding and grieving each other: but shall unite in bearing each other's burdens, and by mutual prayer, casting all our cares, trials, &c. upon our gracious Lord.
“There are a few things which have sometimes occurred to my mind which I will now mention, which demand our serious attention, if we desire to live together comfortably and profitably.
“First, mutual submission to each other in all indifferent things. We shall not perhaps always be of the same judgment in every thing; therefore, it will be necessary in many cases, to give up our judgments.
“2. A willingness in each of us to cross our own wills and humours, rather than give pain to the other. This, if constantly practised by us, (God grant it may,) will prevent much of that trouble and uneasiness which distracts many families, and renders the marriage state miserable beyond description.
“3. Mutual forbearance. We shall both need to exercise this fruit of love. I am much obliged to you, my dear, for the good opinion you seem to have of me; yet, I am only a man ; and, I fear, you will have need of patience with me frequently. Let us, therefore, set out with this resolution, to bear with each other; and when one is overtaken in a fault, be it great or small, the other shall cast the mantle of love over it, and endeavour to restore the offender in the spirit of meekness.
“4. We should daily endeavour to promote each other's temporal and spiritual prosperity; have only one interest, one end. In order to this, we must think aloud, -have no secrets, but repose the most entire confidence in each other on all occasions, avoiding as we would hellfire, all shyness or reserve. O my dear, let us take heed that this never creep in.
“5. If we would live together as fellow-heirs of the grace of life, we must frequently converse about the state of our minds, and join in prayer suited to our present states and necessities. I could wish, and I have no doubt but you will gladly join with me, that we should spend some time together, by ourselves alone, in mutual prayer, twice a day, at least, besides family prayer, if we have any who live with us.
“ These are some of the duties we shall have to perform, besides several others, which we shall have an opportunity of conversing about afterwards. Sometimes, indeed, when I take a view of them I am afraid I shall never be able to perform them; but then I hear a whisper, “My grace is sufficient for thee.'
'I feel a vehement desire to be wholly the Lord's. I long to be wholly lost and swallowed up in God continually, and I have a lively expectation of living more to his glory than ever I have done. May the God of all grace make us both patterns of piety and serious godli
I shall not have time to write again between now and the time appointed. Till then, farewell. The Lord
bless thee, my dearest Mary; and believe me when I say, thou art 'less beloved than God alone,' by thine affectionate,
· JOSEPH ENTWISLE. “P.S.—I have invited Mr. Reece to come to Thorner on the Tuesday night, but have not yet heard whether he can or not. My kindest love to all your family, as if named; and to your friend who meets in band with you." “ Sat. April 28," my father writes
I have lately perceived a danger of inordinate creature attachments. The time of my marriage draws near. I feel a great affection for my dearest Mary, and find it very difficult to avoid extremes. It is a serious thing to take a person as a companion through life; but I have no doubt, she will be a help-meet. I only fear lest I should fail in any part of my duty. O God, may we both enter upon it in thy fear, and be thou the guide of our future life. Give or deny whatever else thou wilt, only favour us with thy presence and blessing.
“Mon. 30.—Preached at five o'clock this morning with unusual freedom, from Prov. iii. 5, 6; and was enabled to enter into the spirit of the subject. I was most of the day kept in a praying frame; yet the solemnity of the change I was about to make rested upon my mind. I am well satisfied that I am in the way of providence ; yet it seems so important, that I almost tremble at the thoughts of it.
Tues. May 1.–After some time spent in prayer with dear Mrs. Pawson, I set off in the stage coach for Leeds, where I arrived about seven o'clock in the evening; there I took a horse Mr. Pawson had left for me, and rode to Thorner. While I was riding there, I had such a view of the goodness of God in the dispensations of his grace and providence to me, one of the unworthiest of his creatures, as I have seldom been favoured with. I could adopt the poet's language as my own :
"When all the mercies of my God,
My rising soul surveys,
In wonder, love, and praise.' After spending a few hours in conversation, I laid me down in peace; yet slept little, my mind being so much affected with the thoughts of the important change I was going to make.