Swansea, August 9, 1802.
You see by the date of my letter, that I have almost reached the end of my long pilgrimage. Our first resting place was Wenlock in Shropshire, from whence we went on the Sunday to Madeley church. You must have heard of Mr. Fletcher, who was formerly Rector of this place. We were introduced to Mrs. F. by a young man who first introduced himself to us. We took some coffee with him afterwards, and he told us he had formerly been a cornet in the 15th Light Dragoons, but had retired from the world, and had now lived in solitude nearly three years, employed in nothing but reading the Bible and visiting the sick. He was perfectly meek and gentle in his manners, und seemed quite happy. I leave you to make your own reflections on this phenomenon. From Wenlock we became pedestrians, and went successively to Shrewsbury, the Vale of Llangollen, and Chester, from whence we sailed down the Mersey to Liverpool. From this place I proceeded to Holywell, &c. alone. * * *
Thus have I been preserved by the protecting providence of God, and been endued with bodily strength to accomplish my journey with ease. I have never once wished for a companion; even in the most gloomy moments I have found the Bible a never failing source of interesting thought.
1803. Jan. 8--11. Often gave way to levity and arrogance in conversation, and was frequently assaulted by temptations to cowardly desires after the world: hut as God never suffered them to be of long continuance, my mind enjoyed considerable peace.
12--19. Reading Lowth on Isaiah--Acts--and abridged Bishop Hopkins' first sermon on Regeneration.
On the 19th called on-------, from whom I found that I was to go to the East Indies, not as a Missionary, but in some superior capacity; to be stationed at Calcutta, or possibly at Ceylon. This prospect of this world's happiness gave me rather pain than pleasure, which convinced me that I had before been running away from the world, rather than overcoming it. During the whole course of the day, I was more worldly than for some time past, unsettled and dissatisfied. In conversation therefore, I found great levity, pride, and bitterness. What a sink of corruption is this heart, and yet I can go on from day to day in self-seeking and self-pleasing! Lord, shew me myself; nothing but "wounds and bruises, and putrifying sores," and teach me to live by faith on Christ my all.
St. John's, Jan. 17, 1803.
MY DEAR SARGENT,
I find from------that you really expect me to fulfil a promise I never made. However, as you allow me to send you even a skeleton of a letter, I sit down, resolved to avail myself of the permission, if I find it necessary. * * * * *
* * G--and H--seem to disapprove of my project much; and on this account I have been rather discouraged of late, though not in any degree convinced. It would be more satisfactory to go out with the full approbation of my friends, but it is in vain to attempt to please man. In doubtful cases, we are to use the opinions of others no further than as means of directing our own judgment. My sister has also objected to it, on the score of my deficiency in that deep and solid experience necessary in a missionary. You have taken rooms, I think in the Temple, so that the providence of God seems to have called you irrevocably to the profession of the law. Though I cannot help regretting that one so well qualified to preach the glad tidings of salvation, should be called off to labour in the business of this world, yet we may be sure, that whatever is undertaken according to his will, will be attended with his blessing. You will, I dare say, find a double degree of watchfulness necessary to preserve a proper state of mind. In the case of those who minister in the sanctuary, temporal and spiritual occupations are one; corresponding to the necessity of a superior degree of holiness in those who are to be examples. But in your case, even a common degree of spirituality cannot be maintained without much attention. Many have found that occasional aspirations after God have been made the channels of the communications of his grace in the midst of worldly business, and have left the mind not disqualified for the employments of heaven. Indeed this seems to be a good criterion of our state. For surely the new-born soul never more truly acts according to its heavenly nature, than when it delights to shake off the clogs of earth, and to leave the world beneath it, and to rise exultingly to God. Though it is hard to be thus minded, yet it is undoubtedly our privilege. But nothing but almighty grace is sufficient for these things, as the coldness we all feel manifests. I have been reading Hopkins's sermons to-day. I would give you my opinion of them--(I could willingly fill the sheet) but the time does not allow me. Therefore, adieu.
23. Rose with a dead weight upon my mind, found it very difficult to pray at all, and seemed very little the better for it. [This extract from Mr. Martyn's Journal, with many others of a like nature, refer to a strictly private matter, which throughout this, and part two succeeding years, proved a continual source of severe affliction, often harassing his conscience, engrossing much of his time, and deeply depressing his spirits. Through the whole continuance of this trial, the increasing spirituality of his mind is remarkably evinced. To give an instance of the way in which he particularly mentions it, he says, May 3, 1804. 'Oh, it is a sorrowful time! This business, distraction of mind from God through it, anxiety, &c. make me often droop; but the throne of grace, where Jesus intercedes for sinners, is my only refuge. My desire is to trust God entirely." And on another occasion he adds, 'Oh in what way will the Lord work my deliverance?']
24. Tolerably composed in the morning, and was much comforted by the promises of God's support, amidst all the trials of the world. Began Lowth this morning. In my walk out, and during the remainder of the day, the sense of my own weakness and worthlessness called me to watchfulness and dependance upon the grace of Christ. Lost much time at ------s in the evening, by joining in trifling conversation. A little tract on eternity, and some of the Revelations, made a strong impression upon me this evening. Went to bed with a clear view of the infinite necessity of an ardent pursuit of holiness.
25. Fretful and impatient. Bore the pall at Parry's funeral, but my heart was cold and hard. With B-- in the evening, no one but Foster being there. Ought I not to have introduced the subject of religion? How short-lived are right affections! What madness is it to be slothful in drawing nigh to the Lord.
31. Had a kind of calmness, but little sweetness in divine things. Mr. Simeon drank tea with me in the evening, but whatever be the reason, I seldom profit by the conversation of others; particularly the godly. Told me that concerning the trials and temptations attending the Christian life, I might know just as much as about the distances of the planets. Some general notions I might have, but that I really knew nothing about them. This rather humbled me, but instead of blessing the Lord, that in compassion to my weakness, he had warded off the fiery darts of the wicked, I was vexed at finding I was not so forward in religion as my pride suggested. Oh the desperate wickedness of this heart! and yet the chief part lies concealed from my view.
Feb. 1. Wasted time in unnecessary sleep. After this I can never cheerfully either pray, or begin my daily employments. Felt but weak in my desires after God. For want of reading the Scriptures, could not collect my thoughts in my walk.
2. In a poor and lukewarm state this morning. Resolved in my walk to send away two of my pupils, as I found my time so much taken up by them of late, instead of being devoted to reading the Scriptures, in which I have done little or nothing. May God enable me to give this redeemed time to him. N. stayed with me a short time in the evening, and discovered to me, by his conversation, my infinite inferiority to him in divine experience, as well as exemplified in himself a truly humble and watchful spirit. Prayed with some little fervour to be like him, and of course to be like the debased Redeemer, whose unparalelled humiliation in Isaiah liii, I had been reading. But was rather gloomy at not finding myself as I wished.
3. * * * Had some strength and fervour in prayer, hoped that I should ever after esteem others better than myself.
4. Had some remains of that humbled spirit, the sweetness of which is satisfying. But at breakfast 'the old man' showed itself in contemptuous expressions toward others. Had something like poverty of spirit in Hall. Read Lowth in the afternoon, till I was quite tired. Endeavoured to think of Job xiv. 14, and to have solemn thoughts of death, but could not find them before my pupil came, to whom I explained justification by faith, as he had ridiculed Methodism. But talk upon what I will, or with whom I will, conversation leaves me ruffled and discomposed. From what does this arise? From a want of the sense of God's presence when I am with others.
6. Read the Scriptures, between breakfast and church, in a very wandering and unsettled manner, and in my walk was very weak in desires after God. As I found myself about the middle of the day full of pride and formality, I found some relief in prayer. Sat with H. and D. after dinner, till three, but though silent, was destitute of humility. Read some of S. Pearce's life, and was much interested by his account of the workings of his mind on the subject of his mission. Saw reason to be thankful, that I had no such tender ties to confine me at home, as he seemed to have; and to be amazed at myself, in not making it a more frequent object of reflection, and yet to praise God for calling me to minister in the glorious work of the conversion of the Gentiles ... I almost dread to set apart any precise time for extraordinary devotions, lest it should be all thrown away through the weakness of my mind, which so soon flags in spiritual things. Oh how hard it is to live by faith--and impossible to abound in the work of the Lord without love! Yet love, which makes a heaven below, he has encouraged us to expect. O that I may learn now my utter helplessness without thee, and so by deep humiliation be qualified for greater usefulness.
7. Much fatigued with reading so long to-day without exercise; yet my spirits not so low as before. In the evening, just as I was going to read a few hymns which I have lately found to be delightful, was interrupted by R. who staid till nine. Rather vexed, but did not shew any chagrin. Our conversation was on mathematics, and was ended only by my hinting at the unsatisfactory nature of human science, which presently put a period to our conversation. Had some disheartening thoughts at night at the prospect of being stripped of every earthly comfort. But who is it that maketh my comforts to be a source of enjoyment! Cannot the same make cold, and hunger, and nakedness, and peril, to be a train of ministering angels conducting me to glory? What true wisdom is resignation--yet how does my unbelief revolt against the dictates of reason! I feel little desire of preaching the gospel, and have some difficulty in conceiving the pleasure and anxiety expressed by most faithful ministers about their people. I find that in whatever manner the most holy ministers speak of their success, I am very apt to be disgusted at the prominent character of the instrument; and I record this, that at some future period I may derive advantage from it. O for humility. Love cannot exist without gratitude--nor gratitude without humility. Much refreshed with reading the 91st Psalm.
8. Generally speaking, in a more calm and composed state than for some days before.
I find that in my most serious moments I am, through mere habit, disposed to a cynic flippancy. Not quite pleased with that respect and attention shewn me by my friends. In the afternoon H--came, and we resumed our exercises of reading and prayer, suspended for many weeks. I was by no means particular enough with respect to my own wants or even of our common needs, in my prayer--but was too general in petition, as through want of use I had not the command of my thoughts. Some men coming in after our reading was over, I rather lost this little degree of spirituality by unwatchfulness. But upon the whole I have been comparatively happy to day, and find my mind more active and energetic than when I pass the whole day in reading.
9. Had a more quiet spirit to-day, but not much more of the presence of God, through unbelieving fears in the morning, and distraction by worldly men in the evening. Read Greek Testament. From not seeing any allusion to infernal possessions any where but in the gospels, and also from observing that "their own children would cast them out," terrifying doubts arose about the truth of the whole, but through the mercy of God they were soon dissipated. But I determined to investigate the subject more thoroughly. Sat a little with D. but spiritual things were not uppermost in our conversation or in my thoughts; an idle curiosity led me in the afternoon to the knowledge of something which I had better not have known. In the evening several men by calling disturbed me--had however some little solemnity afterwards--finished 1st book of Samuel, and read Psalms ii.--iv. But, O my soul! this is poor work! Condemned myself for not exerting myself in doing good to man by visiting the sick, &c.
10. Enjoyed during the course of the morning a sweet solemnity of soul; but from wandering of thought during the morning walk, I returned with my mind more clouded. Read Matthew xiii. and xiv. and by frequent supplications for grace, was preserved in a good degree from that pride and worldliness which I have so often found to attend critical study. But in the afternoon this solemn tone of mind degenerated into formality and stupidity; and in the evening at tea with D. my unsteady conversation betrayed me into most excessive levity. Was of course little prepared for public worship. Yet during the latter part of it, and the sermon, I felt more serious, and returned home ashamed of myself, and despising that vanity of spirit which so separates me from the blessed God. Oh that I may more deeply mourn over that guilt which I contract daily by so inconsistent a walk.
11. Rose with a violent cold and cough. Some difficulties about Algebra which I thought it my duty to examine for the sake of my pupil, occupied the early part of the morning; and the 16th chap, of St. Matthew the rest. Spoke to T. about some things which I thought wrong in him; and though not conscious of using any particular harshness at the time, felt great pain at my having done it without love. Oh why should I take upon myself to be a reprover, with so much to blame even in my outward conduct. Resolved not to reprove any more except I experience at the time a peculiar contrition of spirit, in all cases where I can conscientiously be silent. Was low-spirited afterwards and during dinner, at the sense of contracted guilt. Drank wine with------. But as usual nothing was said that could betray us to be the people of God. Finding my throat sore; the recollection of sitting in the very room where P. died presented me with the view of death. I passed the greater part of the evening in self-examination and prayer; and reading the Psalms and Revelations as far as my illness permitted me. Though I could discover no allowed sin, yet my soul was agitated with alternate hopes and fears. The promises were clear--as free, as full as the dying sinner could wish; yet, alas! I sought in vain for that sweetness of meditation on death which I ought and wished to feel. Oh! for a more realizing faith, and the encouragements of hope and love. Oh that I could love indeed. I think I can say that I have no other desire to live, but to live to his glory--but with fear and trembling should I say it, as I have a heart deceitful above all things. Do thou, my Saviour, support me through life and death, and I will fear no evil.
12. Cold rather worse. Breakfasted with H. and had some right conversation. Read Greek Testament during morning. After dinner H. sat with me till nine, and read first some poetry, then Psalms and Hebrews. Felt some secret fears of death.
13. Heard Mr. Simeon this morning on "the certainty of the promises," which I found to be rather appropriate to myself. Read some of the historical parts in the afternoon, and was generally composed, though sometimes exceedingly depressed in spirits.
14. Rather better this morning after taking exercise. Dined with Mr. S. and ------, whose fascinating conversation for so long a time led me far from spiritual things.
15. Found great freedom in prayer this morning, yet when H. breakfasted with me, had no power to set my heart or tongue in tune for heaven. But for grace, this self-dependence would be my ruin.
16. Rose at half after six with a cold still violent. Was employed the greater part of the morning in sketching out a sermon on 1 Cor. xvi. 22. On preparing to go out, B. called upon me, and our conversation lasted till near dinner time. He thought that by immoderate seclusion I deadened those fine feelings which we should cultivate, and neglected the active duties of life: that a thorough and universal change of heart and life was not necessary to make us Christians, of whom there might he all degrees, as of every thing else, His amazing volubility left me unable to say any thing, yet I kept my temper pretty well, not however without some risings of detestable pride and contempt. Finished the sketch of sermon, and read some Psalms.
18. The morning was passed in reading Matt. xxvi. I enjoyed happy thoughts of God. As my walk was much in the town, I suffered a little distraction; but still thought myself strong. "He that trusteth his own heart is a fool." S. and-------, came to me, and I found myself sarcastic and destitute of all Christian conversation, though without any particular sensation of pride and bitterness in my heart. But my self-ignorance is truly deplorable. How utterly forgetful have I been this day of the need of Christ's grace, of my own vileness and poverty. Let me then remember, that all apparent joy in God without humility, is a mere delusion of Satan.
19.--drank tea with me in the evening, and for fear of my besetting sins, I set a bridle on my tongue.--with his trifling conversation, prolonged to a late hour, left me dissatisfied.
20. Had, generally speaking, a full conviction of the supreme excellence of religion; of its being the one thing needful to my happiness; of the reasonableness of an entire devotedness to God; yet through levity and sloth, failed in deepening that acquaintance with the things of God, which has of late been very superficial.
23. * * * * Though I felt satisfied in conscience that I had done, and meant to do my duty in this business, yet the awfulness of the occasion seemed to call upon me to make this day (Ash Wednesday) a fast. But I was, during all the morning, rather about to meditate than meditating; and about three o'clock, finding myself extremely weak and faint, and little able to think of divine things, I dined in hall--but during dinner and afterwards, could not help despising myself for this want of self-denial.
27. Received the sacrament without distraction, but with little ardour. . . . Had a most violent headache in the evening; could do little more than commend myself to the mercy of God, as I was totally disqualified for reading and prayer.
March 1--4. Much employed in my various studies, which are rather too severe for my health.
5--13. Much harassed with evil tempers, levity, and distraction of mind, all arising from want of sufficient reading of the scriptures. Alas! I hardly ever meditate upon them, but only read without having my thoughts intently fixed.
14--27. In general dejected, though not so much from a sense of God's displeasure, as from the sight of my own sinfulness, which eminently discovered itself, now I had so little power over my besetting sins, by discontent and want of love to man. The lectures in chemistry and anatomy I was much engaged with, without receiving much instruction. A violent cold and cough led me to prepare myself for an inquiry into my views of death. I was enabled to rest composed on the Rock of Ages. Oh what mercy shewn to the chief of sinners.
April 2. Dined with Mr. Simeon, and met Mr. Atkinson of Leeds, with whose company I was exceedingly delighted. The conversation was truly such as became the children of God. The good old Mr. A. took occasion to address himself particularly to me, as I was in the outset, not to be discouraged, and told me I might profit by the experience of others, and avoid many of their difficulties by depending entirely on Christ. His remarks on "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who killest," &c. affected me much. The tender pity of our Lord towards Jerusalem, even when he mentioned so many causes of indignation, was pressed to my mind strongly as an example. At tea, when Mr. Simeon talked of divine love, I thought I knew there was such a thing as communion of saints. I left them with great desires after the spirit of Christ, and after the privileges attending communion with God.
12. Found that the omission of my journal has been attended with bad effects. For the last week I have had great want of spirituality,--carelessness, levity, and vanity of mind. It is a mercy that God, instead of giving me up to a reprobate mind, convinces me of the dreadful corruption of my heart. Last night I could not but tremble at the review of the thoughts that had successively passed through my mind in the course of the day, which could not have been there if I had been diligent to walk with God. My present ground of complaint is my extreme ignorance of God and myself. His service, if any self-denial is required, is often a burden to me; and every consideration I can propose to myself, every prayer for a willing heart, are often ineffectual to make me love to do his will.
15. Was able to believe God's word to my own comfort, more than for some days past. Blessed be his name for not forsaking me entirely.
18. Read the Universal History with reference to the Bachelor's prize. Called on Mr. Simeon, who advised me to desist from my purpose of writing the essay. Felt pleased afterwards at the thought of having nothing to disturb me from sacred studies, and in the views of having greater spirituality of mind preparatory to the ministry. Learnt from Mr. Simeon that my views of "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian," were wrong, so that all my trouble is lost.
22. Was ashamed to confess to--that I was to be Mr. Simeon's curate, a despicable fear of man from which I vainly thought myself free. He, however, asked me if I was not to be, and so I was obliged to tell him. Jer. i. 17.
25. Rode to Lynn. Mr. Simeon went to prayer in the evening. My head ached extremely from the ride. This added to my having no intercourse with God, or reading, made me unfit for devotion at night.
May 1. Walked with -- an hour in the morning, and was glad to find some points in which we did agree, as it is so seldom we meet without disputing. At church felt nothing so much as a want of seriousness. Walked with--till dinner, and talked for talking's sake, for my head was I do not know where. Then went to St. Mary's, then walked with--; this continued employment with others on the Sabbath, fretted me exceedingly; yet when in solitude afterwards, I could neither pray nor read with earnestness; but laboured the whole day under a careless indifference about all things equally.
6. Walked to Shelford. Unsettled in mind, and unhumbled in spirit most of the day. In the evening Mr. Thomason had a service which led me to think as I was returning home, how very superficial my experience had been; so much so, that I should be at a loss to describe the real state of my soul. After my prayers, my mind seems touched with humility and love, but the impressions decay so soon. Resolved for the future to use more watchfulness, and reading, and prayer.
7. Experienced some sweetness in prayer this morning, as I often do. -------breakfasted with me, but I soon forgot the grounds I had seen for humiliation but just before. Was harassed with contemptuous thoughts of the ministry, but prayed that the character in Timothy might be mine. In my morning walk felt miserable through the pride and unbelief of my heart. Yet before I had finished, perceived the reasonableness of meeting with people to converse about their spiritual state, from the similar process used to form a physician, who is not content to look at his own body only, but repairs to an hospital, and marks the different cases, and enquires of the patients themselves.
8. Expressed myself contemptuously of------, who preached at St. Mary's. Such manifestations of arrogance, which embody as it were my inward pride, wound my spirit inexpressibly, not to contrition, but to a sullen sense of guilt. Read second Epistle to Timothy. I prayed with some earnestness.
9--14. Some days in this week my faith has been strong. I have rejoiced to go forth and to brave the world. It was accompanied with more simplicity of heart than I usually feel. On Saturday felt great fear of man, and yet was determined to let slip no proper occasion of speaking out. Was quite fatigued with being so long with-------. On expressing my dislike of such company, to W. he suggested that it might perhaps arise rather from feeling than principle, and this witness is true, for though I could perceive them to be in the gall of bitterness, I felt little of pity.
15. In the first half of this day, was neither dead nor lively. After reading some of the historical parts of the Old Testament, I walked in the fields, and endeavoured to consider my ways, and to lift up my heart to God. Though it availed but little, the effect afterwards was good, for I found myself more serious and watchful during the remainder of the day, particularly amongst the snares that beset me at Trinity church.
29. Received the sacrament. I fear I do not understand the nature of it, as I never receive benefit from it. Great vanity and all sinful tempers ruled in my heart, but the Lord helped me to humble myself before him in the evening, and I felt strong desires that my corrupt affections might be mortified.
31. Had some disquieting doubts why I should not speak to every one I knew and met about their souls. From repeated experience I know that this arises from an unwillingness to take up my cross; for at those rare seasons when I have any love to Christ, no difficulties lie then in the way.
June 5. From reading some of Law's Serious Call, perceived the vanity and meanness of the thoughts of the carnal heart; and longed to live far beyond the world, and in the general course of this sabbath was more free from those vain and self-esteeming thoughts which keep me very low in the divine life.
6. Rose at half after five, according to the impulse I received from reading Law. Breakfasted with F--, and spoke in praise of humility, but was not humble. Was grieved that I had not been faithful to God at dinner time, when the conversation seemed to call upon me to speak out. Endeavoured to convince--of the impropriety of reading newspapers on Sundays, but all in vain.
11. This day I would with thankfulness number among my dies fasti. From having risen rather later than usual, I felt rather humbled at the remembrance of mis-spent hours; and while this frame of mind continued, all the powers of my soul were perceptibly rectified. The last three chapters of St. John were peculiarly sweet, and I longed to love.
12. Rose in heaviness through sinful thoughts seizing me at time of waking, and continued so during the day through manifold temptations. After St. Mary's in the afternoon, walked with--and was exceedingly irritated and hurried by conversation with him about religion. The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. I felt grieved in my own mind, and troubled from the opposition of men, and I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I flee away and be at rest. So then would I wander afar off, and remain in the wilderness.
13--24. Passed intolerable comfort upon the whole; though I could on no day say my walk had been close with God. Read Sir G. Staunton's Embassy to China, and was convinced of the propriety of being sent thither. But I have still the spirit of worldly men when I read worldly books. I felt more curiosity about the manners of this people than love and pity towards their souls. Wrote some letters to Christian friends and received some. Sargent warns me to self-examination. His lively devotion in the midst of such snares may well shame me. May the Lord make him to be an example to us all.
25. I experience a want of variety in prayer, and am unable to pray with my whole heart and soul; as I observed in the morning. Lost the morning in endeavouring to construct some paper figures on dialling. Attacked with strong temptations in my walk, but through grace overcame them, although with pain, by recalling to mind the promises in the three first chapters of Revelation, "to him that overcometh," &c. Thought besides, has God commanded me to use self-denial merely to give me pain, and not rather to perfect my happiness? The particular promises, "him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out," &c. dwelt a long time afterwards on my mind, and diffused an affectionate reverence of God. Was seized with excessive hilarity in company with H-- in the afternoon, which rendered me unfit for serious conversation, though H-- seemed inclined to it. This is frequently the case, especially after severe study either of temporal or spiritual kind. It seems merely animal, for I would gladly exchange it for sympathy, so that my heart might be tender and pathetic without the pain of grief. Walked to the hawthorn hedge, and on my way felt the force of Baxter's observation, in his directions for solemnity in the work of meditation,--that if an angel had appointed to meet me, how full of awe I should be,--how much more then? when I was about to meet God As this was my first set attempt for a long time, I found it necessary to know the state of my own heart, in which I could find no wilful neglect, but most lamentable ignorance and pride. I commended myself to his mercy, and prayed for the guidance of the Spirit of Christ, but experienced no true joy. I devoted myself to him solemnly, if and trust that when tempted to sin I shall remember this walk.
26. A nervous headache prevented me reading this fl morning. Walked in the garden, but found it difficult to raise my heart to God. Learnt by heart St. Paul's discourse, Acts xx. and Epistle to the Philippians, as this did not require my fixing my eyes on a book. D. walked with me to Trinity Church, and with him I found myself more meek and serious than I have been for many Sundays.
St. John's, June 30, 1803.
* * *
* I feel ashamed that you express any satisfaction in corresponding with me. God only knows how poor and shallow I am; and if any good should ever arise to you by my means, it must be ascribed to his wisdom, who can use the meanest instruments to effect his purposes. What shall I say to him for giving me such a friend as you are likely to prove. One who fears not to give offence by speaking the truth, and who would seek to improve the Spirit, rather than please the flesh ***** May you, as long as you shall give me your acquaintance, direct me to the casting down of all high imaginations. Possibly it may be a cross to you to tell me or any one of his faults. But should I be at last a cast-away, or at least dishonour Christ through some sin, which for want of faithful admonition remained unmortified, how bitter would be your reflections! I conjure you therefore, my dear friend, as you value the good of the souls to whom I am to preach, and my own eternal interests, that you tell me what you think to be, in my life, spirit, or temper, not according to the will of God my Saviour. You profess your need of humiliation. I wish my own experience could assist you in this the most important part of our sanctification. In examining myself according to your advice, on this head it seems (for the work of inquiry is so exceedingly difficult that I can hardly say with certainty what I have known, or whether I have known any thing on this subject) that I seek my humility rather from views of God's greatness and the example of Christ, than of my own corruption. Now, though the former views may assist in producing the effect, yet the impressions arising from them are necessarily transient, whereas that humility which arises from just views of ourselves may be as abiding as our own consciousness, and be brought into exercise by every thing we do, or speak, or think. It has greatly distressed me to think how slow my heart is to yield to the convictions of reason; how unable to mourn when I should be lying low in the dust. On reading the words of our Lord to the lukewarm Laodiceans, the form of the words is very striking and comforting. "Because thou knowest not that thou art wretched, &c, I counsel thee to buy of me eye-salve that thou mayest see," so that there is provision made for those whom of all others God holds most in abhorrence; the blind, (to their sins,) the hard-hearted, and the proud. Were it not so, what would become of me? Happily for us," the covenant is ordered in all things and sure;" and it is not left to our own wisdom, but to that adorable agent, the Spirit of God, to perform that good work which he hath begun in us. May we be both conformed to the bright image of the dear Redeemer, especially in meekness and lowliness of heart. I feel for you, lest by a fatal comparison with those around you, you should be induced to lower the standard of Christian morality in your own practice. This is a temptation to which I am prone even here. But let us remember, that God judgeth according to every man's work, and not relatively. He marks his secret walk, and his view of him is precisely the same, whatever be the change of the opinions of the man of himself, or of others concerning him. Let us then walk in the Spirit--* * * * *
D. has heard about a religious young man of seventeen, who wants to come to College, but has only £20. a year. He is very clever, and from the perusal of some poems which he has published, I am much interested about him. His name is H. K. White.
* * * We remembered our friend Sargent at our prayer at Mr. Simeon's room on Thursday evening. Pray that I may have true piety and fitness for my work.
July 10. Great ignorance of my own heart, pride, censoriousness, and discontent have beset me for some time. A letter from Sargent recommending diligent self-examination, taught me how little I had been used to look within, and I was somewhat humbled at not knowing how to describe my own state. I was much dejected at finding myself so low in Christianity, which sufficiently showed the truth of what had been said. Resolved, however, this week, to be earnest and searching in examining myself, and to be lying low in the dust before God. I ought to have my heart impressed with a sense of my weakness, misery, and sin. Read Law on the subject, and Adams;--was employed in reading Butler's Analogy, Romans in Greek, and 2 Chronicles.
On 10th, Mr. Simeon preached on Psalm cxxxix, two last verses. "Search me, O God, and try my heart," &c. How applicable to my own case! I have little pleasure lately in divine things, owing to my fears, lest my religion should become superficial again.
14. Endeavoured for some days past to seek the increase of humility, not entirely without success, though very small.
17. Rose at half-past five, and walked a little before chapel in a happy frame of mind; but the sunshine was presently overcast by my carelessly neglecting to speak for the good of two men, when I had an opportunity. The pain was moreover increased by the prospect of the incessant watchfulness for opportunities I should use; nevertheless resolved that I would do so through grace. The dreadful act of disobeying God, and the baseness of being unwilling to incur the contempt of men, for the sake of the Lord Jesus, who had done so much for me, and the cruelty of not longing to save souls, were the considerations that pressed on my mind.
18--30. Gained no ground in all this time; stayed a few days at Shelford, but was much distracted and unsettled for want of solitude. Felt the passion of envy rankle in my bosom on a certain occasion. Seldom enjoyed peace, but was much under the power of corruption. Read Butler's Analogy; Jon. Edwards on the Affections; in great hopes that this hook will be of essential use to me.
31. Was not diligent in improving the time between chapel, nor serious in reading and prayer. * * * Was so relaxed in the afternoon, as to be incapable of any exertion of body or mind. It then appeared to me, that if I could not read, that was the time for visiting, but I sought to find some excuse for not going. Oh, the dreadful consequence of not obeying conscience. After some consideration, however, I determined to do the will of God without shrinking from the self-denial. Wrote to recreate myself, and then it was chapel-time.
Afterwards meant to go to visit-------but I suffered a trifling consideration to keep me away. Oh my soul, compare thyself with St. Paul, and with the example and precepts of the Lord Jesus Christ. Was it not his meat and drink to do the will of his heavenly Father? At night a terrible thunderstorm came on. Instead of enjoying the solemn scene in sweet security, my heart was conscious of not having walked with God. and gloomy fear prevailed.
Aug. 1. Under great darkness and discontent, which continued through great part of the day, as I had no opportunity of reading. In the evening found some degree of peace in returning to the Lord. But all the graces of the Spirit are very low. Imperfect views of Christ. No realizing of heaven or eternal things, no happy walk with God. Visited Mrs. S. in the evening, and talked with her and her husband about religion, and went to prayer, but was ashamed to think I had prayed so hypocritically in the name of another, as it were without being myself benefited.
26. Time taken up from half-past ten till two, in drilling the fellows and pupils. In the afternoon, remembered in prayer the reasons I had yesterday seen for activity in the work of the ministry, so far as it belonged to me. But though one's reason cannot but see how good it must be to be employed about that church which He hath purchased with his own blood, yet how perverse is the will. It appeared to-day, when it was even in a better frame than commonly, to be very far removed from that pleasure and cheerfulness with which the children of God do their works of love. No, instead of having my will swallowed up in God's, instead of hearkening to the voice of his word, instead of placing the happiness and joy of my soul in a constant imitating of the Lord Jesus Christ, in going about doing good, it is my will rather to sit down, to please myself with reading, and let the world perish. I see a great work before me now, namely, the subduing and mortifying of my perverted will. What am I that I should dare to do my own will, even if I were not a sinner, but now how plain, how reasonable to have the love of Christ constraining me to be his faithful, willing servant, cheerfully taking up the cross that he shall appoint me.
30. Called twice on-- to-day, but he was asleep. Passed this rainy morning in reading Hebrew, abridging Hopkins, and Epistle to Philippians in Greek Testament. Walked in Trinity Cloisters, was greatly distressed and miserable at not having spoken to an old man with whom I might have conversed, and again for not joining some gownsmen to whom I might have done good, and for having attempted to begin a religious conversation with--in a most unreasonable and uncharitable manner. My conscience was painfully wounded as if by unfaithfulness to God, and my spirits depressed at the prospect of being much with men and having to speak to them in spite of their contempt and hatred. Nevertheless resolved to do the will of God, whatever it might be.
Sept. 4. (Sunday.) Felt more affection and freedom in prayer this morning, and read the Scripture's with satisfaction, but somehow or other after the walk, got wrong. Dined at------but none of us were in tune.
Heard--in the evening with great satisfaction. Returned home wearied with religious language, and found that not even prayer was profitable, without having my mind stocked with ideas, and impressed with awful thoughts of God. Went to church again at seven, and heard--on "Simon, Son of Jonas, lovest thou me? "The having the Saviour uppermost in my thoughts, and speaking of him with delight and love, would be a severe criterion to me. Oh, what a hard ungrateful heart must I have, to requite the tender love of Christ in the way I do.
5. Rather hurried, from the variety of persons I had been with, but had a sweet supporting sense of God's presence in the evening, when I walked by moonlight.
6. Employed in Hebrew; abridged Hopkins and Greek Testament.
7. Under great anxiety all the morning, in the prospect of the service I had promised to do in the evening. After praying at noon, found myself somewhat more disposed to labour for the good of the souls of others, though the clouds of sin which hide from my view the excellences of active godliness gathered again, and the pain and trouble of a perverse and slothful heart. I want greater deadness to the world, for I believe that my aversion to officiate in public, and at social meetings, arises more from a concern about the opinion of men, than from the actual trouble of it. A want of self-recollection on those occasions which has led me to speak in prayer without thinking, makes me also shrink from it.
Prayed with more satisfaction than usual, great tranquillity of mind in the evening. No change to be observed in M. though I call upon him every day.
9. Walked to L-- alone. My mind was cheerful and composed on the road at first, but found an emptiness of thought afterwards, for want of reading. Endeavoured to fix my thoughts on the subject, of the use of imagination in religion. Was rather dispirited through fear of growing cold, as I advanced in life through the decay of this inventive faculty. But I could not so much as define imagination. I fear my mind is in a very uncultivated state as it respects composition and exertion of thought, but I have not yet seen it my duty to alter the nature of my present studies. I chiefly want more deadness to the world, and indifference to the opinions of men.
10. Was most deeply affected with reading the account of the apostacy of Lewis and Broomhall, in the transactions of the Missionary Society. When I first came to the account of the awful death of the former, I cannot describe the sense I had of the reality of religion,--that there is a God who testifies his hatred of sin; "my flesh trembled for fear of his judgments." Afterwards coming to the account of Broomhall's sudden turn to Deism, I could not help even bursting into tears of anxiety and terror at my own extreme danger; because I have often thought, that if I ever should make shipwreck, it would be on the rocks of sensuality or infidelity. The hollowness of Broom-hall's arguments was so apparent, that I could only attribute his fall to the neglect of inquiring after the rational foundation of his faith.
At night, on reviewing the business of the day, the subjects I had been reading fixed my sole attention. I asked myself the grounds of my faith, and why my experience was not, according to Broomhall's conceit, all a delusion. Previous to all revelation, he had convinced himself that the soul was mortal in this way. The soul exists, and is therefore extended, therefore material, therefore dissoluble. But by this mode of reasoning, he would prove that God was mortal. Hence by proving too much, he proves nothing. But independently of this, there are links wanting in every part of the chain. What is meant by extension? We do not know; it is something we perceive to belong to matter. But it cannot be hence concluded, that because a thing exists, it is therefore extended, unless it be shewn that nothing exists but matter. But this cannot be proved without arguing in a circle. Again, if it appeared that the soul were dissoluble, it would not contradict that opinion of the soul's immortality which we hold, namely, that it is immortal, not extrinsically, which no being is but the self-existent one, but only by the continued preservation of its Creator. His argument therefore in no way proves that the soul will die. Neither will the gradual advance or decline of reason in the early and later stages of life, nor the child's likeness in temper to the parents, shew it to be probable. Because were it so, no instance ought to occur, wherein a mortal disease did not affect the powers of the mind. Whereas many might occur, as Butler says, wherein persons, the moment before death, appear to be in the highest vigour of life. They discover reason, apprehension, memory, all entire, with the utmost force of affection; also the sense of shame, and honour, even to the last gasp. The child's likeness in disposition to his parents, may be accounted for, either on the hypothesis of the child's soul being produced by natural generation, or on the hypothesis that his body being similar to their's, and bodies affecting the mind, his mind resembles their's. Till this second hypothesis can be shewn to be of no weight, or of less weight than the former, no probable argument can be founded on the former. But the first chapter of Butler's Analogy is a complete answer to all attempted proofs of the materiality and mortality of the soul. Still it seems that reason cannot discover the certainty of the immortality of the soul. If any could have attained to a determinate conclusion on this point, one would suppose the ancient philosophers would have done it. But the Stoics and Epicureans denied it. Plato was the first that supported the doctrine. What his arguments are, I do not know. If they be founded on his hypothesis, that the soul is an immaterial emanation from the Deity, or soul of the world, they must be unsound. As far as I am able to suspend for a while my belief in my present notions, I should suppose that that which thinks in me was immaterial, or something essentially different from matter; for supposing it to possess all the other properties of matter, it certainly has no inertia, for it needs no external agent to set it in motion. But concerning the immortality of it, I think should remain in doubt.
But I hear that there is a book professing to be a revelation from a Being, who in it is declared to have created me and all things else. That I had a Creator is highly probable, and that he should make a revelation is no way absurd. I therefore examine the evidences for the truth of his Bible. The genuineness of the books of the Old and New Testament is as clearly (and more so) established as that of any other book extant. Upon this, therefore, my mind is perfectly made up. Now, amid all the arguments for the truth of Christianity, the most irresistible to me, is the foreign testimony to the martyrdom of so many of the immediate successors of the writers of those books; for I can ascribe their endurance unto death, to nothing else but to their belief in the miracles of Jesus Christ, contained in those books. I feel perfectly convinced, therefore, by this, (not concluding the other argument) that the whole system of Christianity is divine. And since adopting the Gospel as the ground of my hope and rule of my life, I feel the force of the arguments drawn from its exalted morality. In so large a work, by so many writers in such different ages, never to meet with any thing puerile, or inconsistent with their own representations of the Deity, is a circumstance quite unparalleled in any other book, whether on a different subject, or drawn from it. Respecting what is called the experience of Christians, it is certain we have no reason, from the mere contemplation of them, to ascribe the operations of our minds to an extrinsic agent, because they arise from their proper causes, and are directed to their proper ends. The truth or falsehood of pretences to the experience of divine agency must depend on the truth or falsehood of scripture. That warrants us sufficiently, for "it is God that worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure," which passage, while it asserts the reality of God's influence, points out also the manner of his acting; for he works in us to will, before he works in us to do. This effectually guards against fanaticism, for no one pretends he can put his finger on those mysterious springs that move the will, or knows where they lie: no one therefore can say, 'now God is exerting his influence.' He may reasonably indeed, and ought to ascribe every good thought to God, but still every good in him is but the effect of something preceding; his first perception, therefore, is posterior to the moving cause; which must hence be for ever concealed from the immediate knowledge of man.
I have been running on at random in metaphysics,--but to return. I am convinced that Christian experience in general is not a delusion. Whether mine is or not, will be seen at the last day. My object in making this journal, is to accustom myself to self-examination, to give my experience a visible form, so as to leave an impression on the memory, and so to improve my soul in holiness; for the review of such a lasting testimony, will serve the double end of conviction and consolation. I pretend not to record all that I remember, and that not on account of its minuteness, for nothing is strictly so, but because in some cases it would be improper to commit it to paper. I desire to collect the habit of my mind, to discover my besetting sins, the occasion of calling them forth, and the considerations by which I have at any time been stirred up to duty. May God in his mercy save me from the delusions of my deceitful heart, and pardon the indifference with which I speak and think of sin, and of this record, which may be of everlasting importance to my soul.
11. Strong return of old and sinful prejudices after morning service. But enjoyed tolerable peace the rest of the day.
12. Found Moyses speechless this morning. Read some of the minor prophets, and Greek Testament, and the number of the Missionary Transactions. H. drank tea with me in the evening. I read some of the Missionary accounts. The account of their sufferings and diligence could not but tend to lower my notions of myself. I was almost ashamed at my having such comforts about me, and at my own unprofitableness.
13. Received a letter from my sister, in which she expressed her opinion of my unfitness for the work of a Missionary. My want of Christian experience filled me with many disquieting doubts, and this thought troubled me among many others, as it has often done. 'I am not only not so holy as I ought, but I do not strive to have my soul wrought up to the highest pitch of devotion every moment. But now if my salvation rested upon the covenant of works, I should thus strive. It follows, therefore, that I am making grace an occasion of sin.' To another person making this objection, I should answer, that those who have fled to Jesus in the sense of their own sinfulness and helplessness, are delivered from the law as a covenant of works, and receive it only as a rule of life. But how shall we know when we make it a rule of life?
Could not satisfactorily make up my mind on this subject, but retired to bed with my mind rather more calm.
14. By a watchful endeavour to preserve proper thoughts of my own meanness, and of the love of Christ during my reading, my mind was more spiritual and more able to commune with God. Walked in the afternoon to Stapleford with H. but the feelings of my heart by the way, were not often those of a penitent and tender heart. When afterwards in company with C. was continually falling into levities, which my conscience condemned.
15. My spirit seemed to be still given to prayer, as yesterday morning, and I found the benefit of it when I walked at twelve with--, and I was more composed than I usually am before a man to whom I am obliged to speak unwillingly about religion. Read Hebrew, and the Greek of Hebrews. This epistle is not only not the most uninteresting, as it formerly was, but now the sweetest portion of Scripture I know; partly, I suppose, because I can look up to Jesus as High Priest for me. Still I may very often doubt, with reason, whether I am interested in him; yet oh, how free his love to the chief of sinners!
17. Assailed by proud, unbelieving, discontented thoughts again to day, but was not long under the power of them. Read Dr. Vanderkemp's mission to Caffraria. What a man! In heaven I. shall think myself well off, if I obtain but the lowest seat among such, though now I am fond of giving myself a high one.
18. Prayed with-some fervour for assistance in mortification, as I find myself little disposed to keep my body under. But afterwards gave way to many despicable, vanities about my appearance, which soon spread darkness over my heart. Heard D. at St. Mary's. At Mr. Simeon's, when he delivered his text from John xvii. 9,10, I felt ashamed and provoked at my folly, now that I was about to lose the enjoyment I should otherwise have had from this subject, from the pain my sins had caused. After dinner read Hebrews xii. and xiii. and was in a composed frame throughout the remainder of the day; not in the bitterness of unrepented sin, nor yet tender and affectionate. Many vanities sprung up imperceptibly at chapel, and again I omitted an opportunity of speaking for the good of others. My sins are more in number than the hairs of my head; well might I doubt of the possibility of being sanctified and saved, were not that to make things worse. Mr. Simeon preached in the evening a most convincing sermon on Mark ii. 17. I could not but feel my need of a physician, such as Jesus; and also the folly of unbelief; nevertheless, my sins pressed heavily on my heart..
19. Breakfasted with C--, and was much too conformed to my old behaviour of levity and arrogance. Read Hebrew; and the Greek Testament.--drank tea with me in the evening; my hope of him is become more sanguine. May his will be thoroughly subdued to the obedience of faith. With--to day, but seemed fearful of pressing home the humbling truths of the gospel to him, though he receives all I say with candour.
22. Two men from Clare Hall breakfasted with me. A fear of man, which prevented me from saying grace before breakfast, brought me into inexpressible confusion of conscience. Recovered a little by saying it after. How foolish am I, and ignorant, and cowardly, to be afraid to worship the Lord of Hosts before his rebellious creatures. Walked with B. and discovered great selfishness and want of charity. Fear of man again at table to-day, not by my silence, for that was unavoidable, but by look and manner. My heart condemned me, but not at the time. But the Lord is greater than our hearts, he knoweth all things. He brought it to my mind afterwards, so that I could not but appear to myself exceedingly vile and contemptible.
23. I was under disquiet at the prospect of my future work abroad, encompassed with difficulties, but I trusted that I was under the guidance of infinite wisdom, and on that I could rest. From the contemplation of the maze before me, I was led to a calm and melancholy reflection on the vanity of the world, the mighty power of God, the mystery of our existence, and in prayer afterwards I drew nigh to God.
24. Walked to Shelford, when I was in a gloomy temper from being vainly concerned about the appearance of the body. It is enough to astonish and distress me, that in spite of my convictions of the perfect nothingness of this world, of the opinion of men, and above-all, of the insignificancy of bodily appearance, I should still feel any concern about the appearance of my person. This is Mr. Simeon's birth-day. After dinner he spoke in a very edifying manner on the subject. He said he could thank God for his creation, though so little had been done by him in these forty-four years. May I have done as much in the same time!
25. Had a sweet meditation in the garden, but much vanity of mind in the course of the day.--drank tea with me, but the world seemed uppermost in his thoughts. I ought to be more close in my dealing with the consciences of those to whom I can speak on religion. I was quite overpowered with sleep at time of evening prayer.
27. Abridged the two first sections of Edwards on Original Sin. Designed to visit Mrs. S, but through delay and fear of my frame being unsuitable, I did not go, and so brought pain to my conscience, which was a proof that it was not in my heart to go; for if it were pleasant to go, I should not be easily satisfied with the excuses for not going.
28. It appeared this morning as if I had been long absent from God. It 'is of his mercy that he restoreth my soul, and leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Continued the abridgment of Edwards. Read Zechariah with Lowth. As I had fixed on two places to visit this evening, the prospect of it made me unhappy this morning. But in my walk out, I felt ashamed at having demurred at such a blessed work, as comforting the afflicted and instructing the ignorant, especially when hundreds of God's people, especially his ministers, are doing it with infinite pains and satisfaction in all parts of the globe. I perceived that the reason of my unwillingness to pray with others, arose not from any thing else, than a vain desire of the esteem of men. For were I dead to the world and the opinions of it, I should speak in prayer with composure, and have the testimony of a good conscience. Whereas the remembrance of the pain succeeding hypocritical prayers, diffuses the bitterness of gall over the day, before the duty is done. Alas! I have much unmortified pride to subdue yet. When shall I live with my thoughts wrapt up in God and heaven, and crucified to the world? How many of my days are lost, if their worth is to be measured by the standard of prevailing heavenly-mindedness! I think sometimes that if I could find the work of God in this particular, (praying with the sick or others,) a delight, nothing would prevent my enjoying the full earnest of heaven. But this I shall hereafter find to be vain. What but the humbling influence of the Spirit, shewing me my vileness and desperate wickedness, can ever produce such an habitual temper? I thought at dinner, with what awful and deep submission should I work the work of God, were I to see some marvellous manifestation of his glory in providence, or if my own death were fixed for to-day. O Lord, let me glorify thee in the faithful view of thy worthiness, of thy design in commanding the cross, and with gratitude for being spared * * * *
I found it in my heart to pour forth my soul to God. I was constrained to praise God for his mercy. Admire, my soul! the displayed perfections, the transacted works, the fulfilled promises of the Most High, Let me believe his mighty works and sing his praise.
29. A nervous headache prevented my reading: so I passed the morning in the open air, striving to fix my thoughts on John iv. 10, on which I wished to write a sermon.. I could not make out much, though the thought of the living water brought me into a calm and peaceful frame. But before I got home, many an evil thought possessed my mind.
Mr. Simeon's sermon in the evening, on 2 Chron xxxii. 31, discovered to me my corruption and vileness, more than any sermon I have ever heard. His divisions were--We little think, what is in our hearts, till we are tried; We shall soon give some awful proof when we are tried: How one sin may show us all the evil of our hearts. If David, who had so closely walked with God, fell into the most foul and filthy abominations, what must my danger be who walk so unstably! Lord, save thy servant from presumptuous sins, that they have not dominion over me. Hezekiah's sin was vanity. Instead of directing the ambassadors who came to inquire about the phenomenon, to the knowledge of Jehovah, who had set the sun in the firmament, he thought only of gratifying his pride, by shewing them his treasures, &c. How many times have I fallen into this sin? And had God left me every time to shew me what was in my heart? And did I fall into it again and again, without learning it? Oh, the riches of his patience and long-suffering!
St. Johns, September 29, 1803. How long it seems since I heard from you, my dear Sargent; and yet I have only myself to blame, for not answering a letter you sent me in the middle of August. * * * I shall he anxious to know how you have been passing your summer, not I hope, as I have, amidst the din of arms. I give our drilling this lofty title, because a little is sufficient to disturb me. Too many resident friends in the university, have contributed not a little to the frittering away of my time. I mean, however, to leave the university corps forthwith,' as the day of ordination (Oct. 23,) is drawing near. Very little indeed have I done this summer. As this is the last long vacation I shall ever pass as an &t»7iu, I am rather disappointed at having lost such a season of retirement. Our Lord led a very retired life; his ministers, therefore, it should seem, ought to do so too. Yet I sometimes think that it is from too much indulging solitude, that I am so easily distracted in company. But how great must be your trials from so much worldly business and worldly pleasure! How ought we, who are entrusted with the ministration of the spirit, whose very breath ought to be prayer, to beseech God to preserve you and his other saints engaged in the business of time! May he keep you unspotted from the world, and so dwell in you by his Spirit, that while your thoughts are necessarily engaged with earthly things, your heart may be in heaven! Unhappily our treacherous hearts, if interested but lawfully in other things, are thereby less apt to take pleasure in religious meditation. My studies during the last three months have been Hebrew, Greek Testament, Jon. Edwards on Original Sin, and on the Affections, and Bishop Hopkins,--your favourite and mine. Never did I read such energetic language, such powerful appeals to the conscience. Somehow or other he is able to excite most constant interest, say what he will. I have been lately reading the first volume of the Reports of the Missionary Society, who sent out so many to Otaheite and the southern parts of Africa. You would find the account of Dr. Vanderkemp's Mission into Caffraria infinitely entertaining. It appeared so much so to me, that I could read nothing else while it lasted. Respecting my own concerns in this way, no material change has taken place, either externally or internally, except that my sister thinks me unqualified, through want of religious experience, and that I find greater pleasure at the prospect of it. I am conscious, however, of viewing things too much on the bright side, and think more readily of the happiness of seeing the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose, than of pain, and fatigue, and crosses, and disappointments. However it shall be determined for me, it is my duty to crush the risings of self-will, so as to be cheerfully prepared to go or stay.
Oct. 1. Endeavoured to write on John iv. 10, but felt a degree of fretfulness at being able to produce nothing. G. staid with me an hour, during which time my temper and conversation were very different from that of my Lord and Saviour. Strove in my walk to rise from under the burden of corruption that oppressed me, by looking to Jesus. When I was beginning to shrink from the duties I had designed for the evening, a sight of my own real state, as saved only by grace, and so not my own, was sufficient to quicken me. But how dark and stupid is my soul in spiritual things! Oh let thy continual pity attend me still, O Lord! In the afternoon read in Law's Serious Call, the chapter on Resignation, and prayed for it according to his direction. I rather think a regular distribution of the day for prayer, to obtain the three great graces of humility, love, and resignation, would be far the best way to grow in them. The music at chapel led my thoughts to heaven, and I went cheerfully to Mrs. S.
H. drank tea with me afterwards. As there was in the Christian Observer something of my own, the first which ever appeared in print, I felt myself going off to vanity and levity, but was enabled to check it a little. Nevertheless the world and the opinions of the world clouded my views of God during the remainder of the evening.
2. Rose earlier than usual, and after combating some prejudices which arose, as they often do against the service of God, I prayed with some sense of the privilege of prayer, but not with enlargement. Staid to receive the sacrament at Trinity Church, chiefly from being convinced from the sermon on the subject of its importance. I was less hurried in my spirits than usually at this ordinance, but at the time of actually receiving it, my faith was not in exercise. I was in a happy frame most of the day.
6. Read Leslie's Short Method, and was exceedingly irritated at not being able to understand it as soon or as clearly as I expected. Finished the Greek Testament. This time of reading it over has been attended with great satisfaction. I was very impatient with my pupil this afternoon. This unhumbled spirit ought to be a matter of very serious attention to me. Independently of other considerations, how unfit is such a temper for the work of evangelizing the heathens! Well is it for my soul that the Lord is not provoked with my ignorance and perverseness in divine things. Drank tea with H. and laboured to preserve a meek and quiet spirit.
7. Read Malachi, and was exceedingly refreshed by chap. iii. to v. 16, and felt greatly encouraged to every duty, particularly that of speaking to and exhorting others, which of late has appeared to be one of unlimited extent and insuperable difficulty.
Was in some pain at not having joined----------in the walks, and speaking to them; but the way to know when to abstain and when to address them, is to have love. Did I but love and seek their soul's welfare, I should not think it sufficient to speak and offend them at once, and consider the duty to God as done, but I should watch for proper opportunities when I might hope it would be effectual. But I want a willingness to labour incessantly for the good of souls with all self-denial.
-- came at seven and staid till nine: we soon got into dispute which continued without intermission the whole time. He is as far from the truth as ever, very obstinate, but at the same time never offended with sarcasm or ridicule. The din of controversy little agrees with heavenly-mindedness. Though I entered on it from a sense of duty, yet I took not heed to my spirit, and lost all sight of tenderness and pity.
9. Rose at six, which is earlier than of late, and passed the whole morning in great tranquillity. I prayed to be sent out to China, and rejoiced in the prospect of the glorious day when Christ shall be glorified on earth. At chapel the music of the chant and anthem seemed to be in my ears as the sounds of heaven, particularly the anthem, I Chron. xxix.
10. But these joys, alas! partake much of the flesh in their transitory nature. At chapel I wished to return to my rooms to read the song of Moses the servant of God, &c. in the Revelations, but when I came to it found little pleasure. The sound of the music had ceased, and with it my joy, and nothing remained but evil temper, darkness, and unbelief. All this time I had forgotten what it is to be a poor humble soul. I had floated off the Rock of Ages into the deep, where I was beginning to sink had not the Saviour stretched out his hand and said to me, It is I! Let me never be cheated out of my dependence on him, nor ever forget my need of him.
12. Reading Paley's Evidences. Had my pride deeply wounded to-day, and perceived that I was far from humility. Great bitterness and dislike arose in my mind against the man who had been the unconscious cause of it. Oh, may I learn daily my-hidden evils, and loathe myself for my secret abominations! Prayed for the man and found my affections return.
13. Reading Evidences. Interrupted by the calls of some friends. In great unhappiness on account of the necessity of speaking to men for their good, and of some other things. * * * This is a certain symptom of a sickly mind. All these things I should have taken as recreations at one time. But says St. Paul, "do thou endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." Let me not thus in the way of duty suffer trifles to daunt or disquiet my mind. Never be fearful or unbelieving, but keep body and mind under, through the grace of God.
14. My prayers have been frequent of late, but I cannot realize the presence of Almighty God. I have not enjoyed communion with him, else there would not be such strangeness in my heart towards the world to come. How vain is it to strive unassisted against corruption! How empty and ungodly that sourness and bitterness I feel at seeing the evil of my heart! Alas! repentance shuts the mouth, and victory over sin is obtained in silence. "Be still and know that I am God." "In returning and rest shall ye be saved--in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
15. Was in a great bustle the whole day, yet in the general frame of my mind rejoicing. In my morning walk my heart expanded with joy, yet it was soon obscured by pride.
16. Rose sleepy and unrefreshed, and in the little time I had for reading and prayer before morning service was wandering and careless. At church at first was in a most fretful state of discontent at the sight of my own vanities, and of my concern about the body. A few transient glimpses of the happiness of having the heart in heaven made me strive earnestly against my corruptions, and God gave me greater peace during the remainder of the service. The certainty of future glory appeared very strongly to me at chapel, and filled my heart with many sweet affections.
18. The morning was employed by the declamation. As I had broken in upon the time of reading the Scriptures and prayer at noon, I was more than ordinarily careful to maintain a mind unaffected with human studies and earthly things during my morning walk; and the words "I will come into him and sup with him, and he with me," furnished me with many delightful views of the grace and condescension of my Lord.
19. Rose with my heart somewhat tender and humble, and suitable to this day, which was set apart for a public fast. I should have found this day far more effectually answering its end, if I had been less interrupted, (which I might indeed have managed by precaution) as my mind was disposed to dwell on heavenly things in a serious and solemn frame. I wished to have made my approaching ordination to the ministry a more leading object of my prayers. For two or three days I have been reading some of St. Augustine's Meditations, and was delighted with the hope of enjoying such communion with God as this holy man. Blessed be God! nothing prevents, no earthly business, no earthly love can rightfully intrude to claim my thoughts, for I have professedly resigned them all. My mind still continues in a joyous and happy state, though at intervals, through want of humility, my confidence seems vain.
20. This morning was almost all lost, by friends coming in. At noon I read the fortieth chapter of Isaiah. Amidst the bustle of common life, how frequently has my heart been refreshed by the descriptions of the future glory of the church, and the happiness of man hereafter!
Pride shews itself every hour of every day! What long and undisturbed possession does self-complacency hold of my heart! What plans, and dreams, and visions of futurity fill my imagination every day in which self is the prominent object! O Lord, now that so few things without happen to me to humble my soul, let thy Spirit secretly teach me what I am.
21. In walking I sought to ascend to God without a contrite spirit, and so I felt great dissatisfaction and fearfulness.
22. Went in a gig to Ely with B. Having had no time for morning prayer, my conversation was poor. At Chapel, I felt great shame at having come so confidently to offer myself for the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, with so much ignorance, and unholiness, and I thought it would be but just if I were sent off with ignominy. Dr. M--the examining chaplain, set me to construe the xith chapter of Matthew: Grotius: To turn the first article into Latin: To prove the being of a God, his infinite power and goodness: To give the evidence of Christianity to Jews and heathens: To shew the importance of the miracle of the resurrection of Christ. He asked an account also of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes, the places of the worship amongst the Jews, &c. After leaving the palace I was in very low spirits, I had now nothing to think of but the weight and difficulty of the work which lay before me, which never appeared so great at a distance. At dinner the conversation was frivolous. After tea I was left alone with one of the deacons, to whom I talked seriously, and desired him to read the ordination service, at which he was much affected. Retired to my room early, and besought God to give me a right and affecting sense of things. I seemed to pray a long time in vain, so dark and distracted was my mind. At length I began to feel the shameful and cruel neglect and unconcern for the honour of God, and the souls of my brethren in having trifled with men whom I feared were about to "lie to the Holy Ghost." So I went to them again, resolving to lay hold on any opportunity, but found none to do any thing effectually. Went to bed with a painful sense of my hardness of heart and unsuitable preparation for the ministry.
23. Rose early, and prayed, not without distraction, I then walked, but could not acquire a right and happy sense of God's mercy in calling me to the ministry; but was melancholy at the labours that awaited me. On returning, I met one of the deacons, to whom I spoke on the solemn occasion, but he seemed incapable of entertaining a serious thought. At half-past ten we went to the cathedral. During the ordination and sacramental services I sought in vain for a humble heavenly mind. The outward shew which tended to inspire solemnity affected me more than the faith of Christ's presence, giving me the commission to preach the gospel. May I have grace to fulfil those promises I made before God and the people! After dinner, walked with great rapidity to Cambridge. I went straight to Trinity Church, where my old vanities assailed my soul. How monstrous and horrible did' they appear in me now that I was a minister of holy things! I could scarcely believe that so sacred an office should be held by one who had such a heart within. B. sat with me in the evening, but I was not humbled; for I had not been near to God to obtain the grace of contrition. On going to prayer at night I was seized with a most violent sickness. In the pain and disorder of my body I could but commend myself faintly to God's mercy in Jesus Christ.
24-29. Busily employed in writing a sermon, and from the slow advances I made in it, was in general very melancholy. I read on the Thursday night for the first time in Trinity church.
30. Rose with a heavy heart, and my head empty, from having read so little of the scriptures this last week. After church sat with--, two hours conversing about the Missionary plan. He considered my ideas on the subject to be enthusiastic, and told me that I had neither strength of body or mind for the work. This latter defect I did not at all like; it was galling to the pride of my heart, and I went to bed hurt; yet thankful to God for sending me one who would tell me the truth.
31--Nov. 5. Chief part of this week also taken up with writing on John iv. 10. yet with a mind less gloomy than last week. The subject indeed of Christ's free and gracious offer of the living water, tended to enliven my heart. Yet for want of more reading the scriptures, my prayers were poor.
6. I was in a most delighted and happy frame this morning, at the thought of preaching the gospel, and felt as if I could place myself in the Saviour's stead, and as if my heart would melt at offering the water of life to the sons of men. But on reading over my own sermon, I was chilled and frozen at the deadness and stupidity of it. I commended it, and myself, and the people, to his grace. Read at Trinity as usual, and rode to Lolworth, where there was a very small congregation, at which my pride was beginning to take the alarm; but the hope of doing good, though but to one soul, brought me to a different spirit. There seemed to be one' or two who heard the word gladly, and to those I could have been willing to preach for days together. After evening church, Mr. S. told me I ought to read with more solemnity and devotion, at which I was not a little grieved and amazed. H. also, and my other friends, complained of my speaking too low, and with too little elocution. These things, with the difficulty I had found in making sermons, and the poorness of them, made me appear exceedingly contemptible to myself. I began to see (and amazing is it to say) for the first time, that I must be contented to take my place among men of second-rate abilities; that there were men who excelled me in every thing. I therefore first discovered into what profound ignorance and dreadful presumption my paltry worldly honours and pride had led me. Humbled at this conviction, I perceived it to be right, though it was certainly a novel thought to me, if God and his more perfect creatures were glorified together, and I were cast out and forgotten. In all my humiliations, which have been few and transient, and with all the humility I imagined myself to possess, I have still obstinately maintained my fancied place amongst men. All this has been going forward in a heart which conceived itself to have attained something of the humility of Jesus Christ. Now in the retrospect of these things I see two causes of humiliation: one is that my pride and ignorance are so great, in assigning to myself a station to which I did not belong; secondly, in being pained at discovering my inferiority to my friends in unimportant accomplishments. Oh that I may not be deceived in the consideration of the state of my soul in regard to eternity!
7--10. Employed in preparing the last Sunday's sermon for Thursday, and in writing on Heb. vi. 11. The convictions I had received of my extreme ignorance in spiritual things remained, and sometimes made me earnest for the teachings of God's Spirit.
13. I longed to draw very near to God, to pray him that he would give me the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. I thought of David Brainerd, and ardently desired his devotedness to God and holy breathings of soul.
18. In my walk spoke to three young men who were swearing. They seemed to be much confounded, and to take deeply what I said to them. I look forward often to the time of my hoped-for mission with joy. I hope my expectation of comfort in it arises from a desire to do something for Christ, though my great unconcern for souls here may well make me doubt it.
St. John's, Nov. 18, 1803.
I thank you, my dear Sargent, for your prayers on the day of my ordination. I rejoiced to think that many were putting up to heaven for me; for much indeed did need them. Neither at that time nor since have I been duly affected with the awfulness of the charge. The incessant employment of sermon-writing has left me little leisure for quiet consideration: and so my spirits have been greatly depressed the last three weeks. The four sermons I have preached are on Job xiv. 14. John iv. 10. Psalm ix. 17. Heb. vi. if. two of them at Trinity church. My Lolworth congregation is about one hundred. Now that the composition of sermons will become easier, I hope to perform all the duties of the ministry with more attention than I have yet been able to give. Time and prayer will, I trust, through the grace of God remove that childish thoughtlessness which attends me still, and make me feel where I stand. * * * * My conversations with--have been attended with no small advantage to me in the way of wholesome correction. He is the only man of all my friends here that tells me the truth plainly; and so is the only one, who by lowering my pride, eventually promotes my sanctification and peace. * * * * As you have read Law, tell me your opinion of him. He is rather a favourite of mine, though not without his faults. It seems by what your friends here say, that you do not engage with sufficient earnestness in your worldly business. I hardly know what to give as my opinion on this subject. The law is so very different from all other pursuits, in the time and labour required for it. Yet on the other hand there is Sir Matthew Hale. * * * * I never hear a word about the missionary business. If you see Mr. Wilberforce, and his mind is not too much occupied about the present affairs of national danger, ask him something about it.
I am, dear Sargent,
Yours ever truly,
19. As H. of Magdalen had promised to preach for me to-morrow, I expected to have enjoyed this day in much private communion with God, but through carelessness the time slipped away unimproved. Learned good part of the 1st Epistle to Timothy by heart; now that I am in the ministry the instructions on this head affect me very differently. Some of my acquaintances drank wine with me. I was more careful about offending them by over-much strictness, than of offending God by conformity to the world. They left me with my spirit wounded. I felt that I ought to have lifted up my heart to God in secret for them, and to have laboured to discountenance their vanities.
20. Was somewhat fervent this morning in prayer and intercession. The sermon, John xiv. 2, 3. was refreshing to me, and I had power to retain the comfortable impressions. After church I visited a sick woman, and prayed with her. Vain and earthly thoughts perplexed my mind in the evening at church. Well is it for the people that they cannot read the heart of their ministering servant. I groaned under the corruption of my heart this evening in prayer, and prayed and longed for grace to purge me thoroughly, and retired to bed with a meek desire of living entirely for God.
21. In the afternoon, before going out to visit the sick, the pride and laziness of my heart made me appear detestable to myself. Thou, Lord, only, canst know the hidden evil of thy creature. Let thy continual pity defend me-: let. thy gracious Spirit cleanse me!
22. A day of varied emotions of deep and painful feeling, followed by joy and peace. In my walk was in great heaviness: till towards the latter part of it I held fast by Christ, and seemed able to make his will mine, though still with many vain and cowardly imaginations. At seven went to the society of young men and explained the 50th Psalm with great composure. In prayer God vouchsafed the spirit of supplication. For the first time I found myself happy in this social exercise; my desires after God were clear and strong, and it was with great unwillingness that I left off. My joy during the rest of the evening was very great, though there were many approaches to spiritual pride.
23. Towards the evening much strong propensity to the gratification of self-will, and much pain at thwarting it. Began to seek God in solemn prayer for fitness for the^ ministry, in which I continued about half an hour, entirely on the subject of the resignation of my own will; and I gained so much light that it appeared monstrous and horrible that any creature should seek its will in opposition to God's will.
24 to 26. Chiefly employed about my sermon, and preparing for the examination at Christmas. My soul has been struggling with much corruption, summoning up courage in the name of God to fight the fight of faith with never-ceasing exertion, and yet soon sinking again into evil tempers, distrust, and despondency. Oh my spirit faints for holiness! When shall God be glorified by the entire renewing of this sinful heart? Oh that the powers of my soul were awake to God and the good of my fellow-creatures! But truly I am an unprofitable servant!
27. I was much interrupted in reading the Scriptures this morning: yet my spirit found delight in retiring from the world and forgetting its concerns, to live with God and walk with God. I longed to be entirely delivered from the opinions of men, and to approve myself unto God. Heard Mr. Lloyd preach on Rom. vii. 12. and his observations to me afterwards tended to impress on my mind the advantage of having my condemnation by the law continually before me; for oh how light and trifling would every painful duty appear, could I but keep in mind God's sparing mercy! And how ought I also to remember it on the score of humility and seriousness! Mr. Lloyd observed that these thoughts tended to preserve a consistency of character. How closely did this apply to myself, who do such dishonour to Christ! Read and prayed with the same sick woman; she and all the people in the room, about five in number, seemed to be in profound ignorance. I strove to charge her sins home to her; but this is a very unacceptable task to most people. Called on another woman, who was equally destitute of the knowledge of the truth. This parish, which has heard the gospel for between twenty and thirty years, is still in a most lamentable state for want of the minister's testifying from house to house. May the Lord fill me with more zeal in doing this business, both at Lolworth and in the parish at Cambridge. In the evening my sins appeared more in number than the hairs of my head. I remembered with horror the multitudes I had been guilty of this holy day; how many proud and vain thoughts, how much forgetfulness of God and want of every grace appeared in the course of it! The pride of this wicked heart I seem to have made no way in subduing. The pain I felt at the kind admonitions of friends too plainly shewed this. Yet I can commit the sanctification of my soul to Christ; and it is my comfort and support to think that "he is of God made unto me wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."
28 to 30. I was in an uncomfortable state for the most part of this time, through the prevalence of corruption. The work of visiting the people of Cambridge, and reading to and praying with them, appeared hateful to me, but through grace, my self-will did not prevail. On 30th particularly, after much painful striving in prayer, I gained some relief and hope of delight in every part of the ministerial work. All the arguments, of which any one is of infinite and everlasting moment, seem to be ineffectual to bend the stubbornness of my heart, unless the Spirit convert it. The sixth chapter of Isaiah, and the meditation of the precious value of men, though disguised by the low pursuits of trade, or buried under the rubbish of poverty and ignorance, had no power to influence my perverse and senseless will. All these things manifest a low state of Christian experience; but they must be recorded.
Dec. 1. Felt a serious submission to God this morning in prayer; but never since my ordination have I been without care. Hoped to enjoy some of that peace and joy I used to feel in reading Isaiah; but was interrupted. Was strengthened and composed by reading Heb. x. and learning it by heart. Endeavoured to seek God in my walk. * * * Prayed for myself as a minister, for the people at Lolworth and Cambridge, for my dear sisters,--but with nothing like a fervour. Do I believe that God heareth prayer? Lord, help my unbelief! Amidst all my unprofitableness and gloom, was often refreshed by the prospect of the shortness of time and approach of death.
2. Resolved upon more self-denial this morning. I have, I trust, rescinded all unnecessary expences, yet ease and attachment to the comforts of life have had a tendency to produce a weakness of mind, which makes me but ill-disposed to endure hardness. By watchfulness against these things this morning, by studied unconcern about the flesh, I rose above it, and found the benefit besides in the fearlessness with which I viewed the labour and difficulties of my future life.
Found great insight into the design of Heb. xi. And thought I should hereafter walk more steadily by faith. Was more composed throughout the day, though not without care.
3. Employed all day in writing sermon. The incessant employment of my thoughts about the necessary business of my life, parishes, pupils, sermons, sick, &c. leave far too little time for my private meditations; so that I know little of God and my soul. Resolved I would gain some hours from my usual sleep, if there were no other way; but failed this morning in consequence of sitting up so late.
4. Called at two or three of the parishioners houses, and found them universally in the most profound state of ignorance and stupidity. On my road home could not perceive that men who have any little knowledge, a should have any thing to do but instruct their wretched fellow-creatures. The pursuits of science, and all the vain and glittering employments of men, seemed a cruel withholding from their perishing brethren, of that time f and exertion which might save their souls.
5. Rode to Lolworth before breakfast, to marry a couple. On the road,, all my endeavours to obtain some sweetness in divine thoughts in my own strength were fruitless; but when I resigned all the concerns of my spirit into the hands of God, that he would deal with me according to his pleasure, I found some pleasure in being nothing. In the afternoon,--stayed with me; but our theme was learned rather than practical divinity. He is, however, a dear and valuable friend, for telling me freely of my faults. In prayer this evening I drew near to God, and besought him to make me a very different soul from what I should be likely to be, by taking my train of thinking from the language of professing Christians. They all excel me in Christian tempers; but man even in his full perfection is but a broken cistern.
6. Passed the whole morning reading Heb. xi, and before my usual prayer,--called to walk. I told him my opinion about his neglect of public worship, and private opportunities of advantage, very freely, but perhaps too harshly. Let me dread lest I quench the smoking flax; resolved to win him if possible by more tenderness.
7. At morning prayers in Trinity church, tasted something of the sweetness of devotion, though with no joy. Oh how much better is it to have a peaceful sense of my own wretchedness, and a humble waiting upon God for his sanctifying grace, than to talk much and appear to be somebody in religion, as I have done! At night my soul was strengthened considerably: I never before felt so calm and steady a resolution to live in continual self-denial, to fight hard every day; and it appeared that whatever I could be possibly called to endure was nothing, such a mercy was it that I might hope for salvation.
8. Rose early, and in prayer had something of a suitable frame, that is a contented waiting upon God. It was my desire and prayer to mourn for sin, and to be poor in spirit. All the rest of the morning, from seven to twelve, wasted by repeated calls of friends, and in fruitless attempts to write a sermon. This left me dissatisfied with the mis-spent time, yet not quite forgetful of that temper which it was my predetermined purpose to preserve. G. joined me in my walk, and as he seemed disposed to converse about religion, I spoke to him very openly. I had occasion to mention to him that the last day of my life would be the best. I think of it without joy, though without fear. It seems as if I should be saved only as by fire, having done nothing to glorify God, and my heart seeming to be destitute of grace.
11. (Sunday.) Preached at Lolworth on Isaiah lxiv. 7, and talked with some of the poor people at their houses on the same subject of prayer, and from the manner in which some received it, I was much rejoiced.
22. Married --. How satisfactory is it to administer the ordinance of matrimony, where the couple are pious! I felt thankful that I was delivered from all desires of the comforts of the married life. With the most desirable partner, and every prospect of happiness; I would prefer a single life, in which there are so. much greater opportunities for heavenly-mindedness.
23. Overslept myself in consequence of having risen too early yesterday. This, with my cold and cough, made me unfit for every thing. I had designed this day for a fast, in order to recover from the late distraction of mind, occasioned by so much earthly business, but I had no leisure till two o'clock, when I took a long walk, towards the end of which I had some cheering sense of the divine presence.
25. (Christmas-day.) Discontent at not having finished my sermon prevented me from enjoying the morning of this blessed day, when so many were offering up their praises for the gift. Yet on my ride to Lolworth, I rejoiced in the view of my reconciliation to God, and the prospect of happiness in heaven. Oh, to get beyond the world, and to be among men as if I were elsewhere, with my life hid with Christ in God,--how sweet and peaceful!
27. Preparing all day for the evening; I was obliged to rally my sinking faith continually, that I might not shrink from it, nor be blinded by the sensual feastings of this day, from perceiving the excellency of spiritual exercises.
28. The morning was spent very unprofitably, from not having had a fixed plan. Lost much time in looking out for a text for next Sunday; yet found some devotion in learning some of the cxixth Psalm. Called at the alms-houses, and was perplexed at the accusation which two, I believe, real Christians, made against each other as being hypocrites. In the evening, the first leisure I had gained after a long interval, I hoped to draw near to God by his word and prayer; but Bishop Home, whom I took as a companion to the Psalms, raised in me contemptuous thoughts, which do great injury to the soul. However, that blessed man Baxter, in his 'Saint's Rest,' was enabled to kindle such a degree of devotion and love, as I have long been a stranger to. I strove to keep the future happiness of heaven steadily in view, but the want of a humble spirit made these contemplations appear delusive.