« Prev PART III. From his being licensed to preach, till… Next »

PART III.

FROM THE TIME OF HIS BEING LICENSED TO PREACH BY THE ASSOCIATION, TILL HE WAS EXAMINED IN NEW YORK, BY THE CORRESPONDENTS, OR COMMISSIONERS OF THE SOCIETY IN SCOTLAND FOR PROPAGATING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, AND APPROVED AND APPOINTED AS THEIR MISSIONARY TO THE INDIANS.

Friday, July 30, 1742. Rode from Danbury to Southbury; preached there from 1 Pet. iv. 8. ‘And above all things have fervent charity,’ &c. Had much of the comfortable presence of God in the exercise. I seemed to have power with God in prayer, and power to get hold of the hearts of the people in preaching.

Saturday, July 31. Exceeding calm and composed, and was greatly refreshed and encouraged.”

It appears by his diary, that he continued in this sweetness and tranquillity almost through the whole of the next week.

Lords day, Aug. 8. In the morning I felt comfortably in secret prayer; my soul was refreshed with the hopes of the heathen coming home to Christ; was much resigned to God, and thought it was no matter what became of me. Preached both parts of the day at Bethlehem, from Job xiv. 14. “If a man die, shall he live again,” &c. It was sweet to me to meditate on death. In the evening felt very comfortably, and cried to God fervently in secret prayer.”

It appears by his diary, that he continued through the three next days engaged with all his might in the business of religion, and in almost a constant enjoyment of the comforts of it.

Thursday, Aug. 12. This morning and last night I was exercised with sore inward trials: I had no power to pray; but seemed shut out from God. I had in a great measure lost my hopes of God sending me among the heathen afar off, and of seeing them flock home to Christ. I saw so much of my hellish vileness, that I appeared worse to myself than any devil: I wondered that God would let me live, and wondered that people did not stone me, much more that they would ever hear me preach! It seemed as though I never could nor should preach any more; yet about nine or ten o’clock, the people came over, and I was forced to preach. And blessed be God, he gave me his presence and Spirit in prayer and preaching: so that I was much assisted, and spake with power from Job xiv. 14. Some Indians cried out in great distress, 358358    It was in a place near Kent, in the western borders of Connecticut, where there is a number of Indians. and all appeared greatly concerned. After we had prayed and exhorted them to seek the Lord with constancy, and hired an Englishwoman to keep a kind of school among them, we came away about one o clock, and came to Judea, about fifteen or sixteen miles. There God was pleased to visit my soul with much comfort. Blessed be the Lord for all things I meet with.”

It appears that the two next days he had much comfort, and had his heart much engaged in religion.

Lords day, Aug. 15. Felt much comfort and devotedness to God this day. At night it was refreshing to get alone with God, and pour out my soul. O who can conceive of the sweetness of communion with the blessed God, but those who have experience of it! Glory to God for ever, that I may taste heaven below.

Monday, Aug. 16. Had some comfort in secret prayer, in the morning Felt sweetly sundry times in prayer this day: but was much perplexed in the evening with vain conversation.

Tuesday, Aug. 17. Exceedingly depressed in spirit, it cuts and wounds my heart, to think how much self-exaltation, spiritual pride, and warmth of temper, I have formerly had intermingled with my endeavours to promote God’s work: and sometimes I long to lie down at the feet of opposers, and confess what a poor imperfect creature I have been, and still am. Oh, the Lord forgive me, and make me for the future “wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove!” Afterwards enjoyed considerable comfort and delight of soul.

327Wednesday, Aug. 18. Spent most of this day in prayer and reading. I see so much of my own extreme vileness, that I feel ashamed and guilty before God and man; I look to myself like the vilest fellow in the land: I wonder that God stirs up his people to be so kind to me.

Thursday, Aug. 19. This day, being about to go from Mr. Bellamy’s at Bethlehem, where I had resided some time, I prayed with him, and two or three other Christian friends. We gave ourselves to God with all our hearts, to be his for ever: eternity looked very near to me, while I was praying. If I never should see these Christians again in this world, it seemed but a few moments before I should meet them in another world.

Friday, Aug. 20. I appeared so vile to myself, that I hardly dared to think of being seen especially on account of spiritual pride. However, to-night I enjoyed a sweet hour alone with God (at Ripton): I was lifted above the frowns and flatteries of this lower world, had a sweet relish of heavenly joys, and my soul did as it were get into the eternal world, and really taste of heaven. I had a sweet season of intercession for dear friends in Christ; and God helped me to cry fervently for Zion. Blessed be God for this season.

Saturday, Aug. 21. Was much perplexed in the morning. Towards noon enjoyed more of God in secret, was enabled to see that it was best to throw myself into the hands of God, to be disposed of according to his pleasure, and rejoiced in such thoughts. In the afternoon rode to New-Haven; was much confused all the way. Just at night underwent such a dreadful conflict as I have scarce ever felt. I saw myself exceedingly vile and unworthy; so that I was guilty, and ashamed that any body should bestow any favour on me, or show me any respect.

Lords day, Aug. 22. In the morning, continued still in perplexity. In the evening, enjoyed that comfort that seemed to me sufficient to overbalance all my late distresses. I saw that God is the only soul-satisfying portion, and I really found satisfaction in him. My soul was much enlarged in sweet intercession for my fellowmen every where, and for many Christian friends in particular, in distant places.

Monday, Aug. 23. Had a sweet season in secret prayer: the Lord drew near to my soul, and filled me with peace and divine consolation. O my soul tasted the sweetness of the upper world; and was drawn out in prayer for the world, that it might come home to Christ! Had much comfort in the thoughts and hopes of the ingathering of the heathen; was greatly assisted in intercession for Christian friends.”

He continued still in the same frame of mind the next day, but in a lesser degree.

Wednesday, Aug. 25. In family prayer, God helped me to climb up near him, so that I scarce ever got nearer.”

The four next days, he appears to have been the subject of desertion, and of comfort, and fervency in religion, interchangeably, together with a sense of vileness and unprofitableness.

Monday, Aug. 30. Felt something comfortably in the morning; conversed sweetly with some friends; was in a serious composed frame; and prayed at a certain house with some degree of sweetness. Afterwards, at another house, prayed privately with a dear Christian friend or two; and I think I scarce ever launched so far into the eternal world as then; I got so far out on the broad ocean that my soul with joy triumphed over all the evils on the shores of mortality. I think time, and all its gay amusements and cruel disappointments, never appeared so inconsiderable to me before. I was in a sweet frame; I saw myself nothing, and my soul reached after God with intense desire. O! I saw what I owed to God, in such a manner, as I scarce ever did: I knew I had never lived a moment to him as I should do; indeed it appeared to me I had never done any thing in Christianity: my soul longed with a vehement desire to live to God. In the evening, sung and prayed with a number of Christians: felt the powers of the world to come in my soul, in prayer. Afterwards prayed again privately, with a dear Christian or two, and found the presence of God; was something humbled in my secret retirement: felt my ingratitude, because I was not wholly swallowed up in God.”

He was in a sweet frame great part of the next day.

Wednesday, Sept. 1. Went to Judea, to the ordination of Mr. Judd. Dear Mr. Bellamy preached from Matt. xxiv. 46. ‘Blessed is that servant,’ &c. I felt very solemn most of the time; had my thoughts much on that time when our Lord will came; that time refreshed my soul much; only I was afraid I should not be found faithful, because I had so vile a heart. My thoughts were much in eternity, where I love to dwell. Blessed be God for this solemn season. Rode home to-night with Mr. Bellamy, conversed with some friends till it was very late, and then retired to rest in a comfortable frame.

Thursday, Sept. 2. About two in the afternoon I preached from John vi. 67. ‘Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?’ and God assisted me in some comfortable degree; but more especially in my first prayer: my soul seemed then to launch quite into the eternal world, and to be as it were separated from this lower world. Afterwards preached again from Isa. v. 4. ‘What could have been done more,’ &c. God gave me some assistance; but I saw myself a poor worm.’

On Friday, Sept. 3. He complains of having but little life in the things of God, the former part of the day, but afterwards speaks of sweetness and enlargement.

Saturday, Sept. 4. Much out of health, exceedingly depressed in my soul, and at an awful distance from God. Towards night spent some time in profitable thoughts on Rom. viii. 2. ‘For the law of the spirit of life,’ &c. Near night had a very sweet season in prayer; God enabled me to wrestle ardently for the advancement of the Redeemer’s kingdom; pleaded earnestly for my own dear brother John, that God would make him more of a pilgrim and stranger on the earth, and fit him for singular serviceableness in the world; and my heart sweetly exulted in the Lord, in the thoughts of any distresses that might alight on him or me, in the advancement of Christ’s kingdom. It was a sweet and comfortable hour unto my soul, while I was indulged with freedom to plead, not only for myself, but also for many other souls.

Lords day, Sept. 5. Preached all day: was somewhat strengthened and assisted in the afternoon; more especially in the evening: had a sense of my unspeakable short-comings in all my duties. I found, alas! that I had never lived to God in my life.

Monday, Sept. 6. Was informed, that they only waited for an opportunity to apprehend me for preaching at New-Haven lately, that so they might imprison me. This made me more solemn and serious, and to quit all hopes of the world’s friendship: it brought me to a further sense of my vileness, and just desert of this, and much more, from the hand of God, though not from the hand of man. Retired into a convenient place in the woods, and spread the matter before God.

Tuesday, Sept. 7. Had some relish of divine things in the morning. Afterwards felt more barren and melancholy. Rode to New-Haven, to a friend’s house at a distance from the town; that I might remain undiscovered, and yet have opportunity to do business privately with friends which come to commencement.

Wednesday, Sept. 8. Felt very sweetly when I first rose in the morning. In family prayer had some enlargement, but not much spirituality, till eternity came up before me, and looked near: I found some sweetness in the thoughts of bidding a dying farewell to this tiresome world. Though some time ago I reckoned upon seeing my dear friends at commencement; yet being now denied the opportunity, for fear of imprisonment, I felt totally resigned, and as contented to spend this day alone in the woods, as I could have done, if I had been allowed to go to town. Felt exceedingly weaned from the world to-day. In the afternoon I discoursed on divine things with a dear Christian friend, whereby we were both refreshed. Then I prayed, with a sweet sense of the blessedness of communion with God: I think I scarce ever enjoyed more of God in any one prayer. O it was a blessed season indeed to my soul; I know not that ever I saw so much of my own nothingness in my life; never wondered so, that God allowed me to preach his word. This has been a sweet and comfortable day to my soul. Blessed be God. Prayed again with my dear friend, with something of 328the divine presence. I long to be wholly conformed to God, and transformed into his image.

Thursday, Sept. 9. Spent much of the day alone: enjoyed the presence of God in some comfortable degree: was visited by some dear friends, and prayed with them: wrote sundry letters to friends; felt religion in my soul while writing: enjoyed sweet meditations on some scriptures. In the evening, went very privately into town, from the place of my residence at the farms, and conversed with some dear friends; felt sweetly in singing hymns with them: and made my escape to the farms again, without being discovered by any enemies, as I knew of. Thus the Lord preserves me continually.

Friday, Sept. 10. Longed with intense desire after God; my whole soul seemed impatient to be conformed to him, and to become ‘holy, as he is holy.’ In the afternoon, prayed with a dear friend privately, and had the presence of God with us; our souls united together to reach after a blessed immortality, to be unclothed of the body of sin and death, and to enter the blessed world, where no unclean thing enters. O, with what intense desire did our souls long for that blessed day, that we might be freed from sin, and for ever live to and in our God! In the evening, took leave of that house; but first kneeled down and prayed; the Lord was of a truth in the midst of us; it was a sweet parting season; felt in myself much sweetness and affection in the things of God. Blessed be God for every such divine gale of his Spirit, to speed me on in my way to the new Jerusalem! Felt some sweetness afterwards, and spent the evening in conversation with friends, and prayed with some life, and retired to rest very late.”

The five next days he appears to have been in an exceeding comfortable frame of mind, for the most part, and to have been the subject of the like heavenly exercises as are often expressed in preceding passages of his diary; such as, having his heart much engaged for God, wrestling with him in prayer with power and ardency; enjoying at times sweet calmness and composure of mind, giving himself up to God to be his for ever, with great complacence of mind; being wholly resigned to the will of God, that he might do with him what he pleased; longing to improve time, having the eternal world as it were brought nigh; longing after God and holiness, earnestly desiring a complete conformity to him, and wondering how poor souls do to exist without God.

Thursday, Sept. 16. At night enjoyed much of God in secret prayer: felt an uncommon resignation, to be and do what God pleased. Some days past I felt great perplexity on account of my past conduct: my bitterness, and want of Christian kindness and love, has been very distressing to my soul: the Lord forgive me my unchristian warmth, and want of a spirit of meekness!”

The next day he speaks of much resignation, calmness, and peace of mind, and near views of the eternal world.

Saturday, Sept. 18. Felt some compassion for souls, and mourned I had no more. I feel much more kindness, meekness, gentleness, and love towards all mankind, than ever. I long to be at the feet of my enemies and persecutors: enjoyed some sweetness, in feeling my soul conformed to Christ Jesus, and given away to him for ever.”

The next day he speaks of much dejection and discouragement, from an apprehension of his own unfitness ever to do any good in preaching; but blesses God for all dispensations of providence and grace; finding that by all God weaned him more from the world, and made him more resigned.

The next ten days he appears to have been for the most part under great degrees of melancholy, exceedingly dejected and discouraged: speaks of his being ready to give up all for gone respecting the cause of Christ, and exceedingly longing to die: yet had some sweet seasons and intervals of comfort, and special assistance and enlargement in the duties of religion, and in performing public services, and considerable success in them.

Thursday, Sept. 30. Still very low in spirits; I did not know how to engage in any work or business, especially to correct some disorders among Christians; felt as though I had no power to be faithful in that regard. However, towards noon I preached from Deut. viii. 2. Deut. viii. 2 ‘And thou shalt remember,’ &c. and was enabled with freedom to reprove some things in Christians’ conduct, that I thought very unsuitable and irregular; insisted near two hours on this subject.”

Through this and the two following weeks he passed through a variety of exercises: he was frequently dejected, and felt inward distresses; and sometimes sunk into the depths of melancholy: at which turns he was not exercised about the state of his soul, with regard to the favour of God, and his interest in Christ, but about his own sinful infirmities, and unfitness for God’s service. His mind appears sometimes extremely depressed and sunk with a sense of inexpressible vileness. But in the mean time he speaks of many seasons of comfort and spiritual refreshment, wherein his heart was encouraged and strengthened in God, and sweetly resigned to his will; of some seasons of very high degrees of spiritual consolation, and of his great longings after holiness and conformity to God; of his great fear of offending God, and of his heart being sweetly melted in religious duties; of his longing for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom, of his having at times much assistance in preaching, and of remarkable effects on the auditory.

Lords day, Oct. 17. Had a considerable sense of my helplessness and inability; saw that I must be dependent on God for all I want; and especially when I went to the place of public worship. I found I could not speak a word for God without his special help and assistance. I went into the assembly trembling, as I frequently do, under a sense of my insufficiency to do any thing in the cause of God, as I ought to do. But it pleased God to afford me much assistance, and there seemed to be a considerable effect on the hearers. In the evening I felt a disposition to praise God, for his goodness to me, that he had enabled me in some measure to be faithful; and my soul rejoiced to think, that I had thus performed the work of one day more, and was one day nearer my eternal, and I trust my heavenly, home. O that I might be “faithful to the death, fulfilling as an hireling my day,” till the shades of the evening of life shall free my soul from the toils of the day! This evening, in secret prayer, I felt exceeding solemn, and such longing desires after deliverance from sin, and after conformity to God, as melted my heart. Oh, I longed to be “delivered from this body of death!” I felt inward pleasing pain, that I could not be conformed to God entirely, fully, and for ever. I scarce ever preach without being first visited with inward conflicts and sore trials. Blessed be the Lord for these trials and distresses as they are blessed for my humbling.

Monday, Oct. 18. In the morning I felt some sweetness, but still pressed through trials of soul. My life is a constant mixture of consolations and conflicts, and will be so till I arrive at the world of spirits.

Tuesday, Oct. 19. This morning and last night I felt a sweet longing in my soul after holiness. My soul seemed so to reach and stretch towards the mark of perfect sanctity, that it was ready to break with longings.

Wednesday, Oct. 20. Exceeding infirm in body, exercised with much pain, and very lifeless in divine things. Felt a little sweetness in the evening.

Thursday, Oct. 21. Had a very deep sense of the vanity of the world most of the day; had little more regard to it than if I had been to go into eternity the next hour. Through divine goodness, I felt very serious and solemn. O, I love to live on the brink of eternity, in my views and meditations! This gives me a sweet, awful, and reverential sense and apprehension of God and divine things, when I see myself as it were standing before the judgment-seat of Christ.

Friday, Oct. 22. Uncommonly weaned from the world to-day: my soul delighted to be a stranger and pilgrim on the earth; I felt a disposition in me never to have any thing to do with this world. The character given of some of the ancient people of God, in Heb. xi. 13. was very pleasing to me, ‘They confessed that they were pilgrims and strangers on the earth,’ by their daily practice; and O that I could always do so! Spent some considerable time in a pleasant grove, in prayer and meditation. O it is sweet to be thus weaned from friends, and from myself, and dead to the present world, that so I may 329live wholly to and upon the blessed God! Saw myself little, low, and vile in myself. In the afternoon preached at Bethlehem, from Deut. viii. 2. God helped me to speak to the hearts of dear Christians. Blessed be the Lord for this season: I trust they and I shall rejoice on this account to all eternity. Dear Mr. Bellamy came in, while I was making the first prayer; (being returned home from a journey;) and after meeting we walked away together, and spent the evening in sweetly conversing on divine things, and praying together, with sweet and tender love to each other, and returned to rest with our hearts in a serious spiritual frame.

Saturday, Oct. 23. Somewhat perplexed and confused. Rode this day from Bethlehem to Simsbury.

Lords day, Oct. 24. Felt so vile and unworthy, that I scarce knew how to converse with human creatures.

Monday, Oct. 25. [At Turky-Hills] In the evening I enjoyed the divine presence in secret prayer. It was a sweet and comfortable season to me; my soul longed for God, for the living God: enjoyed a sweet solemnity of spirit, and longing desire after the recovery of the divine image in my soul. ‘Then shall I be satisfied, when I shall awake in God’s likeness,’ and never before.

Tuesday, Oct. 26. [At West-Suffield] Underwent the most dreadful distresses, under a sense of my own unworthiness. It seemed to me, I deserved rather to be driven out of the place, than to have any body treat me with any kindness, or come to hear me preach. And verily my spirits were so depressed at this time, (as at many others,) that it was impossible I should treat immortal souls with faithfulness. I could not deal closely and faithfully with them, I felt so infinitely vile in myself. Oh, what dust and ashes I am, to think of preaching the gospel to others! Indeed I never can be faithful for one moment, but shall certainly ‘daub with untempered mortar,’ if God do not grant me special help. In the evening I went to the meeting-house, and it looked to me near as easy for one to rise out of the grave and preach, as for me. However, God afforded me some life and power, both in prayer and sermon; and was pleased to lift me up, and show me that he could enable me to preach. O the wonderful goodness of God to so vile a sinner! Returned to my quarters; and enjoyed some sweetness in prayer alone, and mourned that I could not live more to God.

Wednesday, Oct. 27. I spent the forenoon in prayer and meditation; was not a little concerned about preaching in the afternoon: felt exceedingly without strength, and very helpless indeed; and went into the meeting-house, ashamed to see any come to hear such an unspeakably worthless wretch. However, God enabled me to speak with clearness, power, and pungency. But there was some noise and tumult in the assembly, that I did not well like; and endeavoured to bear public testimony against it with moderation and mildness, through the current of my discourse. In the evening, was enabled to be in some measure thankful and devoted to God.”

The frames and exercises of his mind during the four next days were mostly very similar to those of the two days past; excepting intervals of considerable degrees of divine peace and consolation.

The things expressed within the space of the three following days are such as these; some seasons of dejection, mourning for being so destitute of the exercises of grace, longing to be delivered from sin, pressing after more of God, seasons of sweet consolation, precious and intimate converse with God in secret prayer, sweetness of Christian conversation, &c. Within this time he rode from Sufileld to Eastbury, Hebron, and Lebanon.

Thursday, Nov. 4. [At Lebanon] Saw much of my nothingness most of this day: but felt concerned that I had no more sense of my insufficiency and unworthiness. O it is sweet lying in the dust! But it is distressing to feel in my soul that hell of corruption, which still remains in me. In the afternoon, had a sense of the sweetness of a strict, close, and constant devotedness to God, and my soul was comforted with his consolations. My soul felt a pleasing, yet painful concern, lest I should spend some moments without God. O may I always live to God! In the evening, I was visited by some friends, and spent the time in prayer and such conversation as tended to our edification. It was a comfortable season to my soul: I felt an intense desire to spend every moment for God. God is unspeakably gracious to me continually. In times past, he has given me inexpressible sweetness in the performance of duty. Frequently my soul has enjoyed much of God; but has been ready to say, ‘Lord, it is good to be here;’ and so to indulge sloth, while I have lived on the sweetness of my feelings. But of late, God has been pleased to keep my soul hungry, almost continually; so that I have been filled with a kind of pleasing pain. When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of him the more insatiable, and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable; and the Lord will not allow me to feel as though I were fully supplied and satisfied, but keeps me still reaching forward. I feel barren and empty, as though I could not live without more of God; I feel ashamed and guilty before him. Oh! I see that ‘the law is spiritual, but I am carnal.’ I do not, I cannot live to God. Oh for holiness! Oh for more of God in my soul! Oh this pleasing pain! It makes my soul press after God; the language of it is, ‘Then shall I be satisfied, when I awake in God’s likeness,’ (Ps. xvii. 15. ult.) but never, never before: and consequently I am engaged to ‘press towards the mark’ day by day. O that I may feel this continual hunger, and not be retarded, but rather animated by every cluster from Canaan, to reach forward in the narrow way, for the full enjoyment and possession of the heavenly inheritance! O that I may never loiter in my heavenly journey!”

These insatiable desires after God and holiness continued the two next days, with a great sense of his own exceeding unworthiness, and the nothingness of the things of this world.

Lords day, Nov. 7. [At Millington] It seemed as if such an unholy wretch as I never could arrive at that blessedness, to be ‘holy, as God is holy.’ At noon I longed for sanctification, and conformity to God. Oh, that is the all, the all! The Lord help me to press after God for ever.

Monday, Nov. 8. Towards night enjoyed much sweetness in secret prayer, so that my soul longed for an arrival in the heavenly country, the blessed paradise of God. Through divine goodness, I have scarce seen the day, for two months, but death has looked so pleasant to me at one time or other of the day, that I could have rejoiced the present should be my last, notwithstanding my pressing inward trials and conflicts. I trust the Lord will finally make me a conqueror, and more than a conqueror; and that I shall be able to use that triumphant language, ‘O death, where is thy sting!’ And, ‘O grave, where is thy victory!’”

Within the next ten days the following things are expressed: longing and wrestling to be holy, and to live to God; a desire that every single thought might be for God; feeling guilty, that his thoughts were no more swallowed up in God; sweet solemnity and calmness of mind; submission and resignation to God; great weanedness from the world; abasement in the dust; grief at some vain conversation that was observed; sweetness from time to time in secret prayer, and in conversing and praying with Christian friends. And every day he appears to have been greatly engaged in the great business of religion and living to God, without interruption.

Friday, Nov. 19. [At New-Haven] Received a letter from the Reverend Mr. Pemberton of New York, desiring me speedily to go down thither, and consult about the Indian affairs in those parts; and to meet certain gentlemen there who were intrusted with those affairs. My mind was instantly seized with concern; so I retired with two or three Christian friends, and prayed; and indeed it was a sweet time with me. I was enabled to leave myself and all my concerns with God; and taking leave of friends, I rode to Ripton, and was comforted in an opportunity to see and converse with dear Mr. Mills.”

In the four next following days he was sometimes oppressed with the weight of that great affair, about which Mr. Pemberton had written to him; but was enabled from time to time to “cast his burden on the Lord,” and to commit himself and all his concerns to him. He continued 330still in a sense of the excellency of holiness, longings after it, and earnest desires of the advancement of Christ’s kingdom in the world; and had from time to time sweet comfort in meditation and prayer.

Wednesday, Nov. 24. Came to New York: felt still much concerned about the importance of my business; put up many earnest requests to God for his help and direction; was confused with the noise and tumult of the city; enjoyed but little time alone with God: but my soul longed after him.

Thursday, Nov. 25. Spent much time in prayer and supplication: was examined by some gentlemen, of my Christian experiences, and my acquaintance with divinity, and some other studies, in order to my improvement in that important affair of gospellizing the heathen; 359359    These gentlemen who examined Mr. Brainerd, were the correspondents in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, of the honourable Society in Scotland for propagating Christian Knowledge; to whom was committed the management of their affairs in those parts, and who were now met at New York. and was made sensible of my great ignorance and unfitness for public service. I had the most abasing thoughts of myself’, I think, that ever I had; I thought myself the worst wretch that ever lived: it hurt me, and pained my very heart, that any body should show me any respect. Alas! methought, how sadly they are deceived in me! how miserably would they be disappointed, if they knew my inside! Oh my heart! And in this depressed condition I was forced to go and preach to a considerable assembly, before some grave and learned ministers; but felt such a pressure from a sense of my vileness, ignorance, and unfitness to appear in public, that I was almost overcome with it; my soul was grieved for the congregation; that they should sit there to hear such a dead dog as I preach. I thought myself infinitely indebted to the people, and longed that God would reward them with the rewards of his grace. I spent much of the evening alone.”


« Prev PART III. From his being licensed to preach, till… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |