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“A Terrible Sight”

Tuesday, 23.—In riding to Bradford I read over Mr. Law’s book on the new birth. Philosophical, speculative, precarious; Behemish, void, and vain!

Oh, what a fall is there!

At eleven I preached at Bearfield to about three thousand, on the spirit of nature, of bondage, and of adoption.

Returning in the evening, I was exceedingly pressed to go back to a young woman in Kingswood. (The fact I nakedly relate and leave every man to his own judgment of it.) I went. She was nineteen or twenty years old, but, it seems, could not write or read. I found her on the bed, two or three persons holding her.  It was a terrible sight. Anguish, horror, and despair above all description appeared in her pale face. The thousand distortions of her whole body showed how the dogs of hell were gnawing her heart. The shrieks intermixed were scarcely to be endured. But her stony eyes could not weep. She screamed out, as soon as words could find their way, “I am damned, damned; lost forever! Six days ago you might have helped me. But it is past. I am the devil’s now. I have given myself to him. His I am. Him I must serve. With him I must go to hell. I will be his. I will serve him. I will go with him to hell. I cannot be saved. I will not be saved. I must, I will, I will be damned!” She then began praying to the devil. We began:

Arm of the Lord, awake, awake!

She immediately sank down as sleep; but, as soon as we left off, broke out again, with inexpressible vehemence: “Stony hearts, break! I am a warning to you. Break, break, poor stony hearts! Will you not break? What can be done more for stony hearts? I am damned that you may be saved. Now break, now break, poor stony hearts! You need not be damned, though I must.” She then fixed her eyes on the corner of the ceiling and said: “There he is: ay, there he is! come, good devil, come! Take me away. You said you would dash my brains out:  come, do it quickly. I am yours. I will be yours. Come just now. Take me away.”

We interrupted her by calling again upon God, on which she sank down as before; and another young woman began to roar out as loud as she had done. My brother now came in, it being about nine o’clock. We continued in prayer till past eleven, when God in a moment spoke peace into the soul, first of the first tormented, and then of the other. And they both joined in singing praise to Him who had “stilled the enemy and the avenger.”

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