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preaching. I longed for the return of the fabbath, that I might be tried and searched. I was now determined to leave the place I was joined to as a member, and attend his ministry on fabbath mornings, as what I heard at the old place my soul could not endure; it was like singing fongs to a heavy heart. How my soul loathed that daubing with untempered mortar! that peace which was spoken to my soul when God had spoken no peace! Blessed, for ever blessed be the Lord, who has delivered me from that empty profession, from that fnare of the fowler. It was indeed sovereign mercy that delivered me from falling into that ditch, where the blind are leading the blind; and I was as blind as any one that is left behind, and perhaps far more presumptuous. Pardon this digression, dear fir, for Christ's love had just touched the Irandle of the lock, which made me thus wander. But to return. I went on so, I think, about a year, groaning under this heavy burden. I could not unbofom myself fully to any one. I sometimes accidentally fell into the herald's company at the G- ; and, as I wished much to have fome converfation with him, I preffed him to favour me with a visit ; and he said he would, which raised my expectation of having an opportunity to open my mind to him. But I believe it was a year after his first invitation before he came, which I assure you tried me not a little. The first time he called I could not persuade him to get off his

: horfe. horse. This distressed me much, and I concluded that no one cared for my soul, and so gave up all thoughts of ever having an opportunity of speaking to him, unless I went to him on purpose; and that I feared would be deemed too great a freedom; and, besides, I was afraid that I should not be able to make him to understand me, nor be able to point my cafe out so bad as it really was; and, should that be the case, I should be deprived of receiving a faithful sentence from his mouth. I believe he read my condemnation in my face, which used to make me tremble from head to foot. When I saw him come down from the pula pit stairs I thought he looked at me as if he wished I would never enter the chapel more. I think it was about a month after this, one fabbath morning, he had been cutting and condemning me till I thought I was almost in the bottomless pit. I could no longer refrain, and therefore went to him into the veftry. He received me kindly, and gave mc liberty to tell him all I wished; and, to my great surprise, he told me he really believed the Lord had begun a work on my soul, and that the Spirit of God was leading me to a light and sense of my state by nature, and giving me to see that without Christ I could do nothing. What I felt at hearing this I cannot exprels; it was like life from the dead. I did not lose my burden, but I felt a gleam of hope from this consideration, that, if it was the Lord's work, I was not beyond the


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reach of mercy. I could, from this time, tell him my whole heart and soul without any reserve; and he was the only person to whom I could. And many words has he spoken to me in private which have helped me with a little help when I have thought I was near upon the borders of despair. He once preached from these words in Malachi: “ Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye scek, shall suddenly come to his temple; ever the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall surely come, faith the Lord of Hosts.” Under this sermon I seemed to have a glimpse of the person of Christ. I could not tell what it was then. I think it had fome effect in attracting my affections, for I lost my burden for several days; and, though it was not attended with any appropriating faith, yet it produced a joy in my soul which I had not felt before. I nursed this frame till I lost it, and my burden returned heavier than ever. Yet I cannot help thinking but that was the season that Christ knit my affections to himself; and it was the only season of real joy that I ever experienced till the Lord was pleased to break my fetters. As I before observed, my burden got heavier; and I found worldly cares got such hold of my mind that I was bowed down under them. My memory could retain nothing but what was against me. If I attempted to read but a chapter in the Bible, my thoughts were like



the fool's eyes, wandering to the ends of the earth. If I attended the word preached, it was the fame. And, though I was taught, by bitter experience, something of the importance of the truths I heard, yet, if I attempted to pray, though I knew I must perish everlastingly if the Lord did not give me the things I felt my need of, yet here worldly cares would so crowd into my nind that I have forgot what I came to God for. This I thought was a black mark indecd; this made my burden intolerable. His minisiry still cut me off in the matter of faith. He would describe all I felt; and sometimes, under the word, I would have a little gleam of light to see something of the Spirit's work, which would give me a little hope that I was in the footsteps of the flock. But he was sure not to leave the pulpit till he had positively asserted that in such a soul, under those feelings, there was faith; which was like striking me dead; for I was well convinced I was quite destitute of that precious grace; and these two passages of scripture were, to me, quite a confirmation of it. The first is the words of Christ himself, when he says to his disciples, “ If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say to this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the fea; and it should be done.” The mountain I conceived to be unbelief. The Saviour fays the mustard feed is the least of all seeds; and I drew this inference from it--that, if I had the least degree of faith


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in my heart, I should not be held so fast under its power. The other passage is, what John says in one of his epifiles : “ This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” But, with respect to my knowing any thing of this victory, my conscience bore witness that worldly cares so captivated my thoughts, that I could not keep them where I wished them to be for one minute. What it was which kept me from black despair I know not. All the hope I had was this: when I had a gleam of light to see that the path I was in had been trodden by many who had received pardon and peace in times past, then I thought perhaps God might save me. But then I knew not but that this hope might be cut off; and, should this take place, I must be lost for ever. And I lived in daily expectation that this would be the case. At times I should find my burden get lighter; at least, I should feel myself more intenfible of it. Then I thought I was in a worse fituation than before; and I fought for it as if it had been my chiefest treasure; though I knew, when I had it, it alınost made me distracted. I laboured long under a sharp temptation, and was saying, like one of old, “ I choose strangling rather than life.” Any instrument of death I could not bear in my fight; and was afraid I should be left to be my own executioner. The Lord still held me up to the light, and to a light of his justice and sovereignty; and I saw clearly that he would be


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