AN ACCOUNT OF THE LIFE and DEATH OF Mrs. Elizabeth Bury, Who Died, May the 11th 1720. Aged 76.

Chiefly collected out of her own DIARY.

Together with Her ELEGY, By the Reverend Dr. WATTS.


To recommend such Persons, the Vertues of whose Lives have been so bright and exemplary, is not only a Piece of Justice due to the Dead, but an Act of great Charity to the Living, setting a Pattern of Well-doing before them, very apt and powerful to incite and encourage them to go and do likewise.—

Abp. Tillotson.

BOSTON: Printed by Green, Bushell, and Allen, for D. Henchman in Cornhil. 1743.

Courteous Reader,

I AM not such a Stranger to the captious Temper of the Age, in which I have liv'd so long, as not to expect the Censures of many in undertaking this Work myself, which every one (at first) will think ought to have been done (if done at all) by a more indifferent and impartial Hand. And I am very ready to submit to the Justice of their Censure so far, as to own, That the Pen and Patronage of others would have recommended it to the World with less Suspicion and Jealousy, and in a much better [Page] Dress, and with far greater Advan­tage and Liking than I can do. But in Plea for myself, I must ac­quaint such, that I have not been wanting in endeavouring to engage some of my Brethren in this Work, who were best acquainted with the Deceased: But the constant Burden of necessary Business upon some, the Modesty of others, and the great Distance of the rest (from the Place where the Providence of GOD has at present cast me) has denied me that Satisfaction, and the World that Priviledge.

Since therefore it has fallen upon myself, I am chiefly concern'd, that the daily Work upon my own Hands, in such a Province as I am now acting in, and my own bodily Infirmities, and the disconsolate Frame of my own Spirit, have ren­dred [Page] me so incapable, and given me so little Leisure to peruse and digest the several Volumes of Ma­nuscripts, out of which the neces­sary Collections should be made, to do Justice to her Memory.

However, lest all the Memorables of her Life should be lost at once, I have ventured on all the Diffi­culties, and published the few fol­lowing Fragments, which will ra­ther serve as a Specimen, than give any full Account of her Life, in all the Duties, Trials, States, and Relations of a Christian.

Her Diary to me has been one of the most affecting Things I ever read; 'tis large and particular, and runs thro' almost the Course of thirty Years. It seems to me to be penn'd with great Sincerity, Hu­mility, and Modesty, without any [Page] Art of Affectation; in a great Va­riety of Expression, without Tauto­logy; and with such a Design to carry on the Interest and Power of Religion in her own Soul, and to record the Works of the Lord in her, and for her, to the Honour of the Riches of his own Grace, that whatever the Opinion of others might be concerning it, I shall al­ways reckon it amongst my grea­test Treasures.

It has been one of the greatest Difficulties to me in the whole Per­formance, to satisfy myself to leave out at least nine Parts in ten of what I tho't was truly valuable, and thereby to break the Connec­tion, Dependance, and Consisten­cy of the whole Diary; and yet I found it was absolutely necessary, or else the Volume must have [Page] swell'd to such a Bigness, as to have been useless to many for whom it was especially design'd.

I hope I have given no just Oc­casion to any to suspect my Sin­cerity in what I have done; I have acted (if I mistake not myself) un­der a more governing Principle than that of Affection; and have not imposed any false or imagina­ry Things upon the World, but can fully vindicate myself (in what I call Her's) by original Vouchers, which every one must allow (that calls not her own Sincerity in Question) to be authentick.

Her LIFE, I am well assured, has been of great Service to many, and I would hope these few Memo­rials of it may be useful to more. And that such as have not been duly influenc'd by the Precepts of [Page] Religion, may be somewhat in­duced by such an Exemplar to the Practice of it.

It is not for one in my afflicted State, and especially upon a Sub­ject so grievous as this, to have any Regard to Stile or Language; it shall satisfy me, and I believe it will be more pleasing to others, that I chiefly write with her own Pen, having ever tho't her Phrase and Expression more decent, con­cise, and spiritual than my own.

Samuel Bury.

To the Dear Relations and Friends OF THE DECEASED, BOTH HER'S and MINE.

My dear Friends and Relations,

I Have no Reason to think that the Manu­scripts of the Deceased (committed only to myself) were ever intended by her for public View. But being neither un­der any Direction or Interdict concerning them, and thinking they are Valuable in themselves, and such as have a probable Tendency to a Common Good: I have ventured upon that which I never did before, to discover her thus far in her Religious Secresies, since it is with no other View, than to Magnify the Grace of GOD in her, to endear her Memory to Sur­vivors, and to propagate Religion in the World, and more especially amongst our selves, for whom she had an uncommon Concern, and inviolable Affection, as almost every Page in her D [...]ry abundantly testifies.

[Page]It is, doubtless, a very great Instance of divine Benignity and Good-will to Men, to Intrust us wi [...] the Lives, and allow us to observe the Deaths, of some such Heavenly Creatures here on Earth, to teach us the Way of useful Living, and to Reconcile us the more at last to the Thoughts of Dying.

It has often recommended Religion to me, to ob­serve the Beauty, Light, and Lustre of it, in the un­blemish'd Lives of some Eminent Professors; and made the Thought even of Heaven it self more plea­sant, as it is the Place and Center, and Rest of such precious Souls, which we are hoping to enjoy with much greater Advantage than in an embodied State: Nay, and rendred the Grave itself and all the doleful Scenes of Mortality by far the less Formidable, since it is but our Dwelling a while with such Sacred Dust, in Obscurity and Silence, to rise together at last in Glory, to be for ever with the Lord.

If the Example of a Relative will any wise provoke you to an Imitation, I hope it will be this; GOD was her Witness, and so am I, to the daily Travail of her Soul, for the Eternal Safety and Happiness of your's. How many Hours of Prayers, yea, and how many Days of Fasting and Prayer, has she spent for her own Relations and mine, with equal Concern, as she has often said? How often can I find her in her Diary Praying and Weeping, and Wrestling with GOD for you, when you knew it not? And Recommending all your particular Cases, in all the Circumstances of them in a most Pathetical Manner to GOD? Some­times Rejoycing, sometimes Mourning, but always Hoping and Waiting, even under Discouragements.

[Page]By this you will know what a Praying-Friend you have lost; but GOD forbid that her Prayers themselves should be lost too, I hope they will not, I hope they cannot.

But give me leave, as a Friend to such that were dear to her, (and whither to me let GOD be Wit­n [...]) to entreat, and beseech, and adjure you all to Pray for yourselves, and for one another, as she did; and it may strengthen your Faith and Hope, that she has laid up such a Stock of Prayers for you, which have been long entrusted with the common Advocate.

What can I say to my dear Relations more? But that as ever you would see her Face in Glory here­after, you would conscionably Remember now her Heavenly Instructions, her Faithful Reproofs, her Pathetical Warnings, and Compassionate Entreaties, for your own Good, and the Good of your Families? How often has she summoned your Consciences to an Account in Conversation with you? How often has she reminded you of your Solemn Dedications to GOD in Baptism? And the many Personal and Super­added Vows and Engagements you have been under since? How seriously has she warn'd you never to forsake the GOD of your Fathers, nor be asham'd of Religion in the Power, Purity, and Practice of it? How often has she reviv'd your Convictions, anima­ted your Desires, encouraged your Beginnings with GOD, and caution'd against a deceitful World, the Company of such as are acted by the Devil, and are Agents for him; and especially of such, who have treacherously departed from GOD, and the Interests of Religion? This has been the Manner of her Life with you, her Generous Designs, and Religious Me­thods, [Page] as I am sure you know, without any Recourse had to her own Papers.

Now, if all her Prayers, and Tears, and Distresses for you, should signify nothing, but be lost at last, what a Wound will it be to the Hearts of surviving Relations! What a Brand of Infamy upon yourselves, to set at nought the Councils and Example of such a Friend! To degenerate from her Ancestors and Fa­mily! And in spight of all her Kindness and tenderest Bowels of Compassion towards you, to procure for your selves double Damnation.

I ask no Pardon for my necessary Plainness and Freedom with you, which (GOD knows) proceeds form the Sincerity and Earnestness of my Affections. This is (very probably) the last Time I shall ever Address myself to any of you in this Public Manner; I am hastening Homewards, and should be glad to be call'd to my Father's House and Family above; to see the Face of my Lord Redeemer, and to join Consort with the Triumphant Choir, in their ever­lasting Hallelujahs; and with her, amongst the rest, who was once my dearest Relation upon Earth (whom I doubt not to know in her unbodied State.) And that I may meet you all in the blessed Society and Church of the First-born, with mutual Gladness and Joy hereafter, I am now

Your faithful Monitor, in all the Bonds of Affection and Religion, SAMUEL BURY.


CHAP. I. Of her Birth, Parentage, and Family.

MRS. ELIZABETH BURY, was born (about) the Second of March, 1644. at Clare in the County of Suffolk, and was baptized the Twelfth.

Her Father was Captain Adams Lawrence, of Lynton in Cambridgshire; a very graceful Person, of good Character, and great Integrity, who died June 13. 1648.

Her Mother was Mrs. Elizabeth Cutts, Daughter of Henry Cutts, Esq of Clare, aforesaid; a Person learn'd in the Law, yet a great Peace-Maker amongst his Neighbours, and a zealous Promoter of the Inte­rest [Page 2] of the Gospel, who died August 23. 1657. and his most eminently religious Consort after him, Au­gust 5. 1667.

These were the holy and happy Parents of Mrs. Elizabeth Bury, who not only bare their earthly, but much more their heavenly Image.

Her Mother was a Person well known to myself, and celebrated (I think) by most that knew her, for her great Sagacity and Penetration, as well as her great Piety and Zeal in Religion. She was an emi­nently serious, heavenly and experienc'd Christian; an Ornament to her Family, a Blessing to her Chil­dren, and the Delight of all her Friends: She lived long to adorn her Profession, to exemplify Religion, and to testify her Constancy and Resolution for the Interest of Christ. Her Conversation was pleasant and profitable: Her Expectations of a better Life were steady, and for many Years unshaken: Her Trials were many, and her Faith victorious. The constant Tenor, Course and Business of her Life, the solemn Transactions between God and her Soul, her sweet and near Communion with God, the full Acquaintance she had with herself, and the weekly solemn Remembrance she had of her Family in her Closet, would fully appear by her own Papers, which have been lately put into my Hands.

By her first Husband (Lawrence) she had several Children.

Anne, the first, who married Mr. Stavely, a Citi­zen of London, and died six Weeks after, July 12. 1660. much lamented by her Friends, being a Per­son of early Piety, ripe Judgment, and quick Parts and Capacity.

Elizabeth, the second, of whom you have the fol­lowing Narrative.

[Page 3] Adams, the third, who was born October—1647. and died the August following.

Mary, the fourth, (who married Mr. John Mason of St. Ives, Huntingtonshire) a Person of true Piety, but harassed with various Exercises in different Scenes of Life. Se died June 29. 1717.

The Mother, about three Years after the Death of her Husband (Lawrence) was married again to the Reverend Mr. Nathaniel Bradshaw, B. D. and one of the senior Fellows of Trinity-College in Cam­bridge; a Person (saith Dr. Calamy) eminently holy; a strict Observer of the Sabbath, and a laborious Ca­techist in his Family, to whom he constantly expoun­ded the Scripture Morning and Evening; a Boanerges, well adapted to the People of Wivelingham, in Cam­bridgeshire, to whom he preached, whom he found very prophane and ignorant; but in a little Time had numerous Seals given to his Ministry among them: He left his Living of between three and four Hundred Pounds per Ann. for the Ease and Safety of his Conscience, August 24. 1662.—He died October 16. 1690. in the seventy-first Year of his Age.

By Him she had six Children:

The first was Thomas, born March 26. 1652. who died April 15. following.

The second was Elizabeth, a serious, circumspect, judicious, and exemplary Christian; a common and compassionate Nurse to her Family and Friends, of­ten bowed down with Fears and Jealousies, as to her spiritual State; a Person of great Knowledge, quick Parts, and tender Affections; frugal in her own Expences, that she might be charitable to others: Her own Papers (left in my Hands) shew her frequent and close Trials of her Heart and State, the Grounds of her Fears, her secret Sorrows, and good Hope [Page 4] through Grace. She died of a painful Asthma, (in a single State) March 29. 1720.

The third was Cathrine, who was married to the Reverend Mr. Thomas Salmon, Rector of M [...]psall, in Bedfordshire; and is the only Survivor of her Family, walking in the same Steps, and hoping for the same Blessedness with the Perfect.

The fourth was Nathaniel, born August 24. 1656. who died September 5 following.

The fifth was Dorathy, who married Mr. Serjeant Hook, sometimes Chief Justice of Wales: She was a Person of excellent Parts, great Conduct, eminent Piety, and most indefatigable Diligence in Instructing her Children in the Principles and Practice of Reli­gion; she made a very comfortable Exit, December the 8. 1693.

The sixth and last was Anne, a Person much esteemed for her fineness of Parts, great Improve­ments, and remarkable Piety: She died very much lamented, April 21. 1689.

The Mother herself died full of Grace and Years, October 7. 1697. Aged 78.

CHAP. II. Of her Natural Temper, Parts, and Genius.

THE Frankness, Ingenuity, and Pleasant­ness of her Temper, was ordinarily known to all that conversed with her: She was never reserv'd, but when she thought her Company was disagreeable, or she could profit her­self more by her own Thoughts, than the Discourse of others.

[Page 5]She has often been taken notice of by others, as a Person of uncommon Parts, ready Thought, quick Apprehension, and proper Expression: She was al­ways very Inquisitive into the nature and reason of Things, and greatly obliged to any that would give her Information.

In common Conversation, upon the Flirts or Ban­ter of others, she had often such sharp Turns and ready Replies, that were very surprizing; and yet mollify'd, at last, with such Art, and Air, and Inge­nuity, that they could very seldom be resented by any.

In Writing of Letters, she had a great aptness and felicity of Expression; and was always thought so close and pertinent, and full to the purpose; and withal, so serious, spiritual, and pungent, that her Correspondence was greatly valued, by some of the brightest Minds, even in very distant Countries.

Her Genius led her to the Study of almost every Thing, having such a natural Capacity, accompanied with a very faithful and retentive Memory; and taking such a continual Pleasure in Reading, and Con­versation, she soon became Mistress (in some measure) of any thing she aim'd at.

She often diverted herself with Philology, Philosophy, History, Ancient and Modern; sometimes with Musick, Vocal and Instrumental; sometimes with Heraldry, Globes, and Mathematicks; sometimes with learning the French Tongue (chiefly for Conversation with French Refugees, to whom she was an uncommon Benefactrix) but especially in perfecting herself in Hebrew, which by long Application and Practice, she had rendred so familiar and easy to her, as frequently to quote the Original in common Conversation, when the true meaning of some particular Texts of Scrip­ture depended on it. Her very critical Remarks up­on [Page 6] the Idioms and Peculiarities of that Language, which I have lately found amongst her Papers, have been very suprizing to me.

Another study which she took much pleasure in, was Anatomy and Medicine, being led and prompted to it, partly by her own ill Health, and partly with a desire of being useful amongst her Neighbours: In this she improv'd so much, that many of the great Masters of the Faculty have been often startled, by her stating the most nice and difficult Cases, in such proper terms, which could h [...]ve been expected only from Men of their own Profession; and have often own'd, that she understood an humane Carcase, and the Materia Medica, much better than most of her Sex, which ever they had been acquainted with.

But however she diverted herself with these, yet her constant Favourite and darling Study, was Di­vinity; especially the holy Scriptures, having from her very Childhood taken GOD'S Testimonies for the Men of her Counsel. And in the latter Part of her Life, devoted the most of her secret and leisure Hours to the Reading of Mr. Henry's Annotations, which she would often say were the most plain, profitable, and pleasant she ever read, and the last Books (next to her Bible) she should ever part with: She ho­noured the Author, fo [...] finding so much of GOD in him, and for speaking the Case of her own Heart better than she could speak it herself. He always surpriz'd her with something new, and yet so natural and of such necessary Consequence, and unobserv'd by others, that she still read him with a fresh Gust and Pleasure— Next to the holy Scriptures, her chiefest delight was in reading practical Divinity; and the plainer and closer, and more penetrating any Author was, he was always the more acceptable.

[Page 7]But notwithstanding all her Knowledge, and un­usual Attainments, in so many Professions, Faculties, kinds of Literature, spiritual and most concerning Truths of Religion, she would always confess and be­wail her own Ignorance, and that she knew little of what others did, or what she ought to have known, in any of those Matters.

She would often regret, that so many Learned Men should be so uncharitable to her Sex, as to speak so little in their Mother-Tongue, and be so loath to assist their feebler Faculties, when they were any wise dis­posed to an accurate Search into Things curious or profitable, as well as others; especially (as she often argued) since they would all so readily own, That Souls were not distinguished by Sexes. And therefore she thought it would have been an honourable Pity in them to have offered something in Condescention to their Capacities, rather than have propagated a despair of their Information to future Ages. And as to herself, she would always speak with the greatest Thankfulness, of her singular Obligations to her Father Bradshaw, Dr. Fulwood, and some others, for the ready and kind Assistance they gave her, in all her Applications to them, in order to the little Light and Knowledge she had attained in such Things.

CHAP. III. Of her Conversion, and the earliness of it.

THE certain Time and particular Means of her Conversion, she could not positively determine; but she thought it was about the tenth year of her Age: She had been under many Convictions several Years before, but she [Page 8] fear'd the Work was not done 'till then; and tho she had many suspicions and jealousies of herself, and state after that, yet upon the most serious Searches, she thought she had better ground of Hope than Fear.

Her early beginning in Religion gave her many opportunities of glorifying GOD, of doing much good to others, and of gaining great experiences of the Grace, and Goodness, and Faithfulness of GOD to herself: And from the Benefit and Comfort she found in it herself, she always recommended it with much Seriousness, Affection, and Importunity to others. And (as it has been observ'd by many) there was something very peculiar in the disposition of her Mind, and turn of Thought, that adapted itself to the Capacity, Temper, Genius, and liking of most Children: Her first and principal attempt upon all such, was to bring them into Love with their Bibles, to learn them some short Sentences, and Prayers, and Pieces of pleasant History there, especially such as concerned Children: And then to insinuate herself into their Affections, and so to instruct and persuade, and oblige, to talk with them in their own Phrase and Dialect, that her Company was generally very acceptable and pleasant to all, and by the Grace of GOD made very profitable to many.

Having set out thus early in the Way to Zion her­self, and allured and persuaded all she could, into the same Way, she held on her own Course, with great Steadiness, Resolution, and Pleasure; and proceeded from Strength to Strength, and for the Joy that was set before her, out-run many of her Fellow-Christians: She thought it not enough to begin her Work in the Morning, but she wrought hard at it all the Day long: She was always aware of the Vigilance of her Enemies, and that kept her upon her Watch: She would al­ways [Page 9] say, she had much to do, and what must be done, and knew not how short her Day would be, and therefore she had no Time to loiter: She often observ'd what was said of Jacob, that after he had met with GOD, he gathered up his Feet, and went on his Way; and thought that she herself ought to do likewise.

CHAP. IV. Her Diary.

HAVING set out for Heaven thus soon, and continuing her Resolutions for God, and Religion, and the eternal Interests of her Soul: She often advised with her­self and others, upon the properest and most effectual means to promote and carry on her spiritual and pious Designs; and at last determined upon this as one, To keep a daily Memorial of what she did; which should be a Witness betwixt GOD and her own Soul (as she expresses it.)

I cannot be certain when she began this; but, as I conjecture, it must be about the 18th or 20th Year of her Age. After that, for betwixt twenty and thirty Years, she conceal'd her Accounts in Short Hand, which cannot be recovered by me, nor, I be­lieve, by any other, because of many peculiar Cha­racters and Abbreviations of her own. The first I have gathered, begin the Year 1690, (with some short References to formers Years) and from that Time she continued them in Long Hand (for the most part) to the end of her Life.

[Page 10]In this Diary, both Morning and Evening, she strictly observes (with a very great liberty and happy variety of Expression) the most remarkable Providen­ces of God, with respect to herself and others (and sometimes) in the minutest Circumstances of them: The solemn Transactions betwixt God and her own Soul, in her Closet, in her Family, in the Assembly, and in her daily Walk and Conversation with others; the substance of what she had Read or Heard, that was most affecting in her present Case, or might di­rect her future Practice▪ her Preperations for holy Duties; the Influences, Impressions, Assistances, With­drawings, and Consolations of the Spirit of GOD in them; her daily Infirmities, Afflictions, Supports, Self-Examinations, Evidences, and Foretasts of eternal Life; her Advances in Religion, and her suspected Decays; the Matter of her Prayers, for herself and others, and the Manner, Time, and Seasonableness of God's Answers; the Temper of her Soul, especially on Sabbaths, and at Sacraments; and in Days of solemn Fasting, and Humiliation, and Thanksgiving, publick, private or secret; and in Days she set apart for Self-Tryal and Searches into her own Soul; the various Scenes of her Life; her Comforts and Exercises in each of them; the State of her Servants, and others, com­mitted to her Care; her merciful Protections in Jour­nies; the Directions of Providence as to all the Places of her Abode, and the gracious Visitations of God to her Soul in all such Places; the uncommon Events that either befel herself or Family, or Friends, or the Church of God; the Burdens that press'd hardest up­on her; the Joys that most relieved her; the Man­ner and Form of her Covenanting with God; God's Faithfulness to his Covenant, in every Relation and State of Life; the Indulgences of Providence to her; the Advantage of Christian Conversation; her constant [Page 11] Intercession for Ministers and their People; her faith­ful Reproofs; her Success with Young ones; her Con­cern for the Health and Maintenance of the Poor; her Reflections upon the unwary Slips of her Conversation; her Esteem of the Holy Scriptures, Learned Expositors, and Practical Writers; her Annual Recapitulation of Mercies and Sins, and Afflictions, and Resolutions, and Self-Dedications; her special Remarks upon Days of Mercy, either to herself, or Family; and the manner of her Entering upon a New Year, &c.

It would be almost impossible to enumerate the several Heads and Articles of which her Diary consisted. And therefore what is proposed to Publick View, is but a very little Part of what we find under her Hand, and must still remain for private Use.

She found it of singular Advantage to herself, to observe this Method; and would often say, that were it not for her Diary, she should neither know what she was, or what she did, or what she had: But by her Recourse to this, in all her Afflictions, and Tryals, and Temptations, and Surprizes, she had ordinarily great Relief. Let her Mind be never so much muffled, the Exercise of Reason and Grace never so much interrupted, yet the Review of former Experi­ence was an extraordinary help to future Confidence. And this brought her again to her great Rock and Refuge, and Rest, 'till she recovered her usual Chear­fulness. And hence it was she so often recommended this Practice to others, that God might not lose the Glory, nor they themselves the Comfort of their Lives.

[Page 12]

CHAP. V. Of her Christian Virtues and Graces.

IT was easy to observe a very lively Im­pression of God's Image upon her Soul; and the whole train of Graces, in a beau­tiful Exercise, through the whole Course of her Life and Actions.

Her Humility shew'd itself to others, in her courte­ous Carriage and familiar Conversation with the Poorest, especially where she thought she could have any Ad­vantage of doing Good — And when ever she ap­pear'd before God, her Diary shews how exceeding Vile she was in her own Eyes; how much she ab­horr'd herself, by reason of the Lerna Malorum (as she often calls it) which she always found in her sin­ful Nature, which made her a Burden to herself, and to look upon her Heart as a Lump of Pollution, a Sink of Filth, a Mass of Sin. How greatly did it humble her to observe the Condescensions of divine Grace under all her Infirmities? What Grace, and such Grace to me, to unworthy me, to vile ungreatful me! There was nothing that affected her Heart so much, as the Grace of God to such a Sinner.

Her Patience was very observable under all the Chastisements of her heavenly Father: She would often profess her unfeigned Submission to all his Discipline; this (says she) or any other Method, Lord! to take away Sin; this Flesh shall bear it, and this Spirit shall not repine at it; this is a part of thy Covenant, and I am thankful for it; thou hast done me good by Afflic­tions and wilt do me more, and therefore I will glory in [Page 13] them — And under the unkind Treatments of some, whom she had studied to oblige to the uttermost, and whose Interests she had often espoused, to the appa­rent Prejudice of her own, she shew'd a very exemp­lary Carriage, by keeping the Possession of her own Mind, and kissing the Rod that lashed her, and ren­dring Good to them for all their Evil. Indeed, these were Tryals that sat closest to her of most others; but by the Grace of God she was Conqueror over all, she ey'd God in all, and ever refer'd her Cause to God.

As to this World, she was very thankful to God for the good Provision she had in it, but often protested she would never take this for her Portion, since God had offer'd Heaven and himself to her. The Cares, and Incumbrances, and Vexations, but more espe­cially the Sinfulness of the World, had wholly wean'd her Affections from it, and caus'd many restless, and almost incessant Cries, to be deliver'd out of it. She was never elevated with its Smiles, unless in Thank­fulness to God; and never dejected at its Frowns, unless she apprehended Sin as the Cause. Her Mind for the most part, was equal in every State, because she was always longing for her heavenly Country and Inheritance: How often would she wish, Oh! for those Realms of Light, and Love, and Purity!

Her Love to the Souls of others was manifest, by her Instructing, Examining, Reproving, and Advising them upon all occasions. There were very few could escape her (after some Acquaintance) but she would know whereabouts they were in Religion; and when she had convers'd with, she would earnestly pray for them in her Closet, and be greatly Thankful when she found any Impression made — She constantly be­wail'd the Ignorance, Impiety, Profaneness, and Im­morality, she saw or heard of, in any; but in a more [Page 14] especial manner, the Insensibleness, Carelesness, and evil Practices of the Seed of the Righteous, Children of Prayer, of Providence, and Vows.

Her Love to the Godly could not but be observ'd by all: She delighted greatly in their Company, as look­ing upon them the excellent of the Earth, how mean and contemptible soever they appeared to others: She loved them as the Children of God, and Fellow-Heirs of the Kingdom; would diligently frequent their Praying-Meetings, and always promote some spiritual Conversation, which, if not forwarded by others, was a Disappointment and Grief to her. We often (by her Diary) find her praying, that her Visits may be made profitable to herself and others; that pre­cious Time might not be wasted by empty Chat, but that they may be helpers of each others Faith and Joy, and may have some comfortable Talk of the King­dom: She often bewai [...]ed it, that the Communion of Saints, which was an Article of the Christian Creed, was so much forgotten by most Christians: And sometimes, when she return'd from unprofitable Company, would complain, That tho' she had struck Fire so often, yet it always fell upon wet Tinder.

Her Zeal for God was manifest, in promoting his Worship, and every probable method for publick Service; having the Interest of God and Religion much more at Heart, than any private or selfish In­terest whatever.

Her Charity to the Poor was known to many, espe­cially to the Houshold of Faith, whether to Natives or Foreigners: She spared no Pains, and grudg'd no Charges (in her Widow-State) to carry on her De­signs, for the Relief of miserable Families, exil'd for Religion: For erecting of Charity-Schools, to Educate the Poor; for the Maintenance of Ministers and Candidates; and for a Stock of Bibles and Practical [Page 15] Books, to be distributed as she should see Occasion. So many long and expensive Journies she had taken in promoting these charitable Designs amongst her Ac­quaintance, that she had sometimes this pleasant Re­mark upon herself, I have acted the part of a Beggar so long, that I am now almost really one myself— She very much approv'd of every one's devoting a cer­tain part of their Estates to pious and charitable Uses; for then, says she, they will not grudge to give out of a Bag that is no longer their own. And as to such as had no Children, she thought it was reasonable they should appropriate a fourth Part of their Neat Profits (as well as she) to such necessary Purposes.

Her Faith in Christ, and Dependance on God's Cove­nant, was the daily Exercise of her Soul: Her first and principal Care was to clear up her Interest in Christ, and the Promises, in which she was cautious and exact: She then prepared and digested a very choice Collection of Promises, suited to every State, Duty, Relation, Frame, Temptation, and Difficulty of Life. This was the Food of her Faith, always prepared, and from which she had constant Strength and Comfort: She grounded her Prayers upon these, took her Arrows out of God's own Quiver, pleaded with God from his Word, and thus wrestled with him in his own Strength, for herself and others, in every Ordinance, in every Business, in every Cir­cumstance and Turn of Life. Her Diary shews what fast hold she took of God by his Covenant-Promise; and how she kept her hold, sometimes hoping even against Hope, 'till she had baffled Temptation, con­quered Corruption, and surmounted all her Difficul­ties. The Reaches of her Faith after Christ, her So­lemn Dedications of herself to him, and steady Re­cumbency of Soul upon him, as her only Rock and Refuge, were such as did not appear in common [Page 16] Christians. It might well be said of her, O Woman! great is thy Faith! And it was often said unto her, Be it to thee even as thou wilt.

CHAP. VI. Of her Walking with GOD.

WHEN she speaks of this in general, she says, it always implies a living as in his Sight, in Conformity to him, and Communion with him. That a Christian walking with God must be humble, under a sense of his own Vileness, and God's great Condescention; and close, and steady, and persevering, and lively, and chearful, in opposition to Sluggishness and Melancholly— And her own Prac­tice very much corresponded with her right Know­ledge of the Duty. If we observe (by her Diary) how she lived in a daily Awe of God's Omniscience, in holy Meditation of him, in humble Expectations from him, and in constant Devotedness of herself entirely to him.

She always began her Day with God, by consecra­ting her first and freshest Thoughts to him, that she might guard against Vanity and Temptation, and worldly Discomposures, and keep her Heart in Tune for the following Duties of the Day.

She always accounted the Morning, not only a Friend to the Muses, but also to the Graces, and found it the fittest Time for the best Services— She never (or very rarely) entered upon any worldly Business, 'till she had begun with God, and consecra­ted the first Fruits of the Day to him in her Closet, by Reading, Meditation, and Prayer, before Family-Worship; [Page 17] often urging on herself the words of the Psalmist, My Voice shalt thou hear in the Morning, in the Morning will I direct my Prayer unto thee, and will look up.

When Reading, Singing, and Prayer in the Fa­mily was over, she constantly withdrew again to her Closet, and ordinarily spent most of her Morning there: She first lighted her Lamp (as she express'd it) by Reading the holy Scriptures, for the most part with Mr. Henry's Annotations; diligently compared pa­rallel Texts, and took a great Pleasure in Synchroni­zing the History of the Bible, and reducing Things to their Place and Time: She then pour'd out her Soul to God in Prayer, with constant regard to the Inter­cession of Christ, would often bitterly bewail the wanderings of her Heart in that Duty, and plead Covenant-Grace and Faithfulness, and so finish her Morning Work with some Hymn of Praise, and giving herself an Account of all in her Diary.

Through the rest of the Day, she walked with God, and carefully observ'd her goings; avoiding the oc­casions of Sin, watch'd over her Heart, and guarded her Lips; accustom'd herself to holy Conference with others; was frequently lifting up her Heart to God in ejaculatory Prayers or Praises, upon any Oc­currence. When at any Time she had been surprized by Sin, she presently reflected, confess'd, repented, and had fresh recourse to the Blood of Christ, and solemnly engag'd to God for greater Circumspection for the future.

In the Evening (as early as she could) she call'd herself to an Account for all that had pass'd in the Day, and again stated the Account in her Diary: Having opened her Heart to God, and committed her­self and her All to him, and sung to his Praise, she then chearfully join'd in Family-Worship.

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CHAP. VII. Of her Behaviour with others.

THE People of God were always the People of her Choice; but she was often obliged to keep Company with others: When she expected to Visit, or to be visited by any, she frequently begg'd of God his Grace, that she might order her Conversa­tion aright, that she might not partake with others in their Sins, but know how to reprove them; nor suffer others to trifle away their Time, but know how to employ them: She quickly observ'd the Gifts and Graces of others, and endeavour'd to draw them out to her own Advantage: She always valued the Con­versation of Ministers, Physicians, and Persons of Reading and Ingenuity, especially such as had the greatest savour of Religion.

She often visited the Sick, and relieved the Poor, and bless'd God that she was in Circumstances to give rather than to receive. And when (in her Widow-State) she had sometimes given to the last Penny, (thro' the ill Payments of Tenants) she often observes that speedy Supplies were sent in a very unexpected Manner, As if giving to the Poor were the readiest way to bring in her Debts.

Of all Company, there was none more offensive, or grievious to her, than Tale-Bearers and Tatlers: She could not forbear reproving them, and often frown'd them out of her House: She had Business enough (she would say) of her own, and therefore did not desire to intermeddle with her Neighbours: She durst not defame others, or take up an evil Re­port against them, or countenance those that did: [Page 19] She was never more pall'd in Conversation, than in hearing what others did, and what they had, and what they said; what Dresses were worn, what Entertain­ments were given, what Company was present, and what Discourse pass'd amongst them; and therefore would often say, How happy would it be, if we might Talk of Things, rather than Persons?

CHAP. VIII. Of her Afflictions, Losses, and Difficulties.

HER worldly Losses (especially in the latter part of her Life) were many and very great; but, she would say, The World is not my Portion, and therefore these Losses cannot be my Ruin. I have All in GOD now, and shall have All this restored again, by one means or other, if not to myself, to those that shall survive me, if God sees it good for us.

She was frequently exercised with Afflictions, even from her Youth. The Inclemency of the Air where her own Estate lay, and many of her pious Friends and Relations lived, often necessitated her Remove to distant Places. But whenever exercised with extre­mity of Pain in Head or Breast (her usual Complaints) she always submitted with exemplary Patience and Silence, to the Sovereign Will of God; justifying him in his severest Discipline, and often saying, She would not for all the World, but she had been afflicted.

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CHAP. IX. Her Redemption of Time.

SHE greatly valued her Time, and especi­ally the Seasons and Opportunities of it, in which the Interest of her Soul was so nearly concern'd, and thought she could never do enough of that Work, in which she took the greatest Pleasure.

She would often say, she would not lose her Morn­ing-Hours with God, tho' she were sure to gain the whole World by it: She grudg'd that the poorest La­bourer should be ever found at his Work before her. And even from her Youth, agreed it with her Servants, under great Penalties upon herself, that she would rise every Morning at Four of the Clock, for her Closet: Which was her Practice (as I have been told) from the Eleventh Year of her Age; and at Five (to my Knowledge) if Sickness or Pain did not prevent her, for betwixt Twenty and Thirty of the last Years of her Life.

She carefully endeavour'd to improve the Day in Company and Conversation with her Friends, was always well furnish'd with Matter of useful Discourse, and could make very happy Transitions from worldly to serious Talk: B [...]t yet would often complain of the Lo [...] of much precious Time in giving and receiv­ing Visits; and say, she could not be satisfy'd with such a Life, wherein she could neither do nor receive Good, but must keep to her Closet and her Book — She often remark'd it in her Accounts, entertain'd very kindly at such and such Houses, but no good done to herself or others.

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CHAP. X. Her Changes of Life, and Rela­tive Duties.

SHE often pray'd that Affection might never biass her Judgment, but that Reason and Religion might govern her in every State and Turn of Life.

Her first Marriage was to Griffith Lloyd, Esq of Hemmingford-Grey, in Huntingtonshire, on the first Day of February, 1667, in the twenty-third Year of her Age: He was a Gentleman of good Reputation and Estate, of great Usefulness in his Country, whilst in Commission of the Peace; and afterwards as a Reconciler of Differences, and common Patron of the Oppressed: He was one of a very active and gene­rous Spirit, a Person of great Piety, and singular Tem­per, and steady faithfulness to his Friends. They lived together about Fifteen Years (to April 13. 1682.) with such a mutual Love and Pleasure, as to be taken Notice of by all their Neighbours; envied by some, and gloried in by others, especially their own Rela­tions.

Her second Marriage was to my self, on May 29. 1697. but with what Care, and Fea [...], and cautious Procedure she manag'd the same, let her own Diary say: Sure I am, had not she, and some of her parti­cular Confidants, been fully satisfy'd of the clear Con­duct of Providence in the whole Affair, from first to last, it could never have come to pass: What solemn Addresses did she make to Heaven upon this occasion? And how solemnly did she adjure others to do the like? And how Impartially did she compare God's [Page 22] Answers to both? What her Yearly Remarks were upon this Day, is a Pleasure to me to find in her Diary, but does not concern others.

As to her Relative Duties, she made great Consci­ence of them, and was very Exemplary in them.

It was not possible (I think) there should be a more Observant, Tender, Indulgent, and Compassionate Wife than she was: It was never in her Temper to desire any greater Authority than God had given her.

I cannot, but with great Affection (and let others pardon me in it) read over her constant and too so­licitous Concern for me; and how many Hours and Days of Prayer by herself (and by her Procurement) with others, were observ'd upon my Account, for the Recovery of my Health, and Continuance and Success in my Ministry: To which, I am persuaded (under God) I owe my Life, and many Instances of Grace in the Course of my Preaching. It has griev'd me to think, how many weary Days, and waking Nights, and hazardous Journies, and anxious Thoughts, the ill State of my Health has caus'd her from Year to Year.

Nor can I, without great thankfulness to God, reflect upon the many Comforts of our Lives, our mutual Endearments, and unbroken Affection to each other: The Peace and Pleasure we have had, without the Allay of any one Quarrel, Passion or Dispute, for al­most twenty-three Years together, which, next to the Grace of God, was chiefly owning to her singular Prudence, and Patience, and the excellency of her natural and christian Temper.

Nor must I forget, what others have never known 'till now, with what Meekness, and Humility, and Submission, in the most Obliging, as well as Inoffen­sive Manner, she has sometimes hinted what she sus­pected amiss in my Conversation and Conduct: In­numerable [Page 23] Infirmities, no doubt, she industriously covered; but, in Tenderness of Affection to me, she would never let any such Sin lie upon me, which she thought might be observ'd by others, or prove any Blemish to my Profession.

In one thing she was apt to be smart upon me; and that was, for not dealing faithfully with her in the Slips I observ'd in her own Conversation; and would often say, she left that Guilt upon me, which I ob­serv'd in her, and she not in herself: But I hope my Conscience can answer for me against that Charge.

As a Mistress, she was very careful in the Choice of her Servants, where she could have Choice: Was always afraid of Strife and Contention in her Family, lest she should be ruffled in her own Spirit, and the common Interest of Religion obstructed by intestine Jarrs and Disaffection: She never took any into her Service, 'till she had solemnly pray'd to, and pleaded with God, and submitted herself to his Direction: Whenever she treated with any, she did not only acquaint them with the Business of their Place, but also with the Religious Orders of the Family, to which she had their explicite Consent: When once Admit­ted, it was her first and constant Care to enquire into the State of their Souls, to instruct and catechize, to reprove and encourage; to warn them of the Snares and Dangers of their Age, and Place; and to enjoin them to take Time for Secret Prayer, reading the Scripture, Meditation, and Self-Examination—She always charg'd it as a Duty upon herself, to talk over every Sermon they heard together, especially on Sab­baths, and to Inculcate that upon them, in a particular manner, in which she thought they were most con­cern'd: She sometimes took an Account of them to­gether; [...] at other Times, when her Health and Strength would allow it, she examin'd them singly, [Page 24] and apart, that such as could remember but little, might not be discouraged by those that could do bet­ter: And that she might have a fairer opportunity of closer Application to their particular State, as she saw Occasion. By this Means, she became a Servant to her Servants, and took Pleasure in all her Pains with them, tho' oftentimes to extream Faintness. Her Servants themselves will own, what natural Care she took of them in Sickness, as well as Health. And her Diary will abundantly prove, how Incessantly she pray'd for them, and suited her Prayers to the parti­cular Exigences of every State. How often do we find her there Mourning over the Unteachableness of some? And melted into Tears for them, and lodging her Appeals with God, as to the Sincerity of her En­deavours to have done them good; and rejoycing over others, that God had answered her Prayers, and bless'd her Instructions, and brought them under the Bonds of the Covenant, and planted them in Families and made them Blessings there. I cannot remember any that were ever brought under her Care, but had learn'd something of the Method of a Sermon, before they left her; and very many, whose Memories were improv'd so far, as to bring Home all the particular Heads of two Sermons in a Day, tho' many. When­ever she inclin'd to part with a Servant, she always consulted God in it; would then take the [...] into her Closet, and very pathetically advise them, and teach them a proper Conduct of Life, and that they might be acceptable in other Services. And such was the Success of these her Religious Methods, that I know not of any one Servant she ever had, but was, first or last, under some Awakenings of Conscience, and Spiritual Convictions, and seeming Resolutions for God and Religion, however they wore off afterward. It is common with some of them still, upon every [Page 25] Occasion, to speak of their Mistress's Care of them, and Prayers with them, when the Family was left with her, as in the necessary Absence of others, it often was.

If we consider her, with respect to her other Re­lations, we shall find her a constant sharer with them in all their Joys and Sorrows: A more sympathizing Spirit is very rarely to be found; she never ceas'd to pray for them, as Parts of herself; was often Mourn­ing for their Sins and Afflictions: Rejoycing in the Piety of some, and thirsting after the Conversion and Return of others. When at a Distance from any, she had a peculiar Talent in Writing to them: And such was the Pertinency, Pathos, and Pungency of all her Letters, that every one valued, and was greatly pleas'd with them. When present with others, she was always feeling which way their Pulses beat; in­sinuating herself into their Affections; instilling something proper into their Minds; observing, per­suading, warning, and directing, as she thought it necessary. She has an honourable Testimony in the Consciences (I believe) of all her Relations, who honour her Memory, and own her a Pattern of great Integrity, Piety, Ingenuity, and Faithfulness. Her Animadverting upon her Friends (in the manner she us'd to do it) was so far from offending, that it was oftentimes very pleasing to them; begat in them some aweful regard to her Person, and a true Deco­rum in their own Lives.

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CHAP. XI. Her Veneration for the Ministry, and Love to Ordinances.

OF all Orders of Men, she had the greatest Love for the Ministers of Christ: She coveted their Company, in order to im­prove by it, and was never better pleas'd than when her House and her Table were fill'd with them: She would diligently enquire of them in all her Difficulties, and as carefully observe all their Di­rections: She honoured the Aged, Learned, and Grave, with a double Honour; was often griev'd for the Infirmities of others, but despised none for their Weakness, if she apprehended they were faithful to God and his Interest, and had been useful in their Places.

She thought it her Duty to pray for Ministers above all Men, inasmuch as they are concern'd in the Wel­fare of so many Souls. That this was her Practice, appears by her Diary, from one end to the other; and particularly, from one Remark she makes of a single Omission; I have heard a Sermon says she, to Day, but I forgot to pray for the Minister, and I sped accordingly: Which shews, that it had been her Custom to pray for every Minister before she heard him.

She look'd upon God's Tabernacles as truly Ami­able, which she had often seen fill'd with his Glory, and where the Blessing had been commanded out of Zion: She constantly attended upon Ordinances, if not prevented by insuperable Difficulties, and would always be present at the Beginning of them: And would often blame the Remisness of many, and say, [Page 27] Surely they felt not the Wants that she did, or else they could not live in such common Neglects. There was no Preaching so pleasant to her, as that which alarm'd her Conscience, ransack'd her Heart, and came closest to her in such Matters where she sus­spected herself most.

CHAP. XII. Her Concern for the Common In­terest of Religion.

SHE greatly disliked a selfish and narrow Spirit, and had always a very generous and Christian Concern upon her for the Public: She had many melancholly Thoughts upon the account of the Impiety and Profaneness, the Im­morality and Licentiousness of the greatest Part of the Nation; and of the Indifference, Formalities, and visible Declension & Apostaces, that were found a­mongst the rest. Many private Days, either in her Closet, or in some unobserv'd Appartment abroad, she devoted to Fasting and Prayer, either upon the account of the Distresses of Foreign Churches, or the Dangers of our own, and ordinarily concluded each, with some Instance of God's Favour, and further hope in his Mercy—She would always bless God, if Authority appointed any Public Fasts, and look upon them as Presages of Good to the Church and Nation: She bore her Part in them with great Fervency and Zeal, after she had very solemnly prepared for them the Day foregoing. The Searches she made into her Heart and Life upon those Days, were deep, and [Page 28] strict, and impartial; her Confessions were particular and full; her Sorrows pungent and afflictive; her Resolutions for future Conduct, were very solemn, but always with a special Dependance upon the Grace of God to make them effectual▪ And the Success of those Fasts is frequently observ'd in her Diary upon proper Occasions.

CHAP. XIII. Her Usefulness to the Bodies and Souls of others.

BESIDES her common Concern for the good of all Men, and her special Regard to her Family and Relations, she would shew upon all Occasions (when her own Health would allow it) a very compassionate Con­cern for the Sick and Afflicted.

Tho' in some Cases it was very noisome as well as dangerous, yet she took Pleasure in visiting the Sick, as it gave her an opportunity of enquiring into the State of their Souls, and impressing upon them the Concerns of Religion, and improving the Alarms of God upon their Consciences▪ for future Watchful­ness and Reformation. And however Matters ap­pear'd upon such private Enquiries, and Conversa­tion with any, she would always after that bring them into her Closet, and spread them before the Lord, and pray them over, and observe what Answers she had to such Prayers.

[Page 29]How much Knowledge and Skill soever she attain'd in the Practice of Physick, by long Observation, Con­versation, and Experience, yet she was always very distrustful of herself in any Chronical Cases, and hardly persuaded to direct without better Advice, 'till the Poverty of Patients, and their great Importunity com­pell'd her to it. When God gave her Success, she always acknowledg'd it with great Thankfulness to him, that he should own so weak an Instrument in the Preservation of humane Lives: And the Instan­ces of such Successes, in most Places where she had lived, were not easily numbered.

CHAP. XIV. Her Reproving, and taking Re­proofs.

SHE always abhorr'd Flattering others, or being Flattered herself: She thought that as evil Speaking mov'd Men to Sin, so evil Silence left them to Sin.

It was not to be uneasy to others, or Officious in Matters that did not concern her, or because she thought herself more capable of it, that she Reproved any; but because she thought others, for the most part, very sinfully neglected it, and the Honour of God, and Credit of Religion, in the mean time, suffered by it: And that she, as well as others, was bound in Conscience, not to hate her Brother, by suffering Sin upon him, but in any wise to Reprove him for it: She took it to be an Evidence of true [Page 30] Christian-Love to others; and therefore having begg'd of God to guide her Tongue, to move their Hearts, and bridle their Passions; she would, in great Compassion, in a proper Season, with much Plainness and Freedom, tell them of their Faults, and plead with them thereupon. The Younger, and her Inferiors, if the Case required it, were told of them with some Severity and Smartness; but others with much Gentleness, Meekness, and Modesty. If at any Time it so happened, that some Ministers them­selves were treated with this Freedom, she would always preface her Addresses to them, with the A­postle's Words, Rebuke not an Elder, but intreat him as a Father, and young Men as Brethren. And I have known some Instances of great Success by this modest Plainness, for which they have thank'd and honoured her so long as she lived.

Nor was she more ready to give, than she was to take Reproof: She ever reckon'd them her truest Friends, that took the greatest Freedom with her in these Respects. And when in any thing she appear'd to be blame-worthy, would she with an ingenuous Concern acknowledge it, and often profess that she had not taken Notice of it in herself, but would en­deavour a greater Circumspection for the future.

CHAP. XV. Her steady Adherence to Protestant Dissenters.

SHE had a true Affection, Value, and Ho­nour for all serious Christians, whatever were their distinguishing Names and Cha­racters: If she observ'd the Reality and Power of Godliness, and a calm and peaceable Tem­per [Page 31] in any, she equally approv'd and lov'd it, whether under a Cloak or Cassock.

Yet she statedly join'd herself to Dissenters, and was never asham'd, or afraid to own or plead for them.

It was not her Education that determin'd her in this Practice, but a faithful Regard to Scripture and Conscience, and uncorrupted Antiquity: She read, and consider'd, and fully weigh'd the Controversy; and after her most diligent and serious Searches for Truth, she concludes at last, I must be a Dissenter in Principle still, for ought I can see to the contrary: The Way I am in, so far as I am capable of judging, is that which comes nearest to the Scripture Rule, and by much the freest for my Conscience, and the Way wherein I have found most of God, and therefore the Way in which I must still walk: Far be it from me to Censure others, and be it as far from others to Censure me; they differ as much from me, as I do from them, and therefore it is but just that we should have equal Charity.

If any worldly Interest could have biass'd her Judg­ment in this Matter, she wanted not Temptations, when in a single State, from Persons of very unble­mish'd Characters and prosperous Circumstances, (Sir P.T. Sir F.M. and B—p S.) if she could have been easy in the Communion, of the Establish'd Church: But she chose rather to suffer Affliction with poor Dissenters, than to lose the Liberty and Peace of her own Conscience, for any Titles of Honour, or worldly Grandeur, which she look'd upon but as Toys and Bubbles, and therefore what should never Charm her out of her Profession.

She saw many Clouds on the Dissenting Interest then, and shared in the Sufferings that befel it since: But was mov'd at nothing, unless it were at the un­steadiness of some that were dear to her, who forsook [Page 32] (as she thought) their own Mercies, by leaving the Way in which they had their first Acquaintance with God and themselves, and their first Tastes and Relishes of Religion.

She would often take Notice with what Scorn and Contempt, and Malignity, it was treated by some, and how shamefully discredited by others, that had seemingly embrac'd it: But nevertheless, was always fully persuaded, that God would Patronize that In­terest as his own, revive it out of its Bondage, and make it Honourable at last: That all the Prayers, and Tears, and Treasures, and Bonds, and Sufferings of its noble Confessors, should not be always forgot or unrewarded — She would often repeat the Words of the Prophet (to poor ejected Ministers) Tho' your Brethren that hated you have cast you out, and said, Let the Lord be glorified, yet he shall appear to your Joy, and they shall be ashamed.

CHAP. XVI. Her Work on Sabbaths, and at Sacraments.

SHE always call'd the Sabbath a delight, and look'd upon it, as the Holy of the Lord, and Honourable: Was very un­easy if worldly Business was not dispatch'd in Time, that the Sabbath might be remembred be­fore it came: She endeavour'd to awake with God, and possess her Mind at first with proper Thoughts to fit her for following Work: She presently engaged in [Page 33] secret Prayer, to bespeak the divine Presence and As­sistance thro' the Day; then Read and Sung, as she had Time, before Family-Worship: When that was over, she retir'd again to Read, and Sing, and Pray, and had a constant Remembrance of the Minister, for Assistance and Success amongst the Hearers—

As she was early up on Sabbaths, so she was always early out, and her whole Family with her, not so much regarding the Dressing of her own Dinner as the Advantage of her Servants Souls. When Publick Ordinances were over, she always withdrew for Me­ditation; then examin'd her Servants, and inculcated upon them what they had heard: Then pray'd in her Closet, before Family-Worship; and after that fill'd up the spaces of the Evening with spiritual and edifying Discourses.

She was never more pleas'd in any Ordinance, than in Singing, having a natural Love to Musick, and a good Understanding and Skill in it. But yet a Con­cord of Voices could not satisfy her, without an Ac­cord and Harmony of Heart with what was Sung. And hence was it, that we find her in her Diary this smart Remark upon herself, That in such a Place I was so charm'd with the Novelty and Sweetness of the Tune, that I had sung several Lines, before my Heart was con­cern'd in what I did.

As to Sacraments, she always shew'd a most reli­gious regard to them, in Obedience to the Precept, and in Sense of Interest; and for twenty three Years together, I never knew her Absent from one, if bodily Illness did not prevent her.

Nor durst she ever rush upon that sacred Ordinance without serious and solemn Preparation for it: She carefully examined and proved her Graces, her Faith, Love, Repentance, &c. and could not be sa­tisfied only with former Tryals: She search'd, and [Page 34] made diligent Search into her Heart and Life, to find out her Sins, in order to confess and bewail them be­fore God in secret. For this purpose, she read over the Commandments, and some Expositor upon them, that she might better know the Duties required, and the Sins forbidden in each, and the several Aggrava­tions of them: She then read over her Diary, and more especially reflected upon the Sins she had been guilty of since the last Sacrament, that she might watch and pray, and guard against them for the future.

When she had prepar'd herself thus, and endea­vour'd to excite her Graces for proper Exercises, she durst never trust to her own Preparations, but only on the Strength, & Merits, & Mediation of Jesus Christ, for Acceptance and Success. In his Strength she was strong, and went forth with longing Expectations of much Grace and Consolation in that Banquet of Love, and seldom fail'd of what she had pray'd and hoped for.

She then attended the Ordinance, in an humble Sense of her own Vileness, with an awful Regard to the Majesty of God, and great Fear and Care, lest any worldly Trifle should carry off her Heart from its proper Work: Her Faith fix'd upon Christ, as the proper Ob [...]ect of it, to receive, and apply, and appropriate him, and to live upon his Fulness: Her Love was engaged with great Intention and Ardour upon God the Father and the Son, for the Discovery of such infinite Grace and Love in the Redemption of Man, and the Blessings of an everlasting Covenant, that she often, in her Diary, appeals to God con­cerning the Sincerity of her Love to him; Lord! if I love not Thee, I love Nothing; I love not my Friends, I love not my self, I love not any Thing in Heaven or on Earth, if I love not Thee— Her Heart was melted [Page 35] for Sin, when she look'd upon him, whom she had Crucified; and upon all the Scenes of his Sorrows, from God, and Men, and Devils: Nor did any thing invigorate her Prayers, and Resolutions, and Cove­nants, against it more, than the Love of God to her, and her Love to him.

When Sacraments were over, she would not suffer herself to be diverted, but constantly withdrew to her Closet, to bless God on her Knees, for what she had done, and for what she had receiv'd; to beg pardon for her Failings, the continuance of present Impressi­ons, and Grace to be faithful for Time to come.

CHAP. XVII. Her private Devotions.

SHE was a Praying Person indeed, and one that gave herself to Prayer, and in the Scripture sence pray'd always: She would often say, She would not be hired out of her Closet for a thousand Worlds: She never enjoy'd such Hours of Pleasure, and such free and intimate Com­munion with God, as she had there; and wonder'd how any could live Prayerless, and deprive themselves of one of the greatest Privileges allow'd to Men.

Her Gift in Prayer was very extraordinary, as many have observ'd, when the Care of the Family was left upon her: And, as I myself have observ'd, when, upon some very peculiar Occasions, we have pray'd together in secret, I could not but wonder at the Free­dom and Aptness of her Expression, at the Warmth and Vigour of her Affections, at her humble Confi­dence [Page 36] in God, and strong Expectations from him when she pour'd out her Soul to him in that Duty: With what a Satisfaction and Chearfulness she would leave all her Complaints, and all the Difficulties, Grievances, and Distresses of others with God, thus casting her Burdens upon him, and finding Rest to her Soul in him.

She never determin'd any doubtful Cases, with re­spect to herself, her Friends, or her Family, 'till she had first ask'd Counsel of God; and then whatever she resolv'd in her Closet, upon that Direction was always unalterably fix'd.

Many gracious Returns of Prayer, she often ob­serves in her Diary; sometimes God answer'd her whilst she was upon her Knees a Praying, either in the Recovery of the Sick, whose Lives were despair'd of by others; or in Ease to the Pained, when in their Paroxisms and acutest Agonies; or in Comfort to the Dejected, when under the blackest Apprehensions, and most dismal Confusions; or in Relief to the Poor, when in the greatest Pl [...]ges; or in extinguishing the Violence of Flames, when the Towns where she lived, have been in the greatest Danger of being con­sumed: In the last Case (of Fire) she always retir'd upon the first Notice of it, being capable of giving no other Assistance, as she used to say, but by Prayer. At other Times, she observes how long she waited for God's Answers: At such a Time I prayed, and at such a Time God graciously heard my Prayer; and con­cludes, Surely this was Mercy worth praying and wait­ing for: She would often Remark the Seasonableness of God's Mercies, and how much better they were, in God's Time of giving, than they would have been at the first Time of her asking: And sometimes she would very thankfully own the Wisdom and Good­ness of God, in denying her Prayers, when she found [Page 37] she had ask'd for what had not been Honourable for God to give, and would have been hurtful to her, or others, to receive.

It cannot be said, upon how many Occasions she thus address'd herself to God, or how often she open'd the Treasuries of Grace, by this Key of Prayer. It is most certain, this was her daily Refuge, and her daily Relief, in every Distress: If she did not always gain what she ask'd in Temporals, she owns she had an Equivalent, or better; and God fully satisfy'd her of the Reasonableness of such Denials. And as to her Tryals and Temptations, she acknowledges it with great Gratitude to God, she had either present Deli­verance, of Grace sufficient (for the most part) to resist, and Power at last to overcome.

CHAP. XVIII. Of her Motto.

HER Hebrew Motto in her Closet for many Years, was, [...] i. e. Thou LORD seest me— Plainly intimating her awful Adoration of God's Omniscience, and that her Eye of Faith should be always upon him; and she would ever act under the Influence of that Persuasion that God was present, whether in Reading, Praying, Medicating, Examining, or Recording the solemn Transactions that pass'd betwixt him and her Soul in that Closet.

She had this always before her, that as oft as she entered in, and as long as she continued there, and in every Duty she perform'd, it might be a Memorial, [Page 38] that every Sin, and Folly, and Instance of her De­parture from God, was perfectly known to him: And every penitent Confession, Tear, and Groan, was in the Sight, and under the Hearing of an Om­nipresent God: And every Prayer and Purpose, and Vow, and solemn Obligation made, and renew'd, and ratified there, was sacred and awful, as under the Eye and Notice of an All-seeing and Heart-searching God. And this she often found had greatly restrain'd her from Sin, and excited her to Duty, and dispos'd her for comfortable Communion with God, and kept her Heart from Trifling in her Closet.

CHAP. XIX. Her Preparations for Death, clear Evidences & strong Consolations.

IT was the great Work of her Life to get ready for Death: She began it early, and went on with it daily, and with great Success: She often reflected upon the se­veral Ages of her Life, and very penitently bewail'd the Sins of her Childhood and Youth, as well as of her riper Years, to the last; and could never be sa­tisfy'd 'till God spoke Peace and Pardon to her Soul, in the Blood of Christ.

It was in her Youth (I think about the 20th Year of her Age) that God gave her the sure Pledges of his Love, and clear Evidences for Eternal Life: And for fifty-six Years after, to the Day of her Death, she liv'd in comfortable Communion with God, and joyful [Page 39] Expectation of the promised Inheritance: She care­fully laid her Foundation at first, in God's Covenant with Christ, and with Sinners in him, and her own hearty Consent to that Covenant; and then built up­on God's Promises, Christ's Righteousness, Merits, and Mediation: And would often say, Tho' it should sometimes Rain in at the Roof, she must not therefore pluck up the Foundation; or suspect her Safety from every Shock or Flaw, or Failure in the Course of her Life and Actions.

She did not only believe, but knew in whom she believe, and to whom she had committed herself, and her eternal All, and with the greatest Satisfaction and Assurance left them there.

She was always complaing of a corrupt Nature, and many times of an evil Frame of Heart, and Depar­tures from God in Times of Duty, but still she an­chored her Soul on Christ, and kept hold on God's Covenant, and her hope was steadfast even to the end.

She was often taken into God's Banquetting House, where she had the Displays of his Banner of Love. What special Remarks has she in her Diary upon some Days! and upon some Hours, as giving her greater Pleasure than all the rest, — O joyful Morning never to be forgot! — Bless'd Day of God, a Day of Heaven to my Soul! — This Day in God's Court, was better than a Thousand!— O how the Face of the dear Redeemer shone on his unworthy Dust in that Ordinance! O the Fulness of Joy, and ravishing Consolation of the Spirit of God this Morning in my Closet!—Was ever such Grace as this? What shall I render to the Lord?

She liv'd long at the Gate of Heaven, and knew where she was; and therefore no wonder she so earnestly desired to enter in: How often would she say, The blessed Hour will come!— How fain would I [Page 40] enter into the Heavenly Courts?— When shall I see God? — O how I long to get out of the Tents of Kedar, and to be at Rest! — Come Lord Jesus! come quickly! I love my Relations on Earth, yea, I love them dearly; but I cannot but love my God and Saviour, and love them better: Oh! for that Life of Purity! and Love! and Joy! where every thing will be as I would have it.

CHAP. XX. Her last Sickness and Death.

FOR some of the last Years of her Life, she found herself in a declining State, and was always waiting for her Dismis­sion: The Clearness of her Thought, Vigour of Mind, and Strength of Me­mory, held to the last; but as she was often loaded with bodily Infirmities, and had many wearisom Nights and Days appointed her, which still made her the more desirous of her eternal Rest.

While we were both afflicted together, the one with Nephritick, the other with Hysterick Pains, it was ad­vised by Physicians, that the one should make use of Bristol Waters, the other of Bath, which were tho't the properest Remedies in both dangerous Cases. In pursuance of these Advices, in Autumn, 1719. we set out for Bath, and spent the Season with good Suc­cess: At which juncture of Time, just as we were leaving Bath, I was much surpriz'd with very unex­pected Overtures from a Congregation in Bristol, to succeed in the Pastoral Charge, upon the Death of their late Minister. How improbable soever my Com­pliance [Page 41] with this Call seem'd to me at first, by reason of some peculiar Circumstances that perplex'd it, yet I durst not dismiss it without some Thought: And the Call being still urg'd, and the State of my Health growing worse, and threatning me in a little Time with a total Disability for further Service in my for­mer Station, I resolv'd to refer myself entirely to the Conduct of Providence, and the Choice that God should make for me. And by much Prayer, and careful Observation thereupon, we both apprehended it our Duty, to make a Tryal of the Waters there for six Months, and then to be at our Liberty to return, if we thought fit. Upon this Concession we set for­ward for Bristol, on the Fourth of April following, and arriv'd there the Eighth. And to the third of May we both of us enjoy'd a very comfortable Mea­sure of Health, and were purposing in a few Days for Bath, though she often opposed it, alledging, that she found no need of it, having never been better for Seven Years past, then she had been since she came to Bristol.

But the Providence of God soon alter'd the Scene, and hung our Harps upon the Willows. On the same third Day of May, as we had just entered into a Friend's House, where we were to Dine, she was immediately struck with an exquisite Pain in one Ear, which presently caus'd such a Deafness, as to render her unsociable; upon which, she desired to withdraw and went Home. Her Deafness continuing, a Pleu­retick-Fever soon follow'd, and after that a Lethargy, which depriv'd us, in part, of what Heavenly Con­versation we promis'd ourselves from her upon her Death-Bed.

In former Illnesses, when she herself, and every one else thought her under the Sentence of Death, she was always so far above the fear of it, (tho' naturally [Page 42] of a very timorous Spirit) that she triumph'd over it, and sang, ‘O Death! where is thy Sting? O Grave where is thy Victory? Thanks be to God, who giveth me the Victory, thro' our Lord Jesus Christ—I am fighting, saith she, under the great Captain of my Salvation, and can bid Defi­ance to all the Powers of Hell, and boldly encoun­ter Satan in his own Kingdom—I am now in the dark Valley, but I see Light at the end of it, and the Gate of Heaven stands open; O let me go into endless Love, and live that sinless Life: When Lord! shall I come to thee? Almost gone and yet I cannot go—O, my dear Friends! why so Cruel! What should I live any longer for? My Work is done, and why would you not have me go to Rest? Give me up, I entreat you, to God, and do it chearfully? My constant Prayer has been, to be always waiting and hoping, and this is my present Frame—It is an abundant An­swer to all your Prayers for me, that I have Peace, and Hope, and Comfort, without any doubt, or fear, or any suspicious thought of my Salvation— I am sure I have not flattered myself in the Tryal of my State, nor been superficial in it, and am fully persuaded that God will not deceive me— I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine. It is but one Push, and better now if God sees fit, or else I shall have all this to do again— Father! into thy Hands let me commend my Spirit— With what Pleasure would she feel her faultering Pulle, and say, When wilt thou b [...]t thy last? It is not Death yet, but blessed be God 'tis pretty near it—I hope I shall not return to Labour, and Sorrow, and Sin again—O that I had the Wings of a Dove, then would I fly and be at Rest’—She would often add, ‘We have need of Patience, [Page 43] that after we have done the Will of God, we might inherit the Promises.’

In her last Illness she had the same stedfast Faith and strong Consolations as before, but a more difficult Passage than was expected: We thought, by her La­mentable Groans for some Days together, that her Pains had been very exquisite; but when it was ask'd her, she ordinarily answer'd, I feel but little Pain, only am Restless. Her cold and excessive Sweats continued for many Hours together, and were not more profuse in themselves, than affecting to others.

Tho' the Nature of her Distemper forbad her to speak much, yet what she spoke was always Rational and Spiritual; Her Mind was not only calm and se­date, but every placid and chearful, as oft as she awaked. O my God, says she, I wait for thy Salvation — This Day I hope to be with Christ in Paradise— The Pro­mises of God are all yea and Amen in Christ Jesus; and here my Faith lays hold, and here it keeps it's hold.

On the eleventh of May she pray's us, with much entreaty, to detain her no longer by our Prayers, but resign up her Soul to God, which we did with as much earnestness as ever we had ask'd her Life before: Such are God's Ways to wean us from our dearest Enjoy­ments in this World.

About ten a Clock that Night, the poor Prisoner was releas'd from all her Bonds, and obtain'd a glori­our Freedom: Her Heaven-born Soul (with its mighty Guard) took Wing for the Realms of Light; has heard its Euge, and receiv'd its Crown, and is for ever safely lodg'd in the Bosom of its dear Redee­mer.

She died without any Regret, unless it was that she had liv'd so long; and has left a Name behind her (more precious than that of Sons and Daughters) to the Honour of her Sex, Relation, and Profession.

[Page 44]She had often made it her Prayer to God, That she might come Honourably off in her last Encounter; that neither Religion might be discredited, or her Friends discouraged by any thing that should then be observ'd in her. And as God had abundantly answered so many of her Prayers before, so he very graciously answered her in this; for such were the free and lively Exercises of her Faith and Love, that they wholly triumph'd over all her Fears, and carried her with full Sail to Glory: And to the great Comfort of her surviving Friends, she left this World at la [...] without either Sigh or Groan, and with the pleasan­test Smile that was ever observ'd in her Countenance before.


HER DIARY Abbreviated and Reduced UNDER SOME Proper HEADS.

CHAP. I. Her Self-Examinations.

1690. Sept. 27.] WHEN I was Nine or Ten Years old, I first began the Work of Self-Examination, and begg'd the All-searching God to try and discover me to myself: And I think, I may date my Conversion about that Time.

I have kept an Account of the Tryals of my self since 1670. And tho' my undutiful, ungrateful [Page 46] Returns have fill'd each Examination with just and bitter Complaints, yet upon twenty Years review, to the Glory of free Grace, I take it the Case has stood thus with me.

My Judgment has esteem'd God, even his Holiness, the most desirable Good; and I would be a Partaker of his Holiness, whatever it cost me; and have ge­nerally been willing of, and thankful for the smartest Discipline, in hope of that desir'd Effect, and still would be more holy, tho' by Sickness, Pain, or any other Affliction; having always esteem'd Sin the greatest Evil, and now for many Years my bitterest Affliction, tho' in some Hurries, have not felt the most sensible Mournings for it.

As I have chosen God for my Portion, so I stand by my Choice, and rejoyce in it above all the World; and thro' his Grace assisting, resolve never to forsake him, tho' I die for it (which I shall never do, with­out extraordinary Assistance, having no natural Cour­age.) I have chosen the Way of God's Precepts, as the Means to this End, and have deliberately, entirely, rejoycingly, given myself to Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and prefer his Love to all the World: And by many sweet (tho' too short Experiences) have found it lifting my heart up above all earthly Enjoyments, and sometimes making it joyful under Smart, Pain, and Trouble; which has hinted the Power of his prevailing Love, and made me hope it will cast out Fear, if he calls me to Martyrdom.

My Hope is in God, thro' Christ; and all I have I would part with, rather than his Love and my hoped Interest therein.

My Desires are after him above Gold, Health, Friends, Honour, &c. I long for fuller Communion with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit here, and the un­interrupted Communion of Heaven.

[Page 47]God knows, I fear nothing so much as Sinning, and losing his Favour.

My Love, saith with Austin, ‘Let me see thee, O Light of my Eyes! Joy of my Spirit! Glad­ness of my Heart! Life of my Soul! great De­light! sweet Comfort! my God! the whole Glory of my Soul! Desire of my Heart! let me embrace thee, heavenly Bridegroom! let me pos­sess thee!’

My Sorrow and Anger are usually most intense against Sin, tho' too violent Torrents often spent on Sufferings.

My Hands, Feet, Head, and Heart, follow not as I would; my Life is stained and blotted with daily Sins, yet God knows I loath them; with daily De­fects in Duties, yet have I a respect to all God's Commandments: O wretched Creature! Sin still dwells in me: I cannot do the things I would; but I would, upon any Terms, be rid of Sin: I sin daily but I sorrow for, and hate it daily, and fly to the Fountain opened, which alone can cleanse me.

I forsake and renounce the Devil's Dominion; and as I have receiv'd the Lord Jesus Christ, so I watch and pray, and strive to walk after his Will, and holy Example.

The World gets near and about me, and I am too ready to follow and serve it's Pleasures, and Conveni­encies; but it is more solid Joy to my Soul to say, That Christ is mine; than to be able to say, This Kingdom, this World, yea, all that I ever lov'd, were still mine.

My own Righteousness I abhor; the best, most perfect, most sincere Service I ever did, or hope do, gives me no Hope of Acceptance, but in and thro' Christ.

[Page 48]O Lord, Jehovah, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, thou art my Portion; whatever this Flesh would have, Lord! let me be thine at any Rate; truly I am and would, and will be thy Servant, by Choice and Consent, whatever thou givest me, or whatever thou deniest me: Oh! how bountifully has God dealt with me, while he has lov'd me from Death to Life.

Lord Jesus! thou art my Way unto the Father! my only Mediator! I have accepted thee to each and rule, as well as to save my guilty Soul; I cry as loud for purging, as for pacifying Grace: I am will­ing to be kept from mine Iniquity; I except no Darl­ing from thine Iron Mace; I ask no Mercy, nor would I shew it any.

I approve and subscribe to all thy Precepts, as Holy, Just, and Good, as best for me, at all Times, and in all Conditions: Let my Heart be searched, and I will love the Word that doth it—I account thy Law my Liberty—Thou hast drawn, and I have run—Thou hast made it my Love, Delight and Study, and it is the sincere bent of my Life to keep thy Word: Oh! that I might keep it to the End!

1692. August 29.] Examining my Heart by Mr. Allein's Rules, I find many sad Defects in Duties; much distance from God, my Joy and Portion, and an Inclination to a vain, vexing, and polluting World; yet I cleave to Christ, my Righteousness, and my Soul rejoyces in God my Saviour.

Sept. 3.] Setting close to the Duty of Examina­tion, my Heart was deeply affected with it's wandring from God, amazed and sad at the Inconstancy of my Love to God, which I take to be the Cause of my wandering Thoughts; I still mourn over it, adoring the Patience of God, and his infinite Mercy, in Christ, to such unstable and vile Dust; I abhor the Fountain and filthy Streams of my polluted Nature; I fly to the [Page 49] Blood of sprinkling: Lord! shall I never be cleansed? How long shall vain Thoughts lodge within me? I will still wait at the Pool, where thou hast, and wilt wash me in thine own Blood; and if I cannot find less Sin, I will bless thee if I find more Grace, and wait, 'till by Death, thou presentest me spotless, who hast loved me, and already wash'd me in part.

1693. March 3.] Comparing my Heart with God's Word, I have still good hope, thro' Grace, that Sin hath not Dominion there. Sad Strength and Prevalency— I confess, bemoan, abhor, and beg Cure of by any Method; yea, so vigorous are all the Lusts of my depraved Soul, I know not which to call (long together) my Master-Sin; what I most sus­pect, I most hate, watch, resist, beg divine Aids a­gainst, and rely on the Lord Redeemer for Strength to subdue: I acknowledge his Mercy, Power, Faith­fulness, Patience, to me unworthy Wretch, from my Birth to this Day; first sweetly overcoming my Will, by his invincible Power, and since bearing all my ungrateful Backslidings; preventing, aiding, com­forting, conducting, chastening, recovering, and feeding me in all Places, Relations, and Conditions.

1695. July 23.] I examined my Heart, and found much Dross mix'd with its purest Gold; and the holy Spirit of Grace and Supplication helped me to confess and beg Pardon with some suitable Affec­tion, and indited many Petitions for my self, Family, and Friends; all which I have left with my merciful Intercessor, in Faith and Hope of a gracious Answer.

Ibid 27.] I examined and found much Folly and Unevenness in my Conversation, my Wanderings from God, great Unsteadiness in my Covenant; yet thro' free Grace, no allowed ill Behaviour towards my dearest Lord Redeemer: I abhor all the Ingrati­tude, Dullness, and Frowardness of my Spirit, to my [Page 50] wise and gracious Father; I humbly begg'd Pardon and Peace in the Blood of Christ, and believe the At­tonement.

1696. Jan. 1.] Reflecting on part of this Year's Diary, there appears the greatest divine Goodness and Bounty to the most unworthy and sinful Wretch: A multitude of gracious Answers to my poor Prayers, and great Appearances of God in publick Ordinan­ces; yet many afflictive Strokes, but follow'd with Support and Usefulness: So that my very Soul con­fesses, in very Faithfulness, I have been and am af­flicted— And now on the whole Year, I acknow­ledge God has been faithful to his Covenant in all things, and I heartily renew my Covenant-Obligation to him, and beg Strength to walk more stedsafely.

Ibid. 4.] Examining my Heart and Ways, I have good Evidences, thro' free Grace, that God is my Covenant-God in Christ, and has made good his Co­venant-Promises to me, in convincing, converting, comforting, guiding, strengthening, and rejoycing my Soul in his Ways; and in healing Infirmities and Pains; conducting me, supplying my Wants, sup­porting and keeping my Mind quiet under Troubles; sanctifying Corrections to wean me from this World, giving Victory over Corruption; removing a Thorn in the Flesh, for which I be sought him often, in Tears and sore Affliction; and so seasonable, as to evidence my sincere Hatred of Sin, before the Smart of his Rod taught me Wisdom, for which my Soul adores him.

August 4.] Oh! how much better than Life, or any thing in Life, is the Loving-Kindness of my God? So sweetly, so evidently, so abundantly manifested to my Soul, this Morning! Lord! how free, how full, how humble, and ingenuous my Confessions, when thy holy Spirit indites and assists poor hardened Dust? What a View of Sin can thy Remembrance give for­getful [Page 51] Rocks? What melting Shame and Sorrow? What Tears of Love? What Delight? What Pant­ing after more Grace? What calm and joyful Ac­quiescence in relucted Discipline? What chearful unreserved Resignation? Lord! how long have I struggled in vain for what thou hast of free Bounty given in one Hour? Lord! keep it for ever on my Heart.

1697. March 20.] I fell upon the Search of my Heart before the Sacrament, with respect to the Na­ture and Effects of true Faith; and find, that I am glad of the Discovery, even of such Truths as most directly strike at my strongest Heart-Sins, and vio­lentest Appetites: I am glad of the Threats that powerfully work on me to reform me, as of the Pro­mises that refresh me: I believe them all in Thesi and Hypothesi, and wish their Energy in cleansing, as well as comforting, so far as I can discern.

I embrace the Promises with delight, and find thro' free Grace, a spiritual Taste and Relish in the Food of Life; such, as sometimes, quite weans me from the Love of the World, gives me great Peace of Conscience, Joy in the Holy Ghost, and Love to Christ's Appearing—I find good Hope thro' Grace, that I live by the Faith of the Son of God, who gave himself for unworthy me; for I do delight in his Word, above my appointed Food: It has been, in some Measure, of an Assimilating Nature; I hope I have attain'd to some, and pray and labour for more Growth in Universal uniform Obedience to all God's Commands— I depend on the perfect Righteousness of Christ, and must own from the Beams of that Sun of Righteousness, a gracious Illumination and power­full Inclination upon my Soul unto all Good— A tender Sympathy, for the most part, with the Church of God, even when my particular State inclines me [Page 52] to a contrary Temper—A free use of spiritual Sen­ses, seeing the Light of God more perfectly and fre­quently than usual, hearing his Word with delight, tasting his Mercies with Comfort; I feel and mourn under the Wounds and Pressures of Sin; I love di­vine Truths, not so much because proportionable to my Desires, but because, conformable to God, I re­solve in all Estates to rely on God's Mercy and Pro­vidence; I wholly renounce all Trust in myself, or any Concurrence of my own naturally in any good; I build not my Hopes or Fears on Man, or make them or myself the Rule or End of my Desires; I indulge no known Sin; I have no known Guile; I allow not the least Sin, or appearance of Evil; I hate the first Risings of it, and bitterly regret the least, the first, the most unavoidable Thought that Rebels a­gainst the Law.

March 28.] Glorious Morning of this Day of the Son of Man: Lord! what is all this World to me? Thy darkest Paths appear light and pleasant to my Soul: Thy Will be done with all my Heart: All thy Ways are, and have been holy, just, good, and true: In very Faithfulness thou hast afflicted; in ten­derest Bowels pity'd, spar'd, and born with thy pee­vish ungrateful Child; and yet say'st, Thou art mine, and I am thine; and hast fill'd my Soul with Joy, A­doration, Love, Praise, Resignation, Acquiescence, Dependance, Hope, Trust, above what I can remem­ber I ever enjoy'd: O that present Experience may strengthen my Faith in future Combats. Amen.

1698. June 22.] A chearful Morning, my Heart appealing to God, that Christ in my Choice, Religion my Business, the Holy Scriptures my Rule, Heaven my Design, the Saints my beloved Companions, the Ordinances my Delight, when I meet God in them, my Sorrow when I miss, &c.

[Page 53]1701. [...] In a serious Review on the Year past, I find [...] more abundant Mercies to me, a poor, vile ungrateful, unprofitable Creature, than I could ever have hop'd for, notwithstanding the peevish ill Temper of my Heart in the Beginning of it. How soon did the Lord pity, and pardon, and renew the Evi­dences of his Love to my Soul, and drew out my own and others Hearts to pray for d. Mr. B's Health, and heard, and answer'd sensibly and speedily, and hath continued his Health, in great Measure, ever since, &c.

Nov. 15.] Having begg'd the Assistance of the holy Spirit, and examin'd my Heart as to divine Teachings, I find God has powerfully, plainly, sen­sibly, affected my Heart; influenced the Means, my Mind, and Will thereby, in some good Measure sanctified my Heart, renew'd his Image, mortified Sin by hearty Conflict and Sorrow, rather than by Victory and Triumph: That Sin lives not an easy Life in my Soul, but is usually check'd in its Birth by the Holy Spirit, or follow'd with Shame and Sor­row, when not early stifled; and I am restless 'till Pardon and Peace be evidenced—The Spirit of God I hope, is dwelling in my Heart, by some ten­der Sympathy with Christ's Interest and Members; by Assistance to, in, and after Prayer; by some, tho' too little Heavenly-mindedness, and by practical Obe­dience agreeable to the Word.

1702. Jan. 3.] Having earnestly begg'd of God to search and try me; and if there were any Deceit in my Heart, I could not discover, that he would shew it to me: I consulted the Scripture, and aw'd my Heart with the Thoughts of the great Judgment before which I am shortly to appear; and then exa­mined myself seriously, faithfully, and impartially: And if I can know myself, the chief Design of my [Page 54] Life, for more than thirty Years past, has been to approve myself unto God: I have search'd with Fears of Mistakes, and am willing to know the worst of myself, and thankful for the most searching Sermons and Books: I hate what Sins I find, and would be rid of them: My Heart begs Sanctification as frequently and earnestly, and is as desirous of it as of any Blessing of God's Covenant; and has mourned more under the delays of Answers of Prayer for this, than for any other Mercy I have sought. The inward, secret, and first Risings of Sin in my Heart, have been the most bitter Affliction of my Life: Nothing have I deprecated more than being plung'd into my own Filth; and been thankful for nothing more than Prevention or Recovery. Tho' I have mourned for the Sins of others, yet my greatest Hatred and Mourn­ing has been for my own Sins, which Hatred has been follow'd with true Edeavours to mortify them; yet I am doubtful whether my Heart be so sensibly touch'd for God's Dishonour in Company, as my own: In my Obedience, I find an Uniformity, as to the Object: I have a respect to all God's Commands; and as to the Subject, my whole Soul and Body, so far as re­new'd, moves the same Way: I trust on Covenant-Aids, and resolve to cleave to God in all Tryals: My Heart has been sway'd by God's Command, be­yond and without any other Argument: The little I can do, has been hearty, as to the Lord: When God enlarges my Heart, or uses me for any Service, my Soul hath been humbled—I can do no more, no better, yet thankful for any thing, and freely own all has been of his free Grace: That the bent of my Heart is for God, I conclude from my inward desire join'd with Love: This Inclination has been habitual, no sudden Pang: I have daily purposed and endea­vour'd a Conscience void of Offence towards God, [Page 55] and Man; still aiming at more Degrees of Grace, to walk more circumspectly: Yet much Weakness and Wanderings in Duties to God, Inclinations to Par­tiality towards Men: Not so sensibly touch'd with Sorrow as I ought, when in Company I hear the Name of God taken in vain, nor have I oft dared to reprove it, which makes me avoid Company, to the Censure of Morosness: Yet I do hate the Sin, even where I do love the Company: I humbly hope my hatred of Sin is of the whole kind, in its first Motions, least Degrees; as Sin against God, more than for it's Trouble and Danger: I delight to be nothing in my own Eyes, and love to be laid low before God: I have and do love God, when smitten in my nearest Comforts, or lust, and have bless'd God for every Twig of his Rods: I love the Person of Christ, as his Benefits, and all that bear his Image, tho' in nothing else lovely: I love his Service, even when I fail of Comfort in it, and prefer his Image on my Soul to all his Benefits— [Jan. 4.] I dare not pursue my Examination farther; my Head fail'd, my Body fainted, and I could pray but shortly with the Ser­vants; my wandering Heart, weak Head, and feeble Body, renders me very unable to pursue my Duty: Lord! strengthen, unite, and assist to better or ac­cept feeble Attempts.

Feb. 7.] Upon the best Search I can make, if I were now at the awful Bar of God's Tribunal I must say, so far as I can judge of my Heart, it does hate all Sin as Sin: It is and loves to be humbled before God; it loves God for every Rebuke of its Lusts; it loves the Person of Christ in all his Offices, and every Soul that bears his Image, tho' in nothing else lovely; it would approve itself to God, when no Eye sees it; it chuses the Image of Christ more than all Comforts.

[Page 56] March 24.] The good Spirit of God witnessed with my Spirit, to the marks of true Repentance; in hating Sin as Sin, forsaking Sin, and flying to Christ for Cleansing: Sorrow for Sin has been express'd by Tears, when Sense of pardoning Mercy hath frequently melted my Heart: It hath been more general, vo­luntary, and lasting, than for any Affliction; I there­fore conclude God has pardoned my Sin for the Glory of his Sovereign Will, Mercy, Riches of Grace, Good­ness, Truth, and Power, and has chosen, redeemed, and will receive me to Glory hereafter.

1703. Jan. 1.] In reviewing past Examinations, I have good hope that my State is safe; but com­paring myself with Years past, and the Means and Mercies since enjoy'd, I suspect my growth in Grace.

1704. Dec. 31.] A most unworthy, froward, weak, and unprofitable Servant, yet not cast out of God's Family, and Care, but receiv'd fresh Instances of his Truth and Faithfulness to his Covenant-Pro­mises; aiding and strength'ning my Soul in what I depended on him for, pardoning my peevish Spirit, encouraging my Hopes of Life more abundantly: I confess my Ingratitude, Dulness, Unfruitfulness un­der richest Mercies and Means of Grace, and begg'd Pardon, and Help to renew my Covenant in Christ's Strength, and more growth in Grace, and Meetness for Glory, of which I have some joyful Expectation that tunes my Heart to Praise.

1705. Nov. 24.] Searching into the sinfulness of my Thoughts, I find great Vanity, Inconsistency, Unfixedness, to my great Shame and Loss, and get little Victory even now when freed from many vex­ing Cares, formerly unavoidable: My Passions sly, and strong, and peevish, disquieting my Spirit too oft on little Temptation—My Words too idle, careless, injurious, or not so profitable as they should be—

[Page 57]My Spirit too slothful and dull. My Time little improv'd for God's Honour, my own or others good. My Mercies more us'd for self than God—My spi­ritual Seasons add little to my growth: I am short in all personal and relative Duties; my secret Duties seldom vigorous, or the Impression of publick, lasting I seem to languish and decay in my spiritual Vigour, ordinarily to my Shame and Grief: Lord! pardon, and strengthen the things that remain.

1706. Feb. 21.] I heard a good Sermon on Re­conciliation with God, and have good hope, tho' Grace, all Hatred is ceas'd, and Friendship with God begun in my Soul: That God, who hath first lov'd me, hath circumcised my Heart to love him: I love all his Works, and hope he accepts mine, thro' Christ: I love his Children, and have receiv'd many Love Tokens from him, and do unfeignedly give myself to him: I bless the Lord for his transcendant Love, and beg, above all Blessings, the Evidences of it; and act Faith on Christ for maintaining Friendship with God: I renounce all contrary Friendships, and desire alway to please God, whatever I suffer for so doing.

Octob. 25, 26.] I set closely to examine my State, and begg'd of God to discover whatever Mistake I might have been under in my former Tryals, which I review'd, and the sad Instance of—Still a fear­ful Apostate, did perplex my Mind; his Knowledge of the Law was great; his Examination seemingly serious, and with great Application of Mind; his cleaving to Christ seem'd hearty, &c. But I must try by Scripture, and have no reason to believe that will deceive me, and I beg of God my Heart may not deceive me: I have review'd the Tryals I have made, and cannot find I am mistaken — Mr. Vines distinguishes the true Christian from an Hypocrite [Page 58] thus—His hatred to Sin, and liking to God arise from an inward Nature or Principle. Lord! my Consci­ence does not reproach me when I say, I hate the whole Species of Sin, and whatever appears so to me: I love the whole Law of God for it's Purity, and my Soul pants daily for more Conformity to it.—The inward Man of a Christian is made up of Christ. Lord! Thou knowest the little Knowledge of, and Faith in, and Love to, and Tastes of Christ, I have had, have made me hate and mourn for Sin, and love Christ, and I do fight against Sin in his Strength— I have felt the Teachings of God, and do love my adorable Lord Jesus, for himself— My Repentance and Sorrow for Sin is most pungent, when under the Power of Love—I desire Grace for Service, as well as Salvation; true Grace casts out Self-Love: It comes from and draws the Soul into Union and Acquain­tance with Christ: Lord! I love my Soul and Body when they love and serve thee: I hate that either should dishonour thee: I am willing to deny myself any thing for thee; yet I fear too much Indulgence of Self, by Sloth, and Love of Ease—To love and seek God for himself is above the Power of all common Gifts: O Lord! thou hast made my Soul to love thee for thy glorious Excellencies and Perfections, as well as thy redeeming Love, tho' not always so distinctly as I would—From these and such like Evi­dences, upon the most diligent Search I can make, I dare not but conclude, I am a sincere Christian, and no Hypocrite.

Decemb. 7.] On many Years Experience, I can discover no Guile in Covenanting with God from 1689 to this Day: I still willingly, freely, constant­ly, rejoicingly renew the same Covenant, and depend on it for Grace and Strength to walk more evenly, constantly, and suitably to it: I bewail the frequent [Page 59] Interruptions in my Communion with God, thro' my Sloth and Wandering; the frequent Foils, by hated indwelling Corruptions: I fly for Refuge to the Hope set before me; here will I cast my Anchor, Lord! let it secure my Rest, when Storms in Life or Death arise.

1708. April 30.] I searched my Heart and Ways by reflecting on many Years past; and from all, have good Hope and Evidence still of my true Conversion to God, and can appeal my continued Resolution to be his ever since 1673.—

1709. April 11.] My Head is so dull and torpid, I can do little at Heart-Examination; but so far as I can discern, I have, on most mature Deliberation, embraced Christ in all his Offices: I entirely yield up myself to his sanctifying and disposing Will, and bewail my short Performances, as my greatest Afflic­tion, and am willing to die for Cure: Lord! fit me for, and hasten me to eternal Purity and Glory.

June 12.] Lord! thou knowest I love all that bear thy Image, so far as it appears, tho' differing from me in lesser Things, tho' injurious to me: And tho' I love not Thee, or them, as I ought and would, yet I aim at perfect Love in Obedience to Thee.

Decemb. 20.] In Meditation on the holy Law of God, my Heart consents to it, and I acknowledge God my sovereign rightful Owner and Ruler, and Felicity: And I would rather be more conform'd to his holy Nature and Laws, than have all the Ho­nour and Pleasures this World can afford: I hate and mourn over the Obliquity of my corrupted Na­ture, more than any Pain, Shame, or Loss, or earthly Cross I ever felt: I adore, and love, and joy in Jesus, my Redeemer, more than all the temporal Mercies I enjoy. The Lord knows that this is thus.

[Page 60]1710. Nov. 17, 18.] I reflected on the Cove­nant I have long since made, and oft, with Joy, renew'd, and was never willing to retract: And I still find my Grief, and Sorrow, and Shame for my natural Pollution and Estrangement from God, ex­ceeds all the Sorrow and Trouble I have for any Loss, Cross, or Disappointment, in this World, tho' not so passionate, yet more durable: And I do esteem it the worst Misery I feel, that I can love God no more; that I can honour and serve him no better— I am not a willing Subject to Satan, I resist his Mo­tions, I abhor his Rule, and fly to my Redeemer for Strength to overcome all his Temptations—I do not consent to, nor indulge the Interest of the Flesh: I struggle against its Dominion: I would allow it nothing but what tends to make it more serviceable to the Glory of God, and the Good of my immortal Soul—I don't take up with this World for my Portion, I had rather be deny'd any Thing in it, if I may thereby enjoy more of God: I less desire it's Honours, Riches, and Pleasures than formerly: I thankfully own thy Bounty, O Lord! in supplying my Wants, in sweetning my nearest Relations, and a thousand Comforts I enjoy: But, Lord! I will not take this for my Portion, I had rather lose them all than the Light of thy Countenance, so far I know my Heart—I do daily, thankfully, joyfully accept of and rely on the Lord Jesus Christ, as offered in the Gospel, to justify my poor, miserable, guilty Soul, that has nothing in it but Sin and Misery, and must perish for ever, if thou wilt not pity and save it; but hopes to cast it's Crown at thy Feet, and cry, Grace, Grace: Lord! I accept thy Government with equal Desire, as any of thy Benefits, and would be saved from my Sin, O Lord! thou knowest: I except not against thy Cross, tho' thou call for Life [Page 61] itself, or any thing in it; but I am afraid of my poor feeble, timerous Spirit: Lord! I rely on thy Strength never leave me to desert thy Interest, whatever it cost me. Lord! Jehovah! Father! Son! and Holy Spirit! I still give myself to Thee, to thy Praise: Lord! thy Glory is my ultimate End: All I am, or have, or can do, is of the Lord, and from him; with Joy and Thankfulness I recognize thy Right, and yield up my self to the Sanctifying Power of the Spirit, consenting that thou shouldest cleanse my unholy Heart in what way thou pleasest, and write thy Law there, and make me Obedient: And to thy Disposing Will, as the Rule of my Patience, that thou shouldst subdue every murmuring Thought at any thing thou dost with me, or mine: Lord! I am a Fool, thou art Wise, let thy Will be done. Amen.

1713. March 22.] I cannot deny the Marks of a true Love to thee, O Lord! I do value thee above all, and do verily hope that I can part with all for thee: I am sure I have a Love for Ordinances, and a Thirst after thy self: That there is no Pleasure so great to me as Communion with thee; no Grief so lasting and so pungent, as a Distance and Strangeness from thee: I have not ordinarily and hard Thoughts of thee; I am sure I allow of none: I have a filial Fear of offending thee, especially when smiled on: I can mourn heartily for grieving thee, when thou eviden­cest pardoning Love: My studied, allow'd, and most pleasant Meditations are of thee: I chuse thy Interest, and would ever prefer it to my own: I love thy Memory, and to commemorate thy dying Love at thy Table: I do commend thy Love to all others; but Oh! that it were more feelingly and fervently: I am griev'd when thy Name is prophan'd, tho' not Valiant enough in resenting the Affront: I love thy Image, but yet too apt to despite where stain'd and [Page 62] faulty: I would obey all thy Commands more sincere­ly, freely, constantly, in the most difficult Articles, and most dangerous Seasons; Lord! help me: Eter­nal God-Man! I love thy Person, as thy Benefits: I love thy sweet Disposition, and aim at Likeness, but get too little: I adore thee as Son and Servant of God, as my Redeemer, Husband, and Advocate; I would submit, and be faithful, loyal, and loving: I adore thy Suitableness; feel my Need, and accept thee in all thy Offices: I adore and love thee for all thy Graces, and strive to imitate them: I adore and love thee for all thine Ordinances, wherein thou hast many a time shew'd me thy unparallell'd Love.

1715. June 18.] In searching my Heart, I still find good hope thro' Grace, that I am thy Child, tho' the most unworthy one that could ever call thee Father: And how oft do I forfeit the Relation, and all its Pri­vileges! by my unruly, undutiful Carriage, and un­filial Temper of Spirit: O Lord! I own thy Right to rule and dispose of me; and I own it my Happi­ness: I have solemnly, willingly, chearfully devoted myself to thee, to be taught thy Will, with a full Re­solution to obey and submit; to be healed of the Plague in my Heart, by any Method thou shalt chuse: I rely on thy Satisfaction and Intercession alone for Pardon and Reconciliation: I give myself to thy Di­rection, with Resolution to follow thy Guidances always; and to thy Disposal, with Resolution to ac­quiesce in all thou dost: Yet Lord! my treacherous Heart rebels; obeys not thy Precepts; frets at thy Methods of curing my sinful Soul; unapt to under­stand thy Guidance, or negligent in following; and so fretful and pevish at thy Disposals, as if it would be its own Carver, and base Self its own Center: O Lord! I am amaz'd, asham'd, and sorrowful at these remaining Seeds of the old Apostacy; this Pride In­gratitude, [Page 63] gratitude, Folly; Lord! when shall I be healed! Wash me thoroughly; and make me clean: Renew thine Image, and it is enough, whatever else thou de­niest me: I willingly bind my Soul to thee against all Sin, more especially this Sin that does so easily beset me, the Displacency of my Spirit at thy wise and holy Disposals: Lord! I own it's most unjust, unreason­able, ungrateful, yet I cannot conquer without thy Strength, and in that I covenant never to indulge it— I hate my uncharitable, peevish Resentments of Inju­ries, and hardness to forgive and forget: Lord! en­crease my Faith, that I may do better: I now will covenant in thy Strength to walk more God-like, holily, and righteously, and be more inwardly and universally good in all Places and Relations, in closer Communion with God, in Ordinances and Providen­ces, and to watch against all Sin, and be more dili­gent in all Duty: But, Lord! without thee I can do nothing: I am oppressed, Lord! undertake for me.

1716. June 30.] In searching my Heart, In have still good hope that my Beloved is mine, and I am his, tho' still a poor, weak unworthy, defiled Child, loathing myself, hating my Sin, ashamed I get no more Victory, under such Means so many Chastise­ments, and more Mercies, but still find such Bub­blings of Corruption on every proper Temptation: Yet bless the Lord, O my Soul! for speedy Recovery, and gracious Aids of the holy Spirit calming my Mind, and raising my Affections above this World—The Righteousness of Christ is sufficient, and I depend on it for Pardon, Healing, Conduct, Perseverance to Eternal Life—I would be at thy Disposal, not my own, tho' too often my Flesh would have what thou seest good to deny—Whatever Decays of Nature I feel, or must yet suffer, let thy Grace grow and en­crease [Page 64] daily more and more, 'till thou bring me to Glory: Many Dangers and Difficulties are still in my Way home: Flesh and Heart may fail, the World frown or flatter, my Heart is deceitful, the Devil subtle and malicious; but thou, Captain of my Salva­tion! hast fill'd that Character to all, that ever truly trusted thy Conduct: On thee my Soul relies; O fail not to perform all thy Work in and for me, 'till I cast my Crown at thy Feet, and sing Hallelujah to the Lamb for ever.

Sept. 22.] My Head was clouded, and much in­dispos'd for Self-Examination; yet in reviewing my Heart and Life since the last Sacrament, I find the Frailty of my own Resolution, soon after the renew­ing of my Covenant; but since June 21. I have found my Redeemer's Strength sufficient for his weakest Children; his Pity, Pardon, and Patience to the most Unworthy: I long to feel the powerful Influences of thy Love, making it more natural to me to love my Brethren, tho' injurious, frail, ungrateful, as I have ever been to thee; to pity, forgive, and do good to Enemies, as thou hast done to me, while I was thy Enemy: Lord! slay all Enmities in my Soul, and help me to resist every angry Resentment faithfully in thy Strength: O holy Spirit of Love and Peace, rule in my Heart.

Decemb. 31.] On review of the Year past, I must still witness to the Truth and Mercy of God, who has not turn'd away from doing me good: I acknow­ledge with Shame and Sorrow, the Pride, Passion, and Peevishness of my Spirit, under slight Temptations, against Convictions, penitent Confessions, Resolutions, Prayers, and Tears—Innumerable, vain, and sinful Thoughts, and Words, yet the Lord has spared me this Year also: Has restored my Hearing, continued my Sight, preserved my Limbs, provided abundantly [Page 65] Food and Rayment, given me more Health than many of my Age, eas'd my Pains heal'd my Diseases, many a time, when I cried to him: But, Oh! the rich Grace and Mercy to my Soul, when almost over­whelm'd with Sorrow, to find such Remainders of Sin in myself, and others, dear to God and me— Very sweet the Sabbaths, and all the Sacraments of this Year have been—Many gracious Answers of Prayers for myself and sick Friends—And now, Lord! I acknowledge the Sweetness of following thy Con­duct, relying on thy Strength, depending on thy Word; the Pleasantness of thy Ways, only my slips in, or stepping out of thy Paths, have made all the Bitterness of this Year—Lord! enable me to keep the Resolution of the Year; to leave every Circum­stance of my future Life and Death to God; to be watchful over my Words; to do to others as I would they should do to me—I acknowledge the Multitude, the Seasonableness, the Extensiveness of the National Mercies, in Answer to the Prayers of a poor Remnant, who cried to God by themselves, and obtain'd a double Defeat of the Enemies at Dumblain and Preston, while praying on the Lord's Day: But, Oh! how short our Returns of Praise and Duty.

1718. June 14.] Very dull and drowsy all this Day: I have often covenanted to be the Lord's, with Soul and Spirit, Will and Affections, but yet how treacherous and unprofitable: I have renounced Sin, Self, this World, yet how oft overcome by them? I have taken Christ Jesus, the Lord, on his own Terms, to love, and obey, and serve him, but how short in all? I have given myself to God thro' Christ, to the sanctifying Operations of the Holy Spirit, to the commanding Power of his Law, and the Disposals of his Providence, and would be to him a Praise, yet how oft to him a Dishonour? Lord! I still resolve [Page 66] in thy Strength; be Surety for thy weak, but will­ing Servant.

1719. Jan. 8.] I search'd my Heart and Ways, and found I had been an ill Subject to my Lord and King, but would be better; yet upon farthest Search, I could not conclude I had been a Traitor to my dear Lord.

1720. April 30.] In searching into myself; Lord! how many of the Seven and Seven Abominations are still in my Heart, even when they break not forth into Words or Actions! For these I loath myself, and daily cry for Pardon and Healing: Lord! encrease my Faith in thy Power and Compassion to cleanse my leprous Soul: For this it was I came first to, and still rely upon thee; and am this Day devoting myself afresh to God, my Portion, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.

CHAP. II. Her Sabbath-Frames & Services.

1690. Jan. 18. GOD, that drew my Desires to meet him in the Mountains of of Myrrh, hath this Day met me there; and excited in poor Dust more lively Desires, That my Soul would ever praise him.

1691. Sept 6.] Bless the Lord, O my Soul! who hath not turn'd away my Prayer, nor his Mercy from me: I cry'd to him under the bitterest Affliction, (viz.) Prevailing Corruption, and he hath helped and strengthened me with Strength in my Soul, tho' he leaves these Canaanites to humble me: Begging his [Page 67] Presence and Blessing on Ordinances, I go forth in joyful hope this Morning—Joyful in God's House all the Day, while his Covenant Love was display'd, and the good Spirit witnessed my Interest therein; with joyful Praise I spent the Evening.

Ibid 27.] Full of Pain and Pleasure: Lord! what thou wilt, with such Assistance, it shall be no Burden to me: Sweet w [...]s the Word, commending Christ as my Soul's Physician, and Faith as the Instru­ment of Application: Hy Heart answering the Marks of the Healed, and yet not such lively Joy as in the Morning.

Nov. 29.] Keep upon my Heart what thy Bounty hath this Morning given thy ill-deserving Dust: Bless the Lord, O my Soul! who hath made his House the very Gate of Heaven to me all this Day, especially in the close: Lord! pardon every wandering Tho't, and succeed my Resolutions to be more entirely thine.

Dec. 13.] O how his Presence in his Sanctuary fill'd my Soul this Day! I found him whom my Soul loves, entertaining me with the Specialties of his Sal­vation: Yet the poor Carcase tired, and in the Even­ing abated the Joy.

1692. Jan. 10.] O how his Spirit made me cry, Abba, Father! excited Love, Delight, Praise, Resig­nation, Petitions for the Church, my Friends! was sweetly refreshed by meeting God in publick Ordi­nances, and found his Word doing good to my Soul, according to his gracious Promise.

Ibid. 31.] Whence is this to me, that my Lord should come to, and abide with me? So dull, so dark so dry, so hard, thus softned, made fat, enlightned, quickned, by the All-conquering Spirit of Grace: O Lord! by this I know thou canst do all Things.

Feb. 7.] Under some abatement of Joys, that be­gan to amaze and overcome me, excited Desires to depart, and be with Christ.

[Page 68] Sept. 11.] Lost above an Hour in Sleep: Beg­ging Pardon, and Assistance of the Spirit on publick Ordinances and Ministers; graciously heard and an­swer'd.

1693. Jan. 22.] Strong Consolation in Reading, sweet Influences of the Holy Spirit in Prayer: My Soul follow'd hard after God for a Blessing this Day: And he that taught me to pray, heard my Cry, and helped me against the Bands of Rovers, that had like to have lost my Day.

April 30.] How lovely, Lord! were thy Taber­nacles this Day! better than Life, or all desirable therein! Lord how sweetly hast thou made me to differ from myself in the Morning! Oh! that my Dulness might never return more!

May 7.] Thy Vows, O God! are upon me, and my Resolutions to be more thine are renewed, but the Grace and Strength to perform is thine. Lord! give what thou commandest, possess what thou hast purchased, and perfect what thou hast begun. Amen.

Sept. 10.] Oh! how gracious! how full! how sweet! the Answer of my poor languid defective Prayer, in abundant Assistance in Body and Spirit to Gospel-Heraulds, publishing freest Grace to vielest Dust; even the Holy Spirit of Grace, trying and evidencing to my Soul its first coming to Christ; ex­citing and encouraging renewed Acts of Faith: If such Joy in the outer Court, what is Glory above!

Octob. 15.] Reflecting on the free and powerful gracious Conduct and Aids that staid my youthful Slide, brought back my wandering Soul from tiresome Vanities to God, its Felicity and Rest, and ever since preserved, supported, and delivered me; my Soul acknowleg'd with Love and Praise the Truth and Faithfulness of that gracious Covenant in the Lord, Mediator and Redeemer, by which my Soul received [Page 69] Life, and is still held in Life, and hopes for Eternal Life. Lord! what shall I render, even for the Smart of thy Rods, the Thorns in the Hedges that turn'd back my Apostatizing Soul from Sin, and Self, and World to God, on whom I depend for Strength to persevere in Grace to Glory.

Nov. 12.] Oh! glorious Morning of this Day, that the Lord hath made! how powerful sweet are thy secret Approaches to humane Spirits! while thou breathest on poor dull Dust, and say'st, Receive the Holy Spirit; O Lord! it is done: O let this fore­taste, continue and encrease this Day, and all my Days!

1694. Nov. 11.] The Lord spake to my Heart, as my Servant read his Word: My Redeemer said, It is I, be not afraid: My Soul answered, Call me then to Thee thro' the Fire, or on the Water, and I will go: I was mounted on the Chariot of Aminadab, and my fainting Flesh and Spirits were revived by the Con­solations of the Holy Ghost: I cry'd for his Presence and Power in his Sanctuary, to Strangers and Chil­dren; and great and powerful was his Presence with his Ambassador, setting Life and Death before us, yet the Souls I most earnestly begg'd for, were [...]ot mo­ved.

1695. Jan. 20.] Joyful Morning, while Beams from divine Light turned my Midnight into Day, I found God in all his Ordinances, choosing a Message for one of his Ambassadors, contrary to his Intentions, and carried him through with great Power and Vi­gour.

July 14.] Lord! how sweet are the Returns of thy Favour, after dark Desertion! what can displease my Soul in all this Discipline, while thou encreasest and helpest me to act my Faith on thy Truth, Power, and Promise: Lord! while thou hast taught me by [Page 70] thy Word, and helped me by thy Spirit to believe, how easy are the Difficulties; how light the Afflicti­ons; how reasonable the dark Dispensations; how true thy Retributions; how clear the Misteries of the Gospel; how hopeful Death itself; and how certain the Promises that concern thy Church! all which have so puzzled and afflicted my Soul of late.

Nov. 3.] I rested ill with fear of oversleeping, which gave little Advantage to the Duties of the Day; yet going forth in Dependance upon God, I found him present with his own Institutions to my Com­fort.

1696. May 31.] A joyful Morning! sweeter to me than all the Delights this World ever afforded: Sweet Sun-shine after Clouds and Tears: My Soul pleaded hard for a wandering Prodigal, and other young ones.

Decemb. 6.] Reflecting on my own Sins, and shortness in all the Duties of the Sabbath, I find Mat­ter of Humiliation, especially in singing the Morning-Psalm, I was so intent on the Tune, that I had sung several Lines e'er my Heart went along with the Words.

1697. April 4.] I awaked in sweet Sabbath Tem­per, beyond the Power of any to give but the Lord of the Sabbath: Him I adore, on him, O my Soul! do thou ever depend: Whoever did, or can quiet, com­fort, satisfy, rejoyce, and heal thee, as he hath done? Be this, Ebenezer, for ever thy Encouragement.

1698. Octo. 9.] My Soul hath been filled with Hope, and Love, and Joy, and fain would have gone from my Lord's Table to the Mansion.

1699. Jan. 15.] Sweet were the Displays of God's Power to his People, awful and terrible to his Enemies: Gracious was the Assistance to the Preacher; O let the God of Power fix the Arrows in the Hearts of his Enemies.

[Page 71]1700. Nov. 24.] My Soul sought the Lord for the Blessings of the Sabbath, and great was his Assist­ance to his Ambassador: Some Convictions revived in the Congregation, and in one in our own Family: Some help afforded me in Inculcating the Sermons on my Servants.

1701. March 23.] My Heart was much drawn out in Love to the Laws of God, as holy, just and good: And my Soul rejoyces in the Government of my dear Redeemer, as much as in his other Benefits to me: I bewail the remaining Disconformities of my Heart and Life, and beg every jarring Thought might be subdued: And am thankful for Gospel-Threat­nings to awe my disingenuous Spirit, when Love cannot draw it to Duty as I would, nor keep it from what I would not.

July 13.] Very dull and indisposed in the Morn­ing for holy Duties, 'till I inculcated the Sermon at Noon upon my Servants: The Lord then pitied and drew nearer to me in the Afternoon, and helped my Faith to rely on his sealed Covenant for Life and Liveliness.

1702. April 5.] How much clearer and sweeter hath my Perswasion of God's Covenant-Love been this Day under a lively Sermon, than I ever gain'd by Light of Reason—How dull did I go out, how lively, warm and joyful did I return?—Lord! that did'st enable me to instruct my Family, and hast drawn out my Heart in Pity and Prayer for all under my Roof; bless the Labour of thy poor Worm, and yet fulfil thy gracious Promise to Training up in thy Way, and accept of all my Aims at thy Glory in the Son of thy Love whom thou hearest always, and all thine for his sake. Amen.

1703. Octob. 10.] My Beloved drew, and my Soul follow'd hard after him in Family and Closet [Page 72] Worship: And I begg'd the sweet Force of his strong Charms for all that assemble in God's House this Day; very gracious was the Lord to me in going to and in his House, and returning to mine own; strengthen­ing my Memory to retain his Word, and assisting me to inculcate it on my Family; and encouraging my Hope of better Success, by a more willing Disposition in our new Servants to learn.

1706. Jan. 13.] Joyful Morning! God drew nearer than usual to my Soul, and the Blessings of Abraham came on a poor Gentile, through Jesus Christ: O blessed be God for Christ. Amen. The Day and Evening was comfortable.

1707. April 20] Sweet was this Morning's Retire­ment in reading Numbers XXI. Lord! what En­couragement in looking unto Jesus, for healing the flaming Stings of Sin in my Soul; what my Tears cannot quench, Faith in my exalted Lord can: O send thy Spirit to be a Well of Life in my Soul: Spring up, O Well! this Day, and cause me to sing to it, and let poor dark and defiled Souls be healed in the Waters of the Sanctuary here and elsewhere.

Nov. 2.] Very gracious has the Lord been to me this Day; and sweet was the Word, Prayer, and Singing, and the Minister lively in Preaching—O immense, active patient Being—I was exhorted to Study, Meditate, and Talk of God's Preservation of my natural and spiritual Life—I liv'd when others died of the same Fever—God help'd when Man could not: I deserv'd to die and perish: I might have died e'er my Peace had been made—My Graces have been assaulted, not slain: Languish'd, yet re­viv'd: God's Dishonour by my woful Fall prevented: Lord! that I may live more for thee, and more use­fully for others: Let the Holy Spirit dwell in me, who alone can preserve my spiritual Life; let me cast [Page 73] out all that would offend or grieve him, give full room in my Soul to him, and be fully govern'd by him: Love and attend thy Ordinances, observe thy Providences, and plead thy Promises for spiritual Life and Growth—I concluded the Day with Thanks­giving for the Recovery of my natural and spiritual Life, and earnest Prayer for my Sick and afflicted Friends, and the poor Servant under my Care.

1709. March 20.] The Lord composed my Mind, and I begg'd more Communion with the Father, Son and Spirit in the Worship of this Day, than yet afore: And on mature Debates with my own Heart, I desire ever to be kept in the Communion of the Congrega­tions with whom I still join, verily supposing their Pastors chosen, qualify'd, and constituted according to Christ's Appointment; I love, and pity, and pray for those submitting to a Yoke their Fathers could not bear, and I hope will never be easy to them: I humbly implore the jealous God to purge his Church from Superstition and Human Inventions; That all Terms of Communion, Anti-scriptural and Extra-scriptural, may be taken away, and Peace and Union follow; and the Gospel-Preachers, cast out by their Brethren, may have abundant Recompence in the Suc­cess of their Ministry.

April 10.] I bewail'd the Vanity of my Thoughts on this holy Day, wherein I am discharg'd from what is my Duty on other Days: Lord! how kindly dost thou allow me Rest from vexing Vanities! but how cruel am I to myself, and ungrateful to Thee! by undue, unnecessary Concern for Troubles on some▪ dear to me, which all my anxious Thoughts cannot ease: Lord! curse this Fountain, and wither the Fruit of my corrupted Nature, and lift my Mind up­ward in the publick and private Worship of this Day.

[Page 74]1711. Jan. 14.] The Lord assisted my Endeavours to fix my wandring Thoughts in the Night, but too soon were they diverted in the Morning: Amazing Evil! my Soul loves, approves, and chuses God, his Ways, his Precepts; and nothing is so delightful to my Soul, yet I can fix on nothing of all these, but my foolish Heart is easily interrupted with mere Im­pertinences: Lord! give me a wiser Understanding, a fixed Heart, which I seek rather than Gold, but cannot find 'till thou givest it.

1712. Jan. 27.] God assisted his Ministers, and helped my Memory to assist others; and my Soul ascended in the Hymn after Sermon with unusual Flame, when my Voice could not mix in the Con­sort.

1713. Sept. 13.] I awaked in great Pain, which continued, 'till in secret Prayer I lost all Sense of bo­dily Pain in spiritual Pleasure, and Tears of godly Sorrow for Sin, and Joy in my Redeemer.

Octob. 4.] I awaked and rose in Pain, which a­bated with such Tremblings, Sickness, and Faintings, that my natural Spirits could give no Assistances to the Joys of this Day: Yet never was my Heart more joyful, more pleased in Meditation, Prayer, Hearing, Singing, Converse, when my Spirits were so sunk, I thought I should have dy'd in my Pow: How plea­sant were the Thoughts of going ou [...] of that Taber­nacle of Grace, to the glorious Temple above! Oh! holy Spirit of Grace, how free, how [...]weet, how powerful are thy gracious Operations!

1715. May 8.] I r [...]se early, and tugg'd long at my dull Heart in secret, but could not reach the live­ly Frame sometimes allow'd me; I renew'd my Self-Dedication to God, in Mr. Baxter's Words, and begg'd quick'ning Grace by the Word and [...]pirit, and w [...]s not dis [...]pp [...]inted.

[Page 75]1716. Sept. 16.] I found my dear Redeemer, my true [...]ving Way to the Father, and for his sake I begg'd the Comforts and Pleasures of his Day: I diligently sought God in secret, in Family, and pub­lick Worship, tho' too frequently pestred with vain, idle, unprofitable Thoughts: amazing Evil! how dishonourable to the God I adore! how mischievous in robbing my Soul of its chiefest Delight! O cleanse this evil Fountain, that the Streams may be purer.

1717. Feb. 10.] Lord! how sweet has this Day of the Son of Man been unto me! In secret Reading, and Meditation; in Prayer alone, and with the Fa­mily; in publick Prayer, Singing, Preaching, and After-reflection: O Son and Lamb of God, who diedst for me, and hast given me Life, let all my In­terests ever bow to thine; all my corrupt Passions be subdued by thee; my Life ready to be parted with at thy Call: O holy Spirit of Grace, continue thy sweet and powerful Influences on my Soul.

1719. July 12.] Reflecting on God's dealing with me for Fifty Years past, I adore the unparellelled Love that first loved me; and then made me consent and sweetly drew me into the Bands of the everlasting Covenant: My Soul was never yet willing to depart from one Article of that Covenant: But, Oh! how often faulty in, and short of what I have bound my Soul to do, or avoid; and still a Captive, but not a willing Slave to Sin, World, or Satan: Jesus! thou Captain of my Salvation, lead me on to more Victory; sanctify me more and more by thy Word of Truth this Day—I went out much indisposed, my Head and Heart fail'd, that I could neither enjoy God nor my self, but forced to take my Bed at Noon.

1720. Jan. 17.] I arose, and begg'd ease to at­tend my Father's House, and his Presence there, and in all the Assemblies of his Servants: God assisted the [Page 76] Preacher in Publick, and unworthy me, in private Instructions.

Feb. 21.] Sweet Entertainments! how excellent is thy loving Kindness, O Lord! how gracious was thine Assistance to thy Ambassador in Publick, and to a poor Worm in Family Worship.

CHAP. III. Her Remarks on herself at Sacra­ments, and Covenanting with GOD.

1690. Nov. 16. O Joyful Day! whilst thou gi­vest what thou commandest, and acceptest what thou givest: Lord! how much Dross is mix'd with my best Gold, yet thou hast eaten the Honey with the Comb, &c.

1691. Nov. 22.] While the King sat at his Table, my Spikenard sent forth the smell thereof: God kindly melted my Heart, and fixed my Faith on the Efficacy of Christ's Death for Mortification.

1692. March 20.] Faint, yet pursuing; dull, yet adoring; impure, yet loathing; wandering, yet returning: Going to the Fountain opened, to be cleansed from all Sin—O that this Day may begin my eternal Hallelujah!

July 17.] Flesh and Heart fails, but God is the Strength of my Heart; thy Spirit has excited ardent Desires after Righteousness: Lord! thou that work­est the Qualification, make good the Promise—A [Page 77] joyful Day in the House of God, and a joyful Banquet at his Table.

Sept. 4.] I cannot get that lively Frame of Spirit I had last Night, and usually find in Secret, before I approach the Lord's Table: I beg and wait for more suitable Affections in Publick: And hope, my Lord, will provide himself a Sacrifice in the Temple he hath chosen, that I may record it to his Praise.

Nov. 6.] Somewhat drowsy and indisposed, yet not pestered as at some times with Wanderings: I adore the redeeming Love I go to commemorate; and beg the Spirit of God to act and shine upon Grace wrought, and to bless instituted Means and Messen­gers, that my sinful filthy Heart that is so [...]ady to turn to its own Bane, might be with-held—I stand to my baptismal Covenant, and renew my solemn Dedication to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, abhor­ring my unsuitable Walking, begging more Strength to act Faith on Christ, my Rock, for all Supplies in my Way to Glory—My Soul rejoyced in the Assu­rance of God's Love, in Christ, to unworthy me, and I approached to the Lord's Table with humble Joy, with my Heart drawn out to my Beloved, by the lively Exhortation given before the Sacrament; but losing the sight of the sacramental Actions, and re­ceiving the Elements from other Hands than I ex­pected, brought me under irrecoverable Dejection.

1693. Feb. 5.] I could not get my Heart into a lively Frame in secret Prayer before I went out, nor in Meditation as I walk'd, or fix upon any thing ef­fectually: Had an amazing Sight of Sin, which begat Self-Abhorrance, Shame, and Sorrow, that over­whelm'd my Soul thro' the whole Day, but could discern no Love, Joy, or Thankfulness thro' the whole Administration: But I return'd Mourning after my withdrawn Beloved, and my Soul follows [Page 78] with lamenting Love, in hopes of rejoycing, that notwithstanding this gloomy Day, I shall yet see the Light of his Countenance: I rely on Christ's Blood for cleansing, and resolve, if he slay me, yet I will trust in him.

March 12.] Gracious Assistance this Morning, better than Health: Awake, O North Wind, come thou South, blow upon my Garden still, and fill me with thy Gales throughout this Day—Oh! how lovely, Lord! were thy Tabernacles all this Day! how much more glorious thy House, the City, the Kingdom, the Paradice, to which I have been invited! If under thy Shadow such Delight, what will the un­vail'd Glory be? Until the Day break, and the Sha­dows fly away, make hast my Beloved, &c.

June 4.] In sad and humble Sense of my own Unworthiness, I go out in hopes of meeting my Be­loved, begging the pardoning, purifying, quickning Vertues of his Blood, may answer all my Wants, Desires, and Expectations, and out-taste all the World, and make it little in my Eyes, and perfectly bow my Will to his Pleasure, that I may return with Singing, and everlasting Joy. Amen.—The Lord heard and answered, and gave a joyful Day in his House, lifting up my Heart to my Lord Redeemer, for Acceptance of all my Services, and melting my Heart at his Table by a lively Discourse on, Behold the Man.

August 6.] By manifold Experience I find, that joyful Assurances of God's Love, and lively Actings of Grace, do not depend on natural Vigours; my Health Ease, Spirits as good in the latter, as fore-part of the past Day; my Soul quite different, and still straitned: Lord! I wait the sweet Gales of thy Spirit; O blow again upon my Garden, and let this Day's Feast an­swer Yesterday's Antepast; and thro' thy free un­deserved Bounty, be much more abundant and lasting [Page 79] —The Lord was gracious, and took not his Spirit from his Ordinances, but shined on his poor dull Crea­ture, and made it a comfortable Day.

Sept. 2.] And now my Soul, (thro' free Grace still concluding I am my Beloved's, and he is mine) rests on his perfect Righteousness alone for Pardon and Justification, on his holy All-conquering Spirit and Blood for cleansing: To which I go this Day in Or­dinances of his own Institution, with Faith on his Co­venant-Engagement to convey himself and all his Benefits to me; and I renew my solemn Engagement to be his, begging his help in all—The Lord made it a good Day to my Soul.

Octob. 1. Sweet Morning, while the Lord help'd by healing bodily Lassitude: Enlarg'd and comforted my Heart in sense of redeeming Love; melted my Soul into Shame and Sorrow, for ungrateful Neglects remaining Enmity, Distance, and Strangeness; pee­vish, selfish, carnal, unsuitable Frames of Spirit, after such Love purchased, published, tasted to Soul-Ra­vishment, so oft, after so many turns again to Folly: Lord! what Bowels doth my perverse Heart spurn against? But what cannot thy Blood cleanse? And now, since by the Faith of thine own Operation, thou shewest the Attonement of my so guilty Soul, O Lord! how can I but love thee? O satisfy the Thirst thou hast raised, and return thy poor Dust in Triumphs of Praise, and more compleat Victory over all her and thine Enemies, and stronger, chearfuller Obedience, 'till I be ever with thee—Continued 'till Noon, in sweet Temper, fullest Joy, nearest Communion with God in Prayer, Reading, Singing, Hearing, with less Interruption than ever before experienced, 'till ap­proaching to the Lord's Table, surprized by an Ac­cident, the Devil took the Advantage of my Weak­ness, and so hurried and ruffled my Thoughts with [Page 80] fear of losing the joyful Temper I had, that I soon lost it, and sat under the most pathetick Invitations to Joy and Praise, all in Tears, and return'd in Shame and Sadness, and yet cannot recover; but am hum­bling my Soul for it's unsuitable Temper, and relying upon Christ for Pardon and Strength, and resolving to love and praise in spight of Sin and Devil.

Decemb. 3.] The Lord graciously smil'd upon me at his Table, and made the whole Day comfortable; and I return'd with Joy to praise the God of Love, but was hinder'd by Company unavoidably surprizing me at my Chamber-door, and found not that Presence of Mind to spiritualize my Converse with them as I might: Lord! pity and pardon a poor shallow Crea­ture.

1694. Jan. 21.] Little Time in secret, yet sweet­ly succeeded—My Soul in joyful believing Expecta­tion, attended the Word and Sacraments, and more excited and refresh'd in both, than many a Time when my Health and Retirement have afforded more Advantage for due Preparation.

March 11.] A drowsy and indisposed Morning: Little Life in hearing the Word; graciously reviv'd and quick'ned at the Lord's Table.

June 17.] The Preparations of my Heart were from God, who quickens the Dead, for I arose in great Pain and Languor, yet my Soul was made to ascend to God, its Original and Felicity.

1695. Feb. 3.] The Lord was gracious, and met me in his House, and at his Table; and made his Ambassador my Mouth to him, more than ever be­fore: In Confession, he spake my very Heart, more than ever I could my self: And, Oh! how the good Spirit of Grace melted me all into Tears; strength­ened my Faith, raised my Hope and Joy, confirm'd my Resignation and Resolution, in renewing my [Page 81] Covenant; and the Just dying for the Unjust, bro't me nearer to God than usual, with Shame and Sor­row, that my wandring Soul so needed such a Re­medy.

March 3.] I renew'd my Covenant to be the Lord's, and to acquiesce in all he does: My Desires after nearer and more immediate Communion with God were encreased: Meditating on the Providence of God in Brutes and humane Kind, that lov'd their young Ones more ardently, and with encreasing En­dearments still, after they had nourished them with their Milk, or lactified Blood; my Soul pleaded hard with the God of Nature, Grace, and Glory, that the Wonders of his Love might not be less in Grace than Nature: But while he so freely and frequently nourish'd me with his Body and Blood, I might ex­perience more and more his inexpressible Endear­ments and vital Union, giving Joy, and Strength, and Pardon, and Purging, and all I want.

May 5.] My Soul cleav'd to the Dust, and little Life of Grace appear'd: A sorrowful Sight of Strange­ness and Distance from God, my Felicity, with less lively Mourning over my Ingratitude: My Soul flies to the Blood of Sprinkling, and begs the Holy Spirit to apply it this Day—The Lord shew'd his Power and Love to a poor unworthy Lump of Clay, and sweetly refresh'd my Soul, and sent me back rejoi­cing: But, ah! too soon abated, even e'er I slept.

1697. Feb. 7.] My Soul was fill'd, as with Marrow and Fatness, and acknowledg'd (with Love and Shame) never frowarder unworthier Child was more indulg'd—How amiable were thy Taber­nacles, O Lord of Hosts, to me! whilst thou madest me feel what, thro' gracious Assistance, thine Am­bassador feelingly express'd of Communion with God: The Day was all sweet; I think, in the whole, the best Day I ever enjoy'd.

[Page 82]1698. Jan. 9.] I long, and wait, and hope to touch my Lord Redeemer this Day, 'till I feel in my Soul that I am healed of all my Plagues—I found a gracious Answer to all my Prayers, at my Lord's Table, 'till I was loth to leave the Place and the Assembly: I return'd with lively Affections, joyful Expectations, and Longings of Soul to drink the new Wine in my Father's Kingdom—I sought the Lord for my Family, and found some Encourage­ment to hope, that Servants should be born in my House.

1699. Jan. 1.] With Shame and Sorrow, my Soul reflects on the Sins of my whole Life, and par­ticularly of the Year past: O Lord! Days and Years have not taught me Wisdom; but after so long Experience of the tenderest Care, Compassion, Pity, Patience, Pardon, and Provision, what a Mon­ster of Ingratitude do I still continue, after Resolu­tion, Covenant-Engagements, hope of better? Lord! how unfruitful, dull, wandering, slothful, and fret­ful is my Heart! And must it be ever thus? Is not cleansing, quickning, strengthening, &c. promised and sealed in thy Covenant, as Dedication and Re­signation on my Part: Lord! I gave my Soul and Body to thee for Sanctification as well as Justifica­tion; I renew my solemn Covenant this Day, and go forth to the Gospel-Feast for all I want, and thou hast provided: O give Bread, not Stones, to thy starving Child, tho' unworthy to be called so; yet, thro' Grace, I am thy Servant, thy Child, let thy Bowels move towards me, and draw me 'till I follow hard after thee; wash me in the vital Stream from my dear Lord's Side, 'till I feel I am cleansed, and return with Praise—My Heart was flat and dull at the Table, and I return'd discouraged and asham'd, and bemoan'd my self in secret.

[Page 83]1700. June 30.] Still labouring with my dull torpid Spirit, I found some Aids from above, and go forth in Hope and Expectation of more, to re­cord to his Praise, that hath loved me and washed me in his own Blood—The Lord hath abounded in Mercy to my Soul all this Day, and given me the fullest Assurance of my Interest in Christ I ever yet enjoy'd, and made me with Joy draw Water out of the Wells of Salvation, and greatly enlarg'd my Hopes and Expectations of more Life and Nourish­ment from Christ, my Head, than I have ever yet experienc'd: My Soul pitched on the Covenant for Encrease of Grace and Perseverance therein; and I humbly wait the fulfilling his Promise of growing stronger and stronger.

Nov. 3.] The Lord was gracious and drew near to my Soul in Preparative Duties, and melted my Heart with godly Sorrow; strengthened▪ my Faith, inflamed my Love, encreased my Joy and Thank­fulness, enlarged my Desires, &c.—And now, Lord! what wait I for, but nearer and nearer Touches of my Redeemer, 'till I feel in my Soul I am healed: O hear my Prayer, indited by thy Spi­rit, for my own Soul, thy Ambassador, the Congre­gation, thy Church, for dear Relations in Covenant, and others yet at distance. Amen.—Gracious was the Lord in entertaining my Soul at his Table; sweet was the Day, but dull and wandering the Close.

1701. Nov. 16.] I bewail'd my ungrateful wan­dering Heart, and begg'd of God to unite and heal my planetary Spirit, and committed it to its holy Guardian, who hath helped in like Distress—God, by his Ambassador, call'd me at his Table, to trust in him for his Presence in his own Institution; and he did not reject my Trust, nor suffer my Heart to [Page 84] wander, so much as I fear'd: I was after exhorted to urge God's Covenant with him, and my own so­lemn Covenant with God; and now, Lord! ac­cordingly I plead for Pardon, and plead thy Cove­nant to put thy Fear in my Heart, that I may never depart from thee, particularly not by Wanderings in holy Duties: I solemnly charge on my own Soul my Vows to be ever thine, and for thee, in all E­states, Conditions, and Relations, whatever it cost, humbly protesting my Dependance on thy Strength, in which I made, and without which I can never keep my Covenant with thee.

1703. Octob. 31.] My Heart trembles to read the Backslidings of Asa, after long upright Walking, and Experience of God's Presence with him, and Mercy towards him: I am sensible of my Instability, and dread, as Death, a partial Departure from my God; and deprecate no Suffering, like being plung'd in the Mire of my own Filth—My Heart grew flat and dull when drawing near the Lord's Table; but the King came in, and excited the Graces he had given, and very sweet was the Feast; yet thro' bodily Weak­ness, the Afternoon was not so chearful, but I was much encouraged by instructing my Family.

1705. Sept. 2.] Still I wander, and cannot unite my scattering Thoughts: Lord! tha [...] commandest Winds and Seas, shew thy Power this Day on the hated tumultuous Thoughts of my Mind, occasioned by Business thou hast made my Duty in it's Season, and my evil Heart makes Sin this Day—Blessed be God, who has heard my Prayer, rebuked my evil Thoughts, and given me a sweet Day in his House, and at his Table.

1707. Jan. 19.] I rose early, and met my Belo­ved: Reviewed the Pages since last Sacrament: Con­fess'd with shame my wandering Thoughts, my Pee­vishness [Page 85] under my Father's Rod, my Defects of Faith, Love, Desire, Delight in God: I begg'd Pardon for Jesus sake, and renew'd my Covenant in his Strength, to be wholly and forever the Lord's; to submit to all his Discipline, and walk in all his Commandments: I rely on his Truth and Faithfulness, who allows me to plead all the Articles of his Covenant, as his Pro­mises.

May 25.] Very drowsy and indisposed in my first Hours, but then the Lord had pity, and remem­bred my Frame, and gave me some Life, e'er I left my secret Duties, and on him I rely for more in Pub­lick—I gave myself to the Guidance of God's Word and Providence; Lord! in thy Strength I submit to all thy Methods, be Surety for thy Servant.

Aug. 17.] I go to this holy Feast for encrease of Faith, that it may more clearly apprehended divine Truths, and be more distinct and firm in the Assu­rances of them: More certain & confident of them, my Consent to the Covenant more free, resolv'd, delightful; my Love more inflam'd, that I may be more patient in suffering, and more diligent in doing the Will of God: I depend on the sufficient Grace of God for Strength in all Duties; for Wisdom to direct, for Victory over Sin and Temptation; help under all Affliction, and in my last Change: Lord! these are thy Purchase, thy Promise in the Covenant, to which the Seal is annexed: Thy Command is, That I Believe: Lord! I believe, and wait for them: strengthen my Faith, Patience, and Diligence by this Ordinance.

Nov. 9.] I bewail'd my unsuitable Walking to my Covenant, and go rejoycingly to renew it this Day: To be wholly the Lord's in my Thoughts, Words, Employments, and Enjoyments: I accept my Lord Jesus in his own Way, on his own Terms: and with [Page 86] him Pardon, Adoption, Peace, Supplies of all Grace for Life, and in Death, and Eternal Life: Lord! give what thou allowest me to expect.

Decemb. 20, 21.] The Lord humbled and softned my Heart in Confession, and gives hope in his par­doning Mercy: Innumerable are the Sins of my Thoughts, Words and Actions, in every Age, State, and Relation: Aggravated by Knowledge, Means of Grace, Experience of the Evil of departing from God, in whole or in part, and the Pleasures of draw­ing near to him—Lord! I loath my evil Heart, and all its evil Frames: I am justly Jealous of its Weak­ness, Deceits, and Perfidiousness; and rely on thy Strength and Righteousness; and rejoyce in the ac­cepted Sacrifice, and thy everlasting Covenant, and would bind my slippery Soul more firmly to thee— While I strove for the most entire Resignation to his disposing Will and Providence, too many disputing Thoughts rose in my Mind, concerning his Discipline with his own Children, and his Covenant with their Seed: O Lord! I know thou art infinitely wise and good in all thou dost; help my unbelief, and fit me for Glory, where all the dark Scenes shall be clear and satisfying.

1710. Jan. 2.] Loathing my self for Sin, I re­nounce the Devil, Flesh, and World sincerely, so far as I can discern: I accept my Lord, and give up my self to him to be to his Praise, with all the Powers and Faculties of my Soul and Body, resolving in his Strength ever to stand to this Covenant—The Lord sealed his Love, while I renewed my Covenant with him.

June 19.] In sense of Deadness, Earthlines [...], and Formalities in holy Duties, and multitude of vain unprofitable Thoughts, and Words, and Weakness of Grace, I go sad and dejected to my Lord's Table, [Page 87] to bind my Soul faster to him against all Sin, to all Duty; my Soul lays hold on thy Strength, to make my Peace for former Breaches, and assist for better Performances; I give my self to thee, thro' thy Son: Lord! accept me in him; thou givest thy self by him in thy Covenant; be mine, and make me more entirely thine, according to thy sealed Covenant: I return'd with Joy and Wonder.

1711. Feb. 11.] Lord! I go forth weeping, and wanting to thy House and Table, I must always do so in this Wilderness; but blessed for ever be the Lord! my Redeemer and my King, for his bountiful Provisi­ons in the Way, of which I am invited to eat, lest the Journey be too hard for me—The Lord! my King, who invited me to his Table, and gave me a spiritual Appetite and Expectation, sat with me, and entertain'd my Soul, and sweetly excited my Repen­tance, Faith, and Love, filial Fear, and Hope: And thro' his Strength I covenanted to love him, and all his better; but, Lord! an House full of Gold can­not purchase what thou only givest.

June 17.] The Lord began some Cure upon my distant, dark, benummed Soul, in secret Reading and Prayer: But, Lord! how soon will it vanish without the fresh Aids of thy holy Spirit? (which I have so often grieved) O shew thy self to me 'till thou take me up to thee, or I shall wither and languish, and disparage thy House here, and be unfit to drink the new Wine of the Kingdom, which at present, thro' thy free Grace, I long for, and joyfully expect. Sweet and joyful hath this Day of the Son of Man been to my Soul; and my dear Redeemer satisfied me of his Love, and seal'd my Pardon at his Table; and my Soul joyfully bound itself to be his entirely in Life and Death, and depends on his Strength to keep my Covenant.

[Page 88]1712. July 27.] The Lord God of Nature, Grace and Glory, has been All in All [...] my Soul and Body this Morning: Son of David, I feel thou hast the Mercies of a God, and the Compassions of a Man: O satisfy my craving Soul with nearer and sweeter Communion with thee still in thy House, and at thy Table.

1713. April 25, 26.] O Lord! if I hate any Thing, I hate Sin; and if I love any Thing, I love thee: But, O that I could find both in more intense Degrees! — I feel, Lord! in thy Strength I can do all; tho' so weak in myself, I can do nothing: Lord! vouchsafe the benign Influences of thy Spirit, and I shall get nearer, and taste more of thee this Day than ever: Awake, O Nort [...] Wind, come thou South—bless'd Spirit blow, and I shall praise.

Octob. 11.] Bless the Lord, O my Soul! that made Grace to abound: To thee, O compassionate Physician, I owe the Cure of my wounded, defiled Soul: Lord! perfect what thy Grace begun: I have thy Word, thy Oath, thy sealed Covenant to depend upon, and thou wilt make good thy Word, in which thou hast caused me to hope.

1714. Aug. 29.] My Soul rejoyces in the Insti­tution of this sweet Love-Feast, and my declining Body makes me hope I shall drink no more this Wine, 'till I drink it new; ever new, with my dear Redee­mer: 'Till th [...]n, excite every Grace, and mortify every Corruption, O Lord! by this Ordinance— Make haste, my Beloved, when shall we meet, and part no more?

1715. March 27.] With saint and feeble Spirits I went out, leaning on my Beloved: And while my outward Man declines, his Grace has renew'd, strengthened, and reviv'd the inward: Lord! what Experience have I felt of the good Word this Morn­ing! [Page 89] and the good Spirit witnessing to my Soul the Truth of Grace: I depend on and adore thy Love to poor vile Dust.

July 31.] The Lord! my unerring Physician, sees need still of rougher Physick: And therefore made this, formerly joyful Time, to be now very melancholly to me, and not only shut me out of his House in the Morning, for want of my Hearing, but afflicted my Head with such Noise and Confusion, that I could neither read, meditate, or pray, with any Vigour of Comfort, and could get but one Hour for Preparation for the Lord's Table, in which I found some Sorrow of Heart for the Sin of my Nature, and the mournful Remainders of the first Apostacy still springing up in my Soul: Some sence of the adorable condescending Love, Mercy, Goodness, and Wisdom, that found a Ransom for so vile Transgressors; but all so short of the Subject, I knew not what to do, but begg'd the holy Spirit to assist my dull Soul: I went out in hope of some reviving, and heard some of the Sermon, and my Heart answered the Marks of a de­liberate, free, humble, thankful, hearty, unlimitted Consent to be the Lord's: I renounce all other, and love to love and obey him: I love his Precepts, and had rather conform to them all, than be pardon'd for my breaking any: I submit to his Discipline, but cannot be so chearful under, or thankful for it as I ought, or improve it as I should and would: Lord! help me, that I may neither despise the Rod, nor faint when I am corrected—I adore and love all thy Per­fections, even thy Justice, Power, and Sovereignty: I know thy Goodness is commensurate to all, and is thy Glory: I adore and take thee for my Portion here, and for ever: I desire no other, but more of thee, and then I have a goodly Heritage—I like and love thy People, tho' weak, infirm, and with [Page 90] Spots, as I have: I love thy Institutions, and long to enjoy thee in all Ordinances; to imitate thee in Ho­liness, Justice, Goodness, Patience, and Humility: Lord! thou knowest this my Love and Choice; thou madest me consent, and therefore I hope thou hast chosen me, poor, vile, infirm Wretch, for thou be­trothest in Righteousness to thy Covenant, with thy Son, my Redeemer: He has paid my Debts to thy Justice, and thou wilt not be twice paid: Thou be­trothest in Judgment, on mature Counsel; thy Gifts and Callings are without Repentance: Thou fore­sawest all Events, and how often I should abuse thy Mercy, grieve thy Spirit, and yet betrothest in Judg­ment: O adorable mere Love and kindness! to be­troth a Creature so vile by Birth, so Deform'd, so Lame, so Blind, so Weak, Poor and Prou'd: O the multitude, original, actual, first, and continued Mer­cies in this Espousal! when subject to so many In­firmities and worse Transgressions, yet in Faithfulness: Tho' I sin, and he corrects, his faithful Covenant fails not; he will never cast me off, and I shall never de­part from him. Amen. Amen.

1718. May 4.] After a dull Evening, and rest­less Night, I was very [...] sp [...]nt this Morning, yet the Lord reviv'd my [...] was the Word and Prayer, and I sincerely renew'd my Covenant, but could not reach the Joy of Faith in a sealed Pardon of my hated Sins, as sometimes before: Oh! that the holy Spirit of Love and Peace would evidence the Pardon sealed by farther degrees of Holiness.

1719. Jan. 10, 11.] Lord! if thou wilt thou canst make me clean, and thy Covenant is to pour Water on the dry Ground: I yield my Soul to thy Government—How sweet were the Smiles of my Beloved at his Tabl [...], whilst I sat under his Shadow in Tears of Joy, and Evangelical Sorrow: He seal'd [Page 91] my Pardon, and assured my Soul he is, and will be a God to me; and all he is, and has, shall be mine, for ever mine: I solemnly devoted myself, and all I am and have, to him, in a firm Dependance on his Strength, seal'd in this Covenant: I return'd with Joy at the Oath, wherewith I had bound my Soul unto God; yet was quickly seiz'd with Torpor and Drowsiness again: Lord! what short Sweets am I allow'd here? O for the uninterrupted, full, and eternal Communion at Home.

1720. March 6.] I went out and heard the Ser­mon in great Pain, and renew'd my solemn Dedica­tion of myself to God, with firm Resolution in his Strength, to acquiesce in his All wise Discipline, as best for me, how grievous soever to my Flesh—I return'd in great Torture, with Submission to the Rod, tho' very sharp.

May 1.] While I looked inward, I was almost overwhelm'd with Sorrow for the sad Remainders of vain and evil Thoughts, Pride, Selfishness, &c. which damp'd my Joy and Praise: O Lord! accept my broken Heart, which thou hast said thou wouldst not despise: Teach me better how to rejoyce and mourn together, and give me more Victory over my Heart-Sins.

[Page 92]

CHAP. IV. Her Accounts of herself on Days of Fasting and Prayer.

1690. Octo. 29. INdispos'd in Body, and greatly afflicted in Mind, for the Re­nitence of my Will, &c. I heartily mourn'd over, and loathed myself for the Madness and Folly of my Heart, waiting for a gracious Return to the Prayers of this Day.

1692. April 8.] In sad and serious Reflections on my polluted Nature and Life, mourning over mine Iniquities from Childhood to riper Age; adoring the Patience of God; abhorring the Ingratitude of my Soul; seeking Pardon, and purging in the Blood of Christ, I was graciously assisted in Publick and Secret all the Day, yet drowsy in Family-Prayer in the Evening.

Aug. 10.] Blessed be my God, and the Rock of my Salvation, that hath not forsaken his unworthy froward Child, but sweetly humbled and encouraged, cast down and listed up my Soul, while my Body languishes; hath made me taste of his loving Kind­ness, and seek Mercy for his Church, Myself, and Relations, for Mercy's sake: Sweet Day and Even­ing, my Soul held up while my Body [...]ail'd, &c.

Sept. 14.] Sad Reflections on disordered Faculties and Affections; I drew Water and pour'd out my Soul in secret Confession, and begg'd the Spirit of Humiliation and Supplication, to carry Ministers and People thro' the Duties of the Day; graciously an­swered, notwithstanding Unworthiness & guilty Fears: [Page 92] God assisted his Ministers, and drew out my Heart in Confession, Petition, and Praise: Encouraged, hum­bled, and directed by his good Word, my sinful and disponding Soul, &c.

1693. July 12.] Indispos'd when I awaked, yet God touched my Heart in Reading, Meditation, secret Prayer; and I pour'd out my Complaint, and bewail'd with Shame and Sorrow my own and the Nation's Sins, and begg'd for pardon and cleansing, and pouring out of the Spirit: The Lord heard and answered abundantly all the Day, and I follow'd hard after God, with less Interruption than usual.

Octo. 11.] Indulg'd Drowsiness in the Morning, hindered my due Preparation for the Day, which griev'd and vex'd my Soul; yet the Lord was graci­ous, and in the second Attempt in secret Prayer, drew out my Heart in Pleading▪ and he graciously heard and answered, and melted my Heart, and turn'd it to hate the Sins confessed, and enlighten'd and warm'd me by his Word, and shined on the Graces his good Spirit had wrought, and witnessed to the Marks of a true Humiliation in my Soul: And I closed the Day in Evangelical Mourning.

1695. March 2.] I set a-part this Day for Fasting and Prayer, to humble my Soul for the Sins of all my Life: I began the Day with recollecting Particulars as far as I could from my Birth, and sad and sorrow­full was the View: I thus pour'd out my Soul in Tears, and Sorrow, and Shame, to my offended Fa­ther, who graciously touch'd my Heart by his good Spirit, and found himself a Sacrifice that he hath said he never will despise—I review'd the Mercies of my Life, that aggravated my Sins, and encreas'd my Sor­row, particularly of the Year past— My Soul is humbled within me for all the Rebellion, Enmity, and Peevishness of my Childhood and Youth, and [Page 94] shameful Ingratitude of my riper Age: I abhor my­self, and acknowledge I am unworthy of any Mercy: I adore the Power, Pitty, and Goodness, that took me out, and sustain'd me from the Womb; and so long bare my ungrateful unworthy Life, and yet call'd, and invited, and caused my Return, after all the sturdy Refusals, or hypocritical partial Returns of my Soul to God, my Creator, &c. I confess with bitterest Sorrow my Ingratitude, since my more so­lemn Covenant Engagements, my Atheism, Unbelief, Distrust, &c.—I begg'd Mercy for Mercy's sake, and cleansing in the Fountain opened for Sin, and for all Uncleanness—I acknowledg'd all the Ways of God to be Mercy and Truth to me and mine: And begg'd a gracious Answer of the last Years Prayers, for my afflicted Family, in the Way, Time, and Measure, God shall see best for his Glory and our good.

1697. Jan. 25.] Reflecting on the whole Conduct of God, in bringing me to Bury, I acknowledge his great Goodness and Mercy—The Lord directed me to, and assisted me in secret Fasting and Prayer, for Health and Usefulness in this Place▪ and drew out my Heart to the Relief of poor ignorant Souls, by instructing, pitying, praying with, and for them: And I have found God faithful to his Promise, in ex­citing and quickening his Graces freely bestow'd on unworthy me, while I have endeavoured to quicken others—When I cried, he evidently heard and an­swered—Light and Health hath suddenly sprung up to Soul and Body—He hath guided me in perplexing Difficulties—He hath supported me in Languishings of Body and in Distress of Soul, and satisfied my Mind in Doubts, and expressed the most watchful Care, and tender Conduct I ever experienced—Hath never suffered me to want what I have given—Therefore [Page 95] my Soul praises my God, my Life, my All in All: And I depend on his future Care and Conduct, and resolve to follow his Ducture, though against my In­clination.

1699. Octob. 4, 5.] I work'd hard to spare the following Day for secret Prayer and Humiliation, and begg'd of God for freedom from Interruption; God heard and answer'd, and gave me the whole Day undiscover'd: After Prayer with my Family I retir'd, and begg'd the Assistance of the Holy Spirit, to dis­cover and humble for Sin; to indite my Petitions, and excite Thanksgiving and Praise: I reviewed my State and Conversation for Ten Years past, in this Diary, and recollected what I could before, wherein I found great Matter of Humiliation and Praise: I began with Confession, in which my Heart was some­what melted, and some Sorrow, and Shame, and Ha­tred of, and Resolution to forsake my Sins follow'd, yet all short of what I should and would have felt; I look to Christ for Pardon—I review'd my Life since I came to this Place, with all the Circumstances that brought me [...]ither▪ and concurr'd to the Change of my State, and fixing me in his Habitation: All which I take to be plainly directed by the All-wise God, in Mercy to me—I was carried thro' this Day with less Weariness and Indisposition of [...] than us [...]l, and my Mind calm and quiet, waiting a gra­cious Answer, and resolving quiet Submission what­ever it be.

17 [...]1. Feb. 14.] Bodily Indisposition made me begin late; but I begg'd the whole Day without In­terruption, which God granted: And I began with searching out Sin by the Assembly's Catechism, and my Heart was fill'd with Shame and Sorrow for Dullness, Wandering, Straitness in Duties of religious Worship: Sloth, and Selfishness, and Unfruitfulness [Page 96] in my Life, which I confess'd, bewail'd, begg'd Strength against, and Direction for some more Use­fulness—I pleaded Covenant-Mercies for all the Branches of my Family; that Prayers on the File, by godly Ancestors, may have an Answe [...] of Peace, and their natural and adopted Seed, and Seed's Seed, may not be cut off from the Covenant of God with Pa­rents.

1703. Jan. 4.] I set apart the Forenoon of this Day to humble my Soul for Sin, in confessing and be­wailing of which I was help'd with some Brokenness of Heart: I thankfully renew'd my Covenant, and hope and expect the promis'd Aids of the holy Spirit, to subdue Sin, encrease and quicken Grace, and guide me to Glory—O God! that hast and dost help, never leave thy poor, weak, wandering Child, E. B.

1704. Jan. 1.] I rose early, and was much in­disposed, but begg'd of God, that encouraged me to secret Fasting and Prayer, that he would enable me for, and accept me in the Duty: Some gracious Assistance I had in Prayer with my Family; after which I retired to search my Heart, and was truly sorrowful for, and ashamed of my Sins from my Childhood to this very Day—I acknowledg'd with Thankfulness, that God had been very gracious to me the Year past, in many Answers of Prayer for my self and others, for Body and Soul; and that he had spoke Comfort by my unworthy Mouth to some in Anguish of Mind: I solemnly renew'd my Dedi­cation to God in Mr. Baxter's Words, which ex­presses my Heart's Desire—I concluded the Day with Praise, as I could, in great Pain & Weakness of Body and Mind: And depending on the Sacrifice of my great High Priest, I expect Attonement and Strength to walk more to his Glory, and resolve to endeavour more Usefulness.

[Page 97]1706. March 19, 20.] In preparation for the approaching Fast, my Soul applied to God for Assist­ance to Ministers and People, my Heart was deeply affected with the Malignity of Sin, and longs for per­fect Holiness: I mourn'd over the Sins of the Nation and Church, and begg'd the Spirit of Reformation and Supplication to be pour'd on all; particularly, that Bury might be a Bochim, &c. and wrestle and prevail—Faint and dispirited, I look'd to God for Strength—I begg'd, and he has promised to accept a broken and contrite Heart—God gave me a gra­cious Answer.

1708. Jan. 14.] Blessed be God, who did not forsake his sinful unworthy Creature in the publick and secret Duties of this Day: Lord! who hast humbled and melted my Heart for the Breach of thy holy Law, and helped me to ask thy holy Spirit; O give a more plentiful Measure to unworthy sinful me, and my miserable Family: Lord! hear, for Jesus sake, the Prayers of this Day, and many on the File, for the degenerate Race of godly Ancestors in Britain and Ireland— Lord! let thy Spirit stand with thy Minister this Day, and make everlasting Impressions on all that hear him.

1709. Jan. 19, 20.] Mr. B. being abroad, I re­solv'd on the following Day as a secret Fast—I a­wak'd with Thoughts of the Aggrevation of Solomon's Sins, after the Lord had appeared to him twice: I confess'd the Sins of my Heart and Life, of my Fa­mily, of the Church and Nation, with some sorrow and shame, tho' far short of what they call for: I ac­knowledg'd the Justice of God in all his smart Re­bukes on my Family, and me in them: I begg'd for the Spirit of Holiness to sanctify me more and more, and to revive decay'd Piety; to reduce the Seed of the Righteous; to provide for and dispose of poor [Page 98] helpless Relations—I begg'd the over-ruling Power of God on the Parliament, that Iniquity may not be established by Law, and holy Institutions continue prostituted to vile Uses: I solemnly devoted myself, and all dear to me, to God, his Service, and Interest; resolving in his Strength against all Sin, and for all Duty; particularly to be helpful, so far as God shall teach and enable me, to all that ask my Assistance in Sickness of Body, or Trouble of Mind—On review of the whole Day, I lay down ashamed at the Dul­ness and Straitness of my Heart in all the Duties of it, relying on the Lord, my Righteousness, for Pardon and Acceptance.

1711. Jan. 6.] The Lord indulg'd me with more Time and Freedom; but I found great Reason to be­wail the Vanity, Distance, and Darkness of my Thoughts: I bemoan'd my Defects; pleaded what I could for myself and others; but my Strength fail'd in the Evening, my Spirit tir'd, and I was lost in Fa­mily Worship, which makes me resolve against set­ting a-part a whole Day again for the future.

March 28, 29, 30, 31.] I began the Day with some Life in secret and publick Prayer, but was after­wards faint and dizzy: Lord! how poor, how short, how imperfect, are my best Duties!—God refresh'd my indisposed Head, and revived my drooping Soul in the Morning—Many gracious Answers of Prayer has God given unworthy me; and a few of his poor Children met to seek his Face, for recovering sick Friends, and preserving others from infectious Dis­eases: For a Blessing on the Means of Grace, to many of Mr. B's Charge: For extraordinary Sup­port under extream Pain, and Strength for his Work beyond Expectation: Lord! who hearest for Jesus sake, the Supplications of a few of thy poor Children in particular and private Cases, wilt thou not regard [Page 99] the united Cries of thy travailing Zion, and maintain her Cause so far as it is thine own? Jehovah-Jesus! maintain thy Royal Power in thy Church, against all who would, or do oppose it; and protect and encour­age all, who, in the sincerity of their Heart, seek the Preservation of thy sacred Institutions in their primitive Purity: Lord! unite all that love thee, and bear thy Image; And tho' our Breaches seem wide as the Sea, yet do thou pour out a Spirit of Love, and Peace, and Purity, and heal them—Lord! if Sodom might have been spared for Ten Righteous, might not Britain for many more!—The History of the Jewish Church, after Jehoshaphat's Reign, made my Heart sad, yet I know not the length of God's Patience, therefore pray and wait, in hopes that God may yet be entreated for us, and deliver his Church from crafty proud Enemies, who own their Resolu­tion to suppress those that cannot comply with their dividing Articles of Communion; but wherein Men deal proudly, God will be above them; he turns the Counsel of the Froward headlong, and takes the Crafty in their own Craft.

1718. Octob. 16.] My Heart was melted for Sin in Meditation on Gospel-Grace and Love: I was very desirous to join with the Congregation in Prayer on Mr. Wright's Account: I begg'd Hearing, and hoped I might have heard more, but struggling to attend confused my Head, and damp'd my Heart: Lord! reconcile me to all thy Methods of humbling and cleansing my sinful Soul.

[Page 100]

CHAP. V. Answers to Prayers, and Deliver­ances in Danger.

1690. Dec. 30. A Memorable Answer of Prayer: Solemn Resolution to value Prayer more, and honour a God-Hear­ing-Prayer, by more humble Re­signation, and joyful Expectation.

1691. Jan. 20.] A gracious Answer of Prayer in opening a Way to the Gospel in—where there is great need, and many Adversaries.

Juy, 21.] Gracious Assistance in Prayer, and Return of it; while I cried, God heard, and strength­ened me with Strength in my Soul, and fulfilled his Promise: Thee will I praise; to thee I commit my Ways, and thee will I serve all my Days. Amen.

Dec. 4.] Memorable Answers of Prayers breath'd forth to God for five Years past, wherein he hath shewn his Covenant-Love and Faithfulness, upon which I resolv'd to call upon him all the Days of my Life.

1692. Jan. 25.] God drew out my Heart in Pray­er, and quieted my Spirit in Dependance, and gave me memorable Instances of his hearing and answering Prayer in the very Petitions ask'd for some here, and for others at a distance, &c.

1693. May 28, 29.] A God-Hearing-Prayer, that hath the Week past been entreated of poor Dust for Spiritual and Temporal, for Personal and Relative Mercies, ask'd in many Instances; particularly Assist­ance and Success to a Minister: Answer'd abundant­ly—Bless the Lord, O my Soul, who hath fulfill'd with his Hand, what his Mouth hath spoken; and been the Lord, my Teacher, my Healer, my Righte­ousness, [Page 101] that prepared my Heart to pray, and hath shewed me all his Ways are Mercy and Truth, &c.

Sept. 10.] O how gracious, how full, how sweet, was the Answer of my poor, languid, defective Prayer, in abundant Assistance in Body and Spirit, to Gospel-Heraulds, publishing free Grace to vilest Dust, &c.

1694. Sept. 3.] A great Answer of Prayer, in the Recovery of a Child, by immediate help from God, when thought to be past all Hope.

Decemb. 13.] The Lord was gracious to my Sister in a miraculous Recovery, for which I could not pray in Faith, or praise with that spiritual Joy, which the Mercy call'd for.

1695. Jan. 9.] A gracious Answer of Prayer in a searching Sermon, in which my Heart answer'd comfortably to the Articles of Enquiry.

April 20.] My Soul acknowledged the Truth and Mercy of my Prayer-Hearing-God, that taught me to ask, seek, and knock; and made me receive, find, and opened to his poor Suppliant many thousand times in this Place abundantly: I adore his Wisdom, and confess his Love, even in Denials, and beg his Con­duct and Presence for the future.

May 9.] A gracious Turn of Distempers by God's immediate Hand.

Sept. 20.] The Lord has been gracious to me in this Place, and heard Prayer, for myself, Friends at distance, for wicked Seed of godly Parents, for which my Soul prais'd the Lord.

Ibid. 22.] I adore and praise the Lord for many and great Returns of Prayer; particularly for such as occasions the Thanksgivings of this Day, some of which were sought by a poor handful of People at — July 23. past.

1696. March 16.] I engaged the three Pastors of the Congregation to seek God for me and mine: [Page 102] I pour'd out my own Heart in secret Confession to God, and pray'd that God would prepare the Hearts of his Ministers to pray, and bow his Ear and hear: And great was his Assistance to them and me, and great my Hope and Expectation: Our Supplications were chiefly for healing a Child under sore and strange Fits, but especially for her Conversion, urging God's Covenant with her Parent, and Prayers and Tears, and solemn Dedications upon the File.

Ibid. 31.] My Soul praises God with Chearfulness, for mitigating, & giving us Hopes of removing the Child's Fits: I love the Lord, and depend upon him more.

April 12.] I acknowledge the great Mercy of God to a young Woman under sore Temptations, in Answer to Prayer for her, and with her.

1698. March 4.] Surprised by a dreadful Fire, that seem'd very near us; I cry'd to God for sparing Mercy, to my own Habitation and the Town, and God gave me a gracious Answer.

Ibid. 7.] I found God had heard my Prayer for a Word in Season, to awaken some poor Sinners, even while my own Heart was dull and drowsy, God alarm'd some that before were dead in Sin.

1699. July 13.] We returned safe from London this Evening, to our own Habitation, which we had committed to God's Care, who mercifully preserv'd it, notwithstanding an Attempt to break it open.

1701. Sept. 7.] I pleaded hard with God to assist his Messenger this Day, to convince, and convert, and quicken, and comfort by his Word; especially, one that is under great Guilt and Stupidity—It appeared God heard my Prayer for convincing the Guilty, who was brought under great Terror: The Lord carry on the Work to a thorough Conversion.

1702. Feb. 11.] I begg'd divine Protection this Day in Journeying, and we were wonderfully deliver'd [Page 103] in a very imminent Danger: The Foot-board break­ing, the Coachman fell betwixt the Horses, one of which was very unruly, and had like to have kick'd his Brains out; and both ran several Yards, the Coach­man being within half a Foot of having his Back broke by the Fore-Axle-Tree, e'er Mr.B— discern'd him to be out of the Box: Yet the Lord mercifully stopp'd the Horses, and we went on safely; and the Word was sweet to my Soul, and I hope successful to others.

Ibid. 18.] A dreadful Fire brake out in the Wooll-Hall; the Wind high and strong, threatning great part of the Town, and my House: In which I look'd to God, that gave me a plentiful Furniture, to pre­serve and continue what his Bounty gave, without my Desert, and beyond my Hopes; and my Heart submitted to his Will, and he soon extinguished the Flame.

March 27.] God answered, and by Conversation with others, I came now to understand that God had graciously answer'd my Prayers for my little Niece, tho' her Life was denied us; yet God ordained Praise out of the Mouth of that Babe, who instructed and profited many, by her Discourse and Submission, and rare Consolations in her Extremity; which I desire to acknowledge to God's Praise, and my own En­couragement, as a full Answer to the Meaning, and much to the Words of all my Prayers on her Behalf; and I do here record it for strengthening my own and others Faith.

Ibid. 28.] Gracious Answers of Prayers, oft while I am praying; sometimes soon after, at other times long after praying but always very seasonable.

April 14.] I begg'd divine Protection, and went out to visit a sick Friend, and went safely; but in my Return, the Horses being very unruly, ran us down [Page 104] an Hill, and against a Bridge, and brake that and the Coach both, yet the Lord preserv'd me and two Children with me, that we had no harm.

1703, Nov. 27.] A most tempestuous Night; but God heard Prayer, and preserv'd the pleasant Ha­bitation he bestow'd upon us: Whilst abundance of other Houses were laid waste, there was only a very little Glass broke in ours: We were the wonder of our Neighbourhood for Preservation: We gave Thanks to God in secret, and in the Family, and begg'd to be distinguish'd by true Piety, as we were by providential Care.

1704. July 17.] In great Pain till Noon, when a dreadful Fire raged near our House: I went up to view it, and pray'd to God to distinguish us in the common Calamity, and preserve the Habitation we ask'd of, and solemnly dedicated to him: God heard and turn'd the Wind to save us—We committed our selves and Habitation to God, and slept in Safety.

1705. March 9.] Ill Health inclin'd me to pen­sive Sadness; but I was cured in the Evening by a sinsible Memorial of a gracious Preservation, while a Fire brake out at Bury, which threatned great Part of the Town; and while Mr. B. with his Family acknowledg'd God's Sovereignty and Justice, and our ill Deserts, and pleaded Mercy, for Christ's sake to spare the Town, and distinguish between the Pious and the Wicked; the Lord rebuked the Flames, and spared some good Families in imminent Danger.

Dec. 27.] This Night we had a merciful Rescue from Fire, kindled in a Cellar among small Wood, not discovered 'till the Morning, just before we met for Family-Prayer.

1706. March 30.] My Prayers for many Months past, now graciously and fully answered, for a poor unstable Soul under Backslidings, who is now return­ing [Page 105] with Shame and Sorrow to the holy Feast he has long neglected: I begg'd of God to pity, pardon, comfort, and establish him in his House, and at his Table; and gave Thanks for his Blessing on his Word preach'd, and private Conversation and Prayer for his poor Ambassador.

1707. Jan. 12.] I pleaded God's Promise, to meet and bless his assembled People, for Strength and Healing to his poor infirm Ambassador, and Success on his Preaching, and private Instructions—Bless the Lord, O my Soul! for a chearful Day and Even­ing.

July 17.] At Midnight, a doleful Cry of Fire rais'd the Town, and our Family all went forth, save myself and one Servant: I retired to my Closet, and pour'd out my Heart to God, and begg'd the Town might yet be spared, and reform'd; his People distinguished in the threatning Calamity; the Helps preserved and succeeded: I acknowledged former distinguishing Mercies to me, and many of God's Children in like Dangers: And the Lord sent a plen­tiful Shower, and held the Winds from blowing; and when I went out of my Closet, I perceiv'd an Abatement of the Flames: I endeavour'd to improve the Midnight Cry in Discourse with my Servant; then return'd to secret Prayer again for the Town, and the Lord heard the Cry of the Afflicted, and re­buked the Flames, which were mastered in less than an Hour and half's Time.

1708. Jan. 22.] The Lord assisted me in pouring out my Heart in secret Prayer for — and he presently answered.

March 12.] I had heartily pray'd for poor, doubt­ing, trembling Souls, and found by my Converse with them, that God had graciously heard my Cry, for supporting them in horrid Temptations, and strength­ening [Page 106] them to Combate with prevailing Corruptions; and still uses unworthy me as an Instrument of some good to others, tho' so evil myself: To thee, Lord! be all the Glory.

April 15.] The Lord has heard Prayer, and an­swer'd signally, in defeating the French Invasion; dispersing the false Prophets from these Parts; soft­ning the Spirits Mr. B. laboured with for Famil [...]-Peace, and obviating a Difficulty in his Ministerial Office.

1709. April 5.] I was much indisposed and dis­pirited, and inclined to Melancholly; and late, in secret Prayer in my Chamber, my Cloaths took Fire I know not how, nor could I discover it 'till I arose from my Knees; yet the Lord, my Preserver, di­rected my Hands to subdue it; and my Servants (without my Calling) came immediately to my Assist­ance, and I received no harm, blessed be God!

May 26.] I spent the Forenoon in frequent short Addresses to the Throne of Grace for seasonable spee­dy Relief to over-pressed Spirits; I pleaded Promises to Hearing, and Prayer, and that the Peace of God may guard their Minds, and make all to work to­gether for good; and concluded with Praise for dis­tinguishing Mercy to unworthy me, and my Spirit was calm, and I wait in Faith and Hope of a gracious An­swer—The Prayers of this private Fast were mer­cifully answered, June 22.—

1711. Nov. 1.] I received my dear Mr. B. in safety, tho' pursued by an Highwayman, late in the dark, so graciously hath God heard Prayer for us asunder.

1712. June 17. to July 9.] In the Morning with an unusual Faith and Fervency, I was drawn out in secret Prayer for the Church of God, especially in these sinful Islands—In the Evening about Seven or [Page 107] Eight a Clock, I was seized with a violent Rigour upon my Nerves, which lasted all Night, and the next Morning a Fever succeeded, which affected my Head, that I was incapable of directing those about me, what to do with me: Yet so graciously did the Lord hear my daily and last Supplication in secret, that I was willing rather to depart and be with Christ, and had not one Cloud, Doubt, or Fear of Death thro' the whole Sickness: The Disease appear'd desperate, and no Hope of my Life from Humane help remain'd: But my dear Relations ceas'd not to pray, and call on others to join; and many from whom I expected not so great a share of Affection, were much enlarg'd in Prayer for me; and the Lord was entreated to spare a poor, sinful, unworthy, unprofitable Creature, and say, Return; while the strong Men bowed under the same Disease, and fell down slain, tho' the same Physicians, and Means used for them as for my self— So, Father! it has seem'd good in thy Sight; thy Will be done: But what shall I render? What shall I do?— I am thankful for Life; it is God's Gift; it is given in answer of Prayer: But, Lord! if I im­prove it not to thy greater Glory, how sad shall I be? Thou knowest I had no desire to live, but for better Service: And shall I be called from a seeming abun­dant Entrance into Glory again, to struggle with Flesh and Blood, World and Devil, and not be made more than Conqueror, through the Captain of my Salvation? O Lord! on thee, through thy Assistance did I cast my sinful Soul, and loathsome Body, when I thought them parting, without a relucting Thought: And shall I distrust thy Power, or Love, in what thou hast for me yet to do, or suffer? Strengthen my Faith by this Experience of thy Power and Goodness, for Jesus sake, whom thou hearest always.

[Page 108]1714. Dec. 4.] Being with Mrs. W. in a deplorable Trav [...]l, she desired me to go Home and pray for her; and not long after my poor dispatch of the Errand, and while we were recommending her Case to God in our Family, she was delivered of a living Son, to our great surprise.

1715. Octob. 1.] Having been extreamly Deaf and Asthmatick, since July 24. I now hear and breathe with usual freedom: My Hearing returned of a sud­den, with stretching Noise, which I cannot account for: Lord God of Nature! that madest and knowest every Part, thou canst and hast heal'd a poor Worm suddenly and unaccountably, I will ever praise thee.

1718. Dec. 3, 4.] Thankful for former Ex­periences, I pleaded God's Promise for Direction, in a very difficult Affair, resolved to wait his Time and Way—In one Hour God opened a promising Scene.

CHAP. VI. Some of her Morning and Evening Remarks.

1690. Sept. 28. O Infinite Love, that hast Mercy on whom thou wilt have Mer­cy! after what Indispositions, Sins, Uncomfortableness, and Discouragements, dost thou yet invite, excite, draw, and allure thy poor, wandering, returning, un-deserving, ill-deserving Dust! He­mingford est mihi Phanuel, ibi apparuit mihi Dominus.

[Page 109] October 3.] More sparing Communion in secret, more abundant in the Family, very sweet in the E­vening.

Ibid. 30, 31.] Strength to combate, rather than overcome; yet some Victory, and more expected from the all-conquering Spirit of God, freely pro­mised.

Nov. 4.] Happy Morning! while I enjoy'd, what I never deserv'd to have tasted more.

1691. Aug. 5.] Bewailing Pride and Peevishness, with little Victory, loathing my self for dishonouring God, by uncomfortable walking; begging God to shew me why he contended with me, in withdrawing the comfortable Influences of his holy Spirit.

Octo. 22.] God met his poor Dust in the Mor­ning; but oh! whither did my Heart wander after­wards!

Ibid. 26.] O unstable Soul! how soon diverted from, or disturb'd in Acts of Love and Praise to God, who has given me Songs in the Night.

Nov. 11.] Sweet Assistance and Influence of the good Spirit of Grace this Morning: Lord! what a Bethel dost thou sometimes make my Chamber? What shall. I render to him that taught me to pray, and so often and manifestly heard and answered?

Ibid. 30.] O Lord! truly I am thy Servant, I am willing to be at thy Disposal; and if ever I reluct thy Dispensations again, let this Morning's Entertain­ment and Resolution witness against me.

1692. Jan. 16.] More lively, and satisfied in re­volving the Thoughts of God, than in expressing my Wants, Desires, or Acknowledgments in Prayer, yet in both graciously assisted by the free Spirit—Some better Temper under sad Tidings than formerly.

Ibid. 29.] Lord! how unspeakably sweet has this Morning's Address been? Thy Presence has been bet­ter [Page 110] than Life in its utmost Perfection: And if ever I choose the best of sensual Pleasures before, or with the Abatement of ought I have tasted this Morning, let these Lines witness against and recal my backslid­ing Soul: Oh! that poor deceived Worldings might taste of thy Provisions! and that thy dear distressed Children might feed joyfully thereon! Lord, support in the Way those whom thy Grace hath made Heirs and Expectants of future Glory.

Feb. 5.] Three Hours spent at Thurlow-Hall this Day, were more sweet than a Thousand else-where.

Ibid. 13] Lively Communications of the holy Spirit repeated, after all the Dulness and drooping [...]orpors of my Soul, under bodily Distempers: Oh! how sweetly variegated are my heavenly Father's most wise Dispensations! and how unthrifty my barren Soul under this rich Manuring! How much still re­mains of uncured bewailed Distance from God? Of secret, sly Preferences of poor, sordid, low, little In­terests of this Flesh, to the Glory of my only Right­ful Sovereign, Lord, Owner, Benefactor, final Hap­piness, &c.

Ibid. 15.] Still adoring the divine Conduct, that by every Wind is driving his poor, wandering Crea­ture to Eternal Rest.

Ibid. 19.] Ashamed and sad, in consideration of the wonderful Structure of my Cla [...]-House, inform'd by an immortal Spirit, capable of Reflection, &c. so long utterly, useless to my Creator's Glory: St [...]ll so little answering the noble Intentions to which Body and Soul were most wisely and right [...]usly directed, yet adoring the divine Bounty, Pity, and Patience, that pardons, adopts, sanctifies such unworthy Dust: I resign'd Body and Soul entirely to him that made them, begging a willing, happy Dissolution.

[Page 111] April 5.] Sweet Morning! God hath drawn, and my Heart ascended: His Spirit indited and urged strong Cries for more Grace, more Stability in Faith, Obedience, Resignation, Adherence to God my Rock; Purging, Pity, Provision, for poor, pained, tortur'd Friends; for Returns to the Erring; Taste of the Provisions of God's House to Strangers; Success of the Gospel; Reformations of Churches abroad and at home; particularly, a penitent Temper and Disposi­tion to England this Day.

Ibid. 7.] Unstable as Water, my Soul cannot ex­cell: Where are the sweet Influences lately tasted? O immutable, omnipotent Father of Spirits, in thee only I live, move, and am; thy Gifts and Callings are without Repentance, thou can'st raise the Dead, let my Soul revive.

Ibid. 19.] The Lord hath made good his Word, on which he hath caused me to hope, evidencing Par­don of Sin, that I cannot say I am sick: So sweet­ning bodily Langours, that my Heart chooses Pain and Sickness, with such Manifestations of Covenant-Love, rather than the best Ease I ever enjoy'd, with less Light of God's Countenance.

July 2.] Pained Flesh, with a placed Mind, makes joyful Groans: Pleading my Share, thro' free abound­ing Grace, in the rich Inventory my Lord hath be­queathed to such vile Dust as I am. If Paul or Apol­los, if [...] and Death are mine, why may I not ex­pect the Promise, and what the holy Spirit has help'd me so oft to beg? Lord! say, Amen.

Ibid. 19.] All the World never gave me such sa­tisfying Delight as this Morning's Communion with God: And whence is this to me, that my Lord will thus visit, revive, and cherish his poor dull, languish­ing, unworthy Child! O what shall the full, satisfy­ing, assimilating, eternal, immediate Vision of God be!

[Page 112] Sept. 1.] My Joy soon abated; 'tis April Weather with me; I am still in a floating Island: Lord! when shall I dwell on the Continent?

Ibid. 16.] Sorely afflicted with acute Pains, and threatning Symptoms; yet encouraged and upheld by the Light of God's Countenance, better than Life or Ease. My Soul thirsted after God; I was free from the Terror of the dark Valley, to which I tho't myself approaching: Desirous to be dissolved, yet willing to live, if I might thereby more honour God.

Ibid. 20.] Awaked with God, but presently wan­dering from him, recover'd in Reading, Meditation, and Prayer: Lord! encrease my Faith to a more steady fixing on thee, my God, my All.

Ibid. 27.] Lord! how good art thou? How vile am I? Sad Reflection on the Fountain that sends forth vain and evil Thoughts.

Ibid. 30.] The brightest Manifestation of divine Love soon hid by Clouds of vain and wicked Tho'ts, which yet distilling in penitental Tears, are succeeded with sweet Glances: Lord! if such Thorns in the Flesh must follow every Lift which thou givest me Heaven-ward, let it keep me more humble, watch­ful, and prayerful, and strengthen my Faith in all.

Octob. 14.] The Lord is my Shepherd, Physician, Pilot, to him I cried and cleave, and he hath brought back my wandering, heal'd and guided my wounded Soul, and spake my tumultuous Thoughts and Passi­ons into a sweet Calm: Return to thy Rest, O my Soul! and let this Experience teach thee whither to fly in future Storms, from Satan or thy raging Lusts.

Ibid. 19.] Still met, encouraged, and assisted; acting weak, and begging stronger Faith on my Al­mighty Redeemer, with thankful Acknowledgment of his powerful Aid, subduing my Corruptions, help­ing me to plead for a further Effusion of the Spirit, and to long for spotless Perfection in Glory.

[Page 113] Dec. 14.] Glorious Sights of future Glory sweeter the World's Frowns and Death's Terrors: And now Lord! let me see Man no more on Earth, if I may see the Redeemer of lost Man in Glory: O the Tri­umphs of thy Love! And what can vile Dust say more? Is this the manner of Men, O Lord! who is it that finds his Enemy and lets him go? But how long, and how oft hast thou found me in Enmity, and rescued me from my self-ruining Lusts? And now shined into my ungrateful Soul, as if I had never griev'd thy Spirit: Oh! keep for ever the Impressions of thy mysterious Love on my unstable Spirit.

1693. Jan. 2.] I adore thy preventing Grace to an unworthy, yet returning Prodigal: Lord! how hast thou confuted my guilty Fears, and made me joyful in the House of Prayer! O let unparallell'd Love beget some suitable Affections that may never wear off, and keep alive present Resentments, 'till I begin Eternal Hallelujahs. Amen.

Ibid. 6.] Some Help, more Hope of the Spirit of Grace to purify, sanctify, &c. Lord! what cannot free Grace make of the vilest Wretch! on thy Righ­teousness alone I rest my guilty polluted Soul; help, Lord!

Ibid. 21.] Serious Reflections on the uncreature-like Temper of my Spirit from Infancy to Age, humbled my Soul, and makes me adore divine Pati­ence, and thankful for a begun Cure, and good hope thro' Grace, of perfect Purity.

Feb. 1.] Pain continued, but greatly sweetned by Communion with God: Some Tastes of, and Breath­ings after my heavenly Country—A comfortable Meeting with my Beloved in his House; I adored his condescending Love, in teaching vile, dull, fro­ward me by Word, Rod, and Spirit.

[Page 114] Ibid. 9.] Awaked with God, and found his good Spirit drawing my Heart upward; and some H [...]lp against spiritual Enemies, that had made me weary of my Life: Willing to follow where God leads, tho' sore against my natural Inclination.

Ibid. 11.] Crying to God that heals my bodily Infirmities, to perfect the Work of Sanctification on my Soul, longing for Cleansing from the Leprosy of Sin, tho' by pulling down the House.

Ibid. 16.] Continual violent Pains render me in­capable of Reading, Prayer, or Meditation: Yet willing of any Discipline for Cure of spiritual Mala­dies, under which I still labour: Strike, Lord! so thou still healest; Wound for Cure, and spare not.

Ibid. 27.] Adoring the Wisdom of God that re­serv'd such full Discoveries of Sin to Maturity, that might have sunk me in my first Conversion: Apply­ing Christ's Blood, pleading his Covenant, and Pro­mises of Cleansing: Begging his daily Aid in Temp­tation, and Conduct in Life, with entire Submission endeavour'd and aim'd at, bemoaning Reluctances, &c.

April 11.] Still indulg'd by smiling Providences, begging my corrupt Nature may not turn Mercies to my Bane, or abuse the tender Love of God to his Dishonour, but in all the Sweetness tasted in the Streams, be led to the Fountain, and find this Day's expected Meeting in God's House bless'd to that End God heard and answered, and my Soul was encour­aged against the Fear of Death, and refresh'd and comforted.

Ibid. 24.] I began the Day comfortably, but hastily accepted an Invitation to a Journey of Plea­sure, before I had Time to ask Counsel of God, made me fear the Success; but the Lord was gracious, and preserv'd me, and sweetned the Day by good Company in singing to his Praise.

[Page 115] May 6.] Reflicting on my sinful Soul, from my Childhood to this Day, I find my Heart humbled with amasing Sorrow for what I still remember, and feel the Remainders of, and astonished at the Patience of God, in whose sight all my past, (remembered and forgotten Sins, as to me) are still present, that yet waits to be gracious to an ungrateful and rebel­lious Creature: I acknowledge, I deserve nothing but Hell, yet fly to his offered Mercy in Christ, and beg he would deal with my Sins after his own hatred of them, and shew Mercy to me, miserable Sinner, ac­cording to the Tenor of his gracious Covenant in Christ Jesus.

Ibid. 23.] Griev'd at my rash Compliances, with missing the Lecture this Day by my Friends soliciting and engaging me Yesterday to a Journey before due Consideration) I cried to God for Pardon in the Blood of Christ, that cleanses from all Sin, and begg'd his holy Spirit to compensate my guilty Loss of pub­lick Ordinances by private Conversation, and resolve in his Strength against hasty Resolutions for the fu­ture—The Lord was gracious and heard my Prayer, and made the Day comfortable.

Ibid. 30.] Interrupted in secret Duties by Busi­ness, sincerely design'd to the Glory of God; the Success answer'd not my Care, yet the Lord was gracious, and heard the poor, wandering, short Re­quests of my Soul, and made me adore his Love, and loath myself.

August 4.] The God of Love drew near to my Soul, and made me taste inexpressible Instances of his Power and Love, that carried me above former Temptations, that used to intangle and ensnare my Soul: And fill'd me with joyful Hope of his eternal Love, that my Soul ascended in a Flame of Love and Desire to be with him—His powerful Influence [Page 116] this Morning experienced, makes me submit to his Pleasure, in continuing my painful Combate with Sin, and abates the Horror of Suffering, 'till he shall in Mercy call me from both, to eternal Rest and Glory.

Ibid. 24.] I adore thy Goodness in Evidences of thy Love to me (such ungrateful Dust) and of my Love to thee, tho' so mix'd, imperfect, and languid, that I loath myself—O Lord! let Love beget Love; and now, when I begin to cry, thou hearest, and my Heart begins to burn.

Sept. 2.] Sadly disturb'd with mere Trifles: Lord! how impossible is it to watch one Hour with­out thee? Reviewing the Temper and Transactions of my Soul, and the Dealings of God with me the Year past, I find Matters of deep Humiliation from the constant Eruptions of my polluted Nature— Unkind, ungrateful, unnatural Carriage, to the most beneficent, indulgent, patient, compassionate Father, Redeemer, and Comforter—Sufficient Grace in doleful Combats, encouraging Answers of Prayer in all my Distresses; so that the Joys and Sorrows of the past Year, seem higher and deeper than in any preceeding Year.

Ibid. 4.] O Lord! that hast promised, if I re­sist thou wouldst make my Enemy fly: And hast enabled me to resist, make good thy Word to thy Servant, on which thou hast caused me to hope, and give me in due Time, a joyful Victory, and in the mean Time sufficient Grace, for so thy sealed Co­venant assures me, on which I humbly challenge thee—

Ibid 16.] Indisposed Body clogging my ascending Soul: Relucting Flesh struggling with a resigning Will: The holy Spirit assisting, some Victory; sweet, calm, joyful Hope, Love, and Longing for [Page 117] the Coming of my Lord, Redeemer; my Life, Love, Joy, and Crown.

Ibid 26.] Lifted up in Reading, Meditation, and Prayer, more than ordinary; so far above the World that it was almost painful to converse in it.

Nov. 4.] Reflecting on my State, God gave me his Spirit to bear Witness with mine, of his Grace in Conversion, rescuing my miserable, guilty, lost Soul, by his precious Blood and almighty Power, and fill'd my Heart with Joy, and melted it with filial Sorrow: Encreas'd and encourag'd its Dependance on my Lord, Redeemer, and excited Love, and Longing after further Enjoyments of him. View­ing my sinful Heart and Life more fully, my Soul was amazed to doleful Dulness, and lost its lively Sense of Christ's dying Love.

Dec. 11.] I heartily and entirely resign'd all I had, or would have, to God's dispose, resolving to Praise and Love him, whatever he does with His, or Mine, or Me—Thus the God of Love laid in his Cordials to prevent the Fainting of my Soul un­der a sharp Dispensation; and in a few Hours after, I received the News of dear Sister H's Death, with more Composure of my Spirit than I expected, and with more chearful Resignation than I ever yet ex­perienced, under so afflicting a Stroke: Yet the awful Sense of God's Anger, together with natural Affection to the Deceased, and her surviving Chil­dren, ruffled my Mind into a Dispute of God's be­ing a God hearing Prayer.

1694. Jan. 3.] A painful, thoughtful Morning: No Guess yet at God's Meaning in this unpleasant Justle, from sweet Retirement in the Country, to sad Noise in London; yet unfeignedly willing, and will be thankful for any Method that shall cure the loathed Corruptions of my Heart, in hopes whereof I came, [Page 118] as I supposed, at God's Call, and wait his Pleasure, and beg his Spirit to supply all my Wants, and qualify for all Duty.

Ibid. 6.] I pour'd out my Complaints to God, and urg'd the Promise of his holy Spirit; and appeal'd to his All-searching Eye the sincerity of my Heart in following his Call to this Place, and begg'd his Direc­tion and Presence in Spiritual and Temporal Affairs, resting my guilty, weary Soul, and all secular Difficul­ties, on him that came to minister to the Necessities of lost Man.

April 3.] Blessed be the God of all Mercy, who graciously preserv'd my Habitation in the Country from Fire, kindled an Hour before it was discovered, that I had no Injury thereby.

June 12.] Confined to my Bed 'till Four in the Afternoon, in great Pain and Indisposition of Body and Spirit, yet supported to Patience, under my own and Relations Calamity: When I arose, I cried to the God of Truth, to pay what had been lent to him, in Pity to the Poor, and he heard and helped e're Sun­set.

Octo. 20.] A Fire broke out near my Chamber in the Evening, which was mercifully put out with lit­tle Disturbance to me; and another season [...]bly pre­vented at Midnight, without my Knowledge or Care.

Ibid. 23.] Some sweet foretasts of the Pleasures of a disembodied State: Ah! too short, imperfect, distant! Bless the Lord, O my Soul! for any thing in present, with future Hope.

Nov. 5.] Blessed be God, my Rock and Strength, tho' my Joys are often interrupted, my solid Peace and Satisfaction is continued.

Ibid. 14.] My Soul melt [...]d in Meditation on the free, boundless, surpassing Love, Patience, Bowels, of [Page 119] my heavenly Father, so far above the tenderest, earthly Parents: Ashamed at, and mourning over the short­ness and peevish Impatience of my Spirit, when I see not all I would in young ones: I went from my Knees without begging a Blessing on publick Ordi­nances, and succeeded accordingly.

Ibid. 22.] I found gracious Assistance in Conver­sation with poor mistaken Souls.

1695. May 20.] Very ill, and indispos'd in Body and Mind; in sad Apprehensions of a Decay of Piety in some dear to me.

June 20.] My Soul hath still in Remembrance the Wormwood and the Gall: The Sins that stained my Youth and riper Age, and still are the Plague, and Sore, and Shame, which I bemoan and beg healing for, more than the remove of any Sickness or Smart.

July 17.] A rash Word brake from my Lips, which my Heart smote me for immediately; and I lift up my Soul for Pardon, and do believe it forgiven, and do resolve to be more watchful for the future.

Aug. 14.] Sad Tidings of awful National Dispen­sations sent my Soul to my everlasting Rock with more fervent Prayer and fixed Heart: Lord! encrease Faith, and fit for all Events, that Glory may redound to thee, whatever becomes of poor Worms.

Ibid 30.] A comfortable Day fill'd with personal and relative Mercy. Excited to Praise and Joy, Love and Thankfulness.

Sept. 8.] To the living God will I ever carry my dead Heart, for he quickens it.

Ibid 13.] Refer [...]ing my own and my Friends Remove to God, I begg'd of him that guides the Birds of the Air to their Nests, to appoint the Bounds of our Habitation, where he might delight to dwell, and we may abide under the Shadow of the Al­mighty.

[Page 120] Octob. 5.] I left Norwich comfortably and chear­fully, with good Hope, thro' free abounding Grace of the Pardon of all my Sins in that, and all the Places God has sent me to, and been with me in: I came safe to Katton, and prais'd the Lord.

Ibid 18.] This Morning my Chamber has been sweeter to me, than a Thousand elsewhere; Lord! what Approaches canst thou make to a Soul in Clay! How sweet thy Word read and meditated on, when thy holy Spirit assists! what strong Consolations!

Ibid 19.] My Soul was tuned to Praise: Ruffled by a Surprise, but soon recovered by looking from Instruments to God.

Nov. 1.] The Lord has guided and sweetly calms my Spirit, and gives some Victory over Passion, Pride, Impatience; Reluctancy at divine Disposals, and Joy and Thankfulness in and for his redeeming Love—Adoring my heavenly Father in wounding and healing my sinful Soul and Body, praying for them that ungratefully treat me, and for the Seed of his Servants.

Ibid 20.] Begging that free Grace may lay hold on young Ones under my Care, and that all the Va­nity and Vexation that stains my choicest Creature-Comforts, may wean me from over-lov'd Enjoy­ments.

Dec. 29.] A comfortable Day in God's House: A seasonable Supply, when I had taken the last to give the Poor.

1696. Jan. 3.] Dull and pensive under ungrate­ful Treatment from Creatures, yet well satisfied in my heavenly Father's Love and Discipline, chusing rather a bitter Weaning from, than an inordinate Love to any Thing here, and far less griev'd thereat.

Ibid 29.] Thankful to God for innumerable In­stances of hearing Prayer, healing Diseases, especially [Page 121] spiritual; for gracious Ductures, bountiful Supplies; secret Methods of Mercy to me, and mine, and His: Adoring his Grace in honouring an unworthy Worm in sowing and affording Seed, blessing and returning Seed sown in better Blessings: Lord! I adore thee, for what am I?

July 21.] I had ravishing Consolations from my Beloved, that fill'd my Heart with Joy, and my Tongue with singing: While my pained Head and trembling Hand forbid Writing, my Joys are beyond Expression.

Ibid 28.] My pained Head, and trembling Nerves, and fainting Spirits, hinder not the Joys of the holy Spirit—I heartily thank and praise God for every chastising Rod, and pray (as for my own Soul) for those he has made Instruments of my Trouble; I own the longest, sharpest Correction, far less then I de­serve, and no more than I have needed: I humbly bow to thy Will, and accept with Love & Reverence, all thy Chastisements, and cast my self and all my Cares on thee. Witness my Hand, E. Lloyd.

Aug. 28, 29.] The Lord was gracious and con­tinued Health & Strength; and which was far better, the Assistances and sweet Influences of his holy Spirit, my Sanctifier, Supporter, Comforter, Advocate, and Pledge of eternal Life: Lord! all my sweet Calms and Peace, my Dependance, Resignation, Ac­quiescence, and Submission, is thy Gift, thy Work: O never leave thy ill-deserving Worm, that can do nothing, or enjoy any thing without thee.

Sept. 1.] Angry Resentments of past Injuries rising in my Spirit, were sweetly calm'd by lively Me­ditation on the Life of Sorrow, and cruel Death of my Lord, Redeemer; in which, his holy Spirit in­fluenced my Soul, on whose enlightning, sanctifying, comforting Operation I do and will rely for Mortifi­cation, [Page 122] Vivification, Direction, help in Prayer, &c. and acknowledge to the Glory of free Grace the good Experience of all for many Years.

Octob. 20, 21.] Having begg'd God's Direction, and following the Call of his Providence as near as I can discern, I set forward for Bury; and tho' my Horse fell down [...]n a great Water, I was graciously preserv'd without hurt—My Mind grew pensive and sad at leaving the Place, and Instruments God had made greatly comfortable to me: I renew'd my Re­signation, and bewail'd my Reluctancy, and appeal'd to God my unfeign'd Design to follow his Direction in the Change and Choice of an Habitation, and the Lord mercifully preserv'd me, and brought me safe to my Lodgings there, Ibid. 22. —Where, I hope, he will be with me, instead of Friends amongst Strang­ers.

Ibid. 28.] The Lord was gracious, and heard my Cry, and gave his sweet Spirit to enlighten & quicken my Heart in Reading and Meditation, and help'd my Infirmity, and gave such sweet Tastes of the har­monising Praises of Angels, and perfected Spirits, that my Soul ascended where it would ever, ever dwell: And now my Midnight is turn'd into one of the most joyful Mornings I ever enjoy'd: I waited patiently on the Lord, and he hath heard and answered, and my Soul doth magnify the Lord, and rejoyces in God my Saviour—Lord! never be a Stranger to thy poor Worm in the Habitation thou hast chosen for me.

Ibid. 30.] A gracious return of Prayer in a com­fortable Habitation; Friends amongst Strangers, bountiful Supplies, kindest Intimations of my heavenly Father's Love, Care, Wisdom, Pity, Pardon, to un­worthy me all my Life long, and most evidently in his late Dispensations of Providence.

[Page 123] Nov. 1.] Lord! how sweet are the Prelibations of an eternal Sabbath, while my Soul follows after thee, and thou stoopest to converse with one single Worm in secret Duties: Lord! for Fire out of the Mouth of thy Witness this Day to consume my Dross, to quicken Grace, and to invigorate my Spirit.

1697. Jan. 3.] God taught me to Pray, and heard my Cry; he assisted his Messenger to draw the Bow with full Strength, and to cry to him to direct the Arrow, and gives hopes of answering: Lord! I look, and will wait for some of the Arrows from thy Quiver this Day, to stick fast in my own and other's Souls: I bless thy Name for sweet Directions to live on another's Life, to satisfy by another's Righteous­ness, and to act in another's Strength: Lord! strengthen thy weak Dust.

Ibid. 10.] I earnestly asked for more powerful Operations of the holy sanctifying Spirit to heal, unite, and purge, my earthly wandering Soul, and carry on hopeful begun Convictions, wherein poor unworthy Dust has been so much honoured—A gracious An­swer of Prayer for this.

Feb. 2.] Some suitable Affections to my dear Re­deemer: Kindly Mourning for, and hatred to my Sins▪ My Soul drawn out in Love, Hope, and Faith, to him that so dearly puchased, so firmly purposed to sanctify it: Lord! what is all this World to me, whilst thou thus expressest thy Love? Oh! keep it for ever on my Heart; cloath me with the Sun of Righteousness, and the Moon will be under my Feet.

Ib [...]d. 12, 13.] Some Passages of divine Providence made my Way dark, in which I begg'd Direction in Prayer, and wait in Hope.

Ibid. 18.] Still flying to God to direct my Spirit, under Difficulties his Providence has led me into; and I cannot, by all my Understanding, extricate myself [Page 124] from: And therefore I do, and will cast my Care on him, believing his Power, and Wisdom, and Truth, I rely on his promised Direction, and humbly beg the Event in Mercy, not in Judgment.

Ibid. 25, 26.] Calm and quiet, begging and waiting for Direction in Difficulties— Confus'd again, and unquiet: Lord! what mutable unstable Affections! I bemoan'd the jarring Ataxy in my distorted Soul: I endeavour'd to retrieve what had disquieted my Mind, yet not knowing what to do, my eyes are to the Lord.

March 4.] Still begging my Way to be made plain, Providence seems to confine me to the Place. God sent me a wise and faithful Friend, whose Coun­sel was contrary to my Expectation, for complying with what I disputed.

Ibid. 9.] The Lord drew near, and taught me to Pray, and heard my Prayer and made my Chamber his Presence-Chamber, and assured me of his Love, and that all his Ways should be Mercy and Truth: Lord! do what thou pleasest in all Occurrences of Life, and never suffer my Heart to reluct—At Night I found plain Directions of Providence to abide in this Place; and what I had discouraged, was still continued.

Ibid. 23.] In the Multitude of my troubled Tho'ts thy Comforts delight my Soul: I adore the Mercy of a free and frequent Address to God, my unerring Counsellor, and unchangeable Lover, who hath given me Heart's Ease in Prayer, and some hope of seeing the Beauty of late dark Dispensations.

Ibid. 27.] Sweet Morning Hours, while God de­scended, and my Soul ascended.

April 3.] The Lord helped me to cast my feeble, pensive, weary, wavering, perplexed, tumultuous Soul, on the Conduct of my sweet Guardian, and found a gracious Calm before I slept.

[Page 125] Ibid. 7.] I was again call'd to the Thoughts I had dismiss'd, and finding both Counsellors and Counselled had referr'd the Matter in Dispute to God's Direction, and appointed some Hours next Morning to seek God a-part, I resolv'd to endeavour to unite my Cries, and to prepare my self this Evening accordingly.

Ibid. 8.] The Lord prepared my Heart to, and graciously assisted me in Prayer: I wait with equal Mind the Event, and verily hope▪ the Issue will be Glory to God, and Comfort to me: I have left it entirely to God's dispose, and beg plain direction, and promise to follow chearfully where God leads. Wit­ness my Hand, E. Ll.

Ibid. 9.] Not yet fully satisfied in God's direction in the Matter, I verily think sincerely referr'd to him on both sides: Yet I stand to my Resolution, neither to chuse nor refuse for myself: I wait farther Advice of Praying Friends, and observe all providental Hints: I cannot discern any Guile in my own Spirit, but humbly appeal to God my willingness to be determi­ned either way; I still, thro' his Grace, love and long to be with him, rather than to live here with the best Relation I ever saw, or hope to see—I waited Counsel from a godly grave Divine; and after some Hours Discourse and Prayer, my Mind was quietly settled in the Affirmative, verily supposing God hath called me again to a married Life.

Ibid. 11.] A gracious Answer of what I had often asked, viz. that God would evidence the late Dispen­sations of his Providence towards me, were in Mercy, by more Communion with himself, &c. My Soul followed hard after God, and he drew nearer and nearer still, and hath made me see, and taste, and feel more of his Grace, and Love, and powerful charming Influences on dull unworthy Dust.

[Page 126] Ibid. 12.] In a short Review of the mysterious Providences that have perplexed my Thoughts for some Months past, I find reason to adore infinite Wis­dom that now unriddles the Ingratitude and Unkind­ness of some over-lov'd Friends, the fond Inclinations of others to draw and drive me to the Center he hath appointed: I humbly appeal to him, I have not led but follow'd; and I depend on his Wisdom and Strength for the Duties he calls me to, and the Troubles I shall meet with in the change of my Con­dition: I adore his infinite Mercy for drawing my Heart nearer to himself, by the solemn Addresses made for his Direction; and for wi [...]e and godly Friends, Counsels, and Prayers, and for the perfect Composure of my Spirit, while I supposed the Answer of Prayer in the Negative, and yet no less acquies­cence, since on solemn asking of God by four a-part, I verily conclude the Affirmative to be my Duty; and must say with the Prophet, Thou hast perswaded me.

May 4, 6.] My Way seems plain, and I follow as God leads.

I resolve, thro' assisting Grace, if my Health al­lows the change of my Condition, that I will endea­vour to spend my Health and Strength, given me in a more active Life, to the glory of God and good of Man: But if my Work be done, I am willing rather to be absent from this World, that I may be ever with my dear Lord, my best Husband, Father, and Friend; and beg, with Submission, to die in my present State, rather than live to the Injury of another.

Ibid. 28.] In Consideration of all Circumstances, resolv'd to publish my Consent.

Ibid. 29.] God drew out my Soul in Prayer for Grace in the Relation he calls me to, and encouraged my Hope in his Mercy, notwithstanding my Sins and [Page 127] Unworthiness; and I went out free from Pain, and with less Fear than I expected.

June 26.] My Soul praised the Lord for manifold Mercies in his late Conduct of my Concerns.

Sept. 20.] Leaving my Lodgings, I begg'd of God the Pardon of all my Sins in that Place, and an Heart ready to forgive all Injuries, and God's Presence and Conduct in the Place appointed for my Habitation; for Servants that may be his as well as mine; for Wis­dom to walk in my House in a perfect way.

Octob. 7.] A Messenger from St. Ives hastened me thither to bury my dear Mother, who died with less trouble than she feared: Not more than half an Hour's Struggle landed her safe where, for so many Years, she longed to be.

Nov. 18.] The Lord was gracious, and made one half Hour's Retirement better to me than many Hours at another Time—Great were the Mercies of the Day, God was graciously present with all his Ambas­sadors, in Assisting and Dedicating our New House and Family this Day to God—The whole was a sweet Day.

Ibid. 25.] This Day we determin'd to seek God apart, but concluded it together: God melted and humbled my Soul in penitent Confessions, and drew out my Requests for Pardon and Cleansing.

Dec. 21.] How sweetly hath God met and mel­ted my Heart in secret, Lord! what Love-Tokens? what kind Regards? Answers of Prayer? Strength and Joy of Soul, hast thou allowed thy vilest, unwor­thy, froward Child!

1698. Jan. 22.] Anxious Fore-thoughts spoiled my secret Duties; fain would my Soul have wrestled and prevail'd, but dull and drowsy, my Time was lost in secret.

[Page 128] Ibid. 24.] Some hope that God has heard my Prayer for two Persons that came to be instructed this Morning.

May 24.] The Lord supplied my Wants beyond Expectation, and I gave what I had dedicated to maintain the Gospel, with a chearful Heart.

Sept. 8.] I was much comforted at the Baptism of two adult Persons; and adored the Mercy of God to me, that sealed with me the Covenant of Grace, and after applied the Blood of Sprinkling, while in the Vanity of my Childhood and Youth, I forfeited all Right to my baptismal Covenant, and that he has ever since pitied, and pardoned, and heal'd my Back­slidings.

Ibid. 14, 15.] The Lord preserv'd us from violent Men, and kept all our Bones unbroken, tho' my Ser­vant had a dangerous Fall, and a Person murdered on the Heath.

1699. Jan. 25.] I walk'd to a Lecture safely, and without prejudice to my Health, at Sixteen Miles distance, and had sweet Entertainment to my Soul there.

Ibid. 26.] My Servant return'd safe from St. Ives, without loss of Money, or any great Injury to himself or Horse, tho' pursued, as we supposed by Seven Highwaymen upon the Road.

Ibid 29.] Almost discouraged at the Ignorance of Servants, I cried to God for Light and Life for the Dark and Dead.

Feb. 17, 18.] God has graciously added many Answers of Prayer for Relations under Difficulties, and for Family-Peace: No more Strife now among my Servants, but who shall learn their Catechism soonest, my Soul praises the God of Peace, &c.

May 19.] I returned safe from a Journey, and found my heavenly Father's Care of my House and [Page 129] Servant, tho' the House had been often design'd to have been broken open, as my Servant over-heard, th [...]o' a Window.

Ibid 29.] We gave Thanks to God a-part and together, for all the Mercies of our Lives, and par­ticularly, for the divine Conduct that brought us to­gether (as on this Day) and has so firmly united our Hearts to each other: We pray'd for our Servants, and committed them, and our Habitation, and Affairs to God.

July 20.] I had Tydings of a Man kill'd on the Road, from London, at the same Time that I and mine travell'd safely 'till after Nine in the Evening, on the Eleventh Instant—Blessed be God.

Nov. 25.] Shortened in my Morning Retirement by Company, and in the Evening so overcome with Sleep, that I totally forgot to pray in secret 'till next Morning.

Ibid 26.] I awak'd in Sadness for my Evening Drowsiness and Neglect of Duty, and cried to God for Pardon, and Help to overcome my Torpor, which is, to my own Power, Invincible, and my continual Burthen in Winter.

Dec. 22.] In the Night, God struck a young Relation with great Terror and Distress of Spirit, which gives me hope of her Conversion: I begg'd of God to direct his Work in Truth on her Soul; and that this may be a Pledge of the Return of all the Souls under our Charge to God—That this and other Seals might be added to publick and private Labours.

1700. Feb. 29.] My Soul was humbled in me for the Wickedness and obstinate Impenitence of a Servant, which God had directed us to take, after we had seriously sought divine Direction together and apart.

[Page 130] March 1.] With the most melting Entreaties we could, we renewed our Exhortation, that the Cri­minal would make open and ingenuous Confession, and begg'd earnestly of God to move her Heart thereto; but the poor Wretch left our House in wilful Impenitency, however we continued our ear­nest Prayer for her.

April 18.] I found some Hearts-Ease in sending my Thoughts after Mr. B. in a long Letter, and why should I not be as chearful in pouring out my Heart to God, my compassionate Father and Husband always present, ever willing and able to answer all my Desires when good for me.

Octob. 11.] The epidemical Fever, carrying off so many Couples, made me apprehensive we might soon follow, which put me upon more actual Prepa­ration; and I find myself willing, that Death should perfect that begun Work of Sanctification, as soon as God pleases: I commit my Soul and Body, Re­lations, Interests, and Designs, all to God's dispose.

1701. March 10.] I met my Beloved at a Meet­ing of praying Christians, where every Mouth ex­press'd much of my Heart to God.

Ibid 27.] I received an hopeful Account of a dear Relation, for whom my Heart has long been drawn out in Prayer, and am now thankful for good Hope that God has directed his Work in Truth on that Soul.

April 12.] In perplexing Difficulties about the Relief of my poor Relations, for fear of dishonour­ing God, by intangling myself in Debts, or in deny­ing what Help might be in my Power to the Af­flicted.

May 1.] I committed myself and Family to God, and begg'd divine Protection in my Journey to Lon­don, and a Restraint on the Tongues of wicked [Page 131] Company, if such should Travel with me—Two such I found, but I left my Testimony against them, 'till they were silenced.

Ibid 23.] God brought a Child of godly Parents into our Family in great Anguish of Spirit, after many Convictions baffled, and about thirty Years neglect of Gospel-Grace, and now seems to lay hold on her; for which I blessed God in my Closet, and begg'd the Work might go on in her, and begin in others in my Family, and my Faith in that Promise of training up Children, tho' after many Years, is strengthned by this Instance.

Ibid 29.] In a short Review of my Life past, I ador'd divine Patience, Goodness and Wisdom, that have been exercised towards me from my Birth to this Day; bringing me into so noble a Being; sus­taining so polluted a Wretch, a Transgressor from the Womb; bearing so long the Rebellions and Vanities of my Youth; wisely chastning my proud Spirit by the Displeasure of some, and by Disappoint­ments from others; drawing me by his Word and Spirit, and driving me by Affliction to Prayer, and encouraging my early Addresses to him; disposing me comfortably into the World; imbittering over-lov'd Enjoyments, to wean me from them; bringing me into nearer Communion with himself, graciously di­recting by his Providence (as upon this Day) to a second Marriage; and giving me Comfort in it, be­yond my Faith or Prayers.

Aug. 3.] The Lord quieted my pensive murmur­ing Soul under Domestick Discouragements, by reading Judas's Treason against the Lord. Alas! how little can I bear the Perfidies of Servants, when [...] dear Lord, with such Meekness and Patience, bear the Treason of one he had Pray'd with and Instructed, and indulged in his Family? I earnestly pleaded with [Page 132] God to touch the Hearts of those that were under my Care; and thankfully ador'd the free Grace of God that has already laid hold on some under our Roof.

1702. June 22.] The Lord still Corrects me with some disobedient Servants, but not so bad as myself to a better Master.

Aug. 8.] God in his All-wise Providence necessi­tates me to Housekeeping, which I desire chearfully to submit to as his Choice, though against my own Inclination.

1703. Feb. 19.] Reading the Diary of one for­merly appearing to himself and others in a state of Conversion, but since Apostatiz'd, made my Heart tremble, and cry to God to direct his Work in Truth on my own and others Hearts, and to help me to search and try, and prove myself, least any Root of Apostacy should be hid in my false and treacherous Heart.

May 24.] Having solemnly begg'd the divine Pro­tection and Blessing, in my Closet, in the Family, and in the Congregation, I am now committing myself to God, and following his Call to Bath, if it may be for the Recovery of Mr. B.'s Health and my own— Hitherto God hath led me in pleasant Paths, beyond all I have ask'd or thought; and made what I once greatly fear'd, to be the greatest outward Blessing I ever enjoy'd—I have met with sore Rebukes in my Servants, that has brought the Idleness, Vanity, and Stubborness of my Youth to my remembrance, and humbled my Soul: Lord! give me true Repentance and Pardon, and yet choose and bless my Family ac­cording to the Multitude of thy tender Mercies. Amen.

Ibid. 29, 30.] My [...] still continues, but God supports, and I submit.

[Page 133] Aug. 1.] I humbly appeal to God, I never con­sented to depart from him, and depend on his Co­venant I never shall.

Ibid 7.] If I were now before the awful Tribunal of God, I can still make the same Appeal, that I never consented to depart from him, his House, or Service, since I solemnly seal'd my Covenant with him, 1673. All my involuntary Sins, Ingratitude, Unprofitableness, Decays, Wanderings, &c. are my daily Griefs and Burthen, and weary me more of Life, than any Trouble I feel, or ever did feel in this World.

Octob. 18.] I spent most of the Day in Company, where I could neither do or receive the good I would, yet in Conscience of Duty, I dare not refuse common Civilities.

Dec. 4.] Indispos'd Health, with many Mercies, made me both sign and sing.

1704. Feb. 1, 2, 3.] The Lord abounds towards me in spiritual and temporal Blessings, and I am jea­lous of my Heart being too well content to live here, yet I do humbly protest against Ishmael's Portion, and beg to be willing rather to depart and be with Christ, than to enjoy the greatest Mercies here allow'd me.

March 1, 2.] I have been now for Sixty Years God's Care and Charge; and acknowledge to the Glory of his infinite Mercy, that never was more unworthy Creature more indulg'd, pittied, faithfully and wisely chastened, drawn, and driven to God, my chief Good, by Mercies, Afflictions, Ordinances, Providences, all made successful by the holy Spirit's Influences upon my Soul.

October 6.] A poor Woman died in a Barn alone, too much neglected by the Parish, but unknown to me: I adored the Mercy of God to me and mine, never expos'd to such Wants or Neglects.

[Page 134] Ibid 20.] I am purposed that my Lips shall not transgress; but, Lord! how apt am I to repine at thy providential Dispensations! Oh! keep my Heart and Tongue from Peevishness, and strengthen me for all thou callest me to do or suffer, 'till thou takest me to Rest and Joy for ever, with my Lord Redee­mer, Amen.

Dec. 21.] I was deeply affected with sad and scandalous Enormities among some Professors, an [...] begg'd the Spirit of Grace to reform and sanctify by the Means of Grace.

Ibid. 30.] In a short Review of the Year past, I find great Reason to adore and love God, and abhor myself.

1705. Jan. 1.] Reflecting on the Year past, my Heart was humbled for much Frowardness, Ingrati­tude, and Dulness: I ador'd the Patience and Kind­ness of God to me: I begg'd his Blessing to accom­pany his Chastenings, and with Thankfulness acknow­ledg'd the abundant Mercies of the last Year—I review'd the State of my Soul, and find good hope, thro' Grace, that I am my Beloved's, and he is mine. I spent two Hours in Prayer with Mr. B. acknow­ledging our Sins and God's Mercies: Begging Par­don, and a Blessing on our selves, Relations, the Church, the World, particularly on the Ministry of this Country. I was encouraged to plead with poor Sinners for God, and with God for them, by hearing of one I had conversed and pray'd with in the Year 1692, owning, that her first Impressions were from that Time: Many Instances I have had the Year past of God's hearing my Prayer for, and blessing my Con­versation with Friends, in Diffi [...]ulti [...], and Trouble of Spirit—In the whole Year, I have sung of Mercy and Judgment. Mr. B.'s Health and my own have been much broken, and yet the Lord [...] suported us [Page 135] under Pain and Languishing, and blessed some Means for the Mitigation of Pains, and Abatement of Dis­tempers! Sent us many loving Friends to comfort and assist us, and given us faithful and religious Servants; and which is far above all, has often lifted up the Light of his Countenance on us, and given the Aids of his Spirit.

Ibid. 19.] Much comforted in reading Bishop Patrick's Witnesses to Jesus: My Soul blessed God for every helping Hand to Faith, and begg'd more Unity and Purity, for all that Profess the Christian Religion; the Taste of which, in any, I find to unite my Heart to them without Distinction.

April 18.] Late in the Night, I receiv'd an Ac­count of the Return of Mr. B.'s Fever, at London, and great Hazzard of his Life: I sought means to get to him; but God shut me up at Home, which filled my Heart with Sorrow, and banished all Sleep from my Eyes 'till Morning.

Ibid. 19.] I arose and devoted the Day to Fasting and Prayer, as my Strength would bear—Tho' poor and dull in all, I have some Hope in God's Mercy, thro' my great Advocate, of an Answer of Peace to record to his Praise: I was all Night labouring for a Conveyance to London, and succeeded by Two in the Morning—In sore Distress, I cry'd to God to pre­serve me in my Journey, but was in great Pain, and sometimes convulsed in the Calash: [Ibid. 22.] However, by Ten in the Morning, I came safe to London, to a living Husband: I gave Thanks to God, and begg'd to pay the Vows of my Distress— [Ibid. 23, 24.] My Strength renewed to attend the Sick, not without Hopes that God would hear the fervent Prayers daily offered for the Life in danger, 'till in the Evening, when Mr. B. seem'd to himself and others to be dying—My own Hope of his [Page 136] Life was still in some measure maintain'd, tho' all the Symptoms of Death appear'd: I lift up my Heart to God, and sent again for the Doctor, tho' late, and to others, hopeless, yet in that sad Hour, the Lord gave some Rest and Reviving.

Ibid. 27.] Still the Lord is my Rock and Strength, and gives me more Hope of the Life pray'd for, and sent me a Minister that greatly help'd my Faith and Thankfulness in prayer.

Ibid. 28.] My Soul was filled with Praise, and begs to trust God more, and live more to his Praise, after such Experience of his Power in raising the Sick, calming my Mind, and carrying me so much above my Natural Temper.

May 10.] A sweet Day of Praise for Mercies to me and Mr. B. in the House, and with the Mini­sters; where, and by whom, he was pray'd for.

1706. Jan. 29.] In Meditation on the last Ac­count, my Soul flies to God, thro' Christ, my Ad­vocate and Judge, for Pardon of lost and mispent Time, and too little Improvement of Estate, Parts, Interests, Relations, and Society: In all, I humbly appeal to my Judge, that it is the Desire of my Heart to improve them more to the Glory of God, and beg divine Wisdom to direct me in all.

March 1.] I adore the Patience, Wisdom, Power, and Goodness of God, that protracts my sinful and unprofitable Life so long: I begg'd Assistance to examine my Heart and past Life, and the Lord gave me some Strength of Body and Mind for it: I en­deavoured to engage my Heart to more firm Trust in God, that never yet forsook me; and gave Thanks for the innumerable Mercies of the Year past, to my dear Yoke-Fellow and myself, in Sickness, Pain, and threatned Death.

[Page 137]I acknowledg'd all his Mercies in all our Jour­neyings, and Sojournings, in supplying all our Wants; in easing of Family-Cares, and chusing us a comfortable Abode beyond our Expectations—And now, Lord! I acknowledge the faithful fulfilling thy Promise: Thou hast been with me and blessed me; thou hast satisfied me with long Life: I am willing rather to be absent from the Body this Year, if God pleases.

Aug. 18.] Blessed be God for full Assurance of Joy and Gladness, that is sown for the Righteous: And good Hope, thro' Grace, that I shall reap a fuller Crop: And for ever blessed be the Father, Son, and Spirit of all Grace and Consolation, for what I have long experienc'd of Light and Gladness, after Clouds and Darkness, and my remaining Hope of being shortly in the Inheritance of the Saints in Light.

Dec. 8.] My Heart flat and dull, I cannot find my Work in the Morning, as I left it in the Even­ing—I depend on the Surety of my Covenant, to make good his own and my Part therein.

Ibid 31.] The Lord gave me a sweet Conclusion of this Year; in secret my Soul was fill'd with Praise, and in publick it ascended in strong Desires and believing Expectations of joining the triumphing Choir above—Lord! how manifold have been the Mercies of the Year past! what Assistance in Prayer! what gracious Answers! but, oh! what Wande­rings! what Ingratitude! what Peevishness in my Spirit! Lord! engage my Heart to love, trust, obey and glorify thee more.

1707. Jan. 5.] In meditating on Solomon's A­postacy in his old Age, after God had appeared to him twice, I pleaded God's Covenant with Trem­bling for my own Perseverance.

[Page 138] Ibid. 23.] My Heart was deeply affected with Hezekiah's Ingratitude, Pride, and Distrust, after such a glorious Life, and such Wonders of Mercies in it: Amazed at the Dispensations of God, in leaving his best and sincerest Children, thus to stain his Glory and their own: But, Lord! thy Wisdom is past finding out; my Heart trembles to meditate on Da­vid's, Solomon's, Asa's, Jehosaphat's, and Hezekiah's woful Falls: Lord! if thou Fayest me, let me see what is in my Heart, oh! how sad must the Sight be! Leave me not, O Lord! to plunge in the Mire of my own Filth, lest my Cloaths abhor me.

Feb. 21.] Thankful for excellent Helps to under­stand and improve the Holy Scriptures, by Mr. Henry, Mr. Burket, and Mr. Cr [...]d [...]ck: I bless'd God for their Labours, and begg'd they may be as sweet and useful to others, as God has graciously made them to me.

March 23.] Very awful were the Word and Works of God upon my Soul: While, in the Morn­ing, Mrs. M. G. who went out in perfect Health, died instantly, as she was stepping into her Seat in the Church: And in the Evening, the Word preached, was an awful Tryal of our State, in order to the ge­neral Judgment.

Ibid. 24.] I hope my Heart sincerely loves and longs to be with Christ, yet I fear a long Encounter with my last Enemy, and cannot but desire sudden Death, with Submission to my heavenly Father's Will: However, Lord! strengthen my Faith and Patience, that I may glorify thee, living and dying.

Ibid. 31.] I inculcated the last Sermons on a poor giddy, vain Servant, with a sad Heart, and with Tears pleaded with her as well as I could, to be more care­ful of her Soul.

April 15.] I believe thy Power and Truth for Victory over Sin, and the safe Possession of Heaven at [Page 139] last. O leave me not, and I shall shortly cast my Crown at thy Feet, and cry, Grace, Grace, for ever to God, and to the Lamb, and to the holy Spirit of Love.

May 19.] I spent one Hour in Talk with a poor distressed Soul; but, Lord! what a Song to the Deaf is the Talk of the free Grace of the Gospel to deserted Souls, 'till thou createst the Fruits of the Lips, Peace, Peace? O pity poor tempted Souls, and in­jured Bodies!

July 4.] I cannot yet get the Art of awaking with God, giving him the noblest first-born Thoughts: Tho' graciously eas'd of acute Pains in the Night, yet near an Hour after waking, e'er my Heart fix'd on heavenly Objects: Oh! how short of due Im­provement of flying Moments, of Sabbaths, holy Or­dinances, and Christian Conversation, tho' graciously assisted in all, and lately more than formerly, blessed be God.

Aug. 19.] My Soul longs for more Life, and lively Communion with God, and am satisfied with the Smiles of his Face, while even the Best of those who differ from me in Things by them accounted indiffer­ent, seem to justify a Strangeness to me and all other Dissenters: Lord! appear to the Joy of those, whom their Brethren have cast out of their Communion and Converse; and give more Charity and Union to all that fear thee, and let my Conversation more adorn my Profession, and express my greater Gratitude to thee.

Sept. 23, 24.] Being at London, and in the Cham­ber where God had raised Mr. B— as from the Dead, I quickly found my Heart lifted up to God in Prayer and Praise, and particularly for the gracious Answers of Prayer in this Place.

Nov. 5.] An Instance of good Success of the Mi­nistry upon one whom I had particularly upon my [Page 140] Heart in my secret Addresses to God. The Efficacy of the Word appeared in the serious Impressions it made upon his Spirit.

Ibid. 11.] Still I cannot get my Thoughts fixed upon God at my first awaking: Lord! when I shall awake from this World, I shall be satisfied with thy likeness, but never 'till that happy Hour.

Ibid. 28.] Reading the Fourteenth of Deuteronomy, I adored the Goodness of God to me in his Laws: The Language of all which is, Do thy self no Harm: And the same goodness in all the Dispensations of his Providence; the Design of which is, to prevent or cure the Mischief I would do myself or others: Blessed be God for both.

Dec. 31.] Very gracious has the Lord been to unworthy me throughout this whole Year, both at Home and Abroad, in Retirement and under publick Ordinances: I had one melancholy Sacrament, which made me very sad (not being usual, blessed be God) but God did not long hide from me after that— Many gracious Answers of Prayer have I had in Bodily, Spiritual, and Town Calamities: Upon Journeys, in Friends Houses; and many sweet Hours in Books, Sermons, and Conversation—My Life mercifully preserved, while many have fall'n on my Right Hand and on my Left—Yet, to my Shame and Grief, my Apprehensions of Truths heard and learnt, and expe­rienced, have been often but dark, cloudy, and un­stable; My Will often relucting under the wise and faithful Discipline of my heavenly Father to me or mine: My Faith weak in Prayer, my Thoughts tumultuous in Distresses, when speedy Answers did not come: Perplexed with Fears of long Encounters with my last Enemy; yet the Lord has often reliev'd my Spirit, in meditating on the holy Scriptures, by the help of good Expositors, with unexpressible Plea­sure: [Page 141] But my f [...]ail Memory too often let [...] slip the precious Truths I have found so very delightful and encouraging: And on sudden Difficulties, my Faith, and Hope, and Dependance, have been to seek: Nor can I so soon get into Temper to pray to my heavenly Father, as other of his Children can: These and a thousand Evils I bewail, and my Heart takes part with the holy, just, and good Laws which I daily break, and cannot reach such a Conformity to, which I long and labour for: Lord! thou knowest al Things; thou knowest that I love thee, and have chosen thee for my Portion and Felicity, and never consented to leave thee; but am still devoted to thy Praise and Glory, depending on thy everlasting Covenant for my Perseverance—Lord! I cannot sanctify this vain, unstable, and rebellious Soul, but beg above all Blessings, that thou wouldst do it: I depend on my strong and merciful Redeemer, (in whom all the Ful­ness of God dwells) for Grace, and Grace for Par­don, Peace, Righteousness, and Strength suitable to all my Needs here, and to eternal Glory hereafter.

1708. Jan. 29.] The Loss of great Mr. Sylvester afflicted and humbled my Soul, and I bewail'd my own and others Sins, which bring such sad and fre­quent Removes of great and useful Instruments: And my Soul followed hard after God, for a more plenti­ful Effusion of the Spirit of Judgment, and of burn­ing, on Gospel Churches and Ministers.

March 12.] I found my Converse with poor doubting, trembling Souls, that God had heard my Cry for Support in horrid Temptations, and Strength to combate with prevailing Corruptions: And still uses unworthy me as an Instrument of good to others tho' so evil myself: To the Lord be all the Glory.

June 16.] To my Sorrow and Shame I still find my waking to be wandering Hours: Lord! when [Page 142] shall I awake with thee? Were my Soul more refin'd and fix'd, surely I should be more pleased with, and thankful for, my bodily Afflictions and Decays.

Decemb. 11.] In reviewing the Bounty of Provi­dence to us the Year past, we find and acknowledge the Truth of God's Promises of encrease by scatter­ing.

1709. Jan. 1.] I bewail'd the [...] Life, especially the Pride, and Self-Love, and Vain-Glory I am smarting for in my dear Relations Misery: Lord! I loath my sinful Soul; I adore thy Patience, I accept the Punishment of my Iniquity, I acknow­ledge thy Justice, I admire thy Mercy in thy ever­lasting Covenant: I renew my Covenant with thee in thy Strength, to be entirely and eternally thine; and can, thro' thy Grace, profess, That I have neither Power nor Inclination to revoke my solemn Dedication to thee: I love and choose all thy Laws and Precepts: I abhor every Deviation from them in heart or Life: I deprecate Sin more than any Suffering: Accept, Lord! thro Christ, thy poor, willing, weak, sinful Child, in the Service and Duties of the ensuing Year.

Feb. 7, 8, 9.] The Defection of many, dear to me, from the sinking Truths and Interests of God, kept me waking much of the Night past, and fills my Heart with Sorrow: But, Lord! I cast all on thee: Remember thy Covenant to the Seed of thy Servants, and in thy own Time and Method reduce their wan­dering Souls to thy pure Faith and Worship, and make me willing to submit to any Chastisements on them for that End; and for ever bless the Lord, who has kept unworthy me from the Snares that intangle o­thers.

Ibid. 19.] I daily beg to glorify God living or dying; and if in either my Prayer is answered, let Sur­vivors never despair of Divine Power to such as have no Might or Courage.

[Page 143] March 2.] I adore, the Long-suffering and Pati­ence, that has protracted my sinful and unprofitable Life so long: That has prevented me with his Mer­cies, and pitied and help'd me in my Distresses, and made my latter Days so uncommonly comfortable.

Ibid. 12.] My Soul offered at Thanksgiving for the Mercy of my Baptism on this Day; but, Lord! how dull and short of the distinguishing Mercies are my best Praises! O pardon and accept for Christ's sake, what I blush to reflect on.

Ibid. 24.] The Lord met and smiled on my un­worthy Soul, and made his Word sweet and instruc­tive to me— This Book, Lord! witnesses thy Good­ness and my Sinfulness.

Aug. 27, 28.] Having no Time for Catechizing 'till Nine at Night, I omitted it, partly through fear of a drowsy Performance, and partly lest I should want Rest sufficient▪ for the Sabbath, or take too much in the Morning—I slept ill in the Night, and was much indisposed on the Morrow, which, I fear, was a Rebuke upon me, for omitting what I purposed to do, and resolve to try for the future, even when drowsy and indisposed.

Sept. 15.] The Lord was pleased to visit my Soul in Retirement, and assured me of his Friendship, and to give me inexpressibly delightful Communion with himself: I begg'd like Mercy for his dear afflic­ted, deserted Children.

Octo. 22.] Lord! I am thine, or I know not what I am: Evidence thy Care of, and thy Love to thine own (though unworthy) Child.

1710. Jan. 27, 28.] The Dissecting of Mrs. S. gave me adoring Thoughts of the Wisdom and Power of God in making Man; and reconciled me to the Thoughts of Death, the only Cure of Sin, and all the Diseases brought by it.

[Page 144] March 12.] Though the Lord foresaw all the Evil I should do, and how little Good; yet I was (as) on this Day taken into his House, under the Bonds of his Covenant— Ah, Lord! I am asham'd and griev'd at my Heart for the evil Returns I have made for all thy Love, and Pity, and Patience: Oh! make me at last to render, according to what I have receiv'd, in better Proportion: Lord! that loved'st me at the worst, do not now repent.

July 16.] I was grieved to read that Assertion of Poquinus & Quintinus, in Calvin's Time, That the only Mortification required of Sinners, was to extinguish the Sense of Sin in their Hearts. But surely this is to mortify Repentance, not Sin, to kill the New Man; not the Old; to outface Conscience, and not to quiet it: Surely, where there is Sin, there must and will be Trouble.

Sept. 13.] On review of the Sermons I last heard, I have reason to hope that my Resolutions against Sin, in the Strength of Christ, are sincere, serious, solid, entire, habitual, peremptory, industrious & continued: I groan daily under indwelling Sin, and appeal to the Omniscient God, that so far as I know my Heart, it is the most distressing Evil ever felt, and nothing so much reconciles me to Death, as the final Cure of that hated Evil: Lord! thou knowest I am rather passive that active in it: I consent not to it, I watch and strive against it, I mourn for it, and rely on Christ's Righteousness alone for Pardon; and beg, as the chiefest of Blessings, a fuller Conformity to the holy Nature and Law of God—Lord! cleanse the Fountain, that the Streams may be purer.

Octob. 16, 17, 18.] Lord! what havock is there made of our Synagogues in the Land! — My Soul flies to thy Name as to it's strong Tower: Thou art, thou ever wast, and will be known by thy Power, [Page 145] Wisdom, Justice, Goodness, and Truth: Thou hast for many Ages maintain'd a little Flock amongst us, and encreased them from small Beginnings: Thine Enemies of late have roared against them, and are for blotting out their Name and Memorial: But, Lord! we are thine, called by thy Name, give not thy Glory to graven Images; prosper the Work of Reforma­tion, and yet save us from thine and our Enemies—

Ibid. 19.] The Lord yet seems to make our Ene­mies triumph over us; and those we pitied, and pray'd for, and liv'd peaceably with, are now ex­pressing the greatest Hatred of, and Malice against us, & chusing rather to go off to Rome, than what they call Presbytery—O Lord! hear and rebuke their Rage, and chain their Hands, who are implacably bent against thee and thy hidden Ones; and turn the Hearts, and open the Eyes of such as, thro' Ig­norance, hate thy People.

Nov. 7.] The Lord gave me sweet Communion with himself in Retirement, and I renew'd my so­lemn Dedication of myself to him with full Purpose of Heart to part with all that is dear to me for his sake: Lord! I have set my Hope in thee, let me ne­ver be ashamed.

Dec. 7.] The Lord prospered one dear to me in an amicable composing of a Difference that seem'd like the Bars of a Castle, and both Sides thank'd the Peace-Maker.

Ibid. 9.] The pressing Wants of Friends and Re­lations, and danger of losing by some, what may re­lieve many, is too apt to disturb and unfit my Soul for the sweet Duty of Praise, though I daily endeavour to cast all on God.

1711. Jan. 28.] I bless God for the Reproofs of his Word, Spirit, and Providence, and my own Con­science, of Parents, Ministers, Friends, and [...] [Page 146] Let all warn and amend my foolish Heart, for the Lord's sake.

April 30.] Fain would I join the active trium­phant Choir above, but I fear the Passage: Lord! thy Presence can make the dark Valley lightsome: For that I daily cry, and hope, and wait, and resolve to commit my departing Soul to thee—It has pleased God to encourage my Labour with a poor Servant, so far as to give a tollerable Account of Sermons: I cry to God, whose work it is, for some saving Im­pressions upon the Heart: He can raise the Seed sown when I am dead, or be as the Dew to the Soul now, when I perceive it not.

May 29.] I commemorate the unparallell'd Mer­cy of this Day with a joyful Heart, and beg that every distinguishing Mercy might make me more chearful in active and passive Obedience, and that the Good­ness and Patience of God to so evil a Creature, may beget his likeness on my Heart: I acknowledge the Peevishness, Carnality and Selfishness of my Heart, and Unprofitableness of my Life; and the great Faith­fulness and Mercy of God, notwithstanding my False­ness and Folly—Lord! we gave our selves to thee as thy Covenant-Children when we met, and we have been thy Care and Charge together these Four­teen Years; and thou hast been our gracious Father, keeping Covenant and Mercy with us.

August 17.] Under sensible Decays of Nature, and Fears of a useless Life, I cried to the God of Nature, Grace, and Glory, to support my declining Head and Senses, or rather fit me for, and receive me into the better Mansions: I acknowledge with shame the Sloathfulness of my Life, [...] Non-improvement and Mis-improvement of the Talents I have been intrusted with▪ The impairing of my Faculties, Strength, and L [...]mbs, is very just, and the total Loss of all would [...]e [Page 147] less than my Sins deserve, yet I humbly deprecate so great a Judgment, and beg my Life may be done if my Work is done.

Sept. 13.] My Soul offers at thy Praises, O Lord! but, oh! the faint Flutters! when shall I dwell in perfect endless Praise, in mutual, endless, and unin­terrupted Love!

Octob. 6.] I was much reviv'd at a Meeting of good Women for Prayer and Repetition, in which my Heart was warm, and thankful for the Spirit of Grace and Supplication pour'd out on his Handmaids, and was much ashamed of my self.

Dec. 28.] My Mornings and Days are chearful, my Evenings dull and lumpish: Lord! when shall my eternal Day come! when no Night shall follow! Oh! hide me as thy Treasure in the Grave, and call thou to Death and Resurrection, and I shall chearfully answer, I come, I come, Lord! Blessed be God, who will have a Desire to the Work of his own Hand.

Ibid. 31.] I acknowledge to the Glory of God, his Mercy and Truth to me a poor sinful, unprofitable Creature: In hearing, accepting, and answering my Prayers, for the Ministers and People I join with, for my own poor languishing Soul and Body; for many refreshing Sermons, Prayers, Sacraments, Books, and Meditations, through the whole Year past—Lord! I sing of Mercy more than Judgment: Tho' my out­ward Man has more sensibly declined this Year, than many past: I hope I may say, through thine abundant Grace, that my inward Man has been renew'd.

1712. April 5.] The Dulness and Torpor of my Spirit, the Inactivity and Unprofitableness of my Life, is my great Affliction; and my Conscience does not accuse me of indulging these Sins: The Lord knows I offer at my Work for his Glory, and my Soul's Hap­piness, and some Good to all I converse with; but I [Page 148] bring so little to pass, I am asham'd to view all I do each Day and Week, tho' I daily beg Wisdom to direct my Way, and Strength to walk in it.

June 7.] My Heart was drawn out with unusual Faith and Fervency in secret Prayer for the Church: But, Lord! how have I added to the Transgressions thereof! how unworthy am I to plead for Mercy! how lame are my best Duties; yet hear, O Lord! for Jesus sake, the Cries of thy mourning Children.

October 19.] I confess with shame and sorrow the Wanderings of my Heart in Prayer; and acknow­ledg'd it just in God to deny me my Hearing, which I have so little improv'd: I begg'd the Cure of this distressing Evil, and committed my vain desultory Spirit to my holy and powerful Guardian.

1713. Jan. 19.] This Day we rejoyced together in good hope of a Regenerating Work begun on one very dear to us in the Family.

March 8.] O God! I would be faithful to thee, to my own Soul, to all I converse with: I am devo­ted to thy Fear, but my deceitful Heart is ready to backslide and deal treacherously; I watch it daily, and beg to be found faithful, and aim at it: Lord! make me so to the Principle & Profession I own & chuse.

May 29.] My Soul was tuned to Praise for the last Sixteen Years distinguishing Mercies of the same kind—But more and above all, for the Tastes of Covenant-Love in all, through Jesus Christ—I beg Pardon for all my Sins in the Habitation I am now leaving, and Grace to serve God better in the Place I am now going to—In the Evening we gave Thanks, and pray'd together in my new pleasant Closet: En­treating the Continuance of the Divine Favour and Conduct we had so long experienced.

Octob. 1] The Lord encouraged my desponding Spirit, with hopes of a saving Work on the Heart of [Page 149] another dear one committed to our Care; and shews he can still make use of the poorest Worms as Instru­ments to awaken drowsy Minds: Lord! I loath my self for my dulness in, and weariness of Instructing, when I see not a present good Effect.

Ibid. 9.] O Lord! I find it's no imaginary Rock my Faith builds upon, when it depends on Jesus, the incarnate God, for salvation from Sin, Satan, and this evil World.

Dec. 31.] In many close and searching Sermons this Year, the good Spirit hath often witnessed to my Soul the Marks of true Grace wrought, and some growth therein: But yet my unstable Mind makes my Profiting appear but small—God has graciously restor'd my Hearing this Winter, when I almost des­pair'd of it—Though I could do but little, yet God has sometimes succeeded my Endeavours, to the Souls of some, even when I have despair'd of Success.

1714. Jan. 11.] O sweet joyful Morning! while I met my Beloved in secret Meditation and Prayer, and the good Spirit assured me of Pardon and Peace, and the glorious Inheritance above; and gave me such Prelibations of Feasting at Home, and of the Honours, Settlement, Employment, and Harmony of the heavenly Society: Lord! what is Life here, or any thing in it to me, whilst thou shewest me the Glories above? O might this running Banquet go on into the eternal Entertainment I am hoping for in Glory! Come, Lord Jesus! come quickly. Amen.

March 31.] A threatning Fit of an Asthma, which I thought might have ended my sinful, painful Life: I was willing this Night to have ventured my Soul into Eternity upon the Truth of God; yet I felt not the Joy, I have sometimes had in the Prospect of my approaching Change.

[Page 150] Sept. 30.] Lord! who seest into the secret Re­cesses of my Heart, thou knowest my most ardent Desires are after more Holiness, and likeness to thy­self: Thou gavest this Thirst not to torment thy Creature; thou hast pronounced a Blessing to it, and promised that it should be satisfied; but how little do I find my Soul as yet conform'd to thy Image and Will? Lord! shall I have the Name of thy Child so many Years, and yet no more of thy Nature! Oh! that I were more meek, merciful, humble, thankful, patient, ready to give and forgive: O Lord! I have chosen thee for my Portion, and verily hope thou art and wilt be my everlasting Felicity, and yet what little selfish Designs and Thoughts perplex my Mind? I know and daily feel, there is nothing in this World can satisfy my Soul, and yet very little Disappoint­ment in Creatures, discomposes my Spirit: I feel this earthly Tabernacle falling, and yet what little Joy in the Prospect of my House in Heaven? Lord! what unaccountable Contradictions are there in my deceit­ful Heart? O search and heal me!

Octob. 20.] Blessed be God, who has preserved my Life to such a glorious Day as this; and has pre­serv'd to us the Lamp ordain'd for us, and has brought our King to his People, Palace, Throne and Crown, without War or evil Occurrent: O let all the Mighty and the Mean, give to the Lord the Glory due to his great Name, and make our Joy more spiritual and holy: Lord! what's the fading Crown on a mortal Head, to the immortal eternal Crown of Glory laid up for all that love the appearing of Christ?

1715. March 12.] How much earlier than many other, did God turn my inquiring Soul to see it's Misery and Danger, and shew'd me the All-sufficient Remedy! And when I was foolish and negligent in securing my Interest in Christ, and hoping for great [Page 151] Things in this World, and Heaven at last, how wisely and graciously didst thou chasten my fond Hope, and by thy Word and Rod bring back my wandering Soul to thee, it's Rest? And of thy abundant Bounty, give me all I can reasonably desire here, and good Hope, thro' free Grace, of more perfect, endless Happiness hereafter.

Aug. 4.] I adore the Mercy of God to me, that though my Ears are sometimes bad, yet my Eyes are good, and my Reason holds: And some sweet Com­munion with God in secret, and longing for more.

Ibid. 14.] My Hearing in good measure restor'd, of which I can give no account from Natural Causes, or Medicinal Art: O Lord! my Healer, thou canst do every thing.

Octob. 2.] Lord! melt my dull Heart with the distinguishing unparallell'd Kindness always shew'd to unworthy me; planting me near the Waters of the Sanctuary; watering my Fleece whilst the Ground has been dry round about me, making the Word hit me that miss'd others: Oh! the Riches of immortal Grace! If I out-live my Senses, I cannot out-live my Graces: Oh how beautiful! how honourable! how dura [...]e!

1716. Jan. 1.] Lord how innumerable are my Sins every Year against my own Soul, against others, and against thee, my Sovereign Lord, my Owner and Ruler: O! what Seeds of old Apostacy have I be­wail'd and begg'd Victory over, and yet how oft am I foiled in my Combats? Lord! I [...], undertake for me: How long [...] Canaanites vex me? which thou hast promi [...]ed shall never have Dominion: Oh! hasten the final Victory, and 'till then help me to watch and pray, and war, and to rely on thy Strength and Righteousness, O mighty Re­deemer!

[Page 152] Feb. 20.] The Anniversary Day of Mr. W. and his Son M.'s wonderful Deliverance at Sea—The most lively Evening I ever enjoyed with my praying Neighbours: While we paid the Vows of them who had been delivered, I was encouraged to hope that God would pour out more of the Spirit of Grace and Supplication on his Remnant among us—I long'd to join the triumphant Choir above: My Heart was much lifted up all that Night.

Ibid. 29.] I was confined to my Bed all Day by Pain, very Deaf, almost Blind, and quite Stupid: I could fix my Thoughts on nothing that was good, but so peevish, I was amazed and asham'd of myself: Lord! what Seeds of the old Apostacy still remain and spring up in my Soul! Thou gavest me Sight and Hearing, and may'st thou not take them away when thou pleasest? How long shall my foolish Heart pervert its Way, and then fret against the Lord! O humble and pardon, and heal my proud Spirit.

June 2.] From what mine Eyes have Yesterday seen upon another, why should I fear Death in the most formidable Shape? Can any Tyrant inflict such pungent Torture so long, and yet support so under it? And will not Death deliver me from all Sin and Sor­row, into a Joy superior to all the Joy of a Man Child's being born into the World? And yet how does my Heart fail at the Antecedents and Concomitants of a natural Death, tho' I have good Hope, thro' free Grace, that the Consequences will be safe and joyful? Lord! [...] poor, weak, timerous Child, and try me not above [...] [...]ou shalt enable me to bear, without dishonouring thee.

Ibid. 17.] I earnestly pleaded with God for his Church and Ministers, in Faith and Hope, for what I am not likely to live to see myself: Lord! let me depart and join the holy Society above, and I will [Page 153] leave the divided Church, and the distracted World to thy Care and Cure.

July 1.] After Sermon, a poor Penitent, after long Suspension, was re-admitted to our Communion with great seriousness and solemnity by the Pastor: and, I hope, true Repentance in the Offender: Lord! let this awaken others who stand suspended.

Octob. 6.] Not so watchful over my Tongue as I ought to have been, having told a Fault of a Member of the Congregation to another, before I had told the Guilty: I begg'd Pardon for this, and resolve on more Watchfulness over my Words for the future.

Ibid. 13.] The unevenness and sourness of my Spirit under ungrateful Treatments, for the most un­feigned Kindness I have shewn, made me ashamed and grieved that I can get no nearer the Rule and Pattern of my dear Redeemer.

Nov. 18.] God graciously mitigated my Pains, and taught me to pray and plead with David, I am thy Servant, give me Understanding, that I may know thy Testimonies—I teach my Servant, but I cannot give Understanding, Power, or Inclination, but he can give all, and encourages me to expect all from him.

1717. Jan. 7.] My Rest was somewhat disturbed by a Letter from one dear to me, departed from the Ordinances and Instruments of her Conversion, and pleading for her Departure: I rose early, and cast my Burthen upon the Lord, and begg'd the down-pouring of his Spirit to enlighten and sanctify the World, and comfort his despised Ministers and People.

Ibid. 15.] I went to visit a sorrowful Friend, who assured me God had made my Conversation very use­ful to her—All Glory to God, who uses the Weakest and most Unworthy to serve his Purposes.

[Page 154] March 12.] In some apprehended Danger of losing a great part of what God had liberally bestow'd upon us; my Mind was easy in depending upon God, who has hitherto secured what his Bounty bestow'd.

April 5, 6.] Hard Struggles, with little Victory over Heart-Corruptions: Lord! help.

July. 13.] I searched my Heart, and found too great a Difficulty in forgiving ungrateful Returns for the most sincere and affectionate Treatment, I was capable of shewing to Relations; but how much worse have I treated thee, my eternal Lover and Friend! What are their Pence, to the Talents thou hast and dost forgive me? O Lord! forgive them and me, and prepare us all for mutual endless Love and Purity.

Sept. 11.] I earnesty begg'd a Meetness for, and a speedy Reception into the Inheritance of the Saints in Light: I am weary of living only to Sin, and groan: Lord! if I may not glorify thee here, let me glorify thee in Heaven: I wait thy Will, thy Will be done.

Nov. 2.] Still [...] Lord lifts up the Light of his Countenance on unw [...]thy me, while others are in dismal Darkness: Surely the Seeds of all those Sins are found in me that make others a Terror to them­selves, and a Grief to their Friends.

Dec. 31.] In reviewing the Year past, I find how good the Lord has been to my Body, in supplying it abundantly with Food, Physick, Rayment, Fewel, Attendants: In preserving my Limbs in Falls: In easing me when pain'd: In continuing my Sight, and restoring my Hearing—But oh! how gra­cious to my Soul! What sweet Communion with him the first Sacrament in January? How many sweet Visits then in his House, in my Closet at Home, and at Bath? How few Sabbaths in which I had not abundant Comfort? But one Sacrament I re­turn'd melancholy from, being in great Pain.

[Page 155]1718. June. 15.] Lord! how sweet was the Even-Sun-shine, after the dark and cloudy Morning! Let this repeated Experience of thy Mercy, Power, and Faithfulness engage my Dependance on, and never fainting Prayer to God, my Rest.

Ibid. 19.] Join'd in fervent Prayer for Mr. R. W. now call'd to Mr. B.'s Assistance; and appeal'd to God, that in all that Affair, we have acknowledg'd him, and hope he has directed the Choice for his own Glory and our Good.

Aug. 9.] Providence seems to threaten with the loss of most of our personal Estate, but my Soul re­joices in God my Portion, and is thankful for the Corn, and Wine, and Wool, and Flax, he has given me all my Days, with his Love.

Nov. 25.] Lord! we know not whether to chuse or to refuse present Offers of Provdience to a poor Orphan; but to God, who knows all Hearts and Events, we unfeignedly refer the Disposal, and rely on his Promise to direct.

Dec. 31.] Infinite Patience has born with me this Year also, and pitied, and pardoned, and revived my drooping Soul: When I have accepted the punish­ment of my Sin, and returned to him with Weeping and Supplication, he has turn'd my Midnights into joyful and bright Days: In all the Changes of this Year, God has call'd and encouraged me to pray and wait and he has heard and answered; and my Soul acknowledges his Truth and Goodness in all I have call'd upon thim for.

1719. May. 29.] In great Pain all the Day, but I offered at Praise for the multitude of God's Mercies to us, in our happy Relation for Twenty Two Years now past.

Ibid. 31.] Mr. B. in extremity of Pain from Five 'till Nine this Morning: In our Distress we [Page 156] call'd upon God, and he very graciously gave some sudden Ease (after a large triangular ragged Stone had passed) so that he was enabled to Preach soon after Ten the same Morning.

July 26.] Mr. B. in violent Pain, that we had no hope of his Preaching; yet he went out, relying on his Master, who never fail'd him, and while he step'd into the Desk a Sone slip'd, and he went on with his Work comfortably.

Aug. 13, 14.] Mr. B. extreamly weak and dis­pirited, yet call'd upon to Preach a Funeral Sermon Thirteen Miles off: In the Evening, a dreadful Fit of the Stone followed, and lasted 'till Three in the Mourning; but as the Difficulty was encreas'd, the Power and Mercy of God was magnified, and ena­bled us both to go out early, and gave Strength and Spirits beyond all Expectations—After which, a large Stone passed.

Nov. 30.] The Cries and Tears of Bury Friends (at the Thoughts of parting with Mr. B.) affect my Heart: Yet I am entirely willing that God should dispose of me where he pleases.

Dec. 1.] I devoted myself, and all I have, to God, and earnestly pleaded for his Direction about the awful Change of our People and Country: He graciously impress'd upon my Mind his merciful An­swers in Times past, that my former Experience so strengthened my Faith this Morning, that while I was pleading, my Mind was easy and chearful, ready to go, or ready to stay: Lord! keep such Tho'ts on my Heart still, whatever be the Event of the present Providence.

Ibid. 31.] Reflecting on the Year past, I ac­knowledge with great Thankfulness, that I have had sweet Retirements, inexpressible Pleasure in reading the holy Scriptures, with Mr. Henry's Annotations: [Page 157] Joyful Sabbaths and Sacraments (very few excepted) sweet Family-Worship, and some Assistance in In­structing Servants and Children: Plentiful Supplies in all our Wants: Merciful Direction in disposing of two Orphans: Constant Preservation in all our Travels— It has been a Year of many Afflictions, of strong Pains, yet of gracious Supports and Mitiga­tions: My Life prolong'd, when despair'd of: Meat, Drink, Fewel in plenty: Servants, Friends, Phy­sicians, and Medicines, as we needed them: But, oh! how ungrateful, how fretful my Heart! how tumul­tuous and muttering have my Tho'ts sometimes been, especially under long and sharp Pain, either upon my self or others: Lord! teach me to bear and improve Chastisements better.

1720. Jan. 1, 2.] I ended the last and began this Year in extremity of Pain: After a long waking Night, I could not fix my Mind on any thing with Comfort, 'till past Four in the Morning when I sur­rendred myself afresh to God, and begg'd healing for my diseased Soul: I rose at Six in much Pain, begg'd of God to reconcile me to his Discipline, and shew me wherefore he thus contends with me: Not long after had some Ease, was carried in a Chair to the House of God, where I gave Thanks, and had a joy­ful Day—Lord! pity and heal my Soul, and pre­pare me for Glory! Oh! make hast, my Beloved, and end these Days of Sin and Sorrow to a poor dis­tressed Worm that longs to be with thee.

Feb. 2.] In sorting of Letters & Papers of Friends, I found some of my own, which humble and shame me, that I can practice no better, what I have recom­mended to others under Affliction.

March 28.] I went to my dear Sister B.'s, but she could not speak to me, yet seem'd to lye without much Pain.

[Page 158] Ibid. 29.] In her last Encounter, tho' the Ante­cedents were sharp, yet the Concomitants of Death were easy, and the Consequents happy: Thus was God better to my dear Sister and me, than our Fears of a long Encounter with a Mortification, &c. Lord! strengthen my Faith, and overcome my inordinate Fears by this Experience of thy Power and Com­passion.

April 11, 12.] The hurry of unpacking, and a great deal of Company at Home, and where we dined Abroad, cut me short of my beloved Retirements, yet I had some short Sweets and Freedom from great Pain.

Ibid. 13.] One of my Servants fell down the Cellar Stairs, and narrowly escaped breaking her Skull and beating out one Eye: Blessed be God for sparing Mercy.

Ibid. 18.] The Lord has hitherto help'd under bodily Infirmities; I pray, and hope, and wait for his gracious Aids under all my spiritual Complaints and Maladies—Thou knowest, O Lord! my Hun­ger and Thirst for more Righteousness, and thou hast said, I shall [...]e filled: I rely on thee, O thou Eternal Amen; and on thy Power, Compassion, and Faith­fulness, for what I want and am longing for.

These are some of the many secret Memoirs, her solemn Transactions, Self-Dedications, spiritual Reflec­tions, profitable Remarks, her peculiar Regards to the various Occurrences of Life, and special Charges to herself and others: Which she committed to writing (as she often expresses it) to be Witnesses betwixt God and her Soul—It had been as easy to have collected many Hundred more from her Original Ma­nuscripts, would it not have swell'd the Volume be­yond common Use—'Tis possible, some might be [Page 159] apt to Censure me for having transcrib'd too much already; but when I consider'd that the apparent Tendency of all is merely to Excite and Animate to a more vigorous and spiritual Exercise of Religion, a more constant and industrious Observation of Provi­dence, a greater and steadier Zeal for the Glory of God, and a closer and more acurate Regard to the eternal Interests of our own Souls; it has easily over­ruled me in what I have done against all the Objec­tions and Pleas that can be urg'd to the contrary. And therefore I am determined, to be as little Affec­ted with the Censures of others, as they themselves can be profited by them.

CHAP. VII. Her Miscellaneous Papers.

IT has been a very agreeable Entertain­ment to read over her Miscellanies. Her very spiritual and correct Meditati­ons on the Divinity of the Holy Scriptures. The several Parts of the Creation. The Extent, Efficacy, and Mistery of Providence. A Be­liever's Union with Christ. His Communing with his own Heart. His walking with God. His regulating his Thoughts, Affections, Speech, and Actions. The whole Duty and Happiness of Man. The grand Treasure of all Scripture Promises. The unreasonableness of Fret­ing against God. The Mansion of the Soul of Man. The Resurrection of the Body, &c.—Together with her Critical Observations in Anatomy, Medicine, Ma­thematicks, Musick, Philology, Rhetorick, &c. The general Mention of which, is all that must be expected in this short Account.

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CHAP. VIII. Her spiritual Corresponding with her Friends, by Letters, upon particular Occasions.

SHE wrote often to her intimate Friends, especially to young ones, to perswade them of the Reasonableness and Benefit of the great Duties of Religion. To warn them against the Temptations of their Age and Stations. To improve their Education. To excite them to an early and exemplary Piety. To confute their Cavils. To impress upon them the Obligation of their Bap­tismal Covenants. To satisfy their spiritual Doubts, and encourage their Hopes in God, and Perseverance in their Christian Course—The most of these, and the most considerable, are suppos'd to be in the Hands of such, whom they immediately concerned. Some part of the very few that are come to my Knowledge, since her Death, are these that follow.

To one impatient under Crosses.

MY pensive Temper feeds not so much on future as present Troubles. Di­version is my Misery. I never live 'till I get an Hour's Converse with Myself, and with that God, in whose Hand my Times are: But when I can turn in & seriously consider, the Cause and Effects of my impatient Struggles under the most just and perfectly wise Disposals of Providence, I am cured for that Day by finding worse Troubles within, than ever I found without. So true is great [Page 161] Mr. Dod's Saying, viz. Where Sin sits heavy, the Cross sits light. I cannot but think it unparallell'd Ingrati­tude, that Creatures fall'n from God, the chief Good, and final Happiness of Immortal Spirits, and yet re­stored by God Incarnate, should so basely dispute the Tasting of the Cup, The Dregs whereof he drank up himself for Us. What can we suffer from Friends or Enemies, in Body, Soul, Name, or Estate, that he has not waded though and triumph'd over, for our Good, and in our stead? And is not our quickening Head the second Adam as powerful to conquer Sin and Sorrow, as the first Adam was to convey it? Oh! for a more lively Faith in the great Redeemer, to heal our Souls of this Plague! could Heathens say, It was glorious to Live, when it was easier to Die! and cannot we be willing to Live, when all in Life pleases us not? Oh! how unworthy of Christians is such Impatience? I long for Heaven more, for Freedom from such Reluctances, at the divine Will, than from any Troubles this World makes me.

To One on the Death of a Child.

I Know your tender Love to your Children, must make a Wound in your Heart when you lose any. But I hope Grace and long Experience of God's All-sufficiency, Eternity, and the Unchangeableness of his love and Covenant, is better to you than your own or your Children's Lives. And the good Assurance your Daughter left of her entring into Immortal Glory, has set her above our Pity. And as to our selves, our short remaining Mo­ments here, and good Hope, thro' Grace, of [...] shortly with all our departed perfected Friend [...] [Page 162] greatly moderate our Sorrows. For why, for so short a Time should we be so much concerned, whether we meet them next on Earth, or in the heavenly Mansions, since the last only can afford us that Joy and Pleasure which is without Allay or Mix­ture? If to hear that your Children are well at a Dis­tance on Earth rejoyces you, why not to know any of them are well, and can never be otherwise in Heaven?

To One in Doubt, whether the cer­tain Knowledge of a Christian's State is attainable in this Life.

I Cannot but offer at some Assist­ance under your seeming Doubt. Whether a Person might certainly know in what Estate he stands. If once we can perswade our selves the greatest Good is not attain­able, it ceases to be the Object of our Hope and En­deavour. That wicked Men may without doubt conclude themselves such, and consequently in a damnable State, possibly you might easier believe: Than that a Person truly accepting Christ, upon Gos­pel Terms, may discern that he doth so, and conse­quently is in a State of Salvation: But that both are to be known, I think is sufficiently evident from Scrip­ture, since it puts us upon Judging and Trying our selves, and making sure our own Salvation. And so many of the Saints have affirmed their Knowledge and joyful Evidences of God's Grace in them. And our blessed Redeemer himself has laid down this as an evident Title to the heavenly Mansions; If our Hearts [Page 163] are there, our Treasures are also there. Can we ima­gine the good Spirit of God would excite our Desires after such an Inheritance, only to Torment or Deceive us? No surely, He that is gone before to prepare a Place for his Disciples, hath left them his Holy Spirit, not only to fit them for that glorious Inheritance, but also to seal them up to the Day of Redemption, and given them undoubted Pledges and Earnests of their future Possession—The major Proposition is un­doubtedly true, He that believes shall be saved; the Doubt will lie in the minor, but upon serious Tryal, you may come to know, that you are the true Be­liver. That some upon their first Conversion have been able to draw the Conclusion, I have no Reason to doubt, but it is not God's ordinary Method to Con­vince, Convert, and Assure at once. Therefore don't impatiently conclude it is not attainable because not yet attained. But with strenuous Endeavous be still pursuing the making your Calling and Election sure. Always remembring, that it is the same Spirit that works Grace, that alone can shine on it, and discover and give you the clear Knowledge of his Work. Pray hard and be very Thankful for his least Assistance, than which I know not a more effectual Way to gain more. Have a care of Grieving him by continuing in any known Sin, or neglecting any known Duty. If you dally or trifle in your Return to God, it will not only make your Case seem doubt­ful, but like a broken Bone might make you halt for many Years. The smallest Sin if not resisted and mourn'd for, will breed Doubts and Troubles as sure as rotten Flesh doth Worms. Therefore fall to your Work in Earnest, and I can assure you, the sooner you begin, the greater will your Honour and Peace be. Though you may not presently be able to affirm an infallible Certainty of your State, yet, if by such [Page 164] Means you attain a comfortable Hope to encourage future Endeavours, who knows how soon you may Triumph over your conquer'd Enemies!

On the Death of an Intimate Friend.

I Came hither to close the Eyes of my dear Friend—And since she might shine no longer amongst sinful Worms here, I bless God, who brought me to her instructive Death-Bed: Where Faith, Submission, Patience, and almost uninterrupted Joy, in breathing after her dear Redeemer, more than equal'd all I ever saw that lay so long in sight of their last ghastly Enemy. And though I cannot yet pray against sudden Death, yet her steadfast Hope and glorious Conquest, have given me more tolerable Thoughts of languishing Sickness, since in her I saw, that neither the Strength of Pain, or Weakness of the Patient, can hinder a triumphant Exit, when God will make his Joy our Strength.

Against Disputes in Religion a­mongst young ones.

I Fear there is one that is very dear to you, has receiv'd no little Injury by some of the Authors you have recom­mended to him. When I wrote pun­gently about his Prophaness, he was much alarm'd and penitently confess'd his Sin, and resolv'd upon devoting himself to God, as his true Felicity. But [Page 165] he said, he had read some Books, and heard some Dis­putes at home, which so confounded his Mind, that at last he thought there was no GOD or Devil, or Re­ligion: Now tho' I am far from supposing it the De­sign of your Author to form such Notions in him, yet I can never think it Wisdom to put young Heads on disputable Points, when they may be safely edified by plain practical Divinity. I know the promis'd Spirit of Truth directs his Ministers by his Word, and if the Authors you mention have had this Assist­ance in beating out their their Notions on that Forge it's well; but if what they had form'd in their own Brains is brought to that, and Texts tortured to coun­tenance them, they had need be examin'd by better Heads than mine, lest they should do more hurt than good. I am thankful for Sir P. K. on the Creed, yet if I believed a separate State, a State of Suffering, the Thoughts of Death would make me melancholy. Mr. Flavel, and others, allow it a State of imperfect Happiness, yet no suffering State, because even then we are with Christ in Paradice. Whatever Mr. L. thought, I cannot yet be brought to think that such Texts allow either any sleep to the Soul, or any suf­fering in such a State to the Righteous. In short, I believe the Quarrels of many to be either about Terms or insuperable Difficulties, which neither Side shall understand 'till they get to Heaven. And, for my own Part, I had much rather confute Atheism by holy Walking, than by any accurate Disputing: And while I can taste Religion, let who will talk against it. If your great Mind aims higher, yet put not young raw Heads on what is too hard for them—

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Directions how to instruct a Child.

I Am glad your Brother can so prettily divert you, I wish you Wisdom and Love to instruct him. Be very watch­ful of his Conversation, and whatever you find faulty, shew him the Evil of it, rather than charge him with it, [...]est you put him upon Lying to hide his Guilt. Let him see you love him e'er you chide him, and are ready to hide or excuse his tolle­rable Faults. Be very frequent, but not tedious in your Instructions: Often inculcate the Nature and Necessity of Prayer for all we want, and the encou­raging Promises of God to hear. Lisp to him in his own Language what he prays for by his Form, and labour to excite in him a Sense of his sad State by Sin, greater Desires after Grace, and fuller Resolutions and Endeavours after the Life and Power of God­liness. [...] some Part of his Catechism be daily re­cited, and what he most imperfectly repeats, be said at his going to sleep, and at his first waking. Talk over the Sermons you hear together in Language adapted to his Capacity. And fail not to beg of God a Bles­sing on all your Labour, or else you will do little to Purpose. If God makes you instrumental in the Conversion of your Brothers and Sisters, it will be a great Honour and Comfort, and make the strongest Union amongst you. Take special Care of them that are in the greatest Danger. Imitate your godly impartial Mother, who, tho' she lov'd all alike, yet would often say, If she knew to which Child she had convey'd most of her sinful Nature, she would pity and endeavour the help of that Child most—

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To One under great Dejection and Desertion.

IN these dark Hours of your Life, the Silence of your Friends may seem unnatural. I cannot therefore but heartily condole you, and beg you would not imagine your Case to be unusual, or out of the Road of God's fatherly Discipline, for what good Christian's Diary did you ever read or hear of, that has no such Lines of Complaints as your's: And no wonder when our Head and Lord Redeemer almost dies with them in his Mouth. Why should we grudge to pledge him in that bitter Cup, whose Soul was sorrowful and sore amazed? Can our Jealousy argue a Dereliction more than his? Are not the Gifts and Callings of God without Re­pentance? If your Soul has not been touch'd with the true Loadstone, what makes it stand trembling towards its beloved Point? Is not Love in Desire, and in lamenting after its beloved Object, as truly Love, as when resting in the Enjoyment? If you find much Dross in your best Gold, will you throw a­way both together? or would you change with one that Hopes without Trial? I find it a mighty Craft of the old Serpent, when upon serious Search I have found out Wickedness in my Heart, that did not discover itself upon transient Enquiries, to be very ready to perswade me, there was nothing else to be found there. I bless God, I can at present believe he lies, but how long I shall say so, I know not: For, alas! I have some gloomy Days as well as others, especially under bodily Langours. I doubt not but you address to spiritual Physicians under your present Maladies. Blessed be God, you have many skilful and faithful Ones. Search not without their [Page 168] Help. And God send you a Messenger, one of a Thousand, that may shew to you your Uprightness. I know he only that creates the Fruit of the Lips Peace, can make your Help consolatory, yet wait in the Way of instituted Means. And remember it was but a little farther the drowsy Spouse went in her Search, e'er she found her slighted and griev'd Beloved. I trust your present Temptation to throw away your Hope will not prevail: However think not of throwing off Duty, especially your Attendance on that comfortable sealing Ordinance, the Lord's Supper, which I have reason to recommend to all my afflicted tempted Friends, since I find it no small Mercy to go and renew my former Covenant, or if I cannot find my Fidelity therein, to make it anew; for surely God doth there renew his Covenant, with every fallen Child of Adam that heartily consents, tho' he cannot perfectly reach the Terms according to his Desire. If former stated Times of communi­cating afford you not a sufficient Support, be more frequent, since every Lord's Day gives you an Op­portunity in the City. Remember my dear discon­solate Grandmother waited long at these Pools, tho' with Sorrow complaining it was to her a sealed Foun­tain, yet her dutiful Attendance ended in a trium­phant Death: Before that Period, I hope to hear you are emerging from under the Waves that now overwhelm you, and by that Time you may be rea­dy to strengthen weak Hands from more gl [...]ri [...]us Appearances of God to your Soul. I beg that the God of all Consolation would shine on the Gra [...]u [...] he has wrought, and will by his own Methods perfect in your Soul, that when he has tried you, you might come forth as Gold, and meet for the Inheritance of the Saints in Light, where, no Doubt of God's Love to you, or your's to him, will break your Peace, or interrupt your Joy more—

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To a Relation on a fine Lady of mean Sense.

IN this Place of Concourse, I lately met with a vast Company of fine Ladies, but above all the rest, with one of a charming Beauty, strait and tall, a fine Face, glossy dark Hair, &c. all adorn'd with richest Atlas, splendid Diamonds, finest Lace, &c. To this fine Creature, the amazed Beaus ad­dressed, big with Expectation of charming Conver­sation, agreeable to such an out-side Appearance: But presently the wondering Crowd betray'd such a Disappointment in their sneering Countenances, as made me pity the poor insipid Mortal; and wish, that all I love may study to adorn their Minds, rather than learn the Art of fine Dressing. And while I be­moan'd the unhappy Fair, a Friend Repeated the fol­lowing Lines, which possibly may please you, viz.

When Lesbia first I saw, the heavenly Fair,
With Eyes so charming, with that awful Air,
I thought my Heart, that durst so high Aspire,
As bold as his, who snatch'd Coelestial Fire:
But soon as e'er the beauteous Idiot spoke,
Forth from her Coral Lips such Folly broke,
Like Balm, the trickling Nonsense heal'd my Wound,
And what her Eyes enthrall'd, her Tongue unbound—

So true is the sacred Proverb, As a Jewel of Gold in a—so is a fair Woman without Discretion. And likewise that other, Favour is deceitful and Beauty is vain, but a Woman that f [...]ars the Lord s [...]all be praised. [Page 170] May I and my dear Relations have the Ornament of a meek and quiet Spirit, and we will envy no Ladies their Beauty or Jewels—

Cautions against spiritual Declen­sions.

A Declining State is incident to the best, and therefore to be feard by all: How shamefully have some of our Acquain­tance stain'd their Famalies, and whi­ther have their gradual Declensions at last hurried them—I know there are many that assert a total Apostacy in some from true Grace, but you and I have been taught better and can comfortably conclude from God's unchangeable Love, Decree, Almighty Power, engaged for Perseverance; and from our Union with Christ, and his constant Intercession for us, that the Habits of true Grace cannot be lost: But alas? what Abatements may there be in the Degrees and Exercise, in the Life and Strength of it! And how sad and deplorable is such a Case? Who can but pity a robust Body reduced to a Skeleton by a pining Consumption? And is less Pity due to Souls declin­ing in their Graces? When ardent Love, strong De­sires, humblest Mournings, liveliest Joys, are [...] whithering or choaked with a Confluence of wo [...]ldly Joys, Cares, or Pleasures! Ah! the Sadness of [...] State! may I never weep over any of my dear R [...]lations in such a Case! The best are apt to decline in Duty, in their Love and Affection to it; an [...] sometimes find a sad Distance from God▪ a [...] to him, and Shyness of him in [...] b [...]en the [...]r greates [...] [...]. [Page 171] Surely, restraining of Prayer is a very sad Mark, and when our Hearts don't joyfully answer his Call to seek his Face! And little better when our wandering Spi­rits are not watch'd, call'd in, and made to ply their Work, but Flies light on the Sacrifices that us'd to flame: Nay, if but our Chearfulness in Duty should abate, how heavily shall we drive? If what was once our Delight, becomes our Task and Burthen­some? If after Duty no Advantage, no nearer to God, no fuller Resolutions, no humbler Resignations, how weary shall we quickly be of our choicest Hap­piness, for the Enjoyment of some inferior Good, or foul Corruption, which our treacherous Hearts have slily fallen in love with, while we yet profess to be entirely God's? There are in the best such Remain­ders of Corruption, as ever incline to Apostacy, for none are so compleatly sanctified, but the Flesh is still lusting against the Spirit; and Corruption is an active Principle, very importunate, and not easily to be de­nied: The Temptations of Satan are always assault­ing, and our own Corruptions ever ready to side with them: Yea▪ and God's just Desertions often concur; for tho' he does not withdraw his Love and Care, yet for our Neglects he often may, and does suspend his Influence and Assistance, and then what are we? — Let me entreat you not to lose these hasty Lines, 'till you have tried your present Case, whether you are growing or declining. I [...] Grace wi [...]hers, I am sure so must Comfort. If this be your Case, remembe [...] whence you are fallen, and Repent, and do your first Works, and lay fresh hold on the great Redeemer. If your Case be better, bless God, and rejoyce my Soul in letting me know it—

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Pleading of GOD'S Covenant urged.

WHEN my Soul is almost over-whelm­ed within me for some of my dear Relations, I solace my self in singing that Hymn of Dr. Woodroof.

GOD of my Fathers and their Seed,
For so thy Covenant is:
And thou wilt keep thy Covenant sure,
To Thousands of Degrees.
My Parents, Lord! devoting me,
Upon Thee I was cast:
And from my Mother's Belly thou,
My GOD in Covenant wast.
By all Engagements, and by Vows
Renewed, I am Thine:
And from that Time to this art thou
By the same Title mine.
When taken thus into thy House,
Thy Charge I there became:
Thou wast my Father and my God,
And then I bore thy Name, &c.

Surely, if the Blessings of Abraham are come on the Gentiles by Jesus Christ, what God hath spoken to them and our Fathers, is spoken to us, who, by Faith, lay hold on that Covenant: And tho' it runs not so freely in Temporals under the Gospel-Dispen­sation, we have still the double Portion, tho' the younger Children: The elder, indeed, had large and sure Promises of the fertile Canaan; and, no doubt, [Page 173] their Hopes and Joys had higher Objects, when they dwelt in Tents, and slept on Stones, left their Coun­try and Relations: But yet, Life and Immortality was vailed to them, in comparison of what is now brought to Light by the Gospel. I am ashamed to think how Jacob lift up his Feet in his Way to Padan-Aram, after his Vision at Bethel, while I go on so sluggishly in my Way to Heaven, after so many signal Appearances of God to me and mine—

Cautions to a Friend about Mar­rying.

'TIS very odd, when you ask my Opi­nion in the Matter proposed, that you only give me an Account of the Gentleman's Circumstances, and not of his Character: So far as I know, I must freely own, that I fear the Estate is too great, and likely to prove a Snare to you. Bishop Hall affirms, That Riches have made many worse, but never any better. I hope you would rather chuse to be better than richer, and that you will never be byass'd by an Estate to an indiffe­rent Choice. You know, I have ever caution'd you and must caution you still against too great a Fond­ness for Wealth. Alas! should you have it, how many Things may imbitter it to you? Should you have a churlish Nabal, and you could only behold it with your Eyes, and not be suffer'd to do any good with it, how uneasy would that be to your charitable generous Mind? And should the Temper be good, yet if Debts, or Provision for younger Children should cripple a Man's Estate, it's but the Name and not the Thing that you enjoy: And if neither of [Page 174] these happen, yet may not worse? Supposing there's no Piety, nor warm Devotion, but an Aversion to your Attending on private Altars, where you have found more than all this World can afford you, what Perplexity are you then tied to for Life? I know what Troubles you have met with, but might you not, by avoiding present, plunge yourself into future Difficulties: 'Tis better be miserable by Necessity than Choice. What God inflicts is easier born, than what we bring upon our selves—Let me entreat you to moderate your Desires after wordly Grandeur. Pardon my Freedom—If I am apt to be too jealous of you, it is because I love you—

On the Death of a good Lady and Friend.

I Am heartily concern'd for the Coun­try's Loss, and my own, of that ex­cellent Lady; and condole you espe­cially, who had the Honour of her Friendship; I believe as much as could consist with the Inequality of your Stations in this World; and that Goodness levell'd more than is usual, even in pious Ladies. A Friend, wise, pious, compassionate, secret, &c. is a Rarity enjoy'd, and a Loss seldom repair'd in this World: But, Oh! what a Friend is our Lord Redeemer! not limited to one or few, like our contracted Minds, but condescends to the Title and Offices of a Friend to all his faithful Followers. I am thankful for the Tastes of his Goodness in Creature-Friendship; but the utmost Perfection of that is but a faint Shadow of the Divine, and what I find in mine eternal Lover and Friend the Lord Jesus [Page 175] Christ, whose Friendship has not the Disparagement which all Creature Enjoyments have, of being but a short and uncertain Pleasure—

On a Tradesman's casting up his Shop.

SINCE you pretend to be pleas'd with any of my Scrawles, I will give you a short History of what has pass'd with us this Christmas: You remember, I now live with a Tradesman, call'd a Milliner, (I sup­pose from the multitude of Things that such ordinari­ly Trade in, especially in the Country.) It is a pru­dent and laudable Custom with him, to cast up his Shop, for the most part once a Year. I love not to be ignorant of any Thing that falls in my Way with­out Trouble; and therefore, to divert my Mind, I have sometimes engaged with him in some little Part of this comical Fatigue: The whole of which is a thoro' Scrutiny into all that has been bought and sold, and got by it, and into what remains. In order to this, abundance of Files, of Bills, Letters, and Re­ceipts, besides Books, were to be examined: But my Province was only to assist in Measuring and Con­tenting (in English, to write on every Piece, after measured, what it contained;) the Tryal of Gains was left to themselves, and held them to it Night and Day, & every one was pleasant & chearful at the Con­clusion. I expostulated with my Landlord the un­necessary Trouble of this, for one that had no reason to suspect his Circumstances; but was answered, That besides the Pleasure of proving it, their future Trade could not be so successful, easy, and beautiful without it: The Sale of what had been bought, directs [Page 176] to what's best to be bought again, by finding out what had been sold to best Advantage; what had been misplac'd, and thought to have been lost, is now in order again, and readily found: Besides, the Gain made a Recompence for the Trouble, and was an help to Thankfulness, &c.— Now, my dear Friends, if we are so wise for this World, why should we be so weak for the other? And yet how few are there, that with that unwearied Diligence, Dexterity, and Chearfulness, cast up in their spiritual Trade? I blush at my own Sloth and Folly, and endeavour to commend Heart-Examination to my Thoughts by my Christmas Diversion. The Result of all my Landlord's Trouble, assures him he has gain'd by last Year's Trade, but can give him only some pro­bable Conjectures how he may thrive the next, toge­ther with many Fears of losing by some unfashionable Goods, which he looks upon with heavy Sighs. But if upon serious Scarch, I can find I have gain'd any true Grace, I am sure of its encrease, and that it can never be lost, or become useless. Can I but find Faith as a grain of Mustard-Seed, I can safely conclude, it will grow to a Tree: The Path of the Just, as a shining Light, will shine more and more to the perfect Day. If I sigh over the Weakness of my Grace, I am yet encouraged when I read the Encomiums of my compas­sionate Redeemer, on the weak Faith of many that addressed to him in the Days of his Flesh—Therefore my good Friend, let us call in the Assistance of others, and diligently search our Hearts and Ways, and fol­low it to a comfortable Conclusion, and then my Diversion might be Useful to myself and you—

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Upon the Death of a Sister.

I Thought I could with less Distur­bance have parted with a Sister, than I find I can: I did hope Death would not have begun at the wrong end of the Register-Book; but they are Seniors in the best Sense, who have soonest done their Work, and are first fit for Glory: Tho' I could not have parted with a Sister without Tears, to any distant Country upon Earth, tho it had been to her own Advantage, yet Reason would have blamed and soon overcome such a fond and foolish Passion: And surely Religion then should do no less, but more, when she is in a far higher and happier Preferment than all this World could pretend to offer. Our All-wise Creator first form'd our massy Lump, and then inspired it; and when he is pleas'd to dissolve the Compositum, it is not that either of the constituent Parts should be des­troy'd: But the Dissolution, as to the Righteous, with regard to their Souls, is immediate Glory; and with regard to their Bodies, but a Refining, in order to a Re-union: The forsaken Mansion is, indeed, a melancholly Object! and it is very affecting to close the dear Eyes that were wont to delight us with their silent Rhetorick; but we more than water the Body sown in Dust, while we dim our Prospect of their Glory. Why should I wish the Soul in this Body still merely to say, I had a Sister in such a Place? What if Heaven (where she is) be farther off? I am sure, as that is more suitable, so it ought to be nearer to my immortal Part: And may I not still have Com­munion with her, and with the glorious Company she keeps, by loving, praising, admiring, and adoring the same God, tho' I am yet on Earth? May I not re­joyce [Page 178] in the Thoughts of meeting her among the Spirits of the Just made Perfect? Surely, they have more Courage, better Success, or less Difficulty than I who can wish that War protracted—But she has now passed the Pikes, O happy Soul! Her Body in­deed, is sown in Corruption, and cannot defend itself from Worms, and is putrifying and loathsome at pre­sent, but it will not be always so. If the innate De­sires of Re-union could not perswade me of a Re­surrection, yet the infallible Word of God has assur'd me of it; and that it shall arise, not as it was sown, a natural and sluggish Body but agil and sprightly, and fit to serve its superior and vigorous Soul. It is a plea­sure to me sometimes to think of the Lustre and Ac­tivity of glorified Bodies, which rest not either Day or Night, nor suffer any Decays, Imperfections, Pau­ses, or Interruptions, in their high and happy Employ­ments; but the greatest Pleasure of all, to think of being for ever with the Lord—

To one under great Afflictions and spiritual Fears.

I Cannot forget my Promises of pray­ing for you, and Writing to you: I daily attempt the one, and wish I could perform it better: And as to the other, I should be glad if my Pen could help your Faith and Patience, under the smarting Rod (I hope I may say) of your heavenly Father, for so it may be, tho' accompanied with angry Frowns: 'Tis true, Afflictions in themselves cannot be Proofs of Son-ship; but we are fully assured by the sacred Scriptures, that the sorest Tryals are very consistent with that Priviledge: The Experience of many of God's Fa­vourites [Page 179] confirm it: All the Promises of Support un­der, Benefit by, and Deliverance from such Troubles, suppose it; yet our guilty Souls are too apt to mis­construe fatherly Chastisements, for the Revenges of any Enemy, or to think their is more Anger than Love in them, and to murmur that they are so long and heavy. But the All-wise Father of our Spirits can­not mistake in measuring, timing, and appointing his Methods of healing Souls: If Guilt makes you fear his Wrath, rather than taste his Love in your Afflic­tions, you should cast your guilty Soul upon him for promised Rest; and may be well assured, that God will not exact the Debt from the Offender and the Surety too: Fly daily to that Refuge, that sure Hope, that justifying Righteousness, and then you will find no Fury in God, how grievous soever your Afflictions are—You have liberty to pray for Pity and Help as well as David, who, when he had aching Bones, had a sense of Guilt also, even of scandalous Sins— If your own or others Cries for you seem yet unheard, it might be our mistake, to urge for present Ease, without a due Respect for future Cure, Sin is the worst Disease, its Cure is to be fought, tho' by the roughest Methods: The Children of God are agreed in this, and yet can scarce submit the Means to the infallible Physician: Tho' we can trust a Surgeon to apply a Caustick (though of Lapis Infernalis) and let it lie his Time, if there be any hope of Cure; yet how hardly can we submit on higher Reason, surer Hope, or happier Experience, to him, whose Word of Truth assures us, that every thing he does shall do us good, both purge away our Sins, and make us Par­takers of his Holiness. I must confess, these Lines upbraid my own foolish Choice oftentimes for my self and Friends, but I pray and wait for better Sub­mission to the heaviest [...] on me or them.

[Page 180]

Various Dispensations argued and justified.

I Have been long your Debtor for a very kind and comfortable Letter, which came seasonably to hand, as I was groaning under great Pain, and sympathizing with others in bitter Affliction: Since then, I bless God, I have seen brighter Days, but Clouds have return'd after Rain upon others: And may not all this put together commend the variegated Dispensations of Providence? Had all our Days been Halcion, would they have been so safe or useful? Had all been Sable, how disconsolate? Were all the Children in equal Smart, under the Rod together, we should be too ready to make some unworthy Reflec­tion on the All-wise Discipline? Were not all alter­natly so, we should be ready to suspect their Son-ship? O the Depth of Wisdom, that poor shallow Mortals can never fathom! Yet how proud and peevish when any Thing denied, at our own Time, which we fancy to be good for us! Had I been always well, and at Ease, how chill a Sympathy must I have had with the dear afflicted Members of Christ? Had you been never so, I had wanted your experimental Con­solations. And if the brief Hints of this beautiful Variety can afford such Pleasure here, how bright and glorious, how ravishing and sweet, will it be when unfolded in eternal Glory! And why should I be im­patient of, or fear the darkest Scene, that shall end in brightest Glory? Yet, with Shame and Sorrow, I confess, the Fear of what I may feel, has been as afflictive to me, as most I have felt: Yea, when I have found good hope of an Interest in God, and after a Thousand Experiences of his never-sailing [Page 181] Compassions, confuting my guilty Fears. This childish, or rather unchild-like Distemper, I think, encreases with Years, and is partly occasioned by fre­quent and close Converse with many of my Superiors in Grace, under bitter Afflictions, living and dying: And when I see what is done to the green Trees, I am apt to an excess of Fear what shall be done to the dry. Fain I would cherish an awful, while I subdue a slavish Fear; but this I cannot do of myself, and therefore beg it of the God of all Grace, in which I crave your Assistance—

CHAP. IX. Some Fragments of Verses which she often repeated, not for their Elegancy, so much at Suitable­ness to her State and Temper.

I. An Acknowledgment of Mercies.

IN Nature's Womb thy Fingers did me make,
And from the Womb thou did'st me safely take;
From Breast thou hast me nurs'd my Life throughout,
That I can say I never wanted ought.
In youthful Wandrings thou hast staid my Slide;
In all my Journies thou hast been my Guide.
Thou hast me sav'd from many an unknown Danger,
And given me Favour where I was a Stranger.
In all my Meals, my Table thou hast spread,
In all my Lodgings thou hast made my [...].
[Page 182]Thou hast me clad with Changes of Array,
And made my House still better every Way.
In all my Troubles thou hast heard my Voice,
In both my Matches thou hast made my Choice.
Oft have I felt the Workings of thy Grace,
And seen, through Christ, thy pleasant smiling Face.
This is the Heaven on Earth, if any be,
For This and All, my Soul thus Praises Thee.

II. A Reflection upon Age.

DIM Eyes, deaf Ears, cold Stomach, shew
My Dissolution is in View:
The Shuttle's thrown, my Race is run,
My Sun is set, my Work is done;
My Span is out, my Tale is told,
My Flower's decay'd, and Stock grown old.
The Dream is past, the Shadow's fled,
My Soul now longs for Christ, my Head.
I've liv'd to Seventy Six, or nigh,
GOD calls at last, and now I'll die.

III. Musculus's Swan-like Song before his Death.

COLD Death my Heart invades, and I must die;
O Christ, my everlasting Life, draw nigh!
Why quiver'st thou, my Soul, within my Breast?
Thy Angel's come to take thee to thy Rest.
Quit chearfully this tottering House of Clay,
GOD will rebuild it at th' appointed Day.
I know thy Sins, but let not them be urg'd,
All those have with the Blood of Christ been purg'd.
[Page 183]Is Death affrightning? True; but yet withal,
Remember Christ, thro' Death, to Life doth call:
He'll Triumph over Satan, Sin and Death,
Therefore with Joy resign thy dying Breath.

IV. The benighted Soul encouraged.

WHERE art thou now? Thy Day is Night;
Be not afraid, thou still art right:
The Way to Heaven lies by the Gates of Hell;
Chear up, Believe, and all shall yet go well.

V. The Passing-Bell.

COME, honest Sexton, take thy Spade,
And let my Grave be quickly made:
Thou still art ready for the Dead,
Like a kind Host to make their Bed:
[...] now am come to be thy Guest,
In some dark Lodging give me Rest:
I'm very weary, full of Pain,
And of my Pilgrimage complain;
On Heaven's Decree I waiting lie,
And all my Wishes are to die.
Hark! hark! I hear my Passing-Bell!
I hear my Passing-Bell! Farewel!
Farewel! my loving Friends, Farewel!
[Page 184]

CHAP. X. Some few Stanza's out of some of those many Hymns and Psalms, which she had committed to Me­mory, and would often repeat with Peculiar Pleasure.

Mr. WATTS'S Hymns.


THE dear Delights we here enjoy,
And fondly call our own;
Are but short Favours borrow'd now,
To be repaid anon.
Peace all our angry Passions then,
Let each rebellious Sigh,
Be silent at his Sovereign Will,
And every Murmur die.
If smiling Mercy crowns our Lives,
Its Praises shall be spread;
And we'll adore the Justice too
That strikes our Comforts dead.
Great GOD, I own thy Sentence just,
And Nature must decay;
I yield my Body to the Dust,
To dwell with Fellow-Clay.
[Page 185]
HYMN 15.
Let me but hear my Saviour say,
Strength shall be equal to thy Day;
Then I rejoice in deep Distress,
Leaning on All-sufficient Grace.
HYMN 17.
O for an overcoming Faith,
To chear my dying Hours;
To Triumph o're the Monster Death,
And all his frightful Powers!
If Sin be pardon'd I'm secure,
Death hath no Sting beside;
The Law gives Sin its damning Power,
But Christ my Ransom dy'd.
HYMN 86.
How should the Sons of Adam's Race,
Be pure before their GOD?
If he contend in Righteousness,
We fall beneath his Rod.
To vindicate my Words and Thoughts,
I'll make no more Pretence;
Not one of All my thousand Fau'ts,
Can bear a just Defence.
HYMN 87.
O may thy pardoning Grace be nigh,
Lest we should Faint, Despair, and Die!
Thus shall our better Thoughts approve,
The Methods of thy chastening Love.
HYMN 103.
Firm as his Throne, his Promise stands,
And he can well secure,
[Page 186]What I've committed to his Hands,
'Till the decisive Hour.
Then will he own my worthless Name,
Before his Father's Face;
And in the New Jerusalem,
Appoint my Soul a Place.
HYMN 131.
Dear Father, let me never be
Joyn'd with the boasting Pharisee;
I have no Merits of my own,
But plead the Sufferings of thy Son.
HYMN 146.
O let me climb those higher Skies,
Where Storms and Darkness never Rise?
Where Christ displays his Power abroad,
And Shines and Reigns Incarnate GOD.
Nor Earth, nor Seas, nor Sun, nor Stars,
Nor Heaven his full Resemblance bears;
His Beauties we can never trace,
'Till we behold him Face to Face.


Why, do we mourn, departing Friends?
Or shake at Death's Alarms?
'Tis but the Message Jesus sends,
To call them to his Arms.
Are we not tending upwards too,
As fast as Time can move?
Nor would we wish the Hours more slow,
To keep us from our Love.
[Page 187]
The Graves of all his Saints he blest,
And softened every Bed:
Where should the dying Members rest,
But with the dying Head?
HYMN 20.
Why is my Heart so far from Thee,
My GOD, my chief Delight!
Why are my Thoughts no more by Day
With Thee, no more by Night?
Why should my foolish Passions rove?
Where can such Sweetness be,
As I have tasted in thy Love,
As I have found in Thee?
Trifles of Nature, or of Art,
With fair deceitful Charms,
Intrude upon my thoughtless Heart,
And thrust me from thy Arms.
Wretch that I am! to wander thus,
In chase of fond Delight!
Let me be fastned to thy Cross,
Rather than lose thy Sight.
Make haste, my Days, to reach the Goal,
And bring my Heart to Rest,
On the dear Center of my Soul,
My GOD, my Saviour's Breast.
HYMN 25.
My drowsy Powers, why sleep ye so?
Awake my sluggish Soul!
Nothing has half thy Work to do,
Yet nothing's half so dull.
[Page 188]
HYMN 48.
How vain are all Things here below!
How false and yet how fair!
Each Pleasure hath its Poison too,
And every Sweet a Snare.
And dearest Joys, and nearest Friends,
The Partners of our Blood,
How they divide our waving Minds,
And leave but half for GOD.
The Fondness of a Creature's Love,
How strong it strikes the Sense!
Thither the warm Affections move,
Nor can we call them thence.
Dear Saviour, let thy Beauties be
My Soul's eternal Food;
And Grace command my Heart away
From all created Good.
HYMN 50.
Now let the Lord, my Saviour, smile,
And show my Name upon his Heart;
I would forget my Pains a while,
And in the Pleasure lose the Smart.
But, oh! it swells my Sorrows high,
To see my blessed Jesus frown;
My Spirits sink, my Comforts die,
And all the Springs of Life are down.
Yet, why, my Soul, why these Complaints?
Still while he frowns, his Bowels move;
Still on his Heart he bears his Saints,
And feels their Sorrows and his Love.
[Page 189]
HYMN 54.
My GOD, the Spring of all my Joys,
The Life of my Delights;
The Glory of my brightest Days,
And Comfort of my Nights.
HYMN 61.
My Soul, come meditate the Day,
And think how near it stands,
When thou must quit this House of Clay,
And fly to unknown Lands.
HYMN 102.
No, I'll repine at Death no more,
But with a chearful Gasp resign,
To the cold Dungeon of the Grave,
These dying, withering Limbs of mine.
Let Worms devour my wasting Flesh,
And crumble all my Bones to Dust;
My GOD shall raise my Frame anew,
At the Revival of the Just.
Break, sacred Morning, thro' the Skies,
Bring that delightful dreadful Day;
Cut short the Hours, dear Lord, and come,
Thy ling'ring Wheels, how long they stay!
HYMN 145.
I love the Windows of thy Grace,
Through which my Lord is seen;
And long to meet my Saviour's Face,
Without a Glass between.
O that the happy [...]our were come,
To change my Faith to Sight!
[Page 190]I shall behold my Lord at Home,
In a diviner Light.
Haste, my Beloved, and remove
These interposing Days!
Then shall my Passions all be Love,
And all my Pow'rs be Praise.

Mr. WATT'S Psalms.


TIr'd with the Burdens of the Day,
To the I rais'd an Evening Cry:
Thou heardst when I began to Pray,
And thine Almighty Help was nigh.
Supported by thine heavenly Aid,
I laid me down and slept secure:
Not Death should make my Heart afraid,
Tho' I should wake and rise no more.


Though in the Dust I lay my Head,
Yet, gracious GOD, thou wilt not leave
My Soul for ever with the Dead,
Nor Lose thy Children in the Grave.
My Flesh shall thy first Call obey,
Shake off the Dust, and rise on high;
Then shalt thou lead the wond'rous Way,
Up to thy Throne above the Sky.


This Life's a Dream, an empty Show,
But the bright World, to which I go,
[Page 191]Hath Joys substantial and sincere;
When shall I wake, and find me there?
Oh! glorious Hour! O bless'd Abode!
I shall be near, and like my GOD!
And Flesh and Sin no more controul
The sacred Pleasures of my Soul.
My Flesh shall slumber in the Ground,
'Till the last Trumpet's joyful Sound;
Then burst the Chains with sweet Surprise,
And in my Saviour's Image rise.


That Sin that close besets me still,
That works and strives against my Will;
When shall thy Spirits sovereign Power
Destroy it, that it rise no more!


Tho' I walk thro' the gloomy Vale,
Where Death and all its Terrors are;
My Heart and Hope shall never fail,
For GOD, my Sheperd's, with me there.


Let me thy Power and Truth proclaim,
To the surviving Age,
And leave a Sav'our of thy Name,
When I shall quit the Stage.


Bless'd are the Saints who sit on high,
Around thy Throne of Majesty;
Thy brightest Glories shine above,
And all their Work is Praise and Love.
[Page 192]
Bless'd are the Souls that find a Place,
Within the Temple of thy Grace;
There they behold thy gentler Rays,
And seek thy Face, and learn thy Praise.


The sacred Truths GOD'S Lips pronounce,
Shall firm as Heav'n endure;
And if he speaks a Promise once,
Th' eternal Grace is sure.


My Covenant I will ne'er revoke,
But keep thy Grace in mind,
And what eternal Love hath spoke
Eternal Truth shall bind.


Our Vitals with laborious Strife,
Bear up the crazy Load,
And drag these poor Remains of Life,
Along the tiresome Road.
Our Souls would learn the heavenly Art,
T' improve the Hours we have,
That we may act the wiser Part,
And live beyond the Grave.


Then shall I see, and hear, and know,
All I desir'd, or wish'd below;
And every Power find sweet Employ,
In that eternal World of Joy.

PSALM 119.

When Nature sink [...], and Spirits droop,
Thy Promises of Grace
[Page 193]Are Pillars to support my Hope,
And there I write thy Praise.


Father, I bless thy gentle Hand;
How kind was thy chastising Rod,
That forc'd my Conscience to a Stand,
And brought my wandring Soul to God!

PSALM 139.

Lord! search my Soul, try ev'ry Thought,
Tho' my own Heart accuse me not,
Of walking in a false Disguise,
I beg the Tryal of thine Eyes.

PSALM 144.

For ever blessed be the Lord,
My Saviour and my Shield;
He sends his Spirit with his Word,
To arm me for the Field.
When Sin and Hell their Force unite,
God makes my Soul his Care,
Instructs me to the heavenly Fight,
And guards me thro' the War.
A Friend and Helper so divine,
Doth my weak Courage raise;
He makes the glorious Victory mine,
And his shall be the Praise.

PSALM 149.

The Lord hath Eyes to give the Blind!
The Lord supports the sinking Mind;
He sends the labouring Conscience Peace,
[Page 194]He helps the Stranger in Distress,
The Widow and the Fatherless,
And grants the Prisoner sweet Release.
He loves his Saints; he knows them well
But turns the Wicked down to Hell;
Thy GOD, O Zion, ever reigns;
Let every Tongue, let every Age
In this exalted Work engage:
Praise him in everlasting Strains.
I'll praise my Maker with my Breath,
And when my Voice is lost in Death,
Praise shall employ my nobler Powers;
My Days of Praise shall ne'er be past,
While Life, and Thought, and Being last,
Or Immortality endures.

AN ELEGY On the much lamented DEATH OF Mrs. Elisabeth Bury.




WHEN I received your Request of an Elegy on the late excellent Mrs. BURY, I found my self unwilling to deny a Person of your Merit: Yet I knew not how to re­sume a Study I had abandon'd so many Years, except what I devo­ted to the Imitation of the Psalms of David. Tho' I do not use to bind myself with solemn Vows, yet I had long ago purposed to write no more such Poems, but when the Occasion itself should be so extra­ordinary as to awaken my old Idea's almost from the Grave, and constrain Fancy to the Work.

[Page]Such an unexpected Occasion, Sir, was given me when you put into my Hands the Memoirs of her LIFE, which you had collected. The Character of the Deceased so far exceeds what I could have ima­gined, that drew my Thoughts and Verse out to all this Length, almost contrary to my own Reso­lutions.

Accept it, honoured Sir, as a Tribute paid to the Memory of so uncommon a Virtue, and a Life of Piety so sublime. And may the Publication of it to the World be attended with some happy Imi­tations of so shining an Example. Amen.


AN ELEGY On the much lamented DEATH of Mrs. Elisabeth Bury,
Late Wise of the Reverend Mr. SAMUEL BURY, of Bristol, annexed to some Memoirs of her Life, drawn up by him, but collected out of her own PAPERS.

SHE must ascend: Her Treasure lies on High;
And there her Heart is. Bear her thro' the Sky
On Wings of Harmony, ye Sons of Light,
And with surrounding Shields protect her Flight,
Teach her the wondrous Songs your selves compose
For your bright World; she'll learn 'em as she goes;
The Sense was known before: Those sacred Themes,
"The GOD, the Saviour, and the flowing Streams
"That ting'd the cursed Tree with Blood divine,
"Purchas'd a Heaven, and wash'd a World from Sin;
"The Beams, the Bliss, the Vision of that Face,
"Where the whole Godhead shines in mildest Grace;
These are the Notes for which your Harps are strung;
These were the Joy and Labour of her Tongue
In our dark Regions. These exalted Strains
Brought Paradise to Earth, and sooth'd her Pains.
[Page]Souls made of pious Harmony and Love,
Can be no Strangers to their Work Above.
But must we lose her hence? The Muse in Pain
Regrets her Flight, and calls the Saint again.
"Stay, gentle Spirit, stay. Can Nature find
"No Charms to hold the once unfetter'd Mind?
"Must all these Virtues, all these Graces soar
"Far from our Sight, and bless the Earth no more?
"Must the fair Saint to Worlds immortal climb,
"For ever lost to all the Sons of Time?
O, no; she is not lost. Behold her here;
How just the Form! how soft the Lines appear!
The Features of her Soul, without Disguise,
Drawn by her own bless'd Pen; a sweet surprise
To mourning Friends. The Partner of her Cares
Seiz'd the fair Piece, and wash'd it o're with Tears,
Dress'd it in Flowers, then hung it on her Urn;
A Pattern for the Sex in Ages yet unborn.
Daughters of Eve, come, trace these heavenly Lines,
Feel with what Power the bright Example shines:
She was what you should be. Young Virgins, come,
Drop a kind Tear, and dress you at her Tomb:
Gay Silks and Diamonds are a vulgar Road:
Her radient Vertues should create the Mode.
Matrons, attend her Hearse with Thoughts refin'd,
Gaze and Transcribe the Beauties of her Mind,
And let her live in you. The Meek, the Great;
The Chaste and Free; the Chearful and Sedate;
Swift to Forgiveness, but to Anger slow;
And rich in Learning, yet averse to Show;
With Charity and Zeal that rarely join,
And all the Human Graces and Divine
[Page]Reign'd in her Breast; and held a pleasing Strife
Thro' every shifting Scene of various Life,
The Maid, the Bride, the Widow, and the Wife.
Nor need a manly Spirit blush to gain
Exalted Thoughts from her superior Vein.
Attend her Hints, ye Sages of the Schools,
And by her Nobler Practice frame your Rules.
Let her inform you to address the Ear
With conquering Suasion, or Reproof severe,
And still without Offence. Thrice happy Soul,
That could our Passions and her own controul!
Could weild and govern that unruly Train,
Sense, Fancy, Pleasure, Fear, Grief, Hope and Pain,
And live sublimely Good! Behold her move
Thro' Earth's rude Scenes, yet point her Tho'ts Above:
Seraphs on Earth part for their Native Skies,
And Nature feels it painful, not to rise.
Ye venerable Tribes of holy Men,
Read the Devotions of her Heart and Pen,
And learn to pray, and die. Burissa knew
To make Life happy, and resign it too.
The Soul that oft had walk'd th' Ethereal Road,
Pleas'd with the Summons, took her farewel flight to GOD.
But ne're shall Words, or Lines, or Colours paint
The immortal Passions of the expiring Saint.
What Beams of Joy (Angelick Airs) arise
O're her pale Cheeks, and sparkle thro' her Eyes,
In that dark Hour! how all serene she lay,
Beneath the Openings of Colestial Day!
Her Soul retires from Sense, refines from Sin,
While the descending Glory wrought within;
[Page]Then in a sacred Calm resign'd her Breath,
And as her Eye-lids clos'd, she smil'd in Death.
O may some pious Friend, that weeping stands
Near my last Pillow, with up-lifted Hands,
Or wipes the Mortal Dew from off my Face,
Witness such Triumph in my Soul▪ and trace
The Dawn of Glory in my dying Mein,
While on my lifeless Lips such heavenly Smiles are seen!

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