[Page]
[Page]

MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE OF MRS. SARAH OSBORN, WHO DIED AT NEWPORT, RHODEISLAND, ON THE SECOND DAY OF AUGUST, 1796.

IN THE EIGHTY THIRD YEAR OF HER AGE.

BY SAMUEL HOPKINS, D. D. PASTOR OF THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN NEWPORT.

PRINTED AT WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS, BY LEONARD WORC [...]STER.

1799.

[Page]

Contents.

  • PART I. Containing an Account of the first thirty years of her Life. Page 5
  • PART II. Containing a general Account of her Life. Page 58
  • PART III. Extracts from her Diary. Page 84
  • PART IV. The Conclusion of her Life. Page 352
[Page]

THE LIFE OF MRS. SARAH OSBORN.

PART I. Containing an Account of the first thirty years of her Life, written by herself; with a brief In­troduction.

MRS. SARAH OSBORN, was born in London, on February 22, 1714. Her father was Mr. Benjamin Haggar. Her mother was Mrs. Susanna Haggar, whose maiden name was Guyse. She was sister to the Reverend Doctor John Guyse of London. Mrs. Osborn came to America, with her mother, in the year 1722, in the ninth year of her age, her father having been here for some time before. They lived in Boston a short time, and then moved to Freetown, on the east side of Taunton river, near fifty miles south of Boston, and above twenty miles from Newport. In the year 1729, they moved to Newport on Rhodeisland, where she lived till her decease.

The following is a more particular account of the first thirty years of her life, written by herself.

[Page 6]HAVING been for some years strongly in­clined to write something of what I can re­member of the dealings of God with my soul from a child, I now, being about thirty years old, attempt to do it; hoping it may consist with the glory of God, at which I trust, through grace, I sincerely aim: And the good of my own soul, as a mean to stir up gratitude in the most ungrate­ful of all hearts, even mine, to a glorious and compassionate Savior, for all his benefits towards so vile a monster in sin as I am: And for the encouragement of any who may providentially light on these lines after my decease, to trust in the Lord, and never despair of mercy, since one so stubborn and rebellious as I have been, has obtained it, through the sovereign riches of free grace. But Oh, let all tremble at the thought of abusing a Savior so, lest God should say, "Let them alone, they shall never enter into my rest."

Lord, humble me for my base ingratitude; and help me, by affording me the influences and assistance of thy blessed Spirit, that I may be im­partial in this work, declaring the truth, and nothing but the truth; and in all that, have a single eye to thy glory. O, for Jesus' sake, suffer me not to do any thing that will tend to puff up self. O, remove all spiritual pride, and keep me low at the feet of Jesus. Fill me with adoring and admiring thoughts of thee, O God the Fa­ther, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, who has so wonderfully contrived and wrought out my redemption; and though thou hast, through infinite wisdom, hid these things from the wise and prudent, yet hast revealed them unto babes; and even to me, the most ignorant and [Page 7] vile of all creatures: Whose deep rooted enmity against thee and thy laws broke out into action, as soon as I was capable of any. The first that I can remember of actual sins, of which I was guilty, was telling a lie. And then that text of scripture often rang in my ears, "All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone."

I was frequently under the strivings of the Spirit of God, pressing me to forsake sin, and re­pent and perform duties: But sometimes found them very burden some to me; such as praying and saying many good things, which I was fre­quently taught. Blessed be God for such instruc­tions. Sometimes I loved them, and was much affected with them: But my corruptions prevail­ed dreadfully, an angry temper stiring in me; especially when corrected by my mother. But I acknowledge, to the glory of God, that he pre­served such a tenderness of conscience in me, that if at any time my mother convinced me that she did it because it was her duty, and for my sin against God, I could bear it patiently, and willingly, yea thankfully.

Thus I continued till I was about seven or eight years old; when, my father being in New England, my mother put me to a boarding school, about three miles from London, where every thing was delightful to me. I was con­stantly taught things that were religious, and they all became sweet to me, so that I verily thought I lived a heaven upon earth. O, how sweet were Sabbaths! And for secret praye [...], I would [...]o [...] have omitted it for all the world; [...] the [...] omitting it appeared so monstrous, [...]and such [...] [Page 8] dreadful thing, that I dare not lie down without it: In this I was doubtless governed by a legal spirit. I was frequently much enlarged in that duty, and used to weep much when confessing my sins, and pleading for the pardon of them, and for an interest in Christ. The name of Christ was sweet to me, and sin appeared more hateful. I often used to reprove others, when guilty of it. But once in particular, I remember, when I was at Hartford, where my grandmother lived, and my brother with her, a little time before we came to New England, my brother did something which I thought was wicked, and I reproved him sharply for it; but was much perplexed, after I had done it, with these words of scripture, "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." This frighted me exceedingly. I thought I was a vile hypocrite, and should never dare to reprove any body again. And, I suppose, a hypocrite I was. But at last I told my grandmother of it, who encouraged me to go on, telling me i [...] was my duty so to do; and if I was faithful, God would bless me, and love me.

So I continued for a while, as I thought, to delight in the ways of holiness. But alas! alas! how soon was it over! My goodness was like the morning cloud and the early dew, which soon passeth away; for when I was in my ninth year my father sent for my mother and me to come to New England to him. And on board the ship [...]ost my good impressions, and grew vile, so that I could then play upon the Sabbath. But was convinced of that sin by an accident which [Page 9] befel me; or [...] was ordered by infinite wisdom for that end. Fo [...] as I was busy in boil­ing something for my amusement, I fell into the fire with my right hand, and burnt it all over; which I presently thought came justly upon me for playing on the Sabbath day: And I was ashamed and sorry I had done so.

But after this I do not remember any partic­ular conviction for some years; but was change­able and inconstant, sometimes quite careless, and then more diligent in the performance of prayer. I had always, as I thought, a great love for those who I believed were good people, es­pecially ministers. My very heart would leap with joy, when I could see, or come near enough to touch them. I mention this as a childish no­tion, that I took such pleasure in touching them. I used to go secretly behind them for that pur­pose. I thought I could do any thing in my power to serve them.

About two years and an half after we came to Boston, my parents moved to Freetown, and I with them. And when I was about thirteen years old, my mother went from thence to New­port on Rhodeisland, and went to visit Mr. Clap, who gave her a little book of spiritual songs for me, and desired her to give it to me, and tell me that it came from one who was a hearty well wisher to my soul. These words immediately seized me, and filled me with shame to think that one whom I never knew should take such care of my precious soul, while I was so careless myself. And from that minute I thought I had a grateful love for Mr. Clap [...] [Page 10] longed to sit under his ministry. I was then for some time under strong convictions. Had such a sense of the hardness of my heart, that I often thought it was impossible for me to be suf­ficiently awakened by any ordinary means; and prayed that God would do any thing with me, though ever so terrible, so that I might be driv­en from my evil courses, and turned to God. Some change I thought must be wrought in me, or I should never get to heaven; but after what manner, I knew not. However, I resolved to persist in the way of duty, as I called it, and to forsake my sins, and lead a new life. But, fool that I was, I made resolutions in my own strength, and built upon my own works; and so soon fell again. O, amazing grace, that God should spare such a wretch as me, such an a­buser of mercy!

After this I found myself dead, and to have no heart, as I thought, to pray, nor any sweet­ness in it, when I did. Then, O how I longed for the return of the spirit of God, imagining he was withdrawn from me. Sometimes I did ago­nize in prayer, and plead with God that he would return to me by his Spirit once more. But was often answered by these words, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man." Then I would beg, and promise that if God would try me this once, I would never grieve or resist his Spirit a­gain. O, wretch that I was! thus to lie to the glorious God, who was then striving with me, to bring me to his Son; for I did, I did quench his motions, and soon forgot my promises. O, deceitful and dreadfully wicked heart! who can [Page 11] know it? Lord, I am amazed at thy patience that I am out of hell.

Sometime after this, contrary to my parents' commands, I got into a canoe to paddle about in the river,* and could not get on shore again. It being in the night, though the moon shined bright, I expected no other but to be drowned. Once I thought to get out, and pull the canoe to the shore; but tried first if I could reach the bottom with my paddle: And finding I could not, durst not venture. Then I could see no probability of escaping death. So I kneeled down and prayed, and all my former convictions revived: And the sin of disobedience to my pa­rents especially appeared odious. I thought it was just that God should bring me into this distress for this sin; and with great vehemence and self abhorrence confessed my sins, with their aggra­vations before God, pleading for an interest in the blood of Christ, and for pardon for his sake, for that, and all my other sins. And while I was praying, I felt a secret joy, verily believing that I was forgiven, and that Christ had loved me with an everlasting love, and that I should be happy with him, and longed for the time. I was im­mediately resigned, as I thought, to the will of God, quite willing to die, and willing to live; begging that God would dispose of me as most consisted with his glory. And after I had thus re­signed myself, as I thought, soul and body into the hands of God, to do with me as seemed good to him, I was as calm and serene in the temper of my mind, as ever in my life.

[Page 12]But at length I bethought myself, that self preservation was a great duty, and therefore I ought to try to get on shore. So I hollowed as loud as I could to the neighbors, who with much difficulty were made to hear, and came to me, some hours after. There was not another canoe within two or three miles; for I had been driven by the tide some miles, first up and then down the river.

How it would have been with my soul, if God had taken me out of the world at that time, he only knows. Some christians have thought, a saving change was then wrought, and that I should have been happy.

After this, I was more diligent in pursuing, as I thought, the ways of holiness in the way God had appointed; and more watchful against sin. My life was pleasant and sweet. I had great en­largements in duties. But at length grew cold again. O ungrateful soul! to forget such a re­markable deliverance from death.

The next winter I was as wonderfully pre­served. The weather being exceeding cold, the river was frozen, so that people, horses and teams went over on the ice. But while it was hard and slippery, I durst not venture on it, for fear of falling. But after a great thaw, so that the ice looked quite black, I, contrary to my parents' orders again, they being from home, went quite over to the other side, which was a mile. But the tide was rising, so I could not get on shore: And when I looked round me, I could see nothing but great holes, as large as hous­es, or larger, some of them. There was no way for me, but to go straight back again; [Page 13] which I did. But the water was almost over shoes all the way; and the ice, it seemed to me, bent every step I took. And when I got back, the water was so risen, that I was much beset to get on shore: And it was in the dusk of the evening. But at last, with much diffi­culty, I found a strip of ice, as narrow as a bridge, which reached the shore, by which I got to land. But when I had got off, and saw the imminent danger to which I had exposed myself, by my folly and presumption, it made me tremble exceedingly. I presently thought again, how just God would have been, if I had been drowned for my disobedience to my pa­rents; and wondered at his patience in sparing me: But do not remember, that I felt any a­biding impressions; so great was my woful stu­pidity: Though I think I kept on praying, &c. As to the river, the wind rose presently, and blew very hard from the south, so that it, with the tide, broke it up, that before bed time there was not a piece of ice of any bigness within sight of our house, which stood close by the river. I am amazed, when I consider how wonderful­ly God preserved me, a poor finful worm, so unworthy of the least mercy.

The next March, we removed to Dighton,* where we lived one year. I remember but one awakening in that time; and that was by hearing of the death of one of my former asso­ciates in Freetown, a young girl, about my age.

Then I was again astonished at the patience of God, in sparing me alive and out of hell. [Page 14] Then I renewed my resolutions to lead a new life. But instead of that, in the spring we moved to Rhodeisland, where I soon got into company, and was full of vanity. But my con­science would not let me be easy.

After some sore trials and temptations, I was more comfortable, and had a great desire, I thought, to forsake all sin, and to comply with every commanded duty. I longed to join to the church; but thought I was unworthy. I thought I thirsted for communion with God in the ordinance of the Lord's Supper, and used to think, if I came to that, it would certainly be a restraint upon me, so that I should not dare to sin as others did. And when I stayed to see the ordinance administered, I used to think I could give all this world, I were fit to attend it. My spirit would even sink within me for the longings I had. Some times I should weep so that I could not conceal it. One Sabbath, I went to hear Mr. Clap preach at his own house, where I inclined to go constantly; but my pa­rents went to the other meeting, and were not pleased I should go from them: So I went but seldom. But at this time there was a girl of a­bout fourteen years old baptised, which so af­fected me that I could hardly refrain from cry­ing out in the meeting, when I thought how I had broken the covenant engagements, which my parents had made with God, in my behalf, in my infancy, and so long abused so great a privilege, as being a child of the covenant: And she, who had not had so much done for her, should now come to desire it herself! I [Page 15] saw, as I thought, such a beauty in her, that I loved her entirely, and wished to be as good as I thought she was. I made new resolutions to live answerable to the mercies I had received: But being made in my own strength I soon fell again. I thought I trusted in God; and used frequently, in times of trial, to go and pour out my complaints to him, thinking he was my only support. But I dare not now be positive, or really conclude, that I knew what it was to put my trust in God; for my conduct after this seems so inconsistent with grace, that I dare not say I had one spark of it then; but rather think I was only under a common work of the Spirit: Though some times I think I had true grace, though very weak. God only know [...] how it was. O that he would enable me now to give diligence to make my calling and election sure, that I may not be deceived in a matter of so great importance. But to go on. After this (O that with deep humility of soul, with sorrow and shame, I could speak of it) I relapsed again, and was full of vanity. I kept company with a young man, something against my parents will. But that was owing to false reports raised of him; for at first they liked him. I made resolutions, that, after I was married, I would lead a new life, flattering myself that then I should not have the hinderances which I now had. I used bitterly to reflect upon myself, when I had given myself liberty to be merry; for though I ap­peared outwardly so, I had no real pleasure: But still put off repentance, or an entire breaking off from vanity, till a more convenient season; and [Page 16] so resisted the Spirit of God. O Lord, how just hadst thou been, if thou hadst left me entirely to myself! And if thou hadst, nothing would have been too bad for such a vile wretch as I to have committed. But blessed be God, who withheld me from such sins as would have brought me to open justice, and exposed my­self and family to shame and disgrace.

In process of time, I was married to Mr. Sam­uel Wheaten, being in my eighteenth year, Oc­tober 21, 1731, and went with my husband, the next winter, to see his friends in the country; where I stayed almost five months; and was almost all the time under strong convictions. Oh, how I did sweat and tremble for fear my convictions should wear off again, and plead with God to set home strong convictions, and never, never suffer them to cease, till they end­ed in a sound and saving conversion; till I knew and was sure that I had a saving interest in Jesus Christ, and was freely forgiven for his sake! And this was the substance of my frequent prayers ever after, when I could pray at all with earnestness; that I might never rest more, till I was sure my peace was made with God.

From this time I had a hope again, at times, that Ch [...]t was mine. But it was some years af­ter before it pleased God to answer it fully, by giving me an assurance of it. But then I longed again for the ordinance of the Lord's supper, though some times shocked by that awful text, "He who eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself." But [Page 17] resolved at last, if I lived to get home, I would venture, in obedience to the commandment of Christ; and throw myself into the arms of mer­cy. I longed to commemorate the death and sufferings of a crucified Jesus. I thought noth­ing should tempt me to delay any longer. But, oh my sinful soul, must I yet add to the number of thy backslidings! Could not the time past suffice, that thou hadst provoked a compassion­ate God! Was it not enough, and more than enough, that thou hadst rebelled so long against a glorious Christ, and grieved his blessed Spirit [...] But must I go on again, after such awakenings as these, which one would have thought impossi­ble! But, oh deceitful heart, thou didst, thou didst! Lord, I blush and am ashamed, when I remem­ber my notorious ingratitude. O break this heart of flint, dearest Lord, that it may melt in­to tears of contrition: And never suffer me to forgive myself, because thou hast forgiven me.

After I came home, I met with much afflic­tion in many respects. It seemed to me that the whole world were in arms against me. I thought I was the most despised creature living upon earth. I used to pray to God in secret to relieve me; but did not, as I ought, see his hand in permitting it so to be, as a just pun­ishment for my vile sins: And therefore was not humbled under it as I ought; b [...]et na­ture rise, and acted very imprudently, in many respects. I was then with child, and often la­mented that I was like to bring a child into such a world of sorrow: But some times found a disposition to dedicate my babe to God, while in [Page 18] the womb; and did so, at all seasons of secret prayer. And, after it was born, my husband being at sea, I could not rest till I had solemn­ly given it up to God in baptism. And I thought that I did indeed give up both myself and it to God.

I met with many trials in my lying in, it be­ing an extreme cold season. My child was born on Oct. 27, 1732. The next spring, my husband returned home; but went to sea again, and died abroad in November, 1733. I was then in my twentieth year. The news of my husband's death came to me on the first of the next April. And I was prepared the evening before to receive it, by being uncommonly ex­ercised in my mind about spiritual things: And that text in Hebrews was continually in my thoughts, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" This put me upon plead­ing with God, that I might not be found among the neglecters of it. I went to bed in a house all alone, my child being at my father's. And about eleven or twelve o'clock at night was a­waked to hear the heavy tidings. But God ap­peared wonderfully for my support. I saw his hand, and was enabled to submit with patience to his will. I daily looked round me, to see how [...]uch heavier the hand of God was laid on some [...]ers, than it was on me, where they were left with a large number of children, and much involved in debt. And I had but one to main­tain; and, though poor, yet not involved. Oth­ers, I saw, as well as myself, had their friends snatched from them by sudden accidents. The [Page 19] consideration of these things, together with this thoughts of what I deserved, stilled me so, th [...] though the loss of my companion, whom I dear­ly loved, was great; yet the veins of mercy, which I saw running through all my a [...]ictions, were so great likewise, that, with Jo [...] I could say, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath tak­en away, and blessed be the name of the Lord." I had then the promises of the widow's God to plead, and seemed to cast myself more immedi­ately upon his care, verily believing, as I thought, he would provide for me, with my fatherless babe; for whom I often pleaded for covenant blessings, since he had been cast upon God from the womb.

O, how much comfort do those parents lose, who never gave their children up to God in baptism in their infancy! And how sad for chil­dren themselves to be deprived of the privilege of pleading with God for covenant blessings! My being dedicated to God in my infancy al­ways put an argument into my mouth, to beg of God that I might not cut myself off, since I was a child of the covenant, and from a child given to him in baptism. But, to return:

As before this affliction every one seemed to be enemies to me, so from that time, all became friends. My parents treated me very ten [...] and God inclined every one who saw m [...] kind to me. My brother was come into [...] England: And being a single man, we went [...]o housekeeping together. But in three months after he married, and I soon found it would not do to live as before; and began to be thought­ful [Page 20] how I should do. I could see no way in which I could get a living. All doors seemed to be shut. But I verily believed that God would point out a way for me. And accord­ingly, the very day I came to a resolution to move as soon as I could, a stranger to my case, who kept a school a little way off, came to me, and told me that she only waited for a fair wind to go to Carolina; and, if it would suit me, I should have her chamber and schollars; which I joyfully accepted. Thus the widow's God remarkably provided for me. This was on Nov. 19, 1734. I was then placed in a family, who discovered a great deal of affection for me; and in all respects used me as tenderly as if I had been a near relation.

It pleased God the next May to lay his af­flicting hand on me, by a sharp humour, which broke out in my hands, so that, for three months, every finger I had was wrapped up in plasters; and I could help myself but very lit­tle, and was under the doctor's hands. In the fall I was taken with violent fits, and was quite deprived of sense by them five days. I was blistered almost all over by the doctor; and my hands and arms were all raw, from my fin­gers' ends, up above my elbows, attended with a h [...] fever. But all my friends were exceed­ing [...]nd to me, and those in the house took care of me, and of my children too; so that my school was not broken up, till I was able to take care of it myself again. But the sharp humour continued very violent, at times, for some years: And still continues at some sea­sons. [Page 21] But, in all this time of illness, God won­derfully provided for me. I wanted for none of the comforts of life: Neither was I cast down; for his mercy held me up.

The instances of the remarkable hand of God in his providence, in ordering my temporal af­fairs, are innumerable. But, oh vile wretch! after all this I grew flack again, and got into a cold, lifeless frame. As I grew better in bodily health, my soul grew sick. I daily laid up a stock for repentance. But, through rich grace, I was again convinced of my stupidity, and be­gan to be more diligent in attending on the means of grace. But I found I could not prof­it by the word preached: Nothing reached my heart; all seemed but skin deep: And the more I went to meeting, the more I found it so. Then I began to think I must take some other course.

Not long after I went to hear Mr. Clap; who told me the very secrets of my heart in his ser­mon, as plain as I could have told them to him, and indeed more so. His sermon was very ter­rible to me. My sins, from my cradle, were ranked in order before my eyes, and they ap­peared dreadful. I saw the depravity of my na­ture; and how I was exposed to the infinite justice of an angry God. All my former convi [...]ions were brought to my remembrance. I saw how I had stifled the motions of the blessed Spirit of God, and resisted all the kind invita­tions of a compassionate Saviour. I was heart sick of all my works. And as it had been of­ten suggested to me, I believe from Satan, that it [Page 22] was time enough for me to repent hereafter, it was now strongly impressed on my mind, that it was now too late for me to find mercy. Once I might have had a Christ; but now my day was past. And it was suggested that I had com­mitted the unpardonable sin; because I had sinned against light and knowledge, even against the convictions of my own conscience. This I knew I had done; and therefore believed I had committed that sin which could never be forgiven.

In this distress, I went to my Bible; but could find nothing but terror there. My whole attention was turned to such passages as the fol­lowing. "After thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up wrath to thyself against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will reader to every man according to his deeds. All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. Depart from me, ye cursed, in­to everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. He that being often reproved, harden­eth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. Ye have set at nought my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings!" All these, and many more such terrible passages of scripture, I found, whenever I opened the Bible. My eyes were open to nothing else, and not one [Page 23] word of comfort could I find. And if I thought of complying with any commanded duty, I seemed to be frowned away by these words, What hast thou to do to take my covenant into thy mouth? Oh, the distress and anguish of soul I then felt, neither my tongue nor pen can ex­press, when I was brought to believe there was no mercy for such a monster in sin as I was, and expected every moment that hell would open its mouth and swallow me up, amazed that God had kept me out so long!

When Satan, and my wicked heart, had pre­vailed so far as to make me despair of the mercy of God, and verily to believe hell would be my portion, I was tempted to try to get the easiest room there; and, to that end, to keep myself as ignorant as I could; it being suggested to my mind, that the servant who knew not his Lord's will would be beaten with few stripes; while he who knew it, and did it not, would be beaten with many stripes: And as my time was over for doing his will, I had better leave off reading, praying or hearing the word preached any more; for I should fare better, if I did. And oh, vile wretch as I was, I yielded in some measure to the subtil adversary of my soul and salvation. O, astonishing grace, that God did not strike me down into hell the very moment I thought to do so! God had been just if he had done so, though I must have weltered under the scald­ing drops of his wrath forever and ever.

But, O! what shall I say, or how, with grat­itude enough, express the wonderful goodness of that God, who preserved me, even when I [Page 24] was, in my own apprehension, upon the very brink of hell, weltering in my blood; when no eye pitied me, and no created arm could save me: Even then did he spread his skirt over me, and said to me, Live. After I had been near a week in this distress, my very soul racked with fear of what I must undergo to all eternity, those words, "Depart from me," sounding in my ears, and I uttering the language of hell, "There is no hope! There is no help! The door of mercy is shut against me forever!" all at once, I was alarmed with these thoughts, which seemed to be conveyed to my mind in the following words. "Who has told you, that your day of grace is over? Are not the doors of the meeting house open? Cannot you hear the offers of salvation? Have you not your Bible to read? And you may pray: Therefore, you see your external day of grace is not over. And how do you know but you may yet obtain mercy? It is the devil who has suggested all this to you; and he is a liar from the beginning." I was then con­vinced, that it was the devil who had been tempting me to despair of the mercy of God, which I did not perceive before, but verily thought what he suggested to me was true, viz. That there was no hope for me.

During the time of this distress, which was from Saturday night to the next Saturday night, I slept no more than just to keep me alive. And when I did sleep, it was filled with terrors. It was the same with my necessary food; I thought my­self so unworthy of the least mercy, that I know not how to eat. I found that expression of [Page 25] Solomon to be true, "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?" For sure I am that no affliction or pain of body whatever, is to be compared with what I then underwent. Oh how terrible must it be for those poor souls who are on a death bed, to have such hard work to do! I have often thought if I had not been in bodily health, I could not have lived through it. But, blessed be God, it was when I was as well in body, as I have been for many years; which has been a comfort to me on all accounts; and particular­ly because sick bed repentance too frequently wears off. But to proceed:

After I saw that I was tempted by Satan to des­pair, and knowing that he was a liar, I began, for a few minutes, to have some glimmering of hope that it might possibly be, that Christ would receive me, because he had spared me hitherto, on this side the grave, and out of hell. Who knows, thought I, but I may yet be a child of God. Immediately upon these thoughts, I was furi­ously assaulted with new temptations by Satan, I believe, not to flatter myself with the thought that I should be a child of God; for I was not elected, and therefore could not be saved. Be­sides, God did not leave his children to be tempted by him, as I had been. I might be sure, if I was one of God's chosen, he would not have suffered me to be tempted so; but I belonged to Satan, and he was sure of me. And I, like a fool, yielded to these suggestions, and at once cast off my hope again, verily believing it was impossible that I could ever be a child of [Page 26] God. Now I was brought to the greatest e [...] ­tremity, and plunged into as deep an agony as ever. I saw myself utterly lost without a Christ. I thought I could have suffered all the torments in the world for an interest in Christ. If I could have purchased him by doing any thing, though ever so hard, I should then have thought it nothing. But oh, base, proud, unbelieving heart [...] I could not take him freely, upon his own terms; because, though I had no doubt that he was able to save me; yet I could not see him wil­ling to receive so vile a wretch. In this dread­ful agony, I opened my Bible, and the first words I cast my eye upon were these: [...] Co [...]. x.13. "There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will, with the tempt­ation, also make a way for your escape, that ye may be able to bear it." These words were accompanied with those powerful influences of the spirit of God, which excited in me a sense of the excellence, glory and truth of God, and I had a pleasing confidence and rest in the divine faithful­ness, and embraced the promises in these words. As it is not possible for me to express the great­ness of the distress, in which I was before; so it is as much impossible for me to make any one sensible of the joy, with which I was instantly filled by this gracious promise; except those who experimentally know what it is; for God was pleased, at that moment, to give me faith [...]o lay hold on it. O, how did it fill my heart and mouth with praises, and my eyes with [...]oods of [Page 27] tears! I was humbled to the dust, and [...], as I paraphrased upon every branch of the text. It surprised, and comforted me too, to find that there had no temptation taken me, but such as i [...] common to man, wh [...] but a few minutes before I had been thinking that none had ever been tempted as I was. But as I perused the other part, viz. That God was faithful, and would not suffer me to be tempted abo [...] that I [...]a [...]ble; but would, with the temptation, make a way for me to escape, that I might be able to bear it; my transpor [...]: of joy was so great, that it was more than my poor feeble frame was able to sustain; for my nature even fainted with excessive joy. Then I saw Christ not only able, but willing to receive me; and could freely trust my soul in his hands.

O, how was that scripture verified, which says, "By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." Sure I am, I can never boast; for it was as much impossible for me of myself to believe, as it was to create a new world, owing to the c [...]i [...] ­inal blindness and obstinacy of my heart, which could not be subdued by any thing short of in­finite power. Neither could any power, less than that which raised Jesus from the dead, cause me to venture upon Christ, and accept him up­on his own terms.

Now my Bible appeared quite different from what it did but just before. I could find cor­dials in great numbers of texts of scripture; and all, as well as that just mentioned, looked to me as if I had never read them before. I think I [Page 28] did not sleep any that night; but continued praising God. The next day I went to meet­ing: And, it being sacrament day, I stayed to see the ordinance administered. But O, what a condition I was in, when I viewed the dear children of God sitting with the Redeemer at his table! By faith I saw a crucified Savior pouring out his precious blood to redeem [...]s people from their sins. And believing that I, through grace, was one of them, O, how did my heart melt, and my eyes slow with tears, when I thought I saw my dearest Lord in his bitter agony in the garden: And then crowned with [...]s, b [...]s­setted and beaten; and at last nailed to an accu [...]s­ed tree: And all to free me from the torments I had so lately dreaded! It caused me bitterly to reflect upon myself, and cry out, "My sins, my sins, O Lord, have been the procuring cause of thy bitter sufferings!" Oh, how odious did my sins appear then! And especially the mon­strous sins of ingratitude and unbelief, which I had been guilty of, in abusing so long the kind invitations of a bleeding, expiring Jesus. Oh! when I considered how often and how long he had stood knocking; but could have no en­trance into my hardened heart, I was astonished at myself, that I could possibly be so cruel; and astonished at free grace and redeeming love, that I was spared to see that happy day. O then I begged that the everlasting doors of my soul might be lifted up, that the King of glory might enter in and take full possession. O, how glad­ly did I embrace a Saviour upon his own terms, as my Prophet, Priest and King! He appeared [Page 29] lovely, the chief among ten thousands, and was­ten thousand times welcome to me. And I was enabled, through grace to own the cove­nant, and give up myself in an everlasting cove­nant, never to be forgotten, resolving, God's grace assisting me, to comply with every com­mand of my dear Saviour. And these words loudly sounding in my ears, "This do in re­membrance of me," adoring my dear Redeemer for his infinite goodness in appointing such a glorious ordinance for the nourishment of his dear children, in which they might have [...] ­mate communion with him, I promised, God enabling to keep it, that I never would omit that duty. (And I never did.)* In this condition I remained during the time of the administra­tion of the ordinance, filled with such a mix­ture of joy and grief, that I was not able to re­strain myself, but was obliged to get down on the floor, and lean on the bench; for I could nei­ther stand nor sit; but, being in a pew in the gallery, alone, my condition was not discover­ed [Page 30] by any, as I had no desire it should; for I strove to conceal it as much as possible.

Thus, through rich unlimited grace, was I brought to lay down my arms of rebellion, which I saw I had held as long as I could. Blessed be God, that I was then compelled to come in, and list un­der the banner of Christ. Sure I am, whatever others may boast of a free will, I have none of my own, but to do evil; for I resisted to the last moment. O my God! I adore thy sovereign power, which made me willing in the day of it. If ever there was a monument of mercy, sure I am one. O, so let me remain forever and ever, for Jesus' sake.

The next day I went to see Mr. Clap, wit [...] an intent to acquaint him with my desire to join the church, these words, This do in remem­brance of me, still sounding in my ears. But I appeared so vile in my own eyes, that I knew not how to ask the privilege of him. But when I came, after some usual questions concerning my welfare, he asked me when I had been to see him before. I answered, I had not for a long time. Then he asked me the reason of it. I dare not now make any formal excuses as usual; but burst out into tears, and told him, I had been too wicked. He no sooner perceived what my condition was, but like a tender father to a little child, bid me not grieve, if that was the reason; I was wel­come to him now: And he would do all he could to help me forward. And after some more conversation, contrary to my expectation, he asked me if I did not desire to join to the church? I said, that was indeed part of my bu­siness. [Page 31] I had met with many hinderances, and particularly that awful text of scripture, "He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself," had made me afraid to approach the Lord's table. But now resolving, through grace, to rely upon Christ alone for assistance and acceptance, re­nouncing all my own righteousness, believing it to be a positive commanded duty, I dare not omit it once more, if I might be received. Up­on this he told me he should inquire into my character. This I told him I expected; but could tell him more of myself, than any could say of me, having been, through restraining grace, kept from open and scandalous sins. Then he said I had great cause to be thankful. He bid me come to him, as often as I had a desire, if it was morning, noon or night, and I should be always welcome. And he lent me a book, en­titled, "But they seek a better country, even an heavenly." I was so delighted with it, that I sat up all night to read it two or three times over.

I visited Mr. Clap very often; and he as often expressed his willingness to do me good. And once in particular, after he had done so, he lift­ed up his hands, giving me his blessing, and said, "You see I am willing to do you all the good I can; and if such a poor, sinful creature as I am, is willing to do so, think with yourself, how much more willing your glorious Lord is to receive you."

These words having so much reason in them, filled me with joy unspeakable. I hardly knew how to get home. I saw Christ willing, and I, [Page 32] through grace, made willing. I could utter no other language but, "Come in, Lord Jesus, take full possession; I will come to thee, thou art mine, and I am thine. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." I immediately retir­ed when I got home, to give vent to my feel­ings. But O, what a rapture was I in, when I renewed my solemn engagements to be the Lord's! Enabled, I trust, by grace, sincerely to take the Lord Jehovah for my covenant God; the Lord Jesus to be my Prophet, Priest and King; the Holy Ghost for my comforter, guide and sanctifier; the scriptures for my rule to walk by: Giving up myself, soul and body, all my faculties and members, as instruments of righteousness. O, how I could sing of redeem­ing love and free grace! Surely my heart reach­ed forth in burning desires after the blessed Je­sus. O, how was I ravished with his love! And when examining myself, thrice putting the ques­tion to my soul, which Christ put to Peter, Tell me, O my soul, lovest thou the Lord Jesus? How did my heart melt, and my eyes slow with tears, in appealing to him! Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee. And when inquiring into the cause of this love which I felt, and from whence it flowed, it still over­came me more, because I knew I was brought to love him, by the powerful grace of Christ, who was before an enemy to him. This caused me to loath myself, and cry out Lord, what a traitor have I been, and yet thou hast freely lov­ed me! O, why me, Lord! Why am I not in hell! Why among the living to praise the Lord! [Page 33] There can be no other reason, but this; where my sins have abounded, thy grace has much more abounded. O, amazing grace! Hast thou snatched me as a brand out of the burning! O, hast thou ransomed my soul from destruction, and delivered me from my own lusts, and out of the clutches of a cruel tyrant, who had so long enslaved me, and tyrannised over me in misery! O, then how sweet was a Saviour! I could heartily subscribe to those words of scripture, "Unto you who believe he is precious. The chief among ten thousand, altogether lovely."

Thus I continued from day to day, in such ecstacies of joy, thirsting for full sanctification, and more intimate communion with God; daily asking what I should render to him for all his benefits to such an hell deserving sinner; earnestly begging that God would find out some way for me, that I might be made instrumental in advancing his kingdom and interest in the world. O, how I dreaded being an unprofitable ser­vant: The employment I still followed seemed to encourage me to hope God intended to make use of me for the instruction of little ones; which caused me often to bless God for placing me in that calling. And though I know that it every thing I offend, and in all come short of God's glory; so that every performance has need of washing in the blood of Christ; yet it is a comfort to me, to this day, that I was ena­bled by grace to labour with the little souls, then committed to my charge; but desire to be humbled that I did no more. O, that I had been more faithful I Surely I longed that all the [Page 34] world, but especially those dear to me by [...] bonds of nature or friendship, might be convin [...] ed of sin, and come to a glorious Christ. [...] thought I could even spend and be spent f [...] them. I thought I could travail in birth [...] Christ was formed in them. And when I s [...] any giving themselves a liberty to sin, I cou [...] not, at some times, refrain from reproving them. Some would tell me I was turned fool, and di [...] ­tracted, when I said I had been a vile sinner, [...] every body knew I had been a sober woman [...] my days; and yet I used to do such things to [...] as well as they: And what was the matter now [...] Sometimes they would say, "This fit will be o­ver quickly." But all such answers as these, [...] which I had a great many, would serve to hum­ble me yet more, and put me upon pleading f [...] persevering grace, that I might never bring dis­honour upon the name of God. And indeed all the trials I met with, which were various had, through the abounding goodness of God this effect, to quicken me yet more.

But Satan had still a desire to sift me as whea [...] He assaulted me daily; but those words of th [...] blessed Jesus were frequently applied for [...] support, "I have prayed for thee, that thy fait [...] fail not." One night in particular, when watch­ing with a dear friend, who was sick, Satan as­saulted me in as furious a manner, seemingly as though he had appeared in bodily shape▪ though with my bodily eyes I saw nothing. [...] believe the combat lasted, at least, two hou [...] as fierce as though I had talked with him fa [...] to face. He again ranked all my sins befo [...] [Page 35] my eyes, telling me it was impossible, not with­standing my great hopes, for me ever to be sav­ed. He was still sure of me, and would not let me go. I should surely turn back again, and be worse than ever. It is impossible to relate the tenth part of the fiery darts he slung at me. But I was composed, not in the least daunted; but could prove him a liar in every thing he suggest­ed, by scripture, which flowed into my mind, as though I had learned it all by heart. Never had I such a variety of scripture texts at my command in all my life, either before, [...] since. There was nothing he could allege against me, but if I knew it was true, I immediately sub­scribed to it; and then flew to the particular properties of the blood of Christ, which I found sufficient for me. Thus I overcame him by the blood of the Lamb; and was left, in the issue, filled with the consolations of the blessed Spirit; triumphing over Satan; blessing and praising God for delivering me out of the hand of this cruel tyrant; adoring the lovely Jesus. And thus I spent the remainder of that night. O, how sweet was it to me! I longed for more strength to praise and love; and even to be dis­solved, and to be with Christ.

Thus I continued for some time, rejoicing and resolving, by assisting grace, to press forward, and by all means to make my calling and elec­tion sure. Then I wrote my experience to be communicated to the church; and I was admit­ted, February 6, 1737, to partake of that holy ordinance of the Lord's Supper. But it is impos­sible for me to express the ecstacy of joy I was [Page 36] in, when I saw myself there, who was by nature a child of wrath, an heir of hell, and by practice a rebel against God, a resister of his grace, a piercer of the lovely Jesus, unworthy of the crumbs that fall; yet, through free grace, com­pelled to come in, and partake of children's bread. It was indeed sweet to me to feed by faith on the broken body of my dearest Lord. Surely it did humble me to the dust, and filled me with self abhorrence, as I meditated on his sufferings and death, and knew my sins to be the procuring cause. But when I came to take the cup, and by faith to apply the precious proper­ties of the blood of Christ to my soul, the veil of unbelief seemed to drop off, and I was forc­ed to cry out, "My Lord, and my God," when I beheld the hole in his side, and the prints of the nails. And I could not but, in the words of Peter, appeal to him, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee." O then I was admitted, with the beloved disciple, to lean on his breast! O, astonishing grace, and unspeakable joy, to see God reconciled to me, in and through him; and he bidding me welcome to his table! The Holy Spirit, by his powerful influences applied all this for my strong conso­lation. O, what a feast is this, when intimate communion with the glorious God is thus ob­tained! When strong covenant engagements with him are renewed; I being assured that he was my God, and giving myself, body and soul, to him forever, and rejoicing in him as my only portion forevermore. Surely, I thought, I could never enough adore the [Page 37] lovely Jesus for appointing such an ordinance as this.

But I cease to say any more of this; for it is impossible for me to describe the thousandth part of what I then felt. O, that I could always live as one who had thus been on the mount with God! The next morning I was as much refreshed by meditating on the 32d Psalm, from the first verse, to the end of the 5th. This caus­ed me yet more to adore distinguishing grace, and even to be swallowed up with love to the immaculate Lamb; and resolve more and more, with full purpose of heart to cleave to the Lord. The frequent language of my soul was this, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee."

I daily renewed my covenant engagements with God: But that they might be more invio­lably kept, I resolved to write them. And ac­cordingly began to do it; and went on comfort­ably, till I came to write these words, "That I would leave, lose, and deny all that was dear to me, when it stood in competition with God, even life itself, if he should please to call for it, rath­er than to forsake him and his ways." Then Sa­tan beset me, and furiously assaulted me. He suggested to me that I was now lying to God: For I had nothing in me, that would stand by me, when an hour of trial should come; but, with the stony ground hearers, would fall away. This gave me a dreadful shock at first, and caused me to stop a while, to plead with God for a discovery of my state: That he would search me and try me, and see if there were any [Page 38] wicked way in me: And grant me real and persevering grace. And in answer to my pe­titions, the following portion of God's word was powerfully set home to my heart, "My grace is sufficient for thee." And then my heart was filled with joy and praises, firmly believing he was faithful who had promised, and therefore would perform it. So I proceeded to write with more fixed resolution than before.

But again Satan with great fury assaulted me, and told me, my hope would surely perish; and I should turn back, and be worse than ever, and brought to shame; and ranked in order my sins of youth. But I immediately opened my Bible, being dreadfully shocked with fear lest it should be so. And the first lines I cast my eyes upon were in Isaiah liv. 4, &c. "Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: Neither be thou con­founded, for thou shalt not be put to shame: For thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband, the Lord of hosts is his name, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and griev­ed in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee, for a moment; but with ever­lasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. For this is as the wa­ters of Noah unto me. For as I have sworn [Page 39] that the waters of Noah should n [...] [...] go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be remov­ed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be re­moved, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." These gracious promises were so adapted to ev­ery particular of my circumstances, and applied by the Spirit of God, with such great power, that they strengthened me exceedingly.

But O, when I had finished writing my cov­enant, which was on the 26th of March, 1737, and came to spread it before God, and with prayers and tears to deliver it to him as my own act and deed, it verily seemed to me that all the heavens rang with acclamations of joy, that such a prodigal as I was returned to my God and Father. And my joy was so great, that my bodily strength failed, and I was, for some time, as one whose soul was ready to break loose, and wing away into the bosom of my God. O, how welcome a messenger would death then have been to me! But my great petition was, that I might with patience wait my appointed time, and glorify God upon earth.

After I had so solemnly delivered my solemn covenant engagements to God, under hand and [...]eal, I went on my way rejoicing; this being the language of my soul, "Who shall separate me from the love of God? Shall tribulation, or dis­tress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No. I am persuaded, that neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor princi­palities, [Page 40] nor powers, nor things present, nor thing [...] to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus my Lord." And I am astonished, when I remember the a­mazing condescension of my God! He granted me near access to the throne of his grace contin­ually: And in almost every thing for which I earnestly prayed, I was remarkably answered; and so surprisingly, at some times, that I was afraid to think it was so.

Once in particular, in that same month of March, as I was asleep in the bed, early in the morning, I was awaked with the most terrible wind that I ever knew. It immediately tore off both my windows, and carried them into the street. I rose directly, and looked out. I think I never saw the heavens and the water look so dreadfully before: And the wind blew exceed­ing hard, so that it appeared that all the vessels in the harbor would soon be broken to pieces. I thought of those poor souls who were exposed to the fury of the storm; and my heart was fil­led with tender pity and compassion for them. I retired, for secrecy, into the garret. After I got there, I expected every moment that the roof would be ripped off and blown away. But I was very earnest with God to abate the vio­lence of the storm, and to have compassion on the poor souls in distress. And while I continued pleading with God, I had an affecting view and sense of the sufficiency of one word of Christ to do it. It was only for him to say, "Peace, be still," and the winds and sea would immediately obey him. [Page 41] And after I had some time thus wrestled with God in prayer, I went down. I had been so earnestly engaged, that I had not perceived any abate­ment of the storm; but looking again out of the window in my chamber, I was surprised a­bove measure. The sea looked as calm and pleasant to me, as if there had been no storm. I immediately retired again, and returned thanks for it, as a remarkable answer of prayer. But have often heard since, that it was a piece of pride and presumption for me to think it so. However, this I know, God is both the hearer and answerer of prayer, for Jesus' sake.

I could not avoid, when there was opportu­nity for it, expressing my love and thankfulness to God, for snatching me as a brand out of the burning: And when I did this once to my mother, with tears of joy running down my cheeks, she said to me, "Ah, child, you will not always find your love thus flaming to the bles­sed Jesus. After a while you will be more cool again." But I hastily answered, too much like Peter, It was impossible I could be such a mon­ster for ingratitude. But she told me, she did not mean that I should in reality love him less, but compared the first espousals of a soul to Christ, with that of a husband and wife, which was generally attended with more fondness and joy, than afterwards, though the love might be the same, or stronger.

I continued to go on my way rejoicing for some time, without knowing what is was to be deserted one hour together, or entirely to lose sensible communion with God in any duty or [Page 42] special ordinance, or ever to lie down without God; or to awake without some sweet and refresh­ing portion of the word of God in my thoughts. My very sleep was filled with pleasant thoughts of divine things. Surely I enjoyed some foretaste of heaven at this season.

These were happy days.—But now how shall I speak! Oh that I may do it with a heart truly broken for my sins! After all this, I began to grow more conformed to the world. Things which, when I was thus lively, appeared insipid, and indeed odious to me, began to grow more tolerable, and by degrees in a measure pleasant. And depraved nature and Satan together plead­ed for them thus, "That there was a time for all things; and singing and dancing now and then, with a particular friend, was an innocent di­version. Who did I see, besides myself, so pre­cise and strict? Other christians allowed them­selves in such things, who, I had reason to think, were far superior to me in grace; especially one with whom I was very intimate. Sure, if it was sin, she would not allow herself in it. [...]t was for extraordinary christians, such as minis­ters, and others who were eminent for piety, to avoid the practice of such things, and not for me. Who did I think I was, that I should pretend to outdo other christians? They could talk of worldly things. What ailed me?" Thus the devil and carnal reasoning argued me out of a great part of my resolutions for strict godliness; and, in short, made me, in a sort, believe that it was only pride and hypocrisy, and to be seen of men, that had ever made me pretend to it.

[Page 43]Thus I sunk by degrees lower and lower, till I had at last almost lost all sense of my former experiences. I had only the bare remembrance of them, and they seemed like dreams or delu­sion, at some times. At others again, I had some revivals. I still constantly attended the means of grace, and Sabbaths were sometimes very sweet to me. At times I had access to the throne of grace, and obtained some communion with God, and resolved to be more circumspect, and renewed my covenant engagements with God. But I knew I was a dreadful backslider, and had dealt treacherously with God, and sometimes dare not, with any boldness, look up to him; guilt would stop my mouth. At other times gracious invitations to backsliders to return, would revive me. Thus I continued, for a great while, some times revived, and sometimes sunk, and dejected.

In Sept. 1740, God in mercy sent his dear servant Whitefield here, which in some measure stirred me up. But when Mr. Tennent came soon after, it pleased God to bless his preaching so to me, that it roused me. But I was all the winter after exercised with dreadful doubts and fears about my state. I questioned the truth of all I had experienced, and feared I had never yet passed through the pangs of the new birth, or ever had one spark of grace. And what confirmed this to me, my dear aged pastor, Mr. Clap, frequently preached, that they who had real grace, had growing grace. This used to make me tremble, because I could not perceive any growth; but thought I rather went back, [Page 44] and grew worse. Thus I was covered over with thick clouds for months together. Oh, the dreadful fruits of backsliding! At last, I applied to Mr. Clap, and begged of him, that if he knew of any thing which I had left undone, by what I had told him, or wrote for my admission into the church, he would let me know it, that the mistake might be rectified before it was too late. I was indeed possessed with the thought, that he saw so clearly into my state, that he knew I was a hypocrite, though I did not till then. I told him of this. But he said, he never thought so; and put me upon renewing covenant en­gagements with God, and giving myself up to him then; and perhaps I should find I had done so before. This I endeavored to do, and did get some relief; but was not yet satisfied. The tokens of a woful backslider were upon me. I had forsaken my first love, and God justly de­serted me. Sometimes that text would refresh me, "Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings." My heart would answer, "Behold I come unto thee; for thou art the Lord my God." And sometimes that pas­sage, "I, even I am he, that blotteth out thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins: Return unto me; for I have redeemed thee." But ye [...] all this time I could not get clear of doubts; but thought such dreadful formality and hypoc­risy, as I perceived to be in my heart, could not consist with grace. I labored along thus all the winter, unresolved how the case stood be­tween God and my soul: And an uncomforta­ble, dreadful life it was. At some times I was [Page 45] so covered with darkness, that I seemed to be sure I had not one spark of grace: At other times afraid of ingratitude, afraid to deny what God had done for my soul. Oh, these were the dreadful fruits of backsliding, and losing my first love! The Lord in mercy preserve me, that I may never do so any more!

I continued thus till March, 1741. And then it pleased God to return Mr. Tennent to us again, and he preached twenty one sermons here. But while he was here, I was more than ever distressed. I had lost the sensible manifesta­tions of Christ's love. I had no more but a bare remembrance of some things, which I had experienced; and yet I was afraid to draw up a conclusion, one way or the other. I applied to Mr. Tennent, and he discoursed very suitably with me. But still I was not quiet, but exceed­ingly distressed.

I had some light and refreshment under his preaching the next day; but my darkness return­ed again, and I sunk very low. I was so afraid of presumption, that I dare not conclude my state was good. And he struck directly at those things, for which I had so foolishly and wickedly pleaded christian example, such as singing songs, dancing, and foolish jesting, which is not convenient. He said, he would not say there was no such thing as a dancing christian, but he had a very mean opinion of such as could bear to spend their time so, when it is so short, and the work for eternity so great. Then, and not till then, was I fully convinced what prod­igal wasters of precious time such things were. [Page 46] And, through grace, I have abhorred them all ever since. And to the glory of God be it spoken; for it is only from his sovereign won­derful goodness to me.

I am indeed now astonished when I think how I myself, or any other christian, who has once tasted one moment's sweet communion with God, can have any relish for such vanities as singing and dancing, &c. O, how much great­er is the pleasure which is to be enjoyed in the exer­cise of religious duties, than any such thing can afford! Not only so; but I am amazed to think how I could possibly want such things to pass away time: For I now find the precious moments fly so fast, and my work so great, that I am often hard beset to know how to spend my time as God requires, between the immediate exercises of religion, public, private and secret, and the calling, in which God has placed me. I know the same God, who has bid me hear, and pray, and search the scriptures, has bid me work; and both in their place is my duty. And I find it very difficult to yield a uniform obedience; to give to God, what he requires for himself, and to the world, what is required as a duty, and no more. Besides all this, my heart is so perverse, that I have enough to do to watch against pride, sloth, wanderings, formality, hypocrisy, and the temptations of Satan, who is always ready to disquiet me. All these, I find, are employment enough to take up all my time, without those former recreations. If I am cheerful, a song of Zion is more sweet and refreshing to me, that all the vain songs in the world ever were, or can [Page 47] be. And sure I am, whatever any may plead, that there is a time for all things, God never yet allowed time for sin.

O Lord, humble me for the bad example I have set, since I called myself a Christian; and forbid that any should ever again be able to plead my example for vanity. And oh, that all who name the name of Christ, may be ena­bled to depart from iniquity, and abstain from all appearance of evil! And if we pretend to be in Christ, oh that we may walk even as he walked! For I am persuaded, that the careless walk of professing christians, lulls more con­sciences asleep, when the devil, and flesh and blood set in to plead their example, than the vices of all the world besides, who make no profession. And oh, what a dreadful thing for christians to be the means of ruining precious and immortal souls, and diminishing that king­dom and interest, which they should be forever engaged to promote; and promote his kingdom and interest, against which they should always proclaim open war! Oh dreadful indeed! that Christ should be so wounded in the house of his friends! Lord, make me yet more circum­spect, for Jesus' sake.—But to proceed—

I still continued in very dark and melancho­ly circumstances, between hope and fear, afraid to conclude one way or the other. And having no opportunity to speak with Mr. Tennent again, I wrote to him as well as I could, briefly relat­ing what I had experienced, and begged of him to try it by scripture rules, and judge of it accordingly, and give me his opinion; that I [Page 48] might not sin by denying the grace of God, if I had it; nor speak peace to my soul, if God did not. To which he returned the following answer.

"MY DEAR FRIEND,

"I LIKE your experiences well. They seem to me to be scriptural and encouraging; and I think you may humbly take comfort from them, and give God the glory of his pure grace. They who have been so humbled and distressed for sin, as to be divorced from the governing love and practice of it; and have been by the Spirit of God made willing to embrace the Redeemer deliberately, unreservedly, and resolutely, upon his own terms, have a sure interest in the great salvation. John i.12. To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. And whatever involuntary defects they are guilty of, they shall not break the everlasting covenant between God and their souls. Though they have played the harlot with many lovers; yet they may return to their first husband. Though God may hide his face for a little mo­ment, yet with everlasting loving kindness will he return. Though they be sometimes easily beset with sin; yet he, who was the author, will be the finisher of their faith. I add no more but love, and remain, your real friend,

G. T."

I have transcribed this letter, that, if Provi­dence should ever cast these lines into the hands of any in like circumstances, it may, if the Lord will, have the same happy effect on them, as, by [Page 49] the blessing of God, it had on me; which was this—The letter itself was exceeding sweet and refreshing; but the precious texts of scripture, which were quoted, were so powerfully set home on my mind, that they scattered all my clouds im­mediately, and I was as one restored from the grave. Then with life and courage I again re­newed my written covenant engagements with God, and became more lively and zealous for God than ever. O the amazing goodness of God to me! I have heard of some christians who never recover such backslidings all their days. But I have not since lost my evidences of grace. Though I have been sometimes un­der desertion, yet I could frequently say, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the light of my countenance, and my God."

After I was thus revived, my longings to be made useful in the world returned, and I earn­estly pleaded with God that he would not suffer me to live any longer an unprofitable servant; but would point out some way, in which I might be useful: And that I might now be as exem­plary for piety, as I had been for folly. And it pleased God so to order it, that I had room to hope my petitions were both heard, and in a measure answered. For soon after this a num­ber of young women, who were awakened to a concern for their souls, came to me, and desired my advice and assistance, and proposed to join in a society, provided I would take the care of them. To which, I trust with a sense of my [Page 50] own unworthiness, I joyfully consented. And much sweetness we enjoyed in these meetings. (And blessed be God, they are yet kept up.)

About this time it pleased God to lay his af­flicting hand upon me by the removal of my on­ly brother by death. As to the loss of his person, I found I could quietly submit, and say, "The Lord gave, and he has taken away, and blessed be the name of the Lord." But I had a sinful curiosity to know how it was with his precious soul: And being filled with fear about it, I was very much dejected. But I knew my cu­riosity was sinful. And I pleaded earnestly with God, that he would not suffer me to attempt to pry into the secrets of his will; but give me a quiet submission. I continued wrestling with God for resignation to his will, till about two o'clock in the morning, and then I went to bed, still begging that I might never spend another day unresigned. And just about break of day I awaked with the following words strongly im­pressed on my mind, "Secret things belong un­to God, but those which are revealed belong unto us. The will of God is done, the will of God is done." These words quieted me, so that I arose as cheerful, composed and thankful, as if I had met with no affliction at all, and I think more so; and never did from that hour, nor could mourn as I had done. This I consid­ered as a remarkable answer to prayer.

After this my business failed, and I found I could not keep my room where I lived; and which way to turn, I knew not. But was per­suaded God would point out some way for me. [Page 51] I had several offers to go into the country to keep school in credible families, where I had a prospect of wanting for nothing of the necessa­ries of this life. But I could not bear the thought of going from the means of grace, and other precious privileges, which I then enjoy­ed. And the society of young women often entreated me not to leave them. I had double ties every way, and knew not what to do. But I was not distressed, believing God would pro­vide for me. Accordingly he did so; though by an afflictive dispensation. It pleased him to remove a dear friend by death, with whom I was very intimate. Her husband was a very sober good sort of a man, and wanted me to keep his shop for my board, and wash for my­self. This offer suited me very well; for here­by I was not likely to be deprived of any of my religious privileges. So on the first day of July, I went there to live, and indeed had much comfort. Dear Mr. Clap met with the society at his house twice every week, which I constantly attended; and religion seemed to be the chief business of my life. Had much com­fort in all the duties of religion, public, private, and secret: And had as much time to spend in them as I could desire.

About this time I had the offer of a second marriage, with one who appeared to be a real christian (and I could not think of being une­qually yoked with one who was not such.) I took the matter into serious consideration. I foresaw there were difficulties which I must un­avoidably encounter; and many duties would [Page 52] be incumbent on me, to which I had been a stranger: Particularly, in my being a mother in law to three sons, which my proposed husband had by a first wife. But after weighing all cir­cumstances, as well as I could, in my mind, and earnest prayer▪ which God enabled me to con­tinue in for some [...]e. I concluded it was the will of God, that I should accept of the offer, and accordingly was married to Mr. Henry Osborn, on the fifth day of May, 1742.

The next July after I was married, I went with an intimate friend, to Little Compton, on purpose to join in a fast which was appointed there to implore the outpouring of the Spirit of God on that place; which was attended with much solemnity. The next day, which was the 29th day of the month, my friend and I were riding to a private religious meeting, and my horse stumbled and threw me over his head. My stomach came first to the ground; and yet was comparatively but little hurt; and close by the spot where my head came was a large rock, which must, in all probability, have ended my days, if I had fallen upon it. This gave me a sense of the goodness of God in pre­serving me. I got safe to the house to which I proposed to go. And in the evening Mr. Ty­lar preached a sermon, which greatly affected the people, who were under concern before: But they with much difficulty kept silence, till the sermon and prayer were ended; and then cried out in vehement agonies, lamenting their lost condition without a Savior, and pleading with God to have mercy on them, and give [Page 53] them an interest in Christ. At this time I had an awful sense of the state of the damned, who were crying out under their torments; but past remedy.

Then a number of young women with my­self withdrew into a chamber, in order to form a religious society. Where we spent some time in praying, reading, conversing and singing. At the same time a company of young men were engaged in another room in the same ex­ercises. We happened to sing in both rooms at the same time. The melody was very sweet, and gave me lively apprehensions of the glori­ous employment, and blessed enjoyment of the saints in the New Jerusalem; and filled my soul with adoring thoughts of God.

But in my return to the place where I lodg­ed, it being late in the night, we were over­taken in the most awful storm of thunder and lightning that I ever heard or saw. During the terrible claps of thunder my horse stood trem­bling; and as soon as they ceased, ran with full speed. I was then filled with a greater sense of the awfulness and majesty of a God, than I had ever experienced before; and more realizing thoughts of the solemnity of the last day. I did not imagine that was the time; but thought it a great resemblance of it. And I expected every moment to be called to appear before my Judge, either by the thunder and lightning, or a fall from my horse. This put me upon examining myself, to see where the foundation of my hope was laid; and whether I had real grace, and a sure interest in Christ; [Page 54] that he might then be my advocate. I earnestly pleaded that this might be my very case. Upon strict search, I found such evidences as kept me from all fears of hell. Though I did not then feel the manifestations of the love of God, as at some other times; yet I found Christ was my only refuge. But just after the last hard clap of thunder, my horse turning suddenly round a corner, threw me off backward. My right temple came first to the ground. As I fell, I committed my spirit into the hands of my Savior, expecting death: But was wonder­fully preserved; so that I was but little hurt. Thus God shewed me, in this day and night of large experience, what he could do with me, in a way of judgment; and what for me, in a way of mercy, in preserving me, when in imminent danger of death. Lord, for thine own name's sake, write a law of gratitude in my heart for this, with all my other mercies. O Lord, what am I, the chief of sinners, that thou art thus mindful of me!

Soon after this, we fell into disagreeable and difficult worldly circumstances, with respect to living and paying the debts we owed. My greatest concern was with respect to the latter, lest we should not be able to do justice, and so wrong our creditors, and bring dishonor on God, and our profession. Under this pressure and distress, I was relieved and supported by the following words of Scripture, "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and [...]e content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake [Page 55] thee." I lived cheerfully, upon this promise, for a considerable time. And God ordered things so that our creditors were paid to their satisfaction.

I have often thought God has so ordered it throughout my days hitherto, that I should be in an afflicted, low condition, as to worldly circumstances, and inclined the hearts of oth­ers to relieve me in all my distresses, on pur­pose to suppress that pride of my nature, which doubtless would have been acted out greatly to his dishonor, had I enjoyed hea [...]h, and had prosperity, so as to live independent of others. I will therefore think it best for me; for the tenderness of my friends to me, has always had a tendency to humble me greatly, and cause me to admire the goodness of God to me, that while others were daily complaining, that the rich have many friends; but the poor is des­pised by his neighbor, I could never say I had not as much love and respect shewed me, as if I possessed great riches, and that by the rich, as well as the poor. So that, on the account of my poverty, I never was despised.*

[Page 56]AND now I have, according to my desire, committed some of the many thousands of my experiences to writing. And I will give my rea­sons for doing it. The first motive, as I men­tioned in the introduction, was, that I might be excited to praise and glorify that God who has wrought such wonders for me. And through the influence of his blessed Spirit, moving me thereto, it has had this effect, in some measure, throughout the time of my writing it. The Lord grant I may continue so all my days; and then my first great end will be answered. Sec­ondly,

I have always reaped much benefit myself, by reading the lives and experiences of others. Sometimes they have been blessed to convince me of sin—Sometimes, to scatter doubts—And sometimes to raise my affections into a flame. When expressions have been warm, they have put me upon imitating them as well as I could, by breathing out my soul in like manner. And though I fall ever so short of the excellencies with which others have been endowed; yet I know all things are possible with God. He can bless a word from the weakest, meanest, and un­worthiest of all creatures, even me. If a word in these lines ever prove useful to one soul, after my decease, it will be ten thousand times more than I deserve from the hands of a bountiful God: To him alone be all the glory. It is his glory, I trust, through rich grace, at which I sincerely [Page 57] aim. And if it does not consist with that, to have these lines seen by any, either before or af­ter my decease, I heartily desire, so far as I can possibly fathom that unfathomable deep, my own deceitful heart, and know it, that they may be all buried in oblivion. Surely, I had rather my name, and all belonging to me, should be forgotten among men, than remembered to the dishonor of my God. I am an ignorant short-fighted creature: But God knows what will be for the best. To him I commit it, praying that, in his all wise providence, it may be disposed of as he sees meet.

N. B. Finished writing this, Dec. 18, 1743, in the 30th year of my age.

[Page]

PART II. Containing a GENERAL ACCOUNT of her LIFE

THE parents of Mrs. Osborn were never in affluent worldly circumstances; and had lit­tle or nothing to give to her when she mar­ried: And perhaps did not give her all the as­sistance which they were able to do, as they were not pleased with her marrying to the per­son whom she chose. He was young, and used the sea, and had nothing beforehand, and died in the second voyage after he was married, and she was left a poor widow with one young child before she was twenty years old. She contin­ued a widow more than eight years. In which time she did no more than just support herself and son, by her industry, in keeping a small school part of the time; which business she was, at length, obliged to relinquish, by sickness, in which she needed and had the assistance of some of her kind friends. Thus she continued a poor widow, till she married the seccond time, in the twenty ninth year of her age.

Her second husband was in some trade and business when she married him; but soon ap­peared to owe to his creditors more than he was able to pay. They gave up all they had and their creditors were paid, so that they wer [...] [Page 59] all made easy, and gave them a discharge. From that time he did but little or no business, by reason of bodily disorders, and other infirm­ities. At the same time he had children who were poor, and wanted assistance. In these cir­cumstances, Mrs. Osborn began to keep school again in May, 1744. In which business she continued about thirty years, till her eyesight and bodily strength failed, so that she was o­bliged to give it up. She was, during this whole time, attended with bodily weakness, pains and infirmities; her constitution being greatly in­jured by taking mercury in an improper man­ner and degree, which was prescribed by her physician when afflicted with the distressing dis­order, which she mentions in the account she has given of her life, the weakening and painful effects of which attended her to the day of her death. Under these disorders, which were at times very distressing, she persevered in her bu­siness, which in her circumstances required a diligence, circumspection and resolution, which have been equalled by few or none, until she lost her sight and strength, to such a degree as obliged her to desist.

For this space of about thirty years she pre­sided in a school, which was most of the time so large that she was obliged to employ assistants. The whole number of children in her school a­mounted sometimes to seventy or more, some of whom, at times eight or ten, she boarded.

But, having a considerable family of her own to maintain, and other dependents which she thought it her duty to help, and the price for [Page 60] schooling and boarding being low, she, through this whole time, was not able to lay up any thing; but was reduced to great straits and dif­ficulties; and at the end of the year she fre­quently found herself in the rear, rather than to have gained any overplus or stock for the next; this kept her in a constant state of peculiar trial, and temptation to worldly solicitude and anxie­ty, which required an uncommon degree of faith and piety to surmount. And sometimes, under the darkest appearances, her faith would so far fail that she would sink into gloom and dejection, especially in the former part of this time. But she evidently made advances in her faith and cheerful resignation to the divine will, and happy contentment with the allotments of Divine Providence, while her trials and worldly straits, continued as great as ever: So that she appeared, at length, to have got the victory over the world to an uncommon degree, and to have enjoyed a calm, sweet resignation and content­ment in her worldly circumstances, which was the source of high religious enjoyment, in the constant and strong exercise of that piety, by which she enjoyed God as her only and eternal portion. This appears from her diary; and was especially manifest to her intimate friends, after she was obliged to give up all business, and was wholly dependent on her friends for sup­port; of which a more particular account may be given, before these memoirs are finished.

Mrs. Osborn began to keep school the sec­ond time, as has been observed, in the month of May, 1744, in the thirty first year of her age. [Page 61] With respect to which some things are noted in her diary, which may be properly transcribed here.

"Saturday April 28, 1744.—This day I am determined, if the Lord will, to enter again into the calling of keeping school. Will the Lord in mercy bless my endeavors, and prosper the work of my hands, and overrule this for his own glory, by making me instrumental in promoting the good of souls. O Lord, if thou wilt again employ me, and make me faithful, my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Oh, pre­serve me from making dependence on any thing I can do, either for soul or body: But if it may consist with thy will, O bless me in this lawful undertaking. But above all, O Lord, go on to resign me to thy will. Not mine, but thine be done. Lord, I desire to leave it with thee. O undertake for me, and deal graciously with me, for thine own sake, as thou usest to do to those who love thy name. Help me to eye thee in all thy dispensations of providence, and be thankful to thee for every temporal mercy. Dear Lord, order it so that thine own honor may be secured, and thou mayest be glorified in me, and it is enough. Once more, I beg to be resigned, and to take all things well at thy dear hand. Whether thou smile or frown, let me bless and love; for this is my duty, and what thou justly expectest of me. Lord, thou art worthy of infinitely more love and praise than I am capable of giving: But oh, accept my at­tempts to love and praise, for Jesus' sake alone. [Page 62] In his name I come to thee for all blessings, spir­itual and temporal.

"Friday morning, May 4.—At this time much straitened in myself to know if it is my duty to pray evening and morning in my school, if the Lord bless me with one. I am a­fraid of ostentation, afraid of doing any thing to be seen of men. I am afraid of neglecting it, on account of what others will say or think, lest that should be being ashamed of Christ and his ways, in this wicked generation; and yet, I am afraid of bringing religion into contempt. O Lord, direct me to do, in this case, as will most consist with thy glory. For I beseech thee, dear Lord, that thou wilt not suffer me to enter into this calling, except thou wilt be with me, and bless me in it. Oh, make me instrumental of the good of their souls committed to my charge, as well as faithful to their parents in in­structing them. And if it be thy will that I pray with them, as well as for them, oh strength­en me and encourage my heart. Lord, pour out on me a spirit of prayer and supplication, that I may ask for things agreeable to thy blessed will. O Lord, I leave this case with thee. I beg thou wilt direct me, and suffer nothing but pure aims at thy glory, and the good of souls, to be the governing principle in me. Lord, I am afraid of the reasonings of my own deceitful heart. It easily imposes upon, and deceives me. But, blessed be thy name, it cannot de­ceive thee. O, do thou search it and try it, and discover to me more of its vileness, that I may never be a fool, trusting to it. Lord, it is [Page 63] thine: Oh mould it into thine own likeness, fill it with thy grace, and possess it forever.

"Thursday May 10.—I desire to record it with thankfulness, that God in his providence gave me an opportunity last evening to advise with my dear aged pastor (Mr. Clap) about praying with my scholars. He rejoiced much in the proposal; and advised me, by all means to proceed, and let nothing discourage me, and fear no scoffs; for it was God's cause, and he who put it into my heart to do it, would take care of his own glory. He likewise reminded me how highly Christ resented it, when his own disciples would have deprived little children of privileges. He advised me to be brief and plain, and often to mention those words in Matth. vi. "Ask, and ye shall receive; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be open­ed unto you." And those in Prov. "I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me." And to make confession of sin, and plead for pardon for Christ's sake.—En­deavor to follow him in plainness, so that the little ones might understand what I meant, &c.

"As I think I never saw him more joyful, and pleased with me, so I know not when I have come away more comforted: For my scruples all vanished. And now, by assisting grace, I determine to proceed, as God shall en­able me. Blessed be God, that I enjoy so great a privilege as my dear pastor, who has thus en­couraged my faith, obedience and joy; and helped me in my strait. And now, O my God, I am convinced it is my duty to pray with my dear [Page 64] children, I fly to thee again for assisting grace. Lord, without that it will be only a piece of formality, and will never prove serviceable to any. I beseech thee, O Lord, pour out on me a spirit of prayer, and fill me with bowels of compassion to poor little ones."

Mrs. Osborn not only prayed daily with the children in her school; but was constant and careful to instruct them in the principles of re­ligion, and in their duty to God and man; and at certain times, and on particular occasions, se­riously addressed them on the concerns of their souls, urging their attention to the Bible, to Je­sus Christ, and the way of salvation by him; and to give themselves up to him, to fear and serve him, &c. Her discourses with them on these subjects frequently appeared to make im­pressions on their minds, and greatly to affect them: And most of the many hundreds who were instructed in her school, retained a love and esteem for her in the future part of their life, and numbers of them, how many cannot be now known, have never lost the serious impres­sions, which they received by her instruction and admonitions; but they have issued in their saving conversion to God. And we may rea­sonably consider some of them now in heaven with her, as her glory, and joining with her in mutual joy.

She composed and committed to writing a number of particular directions and rules for the children in her school, pointing out the decent and proper manner of their behavior towards her, and each other in school, and when going [Page 65] away and returning; at home and abroad; when in the house and by the way; and their manner of speech and behavior towards all with whom they had any connection and concern; which rules were to be often read in school. These rules discovered her good judgment and taste, respecting the propriety and decency of conduct of children in all situations, and towards superi­ors, equals and inferiors, in age and other cir­cumstances. They might be very useful to teachers of schools and to their pupils, were they transcribed; and were they not too lengthy to be inserted here.

A FEW months after Mrs. Osborn began to keep school the second time, her only son, Sam­uel Wheaten, died, being near twelve years old, who was an apprentice in the country above twenty miles from Newport, and was a promis­ing youth. She has recorded some of her ex­ercises under this trial, part of which will be here inserted.

"Friday morning, September 22, 1744.—On Thursday afternoon, the sixth day of this month, I had the sorrowful news that my only son was sick unto death. God in his providence pro­vided presently for me—My dear Susa Antho­ny to keep my house—A horse for my husband and myself to ride, and all other things com­fortable. And on my way God gave me such [Page 66] a sense of his goodness to me in a thousand in­stances, that instead of sinking under my sorrow, my mind was employed in attention to, and blessing God for my mercies. Sometimes, that he was not snatched from me in a moment, by some awful accident—That he was not at so great a distance, but I might be allowed to go to him, with hopes of finding him yet alive▪ And those precious promises which in the morn­ing had supported me, still continued as a re­freshing cordial; even these. "Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will hear thee. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him; and saved him out of all his troubles."

"On Friday morning we got to Rehoboth [...] where I found my son much swelled with a dropsy, and pined to a mere skeleton with the jaundice, scurvy and consumption, all combin­ing. He rattled in his throat, like a dying per­son, laboring for every breath. He was given over by the doctors and all friends, who lament­ed him, and did the best for him in their pow­er, as to the body. But alas! my great con­cern was for that precious jewel, his immortal soul. I endeavored to improve every opportu­nity to discourse with him, and read to him such portions of scripture as I thought suitable, with passages out of Mr. Allen's Alarm, &c. And I was enabled to pray all the day, by e­jaculatory breathings, and sometimes to plead and wrestle with God on his behalf: Though a­las! God was pleased to hide his dealings with him altogether. For I could discern no evi­dence of a work of grace wrought on his soul▪ [Page 67] for which I did plead from day to day. I did not so much as once, in all his sickness, pray for his life; but for some evidence that his soul might live. And for want of this, I sometimes seemed to be crushed down, having a sense of his doleful case, if not reconciled to God. On Thursday, Sept. 13, the day before he died, I was just ready to give up, and sit down discour­aged. My heart even almost died with fear of what would become of him. But just in this juncture, God in his providence ordered it so that I received a letter from my dear S [...]sa, which was a cordial to my drooping spirits.

"In his dying moments I had an awful sense of his deplorable condition, if his naked soul should launch into a boundless eternity, without a God to go to. I had also a view and sense of his and my utter inability to help ourselves, and ut­ter unworthiness that God should help us. And with the woman of Canaan, I cried out, Truth Lord, I am as unworthy as a dog! But I pleaded for the crumbs that fell, one of which would be sufficient for me and mine. I had a clear discovery of the fulness and sufficiency of Christ to make satisfaction. I pleaded that he would have mercy, as on the theif on the cross, then at the eleventh hour; apply but one drop of his precious blood, and it was enough. Thus I was enabled to fill my mouth with arguments, and in bitter agony of soul I wrestled with God for mercy for him. Surely the pangs I then endured for his foul far exceeded those that brought him into the world. But as soon as the soul had taken its flight, I was eased of my [Page 68] burden. I immediately cast myself, and my burden too, on God. I adored him as a sove­reign God, and blessed his name; for he had given, and it was he who had taken. Surely he was better to me than ten sons.

"I then arose from my dead child, and was quieted, for the will of God was done, and my work was done, as it respected my child. And God was pleased to give such evidence of his love, that my mouth was filled with praises. But when I looked on the young people who stood round lamenting him, I felt bowels of compas­sion for them, and besought them to take warn­ing, and make their speedy flight to the blessed Jesus, before sickness and death overtook them.

"While friends were putting on his grave clothes, I went out into the field and walked, where, with more secrecy and freedom, I could breathe out my soul to God. And the sweet­ness of that season I cannot express. God dis­covered himself to be my God, my covenant God, my Father, my Friend, my only portion and happiness, my sovereign, my all in all, my infinite fountain of all fulness. And these were some of the breathings of my soul after him. "Lord, I adore thee as my all. I rejoice in thee as my only portion. Lord, if I have thee, I have enough. Though all the streams were cut off; yet the fountain remains; I cannot be poor. Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none on earth I desire besides thee. Though my flesh and my heart fail; yet God is the strength of my heart and my portion for­ever. Blessed God, though death separate from [Page 69] all things here below, it cannot separate be­tween thee and me." O, here I rejoiced a­gain, chose my God again, and again renewed the dedication of myself to him, my whole soul and body, with all I have, am, or can do. O, his word comforted, his rod comforted me. I saw no frown in it: No, but the kind chastise­ment of my indulgent Father. This portion of scripture was very sweet, "If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth." Therefore I cried out, "I know, O Lord, thy judgments are right, and in very faithfulness thou hast af­flicted me."

"But I must cease.—For such blessed sea­sons are better felt than expressed. I contin­ued so composed and comfortable, that I feared those who knew not the cause would think me void of natural affection; till my tak­ing my last farewell at his funeral. And then I found the bonds of natural affection very strong; and I wept much. But as I followed to the grave, I pleaded thus with God, "Lord, I adore thee still as my sovereign. I do not repine at thy hand. But, dear Lord, pity me, and suffer me to weep under the smart of thy rod; it is my only son." Then I thought on Psalm ciii. "As a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him." This comforted me. But as I inquired again, if my tears were not sinful, and the effect of an un­resigned will, which I dreaded most of all, I was comforted again by reflecting, that when [Page 70] Martha and Mary wept for their brother Laza­rus, the blessed Jesus was not angry, but wept with them. O, then I again adored a sympa­thising Savior, a glorious high priest, who was sensibly touched with the feeling of my infirmi­ties. These and such like were the exercises of my mind, while following and laying my dust into the grave. And ever since I have been kept composed and cheerful.

"The Lord in mercy grant that I may more and more glorify him in this affliction. O that my sins may be more mortified. Lord, grant I may come out of this furnace as gold puri­fied and fitted for my master's use. If I have behaved in any measure as becomes a child of God, and any resignation has appeared in me, Lord, it is all owing to the riches of thy glori­ous and special grace: For hadst not thou by that compelled me to act otherwise, I should have flew in thy face, murmured, fretted and repined at thee; cast away all my other com­forts and mercies, and said I had none left, be­cause thou hadst taken one from me. Lord, these, and more than these, would have been the effects of my perverse nature. Therefore, not unto me, not unto me; but to thy glori­ous name be all the glory forever and ever. Amen."

IN the year 1741, a religious, female soci­ety was formed under the care of Mrs. Osborn, [Page 71] they having chosen her to be their head. Of which she makes mention in her account of her own life, which has been transcribed, page 49. This society met for some time twice ev­ery week, viz. on Tuesday and Friday even­ings. Afterwards they agreed to meet but once a week, on the afternoon of Wednesday or Thursday. Mrs. Osborn was continued and considered the head of this society from that time to her decease, which was above fifty years; and it still subsists, and there are above thirty members of it who are now living. It has consisted of a much greater number of members. About thirty years ago, above sixty persons were members of it. But the war, and other evils which have since that time taken place, have diminished it.

This society have met constantly once every week, during this whole time of above half a century, excepting a few interruptions, by some extraordinary occurrences. They also have observed four whole quarterly days in every year, as days of fasting and prayer, confessing their sins, and seeking God for spiritual bless­ings on themselves, on the church of Christ, and on all nations. They also have been wont to spend the afternoon of every first Thursday of each month in prayer together; and the afternoon of every Saturday before the monthly administration of the Lord's Supper. They have a box, which stands in the room where they meet, into which money is put by each one, as she is able and inclined. And at the end of the year, or any other time, when they [Page 72] think proper, the box is by their consent open­ed, and the money contained in it counted, and generally given for the support of the gospel.

They did agree upon a number of articles and rules, which were committed to writing, to be observed by the society and by each indi­vidual, and to be signed by every member, and by every one who should afterwards be admit­ted. The substance of these is as follows:

At the weekly meeting of the society, when the appointed hour arrives, and a number are convened, the exercise shall begin by reading in some profitable book, till all have come in who are expected. Then a prayer shall be made by one of the members; and after that, a chapter in the Bible shall be read, and relig­ious conversation be attended to, as time shall allow. The meeting to be concluded by an­other prayer. Four quarterly days in the year, in January, April, July and October, be­ginning on the first day of every January, to be observed as days of solemn fasting and prayer. We promise not to ridicule or divulge the sup­posed or apparent infirmities, of any fellow member; but to keep secret all things relating to the society, the discovery of which might tend to do hurt to the society or any individu­al. We resolve to be charitably watchful over each other, to advise, caution and admonish, where we judge there is occasion, and that i [...] may be useful. And we promise not to resent; but kindly and thankfully receive such friendly advice or reproof from any one of our mem­bers. We will endeavor that our discourse [Page 73] while together shall be on the serious and im­portant subjects of religion: And when sepa­rate, that our speech and behavior shall be such as become christians, that we may be holy in all conversation.

If any member commit any scandalous sin, or walk unruly, and after proper reproof con­tinue manifestly impenitent, she shall be ex­cluded from us, until she give evidence of her repentance. Each one shall pay her propor­tion to defray the necessary expenses for wood, or any thing else, unless excused by the soci­ety.

When any person shall manifest to any one of us a desire to join the society, it shall be mentioned in one of our meetings, that all may have opportunity, who desire it, to satisfy them­selves, respecting the character and conversa­tion of the person offering to join. And if at the meeting on the next week, there be no ob­jection to her being admitted, she may apply to the head of the society, who will read our arti­cles to her, and if she is willing, and do sign them, she shall be considered as a member of the society, regularly admitted.

As to any other matters, which we shall here­after find conducive to the benefit and good regulation of our society, we engage to leave to the discretion and decision of a major part of us, to whose determination we promise quietly to agree and submit.

This society has evidently been of great ad­vantage to many if not all the members of it, to the church and congregation to which most [Page 74] of the members have belonged, and to the in­terest of religion in general, especially in New­port, by their prayers, and apparent sincerity and engagedness in religion, and exemplary conduct.

Mrs. Osborn was by unanimous consent the head of this society above fifty years, as has been observed, even from the first institution of it, to the day of her death; and a great part of the time their meetings were attended at her house. And she was distinguished in her use­fulness in this station and capacity, by her prayers, her conversation, advice, judgment, prudence and example; by which she was a principal medium of the long and happy ex­istence and union of the society. Her influ­ence apparently reached to every member, and her steady, prudent zeal and activity, and her amiable character, were very much the means of their continuance and edification. The so­ciety continued to meet in the room in which she lived, till her bodily infirmities were so in­creased that she was no longer able to sustain their company, and the exercises of the meet­ing. They then withdrew into another room in her house, where she was tenderly remem­bered in their prayers; and she was present in spirit with them, and partook largely with them in their exercises and enjoyments.

MRS. OSBORN was esteemed as an emi­nently pious, exemplary christian, by all who [Page 75] knew her. And even the irreligious and pro­fane had a degree of veneration for her, as a re­markably good woman. Few or none have ob­tained this character more universally than she did, among all sorts of people, who knew her or heard of her: And not many women had a more numerous acquaintance, or more exten­sive fame. Many educated in her school were afterwards settled in distant parts, and spake in favor of her character and school to their friends and acquaintance. And as she had a great respect for the ministers of the gospel, she corresponded with some of them; and many others visited her, agreeable to her incli­nation and desire, when they came to Newport, as did many other religious persons. By this, as well as what has been before mentioned, her name and character was spread abroad, as few or none who visited her, went away unimpress­ed in her favor, as amiable in her conversation and behavior, and eminently pious and benev­olent. In conversation she appeared remarkab­ly mild, pleasant and cheerful, and discovered a modest, meek, humble, tender and benevo­lent mind, impressed with the serious, impor­tant and pleasing truths and duties of Christian­ity. The law of kindness was in her tongue to an uncommon degree. She had a strong, habitual aversion to any thing like aspersing the character of others, being careful to speak evil of none; and when occasion offered, was dis­posed to say all that could be said with truth in favor of the worst. She was often greatly grieved and rendered very uncomfortable, in [Page 76] companies where slander and detraction took place, and would endeavor, when there was opportunity, to divert the conversation from topics so disagreeable to her. This part of her character, of which the above is an imperfect sketch, rendered her agreeable, and recom­mended her to the esteem and affection of all religious persons who were acquainted with her, or heard a true report of her. And this pro­cured to her the general approbation of all, of every denomination and character, as an emi­nently good woman.

IN the years 1766, 1767, there was an un­common attention to religion, which turned the thoughts of many to Mrs. Osborn. They re­paired to her as a known pious, benevolent christian, to whom they could have easy access, that they might enjoy her counsel and prayers. This was the occasion of numbers resorting to her house. When she saw this, and that the number increased, she was at a great loss what to do. She trembled with fear that if she en­couraged their meeting at her house, it would be going beyond her sphere, offend some of her christian friends, and give occasion to some not friendly to religion, to speak evil of her and of religion, and so do much more hurt than good. On the other hand, she was afraid to discour­age them, and refuse to let them come to her and meet at her house, when under apparent concern about their souls, lest, by this, their at­tention [Page 77] and concern should abate and cease. She advised with her christian friends, and some ministers; and upon their advising her to en­courage them and attend to them, she granted them liberty to come, and appointed particular times for their coming. The poor Blacks ap­peared more generally concerned and engaged, than others. They agreed to meet at Mrs. Os­born's on the evening of the Sabbath. She ad­mitted them, on condition that they should be­have orderly in coming and retiring, and al­ways break up seasonably, and that those who were not free should not come without the consent of their masters, and that they should not make any acknowledgment to her by at­tempting any compensation by presents, or any other way; declaring that she would not re­ceive any thing of this kind from them. On these conditions they convened in great num­bers, commonly to the amount of sixty or eighty, and some times more. Mrs. Osborn, finding their attention was so much to her, was greatly cautious, fearing to go beyond her line, as a woman, in endeavoring to promote their instruction and religious impressions for the good of their souls. She used to select passa­ges of scripture, which she thought would be most useful to them, and from other religious books, and read them to them: And when she had opportunity, she would invite some christ­ian man to pray with them. She took opportu­nity to converse with individuals, and some times would give a word of advice to them all. [Page 78] And where she could, she obtained some min­ister to preach to them, and converse with them; the pastor of the church, to which she belonged, not being able to attend.

These meetings continued a year or more, and were the means of the apparent reformation of many, and of the hopeful conversion of a num­ber.*

[Page 79]This particular respecting the Blacks will be concluded by inserting here some of her exer­cises on this occasion, found in her diary.

"Lord's Day evening, Nov. 23, 1766.—About eighty six below, and fourteen above; an hun­dred, in all, here this night: The Lord com­mand a blessing for Christ's sake. O for divine influence! O thou dove of heaven, descend. I am waiting for influence from heaven. Lord, except thou dost take the work into thine own hand, all will come to nothing; the poor impo­tents will either grow weary of the means, and turn away from them: Or, if they still lie by [Page 80] the pool, they will grow worse and worse. None can help them in; nor can any one, of himself, obtain healing. O, dear Redeemer, come and make them whole, for thine own honor and glo­ry's sake; not for mine. If they should all turn back and I should be reproached, What is my name, to thy glory, and their salvation? I would have no self in pleading that thou wilt crown my poor labors with success; but a sin­gle eye to thy glory. O that thou wilt order every step I take, and guide me by thine eye, and employ me just as thou wilt, only glorify thyself, and still serve thyself of me. Here am I, Lord. Use me as thou wilt; only preserve thine own honor, and it is enough."

"Monday morning, January 26, 1767.—It snowed yesterday, and I was not well; yet in the evening I was more strong and lively; and I trust God did help me to converse to the ed­ification of the poor, dear souls. O Lord, seal instruction. Own thy worthless nothing, and the glory shall be, it will be, thine forever. The house was full, no weather stops them. The Lord bless them! Lord, teach me what thou wilt have me to do. Let me be influenced by divine teaching alone, and not by Satan, or in­dwelling corruption. I want none of their in­fluence or teaching. Make me quick to dis­cern what is from thee, and what is not. And O God, I pray thee, make the path of duty straight and plain in this matter: And either spirit me to the work, and enable me to do it judi­ciously, in such a manner as will stand the [...] or else to lay it aside, and do nothing at [...] [Page 81] Lord, may I approve myself to thee in all I do in this matter, and have a conscience void of offence towards God, and towards man. I commit this cause to thee. I would be influ­enced by thy word. I have chosen it as my rule to walk by."

Not only Blacks; but numbers of other peo­ple met at Mrs. Osborn's in this time. A num­ber of young men used to meet on the same e­vening with the blacks in a different apart­ment; for prayer, reading and religious con­versation. And on Monday evening a number of young women from nine to twenty years old, often above forty or fifty, met together at her house, to enjoy her prayers and instructions. Mrs. Osborn at first was in doubt about the propriety and expe [...]iency of praying with them. But after maturely considering the matter, and seeking direction, she concluded it was her du­ty, and accordingly practised it, and read to them, and gave them that instruction and ad­vice, which she thought proper and important. And they appeared so attentive, and at times some of them were so impressed and affected, that she was encouraged to proceed. On Tuesday evening a large number of boys met in her room for a considerable time to receive her instruction and blessing. Wednesday even­ing was devoted to the stated weekly meeting of the society of women. On Thursday or Saturday, or both, she catechized the children of her school, when a number of children who [...]id not belong to her school often attended to [...]eceive instruction from her and hear her [Page 82] prayers. On Friday evening a number of heads of families used to meet at her house for prayer and religious conversation; so that ev­ery week some hundreds of persons met at her house for religious purposes. This gave con­stant employ to Mrs. Osborn, and called up her attention, and strong and constant exercises of mind, while she at the same time presided in a large school of children. Some of her ex­ercises respecting her house being thus crowded with people for religious purposes, were as fol­lows, taken from her diary:

"Tuesday morning, January 27, 1767.—O my Lord and my God, appear for my help now, as thou hast appeared for my help here­tofore. Fain would I raise a tribute of hum­ble praise and thanksgiving for thy condescen­sion and grace to me in the year past; for the Lord himself has vouchsafed to be my protec­tion from errors and confusions, amidst the throng he has gathered round me. To thee be all the glory forever. In July last the number had amounted to three hundred souls. And now the Lord has increased it to five hundred and twenty five, who have statedly resorted here. And yet no evil has followed, though my fears have often been alarmed, with respect to Lord's day evenings; yet all is quiet, and every company more seriously composed and settled in steadily pursuing after knowledge. Blessed be God, who indulges me with frequent tidings of Blacks and little ones being more concerned, and getting alone to pray. O [...] the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, will carry [...] [Page 83] his own glorious work, in his own gradual way which he has chosen; and confound all the wisdom of the wise. We have been lotting upon great and extraordinary impressions upon souls here, and by great and extraordinary means; but God will take his own way, and use what clay and spittle he pleases to open blind eyes, and cause the walls to fall, by what rams' horns he pleases. Amen. Let the most despicable worm upon earth be employed for God, that the glory may evidently be his own."

"Tuesday, June 2, 1767.—Blessed be God, who gave me opportunity to converse with forty two young girls last evening. The Lord seal what was said and read for instruction; and hear my poor cries for converting grace. O have mercy on these souls! Lord, secure them for thine own: O take the prey from the mighty. Snatch them as brands out of the burning, I pray thee. Thanks be to God for the solemnity, assistance and refreshments of the last evening. O help me still to hope in thy mercy, under all discouragements, thou faith­ful, merciful God."

From the year 1770, to the time of the British taking possession of Newport, the church, both male and female, used to hold their monthly meetings at her house; as this was pe­culiarly agreeable to her, and she lived in a convenient room. And there was a weekly meeting at her house of a number of professors for prayer; which continued most of the time [...]ing the war. Thus her house was indeed, [...]in an eminent sense, A house of prayer.

[Page]

PART III. EXTRACTS from her DIARY.

Thursday, June 21, 1744.

YESTERDAY very much overcome in God's house, at the solemn ordination of the Rev. Mr. Helyer. My heart was then filled with joy and praises; and God excited and enabled me to breathe out my soul in vehe­ment cries to him for all needful grace, for his servant, and for his church. Rejoiced much to think I was once more to enjoy the glorious feast, instituted by my dear Redeemer. I longed to render a tribute of praise, and even to be swallowed up with praises all my life long, because God had so graciously given me the desire of my heart. But, alas! how short liv­ed are my praises. All this day, with bodily indisposition and my own declining heart, I have been as water heated, returning to my former coldness again. O! it makes eternity glorious, that praises shall never cease.

Sabbath day, June 24.—This morning, through the goodness of God, to the satisfaction and comfort of my soul, I was engaged in the work of self examination, to see how the case stood between God and my soul, and found cause to bless him, that, by his grace, "I [...] what I am." Some time after that I was ag [...] [Page 85] overcome with a sense of the amazing goodness of God to me, in giving me such a dear Pastor, and attempted to adore and praise him with all my powers engaged. This was a sweet sea­son, for my heart was warmed. I went to the house of God, but was too cool there. In the in­termission season I trust I was serious, but not lively. But this afternoon, blessed be God, I was filled with joy, grief, love, prayer and praises, God's word being powerfully set home. I was enlarged, in pleading for grace and strength to be bestowed on my dear young Pastor; that, though of himself he is insufficient for his great and difficult work; yet, his suffi­ciency being of God, he might be made suc­cessful.

Sabbath noon, July 15.—Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. I have been to the table of the Lord, and he brought me into his banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. I sat under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. My soul said, It is good for me to be here. I was enabled, with all my powers engaged, to renew my dedication of myself to God, and rejoice in my choice of him. I was, in a measure, brought to behold his glory in the perfections of his nature. I was enabled to wrestle with him for victory over my sins, and to be made more holy. These seemed to be my chief errands; and as I was pleading that promise, "They that have clean hands shall grow stronger and stronger," this promise seemed to be whispered, I will strengthen thee, [Page 86] I will uphold thee by the right hand of my righteousness; and sin shall not have dominion over thee.*

In time of partaking of the element of bread, my heart seemed to be most broken for sin: When feeding upon his broken body, I was filled with astonishment, and made to cry out, "Lord, why me! Why hast thou given thyself for me!" His blood was sweet to me, as it was shed for the remission of sins. At last I broke out in a rapture, "I found the pearl of great­est price, my heart doth sing for joy." I longed to get still nearer, while I seemed to be resting and leaning on my beloved. Surely I did find him whom my soul loveth. O astonishing, all conquering grace! O happy earnest of more near and intimate communion! O what a feast is this! O blessed Savior, for appointing such an ordinance! O my soul, bless God, for bring­ing [Page 87] me to partake thereof. Thanks be to God, for such gracious smiles upon his Church to­day: That thou hast restored this former priv­ilege. Thanks be to God, for his presence with his poor, helpless, necessitous worm. Thanks be to God, for Jesus Christ.

Sabbath noon, August 26.—I desire to bless thee, my God, for the word of thy grace I have been favored with. O Lord, help me to wrestle with thee for the ministers of thine ev­erlasting gospel. O Lord, let thy word run and be glorified. O grant, that thy labourers may, by spreading the gospel net, catch great numbers of souls. O send forth thy light, and thy truth, into the dark corners of the earth!

Monday morning, August 27.—I desire with unfeigned lips to praise the name of my God, for he did meet with me in his house, in the afternoon, and gave me the same compassion­ate look he gave his Peter; which, in one mo­ment, dissolved me into penitential tears. I bless thee, dear Lord, that I heard the differ­ence between a legal, and an evangelical re­pentance, and that at the same time I dared appeal to thee, that it was thy dear, thy sweet look, that pierced my heart, and caused mine eyes to flow. O, that look is worth more than a million of worlds! O sweet Jesus! I adore thee as a God of infinite power, because thou hast looked such a rebel heart as mine into re­pentance. O Lord! I abbor myself, because I have sinned against such dear love and grace. Oh! it is more than enough that thine enemies dishonor thee: But that I should do it is in­tolerable [Page 88] ingratitude! O dear Jesus! still look me into deeper repentance. Look me into faith. Look me into flaming love and zeal. Look me into constant and universal obedience to all thy just, holy, good commands. A look will do all this. Do but look, dear Lord, Sa­tan shall flee before thee: Every rebel lust shall quit the field: Unbelief, pride, hypocrisy, self confidence. If thou wilt work only by a look, none shall let. Only look, and every grace shall at once, be up and doing, all upon the wing to execute thy commands, and to em­brace thee.—O my soul, what mean these trembling fears at one time and another, that one or other of thy lusts will prove thy ruin, when only a look of Christ can conquer them all. O look unto him by faith, for all supplies of grace and strength: He will look upon thee and help thee.

O Lord, bless thine handmaid, who has list­ed under thy banner. O make her faithful unto death. Lord, let the covenant stand ratified and confirmed in heaven. O be with her of a truth, throughout her warfare, and make her valiant for the truth at all times. O fill her precious soul with the gifts and graces of thy blessed Spirit, and make her an orna­ment to her profession all her days. I bless thee, O Lord, that I have been permitted to see one addition more made to thy church. O add daily to it, of such as shall be saved. O make this vine flourish, and build up the walls of thy Jerusalem.

[Page 89]

Wednesday evening, October 3.—Blessed be God, I have been kept, for the most part of this week, in a cheerful lively frame, depending on God for every thing needful for soul and body. Yesterday morning, in an especial manner, I had access to the throne of grace, had my mouth filled with arguments, and did, I trust, in the arms of faith and prayer, carry my children to Jesus for spiritual blessings:—Rejoiced in him as a glorious conqueror, as able to subdue the stubbornness of their wills, as a Levi's and mine. O Lord, in mercy overcome them by thy sove­reign grace. Lord, pity them, and work by whom thou wilt work; send by whom thou wilt send. I will not dare to limit the Holy One of Israel, though I should rejoice if thou wouldest make poor worthless me, an instrument to do them good. But if thou deny me success in conversation, yet, for Jesus' sake, forbid me not to pray, neither let me be straitened in prayer for them; but help me, O my God, to pray earnestly for those who will not yet be persuad­ed to pray for themselves. O Lord; awaken them, that they may pray also, and do thou hear, not for our sake, but for thine own sake, that the riches of thine own grace may be glo­rified, admired, and adored, to all eternity.

Tuesday evening, October 30.—I desire to re­cord, to the praise and glory of God, that he has this day been very gracious to me. In the morning, I was enabled to rise early, and dedi­cate myself anew to him. This afternoon the clouds gathered blackness, so that it was very dark, and looked awfully. I spoke to my [Page 90] children, and desired them to be silent, which they immediately complied with, and I perceiv­ed an unusual solemnity among them in gener­al, and presently one of them rose, and desired me to pray with them, which I joyfully did, and was much affected and enlarged in pleading with God, for grace for them, that they might be brought savingly home now in the days of their youth; and such visible convictions I never saw before in them. There were six, in particular, who seemed quite distressed, and wept very much, while I was praying, and talk­ing to them for nearly an hour; and they con­tinued grave and serious till school was done. The Lord in mercy fasten conviction, and nev­er suffer it to cease till it end in a sound con­version. O that I might see so much of the presence of God every day in awakening my little ones.

Tuesday, January 1, 1745.

LORD, I bless thee that thou hast brought me to see the return of another new year's day: And now, O my God, assist me, and I will renew the dedication of myself, soul and body, with all my faculties and members to thee. Lord take a fresh, a free, a full and everlasting possession of me; for I protest to thee I am thine own. Lord, I am thine, for­ever thine, blessed be thy name. I am not only so by creation and preservation, but by Redemption too; yea, and thou art my cov­enant God. O Lord for this my soul rejoic­joices. [Page 91] O my God, my only portion, I protest I renew my choice of thee, and rejoice in it more than in all this world, ten thousand times over. O my God, now for Jesus' sake I be­seech thee hear the voice of my supplication. Lord, pardon the iniquities of the year past: Forgive me, dear Lord, for all my worldly mindedness, coldness in religious duties, unprof­itableness under the means of grace, want of love to thee and thy children, want of faith, holy zeal and courage in thy cause, omission of duties, secret, or relative. O Lord, my sins are past finding out; I cannot reckon them up in order unto thee. Lord, pardon mine iniqui­ties, for they are very great. O, blessed be thy name, there is forgiveness with thee for sins of a crimson die, and she, to whom thou forgav­est much, loved much. Therefore, O my God, that I may assuredly know that my sins which are many, are forgiven, make me love much. O Lord, blow upon the spark of love in my soul, and make it flame so vehemently, that many waters cannot quench it, neither the floods drown it. Lord, if I love much, I shall obey much, for they who love thee keep thy commandments. O let this grace be in lively exercise all the ensuing year, if I live to see it, and bestow on me all the other graces of thy blessed Spirit, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Monday morning, May 15.—Last evening I went to see the dear Mr. Helyer, who told me a few days more would make the turning point. And as he earnestly entreated us that were a­round him, whom he called his friends, to pray [Page 92] for him, Lord, I beseech thee teach me for what and how I ought to pray. O Lord, in the arms of my faith and prayer I would bring this thy dear sick servant to thee, even him whom thou lovest, and beg thou wilt make his bed now. Lord, ease his pain, by darting the beams of thine everlasting love into his soul: Now, now, Lord, let him begin to reap the fruit of all his labors of love: Now let him taste and feel that the Lord is gracious. O now, thou blessed Je­sus, kiss him with the kisses of thy mouth. O, if it be thy will, let him triumph over the king of terrors. Lord, let his will be swallowed up in thine, and grant that he may bear a testimony for God in his last breaths. Lord, I bless thee, that thou hast scattered his clouds, and that he is panting after thee. O suffer not Satan any more to darken his evidences. Abba, Father, with thee all things are possible. Thou canst, if thou please, yet raise him. I leave him in thy merciful hands, and beg thou wilt bow my stubborn will to thine, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Monday evening, May 27.—This morn­ing it pleased the great and glorious God to take to himself my dear, dear Mr. Helyer. O he is gone from me. I shall never more hear any of his precious sermons or solemn counsels. O my God, preserve me from mur­mu [...]ng at thine holy hand. I desire to bless thy dear name, that thou didst lend worthless me so sweet a pastor, so long: And now thou hast in infinite wisdom bereaved me of my shepherd, I would give myself wholly to thee thou great shepherd and bishop of souls. O [Page 93] be thou my all. Now, Lord, thou hast laid thy hand heavily upon me: Thou hast touched me in a tender part: Thou hast cut off a stream, from which much comfort has flowed to my poor soul: Now, my God, appear for me, and refresh my soul with streams more immediately from the fountain. Lord, sanctify thine hand to me, to his dear consort and all relations, to my dear aged Pastor, to the whole Church. O let this awful, dispensation of thy providence awaken secure souls, and quicken the awaken­ed. O let the fruit of all be to take away sin. Lord, I confess thou might justly deprive me of all precious means: But pity me, dear Lord, and still afford us the means of grace. O give us a Pastor after thine own heart. Blessed be thy name, the residue of the Spirit is with thee. Lord, I desire to trust thee for all future e­vents; but I beg, I beseech thee, bring me nearer to thy blessed self, by this great turn in the wheel of thy providence. O Lord, enable me to be, in good earnest, preparing to follow him, who through faith and patience is gone to in­herit the promises. O Lord, hear me; Lord, answer me, for Jesus Christ's sake, in whose name I beg all, to whom be glory forever. A­men.

Now, with sorrow of heart, I am again going to record the repeated blow of God's hand, in bereaving me, and the mournful church to which I belong, of our dear aged Pastor, the Rev. Mr. Clap, who died on Wednesday even­ing, October 30, 1745. The Lord in mercy sanctify this rod, and enable us all to see it, and [Page 94] who it is who hath appointed it, and with truly resigned, humble souls to say, "The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away: Blessed be the name of the Lord." Lord help us to bless thee, that thou hast indulged us so long with so em­inent a man of God, and O, for thy mercy's sake, pardon our iniquities, and go on still to be gracious to us, and give us another Pastor, after thine own heart. Lord, direct thy people in choosing such an one as thou wilt delight to bless, and incline the heart of thy servant to accept the invitation. O keep out all conten­tion, thou God of peace and love. Unite thy church in peace and concord. O blessed Je­sus, thou great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, suffer us not to be scattered as sheep without a shepherd. O preserve us from wolves in sheep's clothing. O King Jesus, thou great head of the church, we trust we are a vine of thine own right hand's planting. O delight to build us up, and not to pluck us down. Lord, help us to cast all our care upon thee: But, O pour out upon us a spirit of prayer and suppli­cation, that in every thing, thereby, with thanks­giving, we may be making known our requests to God, and O hear for Jesus' sake.

On Monday, November 4, the dear and venerable Mr. Clap was decently interred, at­tended by a numerous throng of people, of all ranks and denominations. O that all who fol­lowed him sorrowfully to his grave, might joy­fully meet him in the morning of the resurrec­tion: And, O my God! grant that I, thy poor worm, may then see his face with joy. Lord [Page 95] forgive me that I have improved his precious counsels and solemn warnings no better. Lord, humble me for this, and at the same time ac­cept of praises, that thou didst make him so dear and helpful to me. Thou, Lord, knowest how oft thou hast set home thy word, dispensed by him, with power irresistible upon my poor soul, sometimes to arouse, convince and awaken me, sometimes to strengthen and establish my faith, sometimes to encourage me in the way of duty, sometimes to remove doubts and fears. Lord, thou knowest, also, how sweet it was to me to have recourse to him in all times of diffi­culty and trial, and how ready he was to af­ford me his counsels. For all these favors, Lord, I would humbly bless and adore thee, thou blessed author and bestower of them: And since thou, in thine all wise providence, hast deprived me of all these former privileges, and I can never more in this world have recourse to thy servant for any solemn counsels, I be­seech thee, dear Lord, I beseech thee, that I may have more free recourse to thy blessed self. O give me access to thy throne, that in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, I may be making known my re­quests unto thee. O, now thou art removing the means and instruments by which thou wast wont to convey the graces and comforts of thy blessed Spirit to me, O now refresh my weary sin sick soul, with streams more immediately from the fountain, and guide me by thine un­erring counsel. Lord, in thine own time restore the means of grace, I beseech thee, and grant I [Page 96] may be made meet for heaven, and receive me to glory, for Jesus' sake.*

Sabbath Day, July 28.—The week past I have, through God's goodness, been carried safely to see my mother, where I saw a letter to her from —, in which he seems to inti­mate his fears that I am much lifted up with spiritual pride, and stand in great need of cau­tion [Page 97] from christian friends. Lord God Al­mighty, thou searcher of hearts, thou trier of the reins, convince me, I beseech thee, if this be the principle I have acted upon, in communi­cating to others thy remarkable, gracious deal­ings with my soul. O Lord, the jealousies of thine own experienced children make me jeal­ous too. O search me, and try me, and suffer me not to deceive myself. O, is it indeed so? Have I been practically saying to any, Stand by thyself, for I am holier than thou? boasting myself, as though I were something of myself? Lord, if this has been the case, O convince and humble me, for thou knowest I thought I boasted in none but thee. Thou knowest I thought it was thy love constrained me thus to speak, and declare thy wonderful works. O Lord, pity me, for thou knowest how oft con­science reproves me for being so ungrateful to thee, so little speaking to thy praise and glory, and I think justly too. But, Oh! how shall I behave! If I speak, I stumble and grieve even thy dear children and servants. Lord, direct me, and O hasten the time when I shall find no more backwardness to praise thee, nor fear of giving offence or grieving any; but shall chant forth praises throughout an endless eternity. I bless thee, O my God, that there is a day of judgment appointed, wherein the secrets of all hearts will be disclosed, and I trust it will ap­pear, that the little zeal and gratitude I have shown did proceed from right principles, through the infinite riches of thy grace in Jesus Christ. In the mean time, help me daily to [Page 98] approve myself to thee, who infallibly knowest my heart, and grant I may be a stumbling block to none in any respect. O quicken me, Lord, in thy way, for Jesus' sake.

Friday morning, September 12.—Last even­ing I went to visit my dear Susa, who is sick, and rejoices in hope of being sick unto death. She tells me, that every approach of death is welcome. There is nothing that she has the least desire to stay to see accomplished, except the settlement of the church, and that she can cheerfully leave with its great Head. She thus addressed herself to me: Dear Mrs. Osborn, as you love me, I entreat you, nay, I charge you, not to be earnest with God for my life. Ask it on no other terms than if it is most consistent with his glory, and his having something for me to do. O pray with submission. O, I long for one christian friend, to unite with me in plead­ing with God, to take me to himself, that I may be freed from the body of sin and death. And now, my God, I desire to commit the case of this thy dear child to thee. O deal with her as may most consist with thy glory. If thou hast any thing for her to do, that she may still glorify thee on earth, O spare her to a mis­erable world and to me, that we may still get good by her. Lord, thou knowest how dear thou hast made her to me, by the bonds of special grace: Surely our very souls have been knit together as one soul, and thou alone know­est how great the loss of her will be to me▪ Nevertheless, Father, thy will be done. If [...] does most consist with thy glory, O take her [Page 99] and satisfy the desires of her longing soul, and let her be full of God. But, O my God, pity me: And if thou seest meet to cut off this stream too, O fix my whole heart and soul on thy blessed self. O be thou my everlasting all. Dear Lord, sanctify thy dealings with me, bring me nearer thyself by all, and hear every petition thy dear child may put up for me, while she lives, for Jesus' sake.

Thursday evening, February 12, 1747.

I HAVE been this evening to see my dear, dear Susa, who has been wont to refresh my soul with her sweet and edifying conversation; and, blessed be God, has at this time been made an instrument to warm my heart. The Lord grant the impressions may be abiding. I am aston­ished to find what a lively, zealous and active life she lives, to what poor worthless I do: What vehement love, and strong faith, she is in the daily exercise of: Longing after God and per­fection in holiness, while poor I grovel in this low earth. Lord, stir me up to imitate her, wherein she imitates the blessed Jesus. O sanc­tify this conference, I beseech thee. Lord, thy grace is free, and thou canst as easily be­stow it on unworthy me, not for my sake, but for thine own honor's sake. Lord, pity and revive me also. O let thy grace triumph over mine unworthiness, and bring me nearer to thy blessed self. O remember thy gracious prom­ise, and heal my backslidings, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

[Page 100]

Sabbath day, May 3.—This is the third sab­bath that I have already been detained from the public worship, the first by a great cold, the second and last by a course of physic, which confines me to the house. O that while I am using means for the recovery of my bodily health, my soul may not grow more sick. O that an indifference to the house and worship of God may not come upon me, now I am hindered from going there. Lord, meet me, and condescend to commune with me. Hear the prayers of thy ministers and people, for those necessarily detained, and send me a bless­ing out of thine house. O give me a double portion of thy blessed Spirit, that while I am denied the use of ordinances, I may enjoy the God of ordinances. Lord, I thank thee for the assistance thou hast this day granted me in draw­ing near to thee. I thank thee, for those thirst­ings after grace I have this day experienced. O God, hear and grant those petitions for in­crease of grace and strength to do thy will. Now, Lord, make me to know assuredly how the case stands between thee and me. If I am not grafted into the true vine, the Lord Jesus Christ, it is no wonder I do not thrive and flourish. O, if this be the case, for Christ's sake convince me, and let me be grafted into him, and have real vital union to him; and if this be now the case, if I am really united to him by faith, then, Lord, cause me to derive spirit­ual strength from him, who is the head of in­fluence. Dear Jesus, it has been a long, cold, dark winter with me. My graces have been [Page 101] long nipt and withering; but O! as it is now spring time, and thou art causing the warm beams of the sun, and refreshing showers to descend on the earth, so that every herb and tree re­joices, and grows, and blossoms, so, Lord, shed abroad the influence of thy grace, and I shall yet grow, and bring forth fruit. O, nothing is too hard for thee. Thou canst yet cause, that the beautiful lineaments of the Lamb of God may be more seen in me day by day. O help me, Lord, to lay hold on thy strength, and hold out to the end. O let me "run and not be weary, walk and not faint."

Sabbath evening, February 21, 1748.

I AM now within a few hours arrived at the age of thirty four years, and surely I have had experience of the goodness of the Lord, all my life long, and especially since I have avouched him to be my God. It is now bet­ter than eleven years since I solemnly gave my­self up, in covenant, to him and his church; and notwithstanding all the fears and tempta­tions I have had from the world, the flesh and the devil, yet hitherto the Lord hath helped me, and, blessed be his name, preserved me from falling into any open, scandalous sins, to the dishonor of his dear name and my pro­fession. I will therefore humbly trust, that he will still keep and "preserve me [...]y his mighty power, through faith unto salvation:" And, O my God, suffer me not to dishonor thee by a [Page 102] cold, lifeless conversation; but enable me to "adorn the doctrine of God my Savior in all things." O may I so behave myself, that all a­round me may take knowledge of me, that I have indeed been with Jesus. Lord, help me to live in the constant exercise of every grace. O bring me near to thyself: Give me trans­forming views: Reinstamp thy beautiful image, more and more, upon my poor soul: Meet me in all duties and ordinances, and let me be by them fitted to meet thee in glory, for Jesus sake, on whom all my hopes are grounded; to whom with thee, and thy blessed Spirit, be ev­erlasting praises. Amen.

June 4.—I have this week been to see my dear Susa, and found much cause to rejoice, and bless God, who is causing his grace to tri­umph, and making her more than a conqueror through him that has loved her, in that he is enabling her to speak as highly and honorably of Christ as though she was under the most clear discoveries and lively manifestations, which, she assures me, is not the case. The Lord in mercy strengthen her yet more, and grant her grand enemy may never get an advan­tage against her; and I trust he never shall, since her dependence is all on the Lord Jesus. And now, my God, I have seen what great things thou art enabling thy child to do, while she is flying to, and relying on Christ by faith: Help me also, in like manner, to make great use of my dear Redeemer. Lord Jesus, if thou wilt strengthen me, I can do all things too. Oh why, my soul, dost thou so oft sit down discour­aged, [Page 103] since there is such fulness and sufficiency in the glorious Media or, that great Prophet and High Priest, who has undertaken for me, that blessed King, under whose banner I am listed; he will ere long set his foot on the neck of his enemies. Come, my soul, rouse up, and run again in the strength of the Lord Jehovah. Who can tell but thou mayest yet be a grow­ing christian, notwithstanding all thy vileness. Lord, grant it for Jesus' sake.

June 13.—I would fain write as one who has listed under the banner of the Lord Jesus, that great Captain of our salvation, viz. without complaints, discouragements and sinking fears. I would fain joy and triumph in my great Re­deemer, amidst all difficulties; but, alas! the wheels of the soul are so taken off by sin, that I drive on very heavily in the road. Never­theless, this I will say, the fault is all my own. There is strength enough in Christ for me, if I had but skill, by faith, to derive it from him. O how plainly do I see this, "will not come to me," as well as "cannot." Lord, subdue this will, and all shall be well. I will run to thee, clasp thee in the arms of faith, and rejoice in thee, though earth and hell were combined a­gainst me. Lord Jesus, pity thy rebellious worm, and now, as at the first, subdue me to thyself. Lord, I beseech thee have compassion on me, and pity, pity, Lord, the soul that longs for a freedom from sin and for increase of grace. O grant it for thine own honor's sake, not for mine, be it known unto me. Amen and Amen.

[Page 104]

Thursday morning, September 7, 1749.

O MY God, since, by the permission and concurrence of thy providence, I am determined to set out on a journey this morning, I would now fly to thee, and besiege the throne of thy grace, that I may have thy gracious presence with me and my dear consort. O Lord, except thou go with me, let me not stir hence. Pre­serve me in all my ways; and O that thou wouldest condescend to draw near to me, and in­cline me to commune with thee while freed from the incumbrances of business. O let not my vain frothy heart, be taken up with trifling pleasures, neither let me be hewing out broken cisterns, while I am pleasing myself with hopes of being refreshed by christian conversation. Lord, bless this to me, if it be thy will; buten­able me to fly from all dependence on any thing, but Christ Jesus, the head of all gracious influences. Thither let me fly—there rest and bathe my weary soul, which has long been at an awful distance. O let me enjoy thee in my journey, and that will be a thousand times more comfortable than all other enjoyments can be. O let thy glory, I beseech thee, lie exceedingly near my heart, and be the ultimate end of all my actions. Lord, thou alone know­est what lies before me. I desire to submit myself, soul and body, with all my affairs, in life or death, to thy care. The Lord bless my friends, to whom I am going. The Lord bless all dear to me, whom I leave behind; in spe­cial thine handmaids, who take care for me. [Page 105] Lord, make things easy and comfortable for them. Let not their communion with thee be interrupted, but abundantly refresh their souls with the incoming of thy blessed Spirit. Bless thy servant, my dear Pastor, with the best of blessings, with his dear consort and little one. Bless all my flock of little ones, and grant that, if I should never meet them here again, I may meet them at thy right hand in the great and last day. Bless all under this roof, with spirit­ual blessings. And hear these petitions, and grant them, not for my sake, but for Jesus' sake. Amen.

August 20, 1750.

I HAVE at this time had the most sweet communion with God in prayer, that I have experienced this long time. God has discov­ered to me much of his perfections, and caused me to rejoice in him, as a faithful unchangeable God, my only portion and happiness, and in Christ Jesus, as a suitable Savior, just such an one as I want. O how does the sweetness of enjoying God in duty exceed all other pleas­ures, and render them trifling. Surely, com­pared with this, they are all very vanity and nothing. The Lord make me thankful for this golden season, and yet preserve me from de­pending on it, for Jesus' sake.

August 22.—I desire to record, with a truly grateful soul, that God has permitted me to draw near to him in prayer, and other duties, [Page 106] every day this week. O what shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits? Now let me take the cup of salvation, and pay unto the Lord my vows. O Lord, strengthen me by thy grace, that I may do so, I beseech thee, for Jesus' sake, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Sabbath evening, March 10, 1751.

I WOULD now record to the praise of God, and for my future encouragement, that I have this day been permitted to wait upon God in his house and at his table; and, adored be his name, I was not suffered to be altogether bar­ren. No: God there enlarged my desires af­ter Christ, and grace. I longed to be made holy, yea, completely so, and for the utter de­struction of every sin. I dreaded returning to the practice of it, but knew I should if left to myself. I was enabled to fly to that promise which truth itself has made, that he will put his fear into his people's hearts, and they shall not depart from him. Here I seemed to derive some strength, and again to hope for persever­ance in grace to the end. My sins indeed ap­peared as a thick cloud▪ and of a crimson and scarlet die; but that gracious promise in Isaiah i. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow, &c." revived me much. In a word, the merits of Christ, and riches of God's grace, in and through him, appeared in­finitely great, and, with the woman of Canaan, I knew that the least crumb, or drop, applied, [Page 107] would be sufficient for me. And now, O my God, I would praise and adore thee for thine amazing goodness to me, thine unworthy worm, that, notwithstanding all my unbelieving fears and other abominations, thou hast again tri­umphed over my unworthiness, and shown me, that "where sin has abounded thy grace has much more abounded." Now will I set up mine Ebenezer, for lo! these fourteen years, has God preserved me, since I gave up myself to him and his Church, in an open and solemn manner. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and for­get not all his benefits, who forgiveth thy sin, who healeth thy diseases; who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercy. Bless the Lord, O my soul, for hitherto he has help­ed thee. And now, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I renew my choice of thee, for mine only and eternal portion, and a new give up my­self, soul and body, to thee, to be thine, and thine only, forever. Lord, I commit mine e­ternal all into thy merciful and faithful hands, believing that thou wilt graciously keep what I have committed to thee till that day, for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Saturday, August 31.—I have, through the goodness of my God, this week been kept for the most part, in a thoughtful frame, and at sometimes, I trust, in the lively exercise of grace. At lecture, the Rev. Mr. Vinal treated on the ascension of my glorious Redeemer: And O, if I am indeed risen with him, let me now in good earnest "set my affections on things above, where Christ is." Lord, art thou [Page 108] ascended on high, far above all heavens, exalted at thy Father's right hand, possessed of all the glory and majesty of an infinite God, and dost thou, notwithstanding, condescend to visit so vile and despicable a worm as me, by the in­fluences of thy blessed Spirit here; and more than this, art thou gone to prepare a place for me, that I may ere long be with thee to behold thy glory? Amazing grace. Infinite stoop! Well, since infinite power is engaged, that same Savior, who, by the virtue and energy of his own Godhead, raised himself from the dead, and ascended up into heaven by his power, to take possession for me, will surely accomplish what is lacking in me, and by the same power carry on the glorious work he has begun in my soul. Amen. So come, Lord Jesus.

I now solemnly renew my choice of thee, in all thy offices, with all thy benefits: Yea I would, by faith, adopt Three glorious Persons, in one eternal Godhead, for mine everlasting portion. O happy portion! Lord, I solemnly declare, I am and will be thine for ever and ever.

Blessed be God, amidst all my dec [...]ensions and failings, as to the performance of duties, I have never yet revoked the bargain I made, when I covenanted with God for him to be mine, and I to be his forever. No, no: In this I will rejoice. O may this covenant stand rat­ified and confirmed in heaven. Lord, by thy grace assisting, I will be for thee, and none other.

SARAH OSBORN.
[Page 109]

Tuesday, September 3.—I was permitted to go to God's house and table, and there was re­freshed, first, in hearing the marks and evidences of love to God, as choosing God, in himself, be­cause of his perfections, for our only portion, above all others: Acquiescing in his adorable sovereignty, in the way of salvation: Loving Christ, as he is the express image of his Father's person, full of grace and truth: Hating sin, as sin, because contrary to God: Love of holi­ness for itself: Love of the image of God, wherever seen, though in those of other denom­inations. To every one of these, I think, by the assistance of God's Spirit, I was enabled to an­swer in the affirmative, having, at the same time, discoveries of the excellency and beauties there are in God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and renewedly choosing him for my everlast­ing portion.—At the sacrament, my thirst for higher degrees of grace were increased. O when shall these hungerings be satisfied? I trust ere long they shall, through the intercession of a glorious Mediator.

Wednesday evening, November 6.—Tomor­row is set apart for a day of thanksgiving, and as there is to be a collection for the poor, I have endeavored to get something for that pur­pose, but am yet altogether disappointed, and know not how to make out one mite; but hope Providence will still provide for me.

November 7.—I desire to bless God, the dif­ficulty I mentioned last evening is removed, and upon a review of the gracious dealings of God with us the year past, I find I have a­bundant [Page 110] cause to keep the day in thanksgiving. Blush, my soul, at the backwardness to this duty thou hast experienced! Has God preserv­ed us in health almost all the year past, so that I never perhaps enjoyed a year of more con­firmed health in my life, or for twenty years past, and shall I not be thankful for this great mer­cy? Again, has not God in his Providence pro­vided for us a comfortable house, while hun­dreds have been destitute, and knew not where to go? Have we not had a sufficiency of fuel to keep us warm, while many are filled with distressing fears of a hard winter, and can get no wood to burn? Have we not also had, all the year past, a sufficiency of wholesome food to satisfy our craving appetites, while many as good, or better than we, have been pinched with hunger? Have we not also had raiment to put on, that is decent and comfortable, while many others have been clothed with rags, and suffered with cold? How many have been called to part with near and dear relatives, while death has not been permitted to bereave us of any one? And as I have great cause to sing of mercy as to temporals, much more have I as to spirituals. Has not God indulged me with almost constant oppor­tunities to wait on him in his house, and, blessed be his name, oft met me there, and at his holy table, and many gracious visits condescended to make me, which I had a thousand times forfeited into the hands of his justice? And, notwithstanding a thousand unbelieving fears and distrusts of his grace, he has preserved me from falling into any scandalous sins, to the dishonor of his dear [Page 111] name. And though I have cause to lament, that I have walked no closer with him, yet have I not abundant reason to be thankful for the precious moments I have enjoyed, for the evi­dences of grace at sometimes clear, for the hopes of glory, for the dear Mediator's sake, that dear and precious gift? O my soul, be thankful, and again I say, be thankful. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who crowneth thee with loving kind­ness and tender mercies; who healeth thy dis­eases, who forgiveth thine iniquities, who heal­eth thy backslidings, and is still thy covenant, faithful God. O inscribe mercy, truth, and faithfulness, on all his dealings with thee, and be forever for him, and none other. Lord, help me, and I will, for I am absolutely thine.

Tuesday evening, December 31, 1751.—Now, my God, thou hast brought me to the close of another year, I beseech thee freely pardon all the sins of the year past, with all the transgres­sions of my whole life. Lord, they are more than the hairs of my head in number, and can­not be reckoned up. They are greatly aggra­vated. I cannot answer for one of a thousand, no, nor for any one of them. Shouldest thou be strict to mark iniquity, Lord, who could stand I fly to the blood of Jesus: O let that be ap­plied for my cleansing, and accept me for his sake alone. Lord, it is only in and through him I dare approach thee, and ask for pardon. Thou art a consuming fire: But oh! for his sake freely pardon, and bestow on me all the grace and strength I need to carry me safe [Page 112] through all the trials I am still to meet with in a world of sin and sorrow. Be with me in the ensuing year, I beseech thee. And, O gracious God, forbid I should so grieve thy blessed Spirit therein, as in the year past. O let me not backslide from thee; but keep me near; and grant I may indeed sensibly grow in grace, and in the knowledge of my Lord and Savior Je­sus Christ. Whatever thou deniest me, give me this, and all shall be well.

And O let me be in an actual preparation for death, which may come long before the re­turn of another year: If so, O let it be a safe and happy messenger. O may it put an ever­lasting period to sin and sorrow. Then let me find thou art in deed and in truth my covenant God, whom I shall adore and praise, without weariness, to all eternity.

Lord, I bless thee for all the experiences of thy goodness in the year past; and again renew my choice of thee, O God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, for my only portion, through time and eternity: And desire unfeignedly to resign my whole soul and body to thee forever. Lord, accept of me; for I am, and will, by assisting grace, be for thee, and none other.

SARAH OSBORN.

Sabbath evening, February 9, 1752.

AH, LORD, how deceitful do I find my heart to be! How often have I thought I de­sired nothing more of this world's goods, but [Page 113] just daily food and raiment; and wherewith to render to every one their due: Yea, I have, once and again, told thee so. And thou hast in thy good providence granted me all that I asked of thee: Yea, thou hast given me to the utmost of what I then desired. And now, ere I am aware, I find myself busy in providing for futurities; want to lay up a little for this, and a little for that. And from thence, I begin to want a great deal, to provide for sickness and old age, and what not!

Lord, I am afraid of this worldly mindedness. I know not where it will end. Oh, I pray thee, subdue it by thy grace, or all my strivings a­gainst it will be ineffectual. Oh, do I begin to lay up a treasure here! then I fear my heart will be here also. Lord, I dread being glued down to the things of time and sense. I pray thee, give me no unsanctified prosperity; but sanctify my fancy, and let not my vain imagin­ations carry my heart off from God, and bury it in this world. Oh for some discoveries of e­ternal things, that this vain, empty world, with all its enjoyments, may shrink into nothing, compared with that more durable substance, that one thing needful, an interest in the blessed Jesus. O Lord, help me more and more to lay up all my good in God; so that it may overbalance the sweetness and bitterness of all creatures.

Lord, I would not ungratefully forget to thank thee for the care of thy good providence, in so providing the comforts and conveniencies of life for me: But, Oh, I deprecate having [Page 114] the [...]e as my portion! This is not the portion I have chosen. Oh no! but thyself, thy Christ, and the sanctifying influences of thy blessed Spirit, that I may be enabled to live to thy glory here, and to all eternity. O grant these desires, give me this portion, I beseech thee, for Jesus' sake.

March 1, 1752. Sabbath day.—O my Lord and my God! How art thou giving me an un­deniable testimony of thy absolute power, truth and faithfulness! How thou art discovering thy­self, and once more enabling me to draw near, and by faith take a view of thy adorable per­fections! How beautiful is thy adorable sove­reignty! How majestic is thy infinite power, that is all sufficient to break down all the walls that Satan and unbelief can raise to separate between thee and me! O how sweet appealing to thy omniscience for my sincerity, notwith­standing, at the same time, a humbling sense of my own vileness! O how precious a season is this! How lovely, my God, art thou, in thy justice, truth and faithfulness! The same yes­terday, today, and forever. The God who re­members the day of my espousals. The God who has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure. O how un­changeable art thou! notwithstanding all the provocations I have given thee, though thou hidest thy face for a small moment, yet with loving kindness dost thou return. O that I may now by s [...]ith keep sight of thee, and never let thee go, till I awake in thy likeness.

[Page 115]Now, blessed Jesus, let me derive strength from thee, the head of all gracious influences, to run the ways of thy commands. Lord, now let my obedience be universal. Destroy all selfish views and principles; and let thy glory be the ultimate end of all my actions. Now, my dear Savior, let me approve myself thy friend; one who loves thee unspeakably more than all other objects (as thou art infinitely more worthy) by doing and keeping thy com­mandments. Now sway thy sceptre, glorious King: I will, by thy grace, espouse thy cause. Now come in, glorious Trinity, one incompre­hensible God, in three persons, and possess the most secret recesses of my soul forever and ever.

November 16, 1752.—A day of public thanksgiving. O my soul, adore the matchless grace, and adorable sovereignty of God, since thou hast a hope, through grace, that he has en­abled thee to comply with the terms of salva­tion. And now reflect, and say if thou [...]ast not cause to be thankful for the mercies of the year past. God has preserved thee from falling into any open, scandalous sin, to the dishonor of his dear name. He has also revived thee again, and again, from low, groveling frames; given thee blessed views of his adorable perfec­tions; especially of his faithfulness in keeping covenant, and ordering all things so, as should tend most to his own glory, and thy best good here: And also comfortable prospects of ap­proaching death and eternity! O, how often has he met with thee in his sanctuary; and at [Page 116] his table spoke peace and pardon! O what a God is this! Thus to do, after so many base declensions and aggravated provocations!— Blush, my soul, at thy monstrous ingratitude, and adore him as a God of infinite mercy and faithfulness, who will never, never forsake the soul once espoused to Jesus Christ by faith! Lord, increase my faith.

Again, bless the Lord, O my soul; for he has given thee a good degree of health, the greatest temporal mercy: And likewise pros­pered the work of our hands, so that we have a comfortable supply of the necessaries of life; and also something to spare, to relieve the af­flicted. The Lord make me thankful for this, and when at any time things have looked dark, in any respect, O how hath he enabled me to stay myself on him, and rely on his tender care! Surely this is the Lord's doing: May he have all the praise; while I, worthless I, reap the comfort of such a frame. He has not suffered any real afflictions to come near me. Satan has been restrained, and not permitted to dis­tress and hurry with violent temptations. No deaths of those relatives who are exceeding dear.

O what shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits! O Lord, thou art a liberal giver. Thou upbraidest not. Now, for thy Son's sake, add to all those mercies a spirit of prayer; more sanctifying grace, that I may run the way of thy commands with delight; yield universal obedience. I will rejoice and praise thee: And all the glory shall be thy own.

[Page 117]

Sabbath evening, March 11, 1753.

I DESIRE to record, for God's glory, and for my future encouragement, that God has carried me through the difficulties of my call­ing the last week, with a considerable degree of composure; and kept my thoughts more fixed on his adorable perfections, than usual: Given access to his throne of grace several times, and filled my mouth with arguments.

This day I have not been able to wait on God in his house: But God has greatly refresh­ed my soul by discoveries of himself; causing me to rejoice; to admire and adore him, be­cause he is a Being of such spotless purity and holiness. Yea, because he is just such an one, as he is, altogether excellent, amiable and de­sirable, for himself; and is his own infinite de­light, and the delight of angels and saints; and all his laws are holy, just and good.

This discovery made me loathe and abhor myself, because of the shocking contrariety which still remains in my depraved, perverse nature, to the holy law of God; and caused me to justify God, though he should forever withhold that grace he is no way bound to give: But, at the same time encouraged to plead earnestly for it for the dear Redeemer's sake: And to cast myself at the foot of a sove­reign God, to be disposed of, as shall most con­sist with his glory, in life and death: That, if I live, I may live to the Lord; and if I die, I may die to the Lord; that whether I live or [Page 118] die, I may be the Lord's forever and ever. Lord, accept the surrender, for Jesus' sake.

Sabbath morning, March 23.—This is the first time that I have taken my room for re­tirement. And now the treachery of my own heart, and the subtilty of Satan perplex me with fears that I shall abuse the privilege, by misim­proving it. And sure I am, if God leave me to myself, I shall do so! The Lord enable me strictly to watch over, and be jealous of myself, lest I should deceive myself and others.—But, Lord, I beseech thee, let me not again fall to distrusting thy grace. Truth, Lord, with­out thee I can do nothing. I am not, of my­self, sufficient for a good thought. But, through Christ strengthening me, I can do all things. And hast not thou, my covenant God, gra­ciously promised, that thou wilt not turn away from doing me good? Lord, except I have thy presence, wherefore am I come up hither▪ Wherefore didst thou excite in me such earn­est desires of attaining such a place? For any would do, if I only offer up lifeless sacrifices; no matter for such great secrecy. But in this, I trust, O my God, thou wilt enable me to poor out my whole soul into thy bosom, while no mortal eye or ear can discern.

Now, Lord, may the set time be come, wherein thou wilt favor thy poor, sinful creature with the quickening influences of thy blessed Spirit, and pour out on me a spirit of prayer and supplication, for Jesus' sake, in whose name I ask for all my mercies. Whose I am, and, by assisting grace, will be forever.

[Page 119]

Monday morning, March 26.—Yesterday morning my room seemed new and strange. And, for wise ends, I was shut up, confused and straitened: But in the evening had access to the throne of grace. And, Lord, I beseech thee, let me at this time also. And, O may this place be a Bethel. Here let me, with Ja­cob, wrestle with thee for the blessings I want, namely, increase of all the graces of thy blessed Spirit, knowledge, faith, evangelical repentance; yea, and humility, that dear and lovely grace: And for a spirit of prayer to be poured out on me. Lord, let me be no longer dumb before thy throne, since prayer is the very breath and life of the new creature. Lord, all thy works praise thee. And shall I alone be silent, while the angelic hosts and saints adore! O let me, even me also bear my part. And Lord accept my feeble attempts, though I cannot praise as glorified angels and saints do; nor as thou art worthy to be praised and adored; for thou dost infinitely exceed all praise and adoration, thou al­together lovely One in three glorious persons. O Lord, let me gaze on thy perfections, till I am transformed into the same image. O blessed be thy name, I shall be like thee, when in one everlasting day I shall see thee as thou art. Then, Lord, shall I be satisfied, when I have the open vision, and full fruition of my God. O ripen me fast, for Jesus' sake, on whom alo [...]e all my hopes are grounded.

Tuesday morning, March 27.—Yesterday morning I was enlarged and refreshed, and found a sweet calmness and composure upon [Page 120] my spirits till afternoon. But then the children grew so unruly, and I so weary and discompos­ed, I knew not what to do with myself. I hoped to be refreshed by retiring; but my spirits were so spent, and confused, that I had scarce any sense of any thing, and have felt empty ever since.

Lord, forbid I should ever rest satisfied with the bare external performance of duty. No. It is the God of ordinances I want to find. Without him, all means are empty, and inef­fectual to satisfy the cravings of an immortal soul. None but thee, thou who alone fillest heaven and earth with thy glory, can fill my precious and immortal soul. Therefore, I be­seech thee, condescend to visit thy worthless worm, by the influences of thy blessed Spirit and grace.

Lord, this were indeed too great a mercy for such a worthless worm to ask, hadst not thou, for the sake of a glorious Mediator, en­couraged, yea, commanded me to ask: And hast told me, by his own mouth, "How much more thou wilt give thy Holy Spirit to them who ask him." Yea, this Spirit Christ hath died to purchase. This is the Comforter. This is he who is come to guide his people into all necessary truth; to reduce them, when they wander; to quicken them, when they are dull; to help their infirmities, when they know not what to pray for as they ought: Yea, to make intercession in them, with groanings which can­not be uttered; and to fill them with all grace and joy in believing. This is the Spirit whose [Page 121] presence and continual abode with me I want; and without whom I can do nothing. O God, grant me this, though of myself I am vile and unworthy, I shall be purified and made holy. Come, blessed Spirit, take an everlasting pos­session of my whole heart, soul and body. I call heaven and earth to witness, that thou art the only welcome guest, whatever else may u­surp authority there; in thee alone I do rejoice: Therefore abide with me, for Jesus' sake.

Wednesday morning, March 28.—The Lord make me thankful! I have both strength of body, and a will given me to rise early, and re­deem time for retirement. And now, my God, be with me, and subdue those wanderings which have crept into my closet with me. Lord, I would fain have this place, and every moment spent in it, dedicated to thee. It was to get clear of the world, its entanglements and diver­sions, that I sought it. And, O suffer them not to follow me here, gracious God! Blessed Savior, scourge every buyer and seller out of thy temple, even the temple which has been, again, and again, given up for the Holy Ghost to dwell in.

Sabbath day, April 1.—I have now enjoyed my room for retirement one week. And O, has it not been a sweet week to me! Sure it has; for God has condescended to own me, and afforded me his assistance every day. O what a mercy this! that I, who have so long been, in a manner, dumb before the throne of grace, all confusion and wandering, should a­gain have my mouth opened, and filled with [Page 122] arguments; my soul held up, and strengthened to wrestle with God. O, go on, gracious God, yet more and more to discover thyself to me, in and through the dear Mediator. O let me behold the adorable perfections, till I am swal­lowed up in admiration, and transformed into the same image. O, fill me as full as this clay vessel can hold; and when it can hold no more, Lord, let it break, that my soul may wing away, as a bird let out of its cage; awake in thy likeness, and be satisfied.

And O, why am I thus rejoicing in hope of the glory of God, to be revealed to me, in the face of Jesus Christ! Lord, this must be resolv­ed into thy adorable sovereignty: Even so Fa­ther; for so it seemed good in thy sight. For I utterly disclaim all worth or worthiness in me; yea, I am altogether unworthy of all the mercy and truth thou hast already shown to thine handmaid. It is only because thou wilt have mercy on whom thou wilt have mercy, that, by thy grace, I am what I am.

And, Lord, since grace is thus absolutely free and sovereign, and increase of grace is at­tainable for those who have the principle, who are believers in Jesus Christ; and persever­ance to the end is certain, I fly to thee, in the name of Jesus, and renew my request for increase of grace, and perseverance too. For thou hast said, For these things thou wilt be in­quired of, to do them for me. O Lord, I can­not let thee go without this blessing: For never did a poor worldling more earnestly covet riches, than I do grace to do thy will. Lord, grant me [Page 123] this, and thyself, and it is enough. Let me have the portion I have chosen, and I will leave the worldling to his. O Lord, hear for Jesus' sake. Amen.

Tuesday morning, May 15.—On Saturday evening, Sabbath morning and evening, and yesterday morning, I have been much refresh­ed in writing on death and judgment. I find, by examination, still good ground to hope, through riches of grace, that the great Judge of quick and dead is, in very deed, my ever­lasting friend; and therefore never will disown me; never will say, I know you not, depart from me: But, on the contrary, will say, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you before the foundation of the world: For I have paid the ransom for you; I have redeemed you with the price of my precious blood. I effectually called you in time, and enabled you by faith to embrace me, on my own terms. I made you sincere, from the day I called you, though you were then very imperfect.

You was then sanctified but in part. You groaned under a body of sin and death, which caused you to wander from me, wound your own soul, and grieve my blessed Spirit. But I kept thee by the bonds of the everlasting cov­enant, and by my mighty power, through faith unto salvation. And, for my sake all thy poor imperfect performances, and sincere endeavors to serve me were accepted. I pitied and suc­cored thee then. I had a feeling of thy infirmi­ties. I remembered thy frame, that thou [Page 124] wast but dust. I heard all thy groanings, be­cause of thy spiritual enemies, thy inbred lusts and corruptions, as well as Satan and the world, which held thee at a distance from me, when thou wast in that vale of tears. I beheld all thy thirstings and longings after me and my grace, universal obedience and perfection in holiness. It was I that excited and strengthened them. I encouraged and strengthened thy faith, when thou didst cleave to me, and would not let me go. I caused thee to delight in me, a­bove all other objects. I discovered some­thing of my excellencies to thee then, which caused thee to be enamored with my beauty; but thou sawest only through a glass darkly.

But now, behold, the vail is rent from top to bottom. I will never any more hide my face from thee. Come, all thy desires are fulfilled; all thy imperfections are done away; and, ac­cording to thy wish, thou art made perfect in holiness. Thou shalt never find any more weariness in my service. And thou mayest now with open face behold me, constantly look on my perfections, see my glory, and the lustre of it shall not confound thee. Come, here is the open vision, the full fruition thou didst long for. Come, drink in as much of God now, as thy finite capacity can hold; and I will still enlarge thy capacity: Thou shalt pass from glo­ry to glory; and be more and more transform­ed into the same image. Come, drink and swim, and drink again of those rivers of plea­sure, which flow from the right hand of God forevermore. Here is the boundless ocean, in [Page 125] which thou mayest dive throughout the end­less ages of eternity, and thy delights shall be forever new.

Come, search into the wonders of redeeming love and grace, which has brought so many of the apostate sons and daughters of Adam to glory: And now, in this everlasting now, give to God the glory of his sovereign grace. Come, tune thy harp, and sound upon the highest string. Shout aloud for joy; for he has given grace and glory too. Here is no danger of ostentation or spiritual pride; or of grieving any of the inhabitants of this upper world. No, they will all join with thee, and each for him­self, and on thy behalf, give glory to God, in the highest strains. Didst thou long to be thus employed? Well, go on forever to praise and adore the glorious Three One. Didst thou delight to commune with me in providences, as well as in ordinances? Well, thou mayest now learn the mysteries of them: They shall be unfold­ed. Unbelief shall no more molest thee. Now thou shalt see how by the watchful eye of my prov­idence, I preserved thee from every danger. How I swayed the sceptre in righteousness, and caused all things to work together for thy good; even when thou saidst, All these things are against me! I never took my eye from thee; nor turned away from doing thee good. Now, thou mayest adore forever, on this account al­so; and see what thou didst, when thou didst commit all thy concerns to me, for time and eternity.

[Page 126]Didst thou delight in the company and com­munion of my ambassadors, and dear children? Did they appear the most lovely and agreeable of all the inhabitants of the lower world? Es­pecially, when thou didst discern, through their imperfections, as the sun through a cloud, my image, drawn in an eminent degree upon their souls. Didst thou love them for my sake, where­ever thou sawest them? Were they, in thy es­teem, indeed the excellent of the earth? Well, here thou shalt forever enjoy the communion of saints: These shall be thy companions for­ever. All their imperfections, as well as thine, are done away. They are now perfect, and shall never ensnare thee, as even they were wont to do. They shall never turn off thy eyes from me. No, not the brightest seraph in all the heavenly regions, shall ever be able to do it: Nor all the glittering robes of glorified saints and angels. But thou shalt enjoy me in all these. I will forever feast thy soul with communications from myself. And if I, who am God allsufficient, can make thee happy, thou shalt be so; for I will be thy portion to eternity.

And didst thou in time, by faith, commit the keeping of thy soul and body into my merciful and faithful hands, against this great day? I ex­cited and enabled thee to do it: And now thou seest the effect. Thy expectations from me, shall never be disappointed; neither shalt thou ever be ashamed of thy hope. I kept thee by my power, while on earth. I kept thee in the hour of death, when Satan would gladly have [Page 127] hurled thy soul into the infernal regions; but he could not pluck thee out of my hands. I sent thy guardian angels to conduct thy pre­cious soul to Abraham's bosom. And I still took care of thy mouldering dust, while in the grave; not an atom of it is lost. And now, be­hold! I have raised it a glorious body, fashion­ed like my own. And now the union between soul and body shall never be dissolved; but the dear partner shall forever reap together, as they sowed together. Behold, according to thy faith and hope, I now present them spotless and blameless before the throne of God. I have redeemed them by my blood. By my obedience and death I have satisfied justice, and have purchased reconciliation with God. Mercy and truth have met together; righteous­ness and peace have kissed each other. I have washed away all thy pollutions. And now, I give thee joy; and all the host of heaven give thee joy; therefore enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. I gave thee joy in the day of thy espousals, and in frequent after manifestations, as an earnest of this. Thou hast had a taste of the same in kind, when I revealed myself to thee on earth; but the degree shall now be greater than thou couldest then ask or think.

Sabbath evening, May 20.—In the week past I have had my thoughts much employed in meditating on death, judgment and eternity. Sometimes I have seemed so swallowed up in them, that I hardly knew how to descend to earth again.—Well, my soul, thou hast had a rich feast now! Perhaps, a taste to strengthen [Page 128] thy faith to thy journey's end. Be exceeding thankful for such views of unseen and eternal things. Keep the eye of faith still fixed upon them, and run with patience the race set before thee; looking and longing for the glorious ap­pearance of the great God, even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And now, in a special manner, watch and pray, lest thou enter into temptation. And remember, it is by grace thou standest. O, be not high minded, but fear before a holy and sin hating God; for the glorious things thou hast seen, by an eye of faith, are not yet accomplished. Rejoice in hope of the glory of God, and stedfastly believe that in his own time, all these things will be revealed; and therefore march forward in his strength towards the joyful period.

But take heed of boasting, as though thou hadst already put off the harness; for perhaps thou mayest be but girding it on. Thou art yet in thy enemies' country. Snares await thee on every side. Thou art not out of the reach of spiritual pride, or vain glory: Nor out of the reach of unbelief, which may yet raise many black clouds, before thou reach the blissful re­gions. Nor hast thou yet got clear of sloth and carnal security. Nay, all the lusts of the flesh, which now seem to be in some good degree conquered, may yet rise up against thee. There may yet be sore conflicts in this field of battle: And though they shall not finally overcome, they may sadly wound thee, and dishonor God. Again, my soul, thou art not yet out of the reach of Satan, who has often desired to have [Page 129] thee, that he might sift thee as wheat. Many a fiery dart may he yet throw at thee, many griev­ous injections: For though the house is built upon the rock Christ Jesus; and therefore shall not fall: Yet the rain may descend, the floods come, the winds blow, and beat upon it; and thou hast no reason to expect any other.

Therefore, I say again, watch and pray, lest thou enter into temptation. And beware lest self confidence should betray thee; or any of the troubles or amusements of a vain world. O take heed of hewing out any more broken cisterns; for they can hold no water. Not all the creatures upon earth, nor all created things, can ever yield thee, my soul, that satisfaction thou hast already found in God, that spring and fountain of all felicity. Therefore turn not to the creature; but maintain thy resolution to remain comfortless, except he comfort thee with communications from himself. Let nothing less satisfy thee. Thou wast made to glorify and enjoy him even here. Thou art not obliged to wait till death has done its work: No, even now thou mayest anticipate that joy, if thou art not wanting to thyself.

And I charge thee, my soul, harbor no dis­trusts of his grace. Remember this has been thy prevailing infirmity. Therefore watch a­gainst this thy own iniquity. It is said of Christ; that he did not many mighty works, in his own country, because of their unbelief. Let this therefore be laid aside; and let faith be daily upon the scout, sending it forth continually to Christ for fresh supplies of grace and strength, [Page 130] and all shall be well. For he is the head of all gracious influences. He has an immense stock to give out, an inexhaustible fulness for his poor, needy creatures. And who can tell but he may have yet far greater degrees of grace to bestow on thee? Even strengthening, quickening and sanctifying grace; for he is thy sanctification as well as redemption. Who can tell but I shall be much more conformed to his blessed image, even here? Though perfection in holiness is not to be obtained in this life; yet grace is absolutely free and sovereign. Some have been made eminent patterns of pie­ty, though in themselves unworthy, as well as I. Some lights have so shined, that others seeing their good works, have glorified their Father who is in heaven. O my God, unworthy wretch as I am, yet glorify thyself in me also. O, fashion me after my great pattern: Make me holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.

Friday evening, June 1.—Blessed be God, I still continue to reap the sweetness of having a place convenient for retirement. God is a gracious hearer of prayer; pours out a spirit of prayer; strengthens and encourages my faith, and importunity for increase of grace; discov­ers more and more what a good God he is, the altogether lovely one, full of truth and faithful­ness, holiness and majesty, every way desirable, in himself; and a God greatly to be feared, as well as praised. Never did I more clearly see the infinite distance between God and me, a worm of the dust; and his astonishing conde­scension [Page 131] in suffering me to approach him, than now: And I never had greater freedom through a Mediator.

Saturday evening, July 28.—Last even­ing straitened and confused in prayer. This morning waked with a sick headache; much out of order every way, and my spirits sunk exceedingly. A gloomy vail cast over every thing. My school was to be all confusion, my spirit of government being lost, the children, besure would not profit by me; and so it would by degrees dwindle away, and come to nothing. These, and the like things, Satan or unbelief took the advantage of my indisposition, to sug­gest. I remark the trial, that I may the more see the hand of providence providing, and or­dering all things well for me, as faith tells me it will.

O my God, pity me, and help me to break through the entanglements of this world. Thou seest that of myself I cannot do it. Lord, I thought anxious care, and distrust of thy provi­dential care, had been a conquered enemy. O have I too confidently believed it to be so! O, forgive me, I pray thee, and for thine own hon­or's sake, subdue this hateful sin. Lord, I would fain rely on thee at all times: For I do believe (help thou my unbelief) that thou wilt do all things well for me; for I am thine own.*

Sabbath morning, July 29.—This morning I have again been exercised with despondencies, [Page 132] and seemed to be sinking into deep waters. Lord, save me! O save me from the preva­lence of this sin of distrust! Save me from pull­ing on me the evils of a tomorrow, which may never come. O save me from this sin, I be­seech thee, for in me it is attended with a thou­sand aggravations! For I know it is in direct contrariety to thy positive command, "Take no thought for the morrow." It is contrary to all my resolutions, and determinations, by grace assisting, to commit all my concerns into thy faithful hands; and to cast all my care upon thee. Besides, my own experience has ever proved to me thou art the God who hast fed me all my life; the God who didst never leave me upon the mount of difficulty; but always appeared and wrought deliverance. Thou hast been my tried friend in six and seven troubles. And thou hast said, thou wilt never leave me nor forsake me.

Monday morning, July 30.—O with what a complete uneasiness am I exercised! How I dread the business of the day! O, how unequal to the work am I! Lord, help me, and qualify me for the business to which thou in thy prov­idence hast called me. O give me wisdom from on high.—

Monday evening.—This morning my heart was so exceedingly overwhelmed, that I could write no more: But betook myself to e [...]est prayer. And O how doth God condescend to my weakness, and indulge me! While plead­ing with him for strength, wisdom, patience and prudence, this cordial was given to encourage [Page 133] me. Thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good cour­age; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee whitherso­ever thou goest.* This has refreshed me all the day, and bore my spirits up. Amen. Blessed God, be thou with me, and all is well. If thou wilt strengthen me, I will not be afraid, how­ever great the work is, in which I am engaged; for thou hast called me to it once and again. O suppress all my unbelieving fears; and help me at all times to trust and rejoice in thee, who art the God of all my mercies, for Jesus' sake.

Monday evening, August 6.—Blessed be God, ever since Monday last, when God enabled me to pour out my prayers and tears into his bo­som, I have been relieved of those fears which then oppressed me. O what a God hearing prayer have I to go to! O that every moment of my life may be devoted to him! O my God, grant me fresh supplies of grace and strength every day. Uphold me by thy free Spirit; for I am a poor, needy, helpless worm. And now, my God, let me get near to the throne of grace. Give me the Spirit of adoption. Lord, thou art a liberal giver, and upbraidest not. Thou hast encouraged my hungering and thirsting after righteousness: Yea, thou dost excite it; And thou hast said, They who do so shall be filled. Yea, thou hast bid me op [...] [Page 134] my mouth wide, and said thou wilt fill it; the [...] fore make me yet more importunate.

Lord, I am not sueing for riches, pleasures, or long life. No, but for sanctifying grace. O, hold out the golden sceptre; let me touch the top, and grant my petition and my request, that I may glorify thee upon earth, as well as in heaven; that I may finish the work th [...] hast given me to do.

And O revive sinking, dying religion. Let thy kingdom come, and thy will be done. O hasten the blessed time, when Christ Jesus shall be king of nations, as he is king of saints.—

A precious season after this. The Lord make me thankful.

Sabbath evening, September 23.—Alas! Alas! Lord, what shall I do! I am so ignorant, I am as a beast before thee. Yea, more brutish than any one. O foolish and unwise! thus to keep groveling among the corruptions of my own heart; trying to sound the bottom of that great deep, till I am so overwhelmed, that I know not how to look up. And as if that was not enough, now I am mourning over my natural temper, and complaining of that, as if it was the worst that ever mortal had. Oh, is not here a degree of murmuring against that God, who in infinite wisdom gave me my constitu­tion, as well as my being; and knows how to overrule my passions, and make them subservi­ent to his glory? O, why cannot I watch, and endeavor to quench the fire when it is like to kindle, or has broke out; without drowning myself with the water? What, my soul, is be­come [Page 135] of thy faith and courage? Whither is the great Captain of thy salvation gone now, that thou hast no more eye to him? Must he be forgotten; faith's mouth be stopped; and all because nothing more has befallen thee, than what thou hast had all thy days? This bad heart, and this bad temper, thou hast always had; and yet Jesus hath not despised thee; but hath pitied and succored thee. He hath had a feeling of all thine infirmities. And how many thousand times hath he leaped over these mountains of thy sins and infirmities, and come to thee and embraced thee. These did not keep him out at first. No, he was gracious, because he would be gracious then. He freely loved thee; and whom he loves, he loves to the end. Is God deceived in me? Is he a man, that he should lie; or the son of man, that he should repent? Did he not know, even from eternity, just what I should be in time? Surely he did. And yet determined to be gracious to me. And why, my soul, art thou now cast down; and why disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Friday morning, October 26.—Two sudden deaths here this week! The Lord sanctify these warnings to all the inhabitants of this place. And in special to the bereaved relations. O may we all watch! Lord, may the unregener­ate be awakened out of their spiritual lethargy; and be brought to see how awful it will be, if thou shouldst come, and find them sleeping: Sleeping, till they awake in hell. O awful [Page 136] thought! Lord, be merciful to such poor, stu­pid creatures; and rouse them by thy provi­dences, for thy name's sake, to seek and secure an interest in Christ Jesus, that they may be prepared for a sudden shock. And oh, let those who have, through sovereign grace, obtained an interest in him, still watch, and en­deavor to be in an actual preparation, that death may be no surprise to them, notwithstand­ing he is to nature the king of terrors. O may he be to such a welcome messenger, to conduct them to their Father's house. Lord, suffer not thy own children to be in bondage all their days, through fear of death: But, having com­mitted their everlasting concerns into the hands of a glorious Mediator, let them be willing to be dissolved, and to be with him.

But, O my soul, art thou thus actually will­ing; actually prepared? Suppose the grim mes­senger should really approach this moment; wouldst not thou then cry out, O spare me a little while! If thou shouldst feel the univer­sal shock, would it not make thee fear and tremble too? O be not high minded, but fear. Thou knowest not yet what it is to die, though thou dost often endeavor to realize it. Art not thou in almost all cases exceeding timo­rous and faint hearted? I know not of such a coward as thou art. Why then always so cour­ageous, when thou dost meditate on death? Art thou not stupid? Lord God, thou know­est. But I cannot be afraid to die: While thou art with me, I will fear no evil: No, not even though I were passing through the valley [Page 137] of death. This is the way to my Father's house; and through it I must pass sooner or later, or I can never be perfectly holy; never see his glorious face without a vail; never but through a glass darkly. O, adored be thy name! I shall not always be kept at this painful distance; but d [...]e I shall, so sure as I am now alive. Lord, I bless thee that thou hast said, Death is yours. I gladly take it in the inventory, notwithstand­ing all its ghastly looks, and amazing terrors. Let flesh and heart fail; yet God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.

What though my eye strings crack, my blood chill, hands, feet and all grow cold, and all na­ture is convulsed and distressed, while the soul is breaking loose: Is this to be compared to the body of sin and death, under which I groan; but shall then be delivered from, and bid a final adieu to forever! O, transporting thought! O death, where is thy sting; O grave, where is thy victory! Thanks be to God, who has given me the victory, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Thou art surely welcome to me. No fears have I about thee, except my God should hide his face: But I trust he will not leave me comfortless in that hour; but will come to me, and his rod and staff shall comfort me. But let him do with me, even in that, as seemeth good unto him; he will not cast off my soul, when turned out of the body by death; but receive it to himself, and all shall be well, let the time be when it will, or the circumstances be what they may. Therefore I will still rejoice, because I shall die.

[Page 138]

Tuesday morning, November 6.—Yesterday cumbered with many things of real necessity for the body, which deprived me of almost all my time for retirement. Determined to retire last evening, and spend it in solemn thanksgiv­ing to God for the preservation of his church from the first to that day: But was prevented. O how many hinderances are there to keep the soul from communing with its God in this world of snares! But stop, my soul. Proceed no farther in complaints, lest thou shouldst be found to murmur. Caring for the body, God hath made a duty; and therefore it must be at­tended, as well as caring for the soul. True, the one yields thee a more substantial pleasure, a sublimer joy, than the other: It is good for me to draw near to God in sweet retirement: But this is not designed, my soul, for thy con­tinual rest. No: God hath otherwise ordered it, in infinite wisdom. Therefore submit with cheerfulness. Be not selfish always; but let the glory of God, and a conformity to his will, be the ultimate end of all thy actions; and thou mayest enjoy him in all things, even here. And still rejoice, and be comforted, O my soul. It cannot be long, at the most, before thou shalt enter into thine eternal rest: And then thou mayest drink and be satisfied at the fountain head, the Spring of all consolation: Nothing shall ever interrupt forever and ever. O as­tonishing grace! But why is such a wretch as I rejoicing in hope of this everlasting enjoyment of the blessed God! Lord, this must be resolv­ed into thy adorable sovereignty.

[Page 139] Tuesday evening, November 6.—This has blessed be God, been a good day to me. A sweet calm has possessed my breast, and a sol­emn sense of things. And enabled seriously to talk to, and instruct my children. Some de­gree of thoughtfulness appeared in them. The Lord seal instruction, and make me instrumental of their good, for Jesus' sake. O make me more faithful to them, both for soul and body!

March 22, 1754.

THE day before yesterday morning refresh­ed in reading the xvth chapter of John. Rejoic­ed in the blessed union between Christ and my soul. Had a lively sense, that without him I can do nothing; a strong desire of abiding in him, and bearing much fruit, to the glory of his sovereign grace. Renewed solemnly the dedication of my whole soul and body to him; to be kept by his mighty power, and to be his own forever. Thought, if I had ten thousand such precious jewels as my own immortal soul, I could freely cast them all into his treasury; therefore my two mites shall be accepted, even my soul and body; since this is all I have.

Sabbath evening, March 24.—Tomorrow morning it will be a year since I was first in­dulged with the privilege of retiring to this dear place for the performance of secret duties. And though in this time I have had many in­terruptions from within and without; yet, bless the Lord, my soul; for many a gracious [...] [Page 140] hath he condescended to make thee here, when no mortal eye has seen or ear heard. Here has God poured out a spirit of prayer; held me up to wrestle with him for spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus; strengthened my faith, love, repentance, zeal and every grace. Here he has given me views of himself and eternal things; cleared up my right to him and them; and enabled me to renew my choice and dedi­cations. O, this has been a good year to me! O my God, continue thy mercy, and give me grace to improve this, and all my other privi­leges for thy glory, and the good of my pre­cious soul, which is thine own forever, for Je­sus' sake.

Thursday morning, April 4.—This is a day set apart for public fasting and prayer. O that God may spirit his people and his ministers to cry mightily to him this day! Is not there a loud call in providence? Are there not some places already distressed by the blood thirsty en­emy? And are we not also in danger? Surely we are in eminent danger; for our sins expose us to every thing that is dreadful. Oh, how great are our abominations! Lord, humble us in the dust before thee this day, and hear the cries of thy people: Lord, spare thy people, and give not thine heritage to reproach. O preserve thine honor. Magnify thy name above all the earth. Let not the enemy insultingly say, Where is now your God!

O Lord, if even thy patience is tired out, and thou wilt bear no longer, but desolation must come, as to temporals; O pour out thy Spirit, [Page 141] Lord. If suffering times are coming, O give suffering grace; or who will be able to stand up for thee, against Antichrist and his combined legions!

Thursday evening, April 4.—After I wrote this morning, God condescended to afford me the humbling influences of his Spirit; enabled me to confess my sins, and the sins of the na­tion and land, and to bewail them before him; and to resolve, by grace assisting, to throw down every weapon of rebellion, and to be more than ever devoted to him. Cried for strengthening grace; and for suffering grace, if I should live to see suffering times. Deprecated being ever left to desert Christ, or his cause. Begged that I might, if it were possible, rather suffer ten thousand deaths. O that God, for his name's sake, may preserve me! Solemnly renewed my written covenant, which seventeen years ago was solemnly owned before God and his holy angels. O blessed be God I lived to see that day! And that he hath not suffered me to make void that covenant. O may it stand ratified and confirmed in heaven forever and ever, for [...]he sake of Christ. For it is an everlasting cov­enant, never to be forgotten.

Lord, hear the cries of thy people this day, I beseech thee, and pour out a spirit of suppli­cation more and more upon thy own children. O may religion thrive and flourish! May the Redeemer's kingdom prosper and be advanced. O may all the kingdoms of the earth become the kingdom of my Lord, and of his Christ; and may he reign forever and ever.

[Page 142]Once this day I was interrupted, I think by a stratagem of Satan, who threw into my mind, as a dart, some things which I took hard of some neighbors: And withal some resentment began to rise. But presently this scripture was brought to my thoughts, "If ye forgive not men their trespasses against you, neither will your Father, who is in heaven, forgive you your trespasses." Upon which I soon found not only a disposition to forgive them myself; but was enabled to cry to God for them, that he also would forgive them all their trespasses against him, and unite them to Christ by a living faith▪ Thus God overruled, and defeated Satan in his designs against me. Blessed be his name forever!

Saturday morning, May 25.—O my Lord, when shall I get near to thee, and unbos [...] myself to thee! Lord, thou seest wants press hard. I want faith, love, humility, repentance, zeal, knowledge, prudence, patience, and in­crease of every grace; and by faith and prayer to draw water out of the well of salvation, that my weary, thirsty, barren soul may be satisfied, and made fat and flourishing. Lord, I am a stran­ger on earth; O hide not thy face from me, but let me recover spiritual strength, before I go hence, and be here no more. I am a pil­grim and stranger here, travelling to my eternal home. O when shall I reach the peaceful re­gions! where storms and tempests never co [...]; where I shall see thy lovely face forever, and be like a holy God!

[Page 143] Saturday morning, September 7.—Have all this week past labored under bodily indisposi­tion, and great dulness in spirituals. The Lord pity, forgive and quicken me according to his word.

Tuesday morning, September 10.—Still in an unsettled frame. Cannot fix on any thing. Nothing seems spiritual enough. I daily want; but cannot be satisfied. Every thing seems to have lost its life and vigor. My own writings are all insipid; nor can I find any bo­dy's else, which seem to favor of heaven e­nough: No, not even the seraphic Watts him­self. All is flat and dull. The Bible itself does not reach me!—

O my soul, what a disorder has seized thee now! Surely thou art sick; or thou wouldst not have lost thy taste at this rate. O that God may restore thee to appetite and health again speedily, if it be his blessed will. O how nearly art thou allied to this body! Because that is disordered, thou art also. God be merciful to me a sinner, and deal with me in covenant love and faithfulness, as thine own, for Jesus' sake.

Friday morning, September 12.—I have not yet recovered my spiritual taste, and my soul is faint and restless. It wants food; and, Lord, it will grow lean from day to day, if thou dost not feed it with the bread of life.

September 15, Sabbath morning.— As I awoke today I was refreshed by these words, "This is the day the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it." And these, "O that I knew where I might find him! That I might [Page 144] come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments." —In reading Rom. vii. also, the Spirit of God bore witness with my spirit, that it is my daily experience that I do delight in the law of God, after the inward man. Notwithstanding the law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Grace was for a few minutes drawn forth into sensible, lively exercise; and I appeared to myself as a vessel which had been wind bound, and could by no means get forward, while wind and tide were against it. But, now, as there seemed to be a favorable gale, determined to weigh anchor, hoist sail, ply my work, and make all speed towards the desired haven.—

But, alas! ere I could get to my closet, to pour out my soul to God there, I seemed be­calmed again. May I improve every breeze of the Spirit, since, as the wind he bloweth when and where he listeth. The Lord make me thankful, that I have not been all the days of my life left destitute of his operations.

This evening refreshed and strengthened by the dear Mediator's prayer, John xvii. whom the Father heareth always; Yea, and he will fulfil his request, though I cannot pray as I ought. O my soul, believe and be comforted; for he will keep thee from the evil. He will sanctify thee through the truth. He will main­tain the union between his blessed self, and thee. He will ere long take thee to himself, to [Page 145] behold his glory. Amen, blessed Jesus; for I am thine own forever.

December 25.—Very stormy this morning. Thunder, lightning, wind, rain, and hail. O blessed be God for Jesus Christ, that sure refuge from every storm. O may every one, who this day pretends to celebrate his birth, with praise, make their flight to him by faith, and find shelter under the shadow of his wings, that they may be secured, not only from temporal troub­les, but from the storm of vengeance, which hangs over a guilty world. Lord, have com­passion on poor, ignorant sinners, and reveal thy Son to them. O let them not perish, since a glorious Savior is born, and the glad tidings have reached our ears. O let not this place be as Chorazin and Bethsaida, but Lord have mercy on us, and turn us to thyself. Turn us from the error of our ways, from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Lord, pity us a sinful people, laden with sins. Truly our iniquities cry aloud for vengeance; but O pour out thy Spirit, and not thy fury. Lord, what profit is there in our blood? O magnify the riches of thy sovereign grace, by turning this people to thyself. O, wilt thou not get to thyself a great name? Surely thou wilt. The glory will be all thine own. This people is noted for vileness. O may thy power ap­pear. True, O Lord, thou standest in no need of us, nor can our conversion add to thine es­sential glory; but to thy declarative glory it will. O, of these hearts of stone raise up chil­dren unto Abraham. O let there be a shaking [Page 146] among these dry bones, if it be thy blessed wi [...] ▪ And, O Lord, revive religion in thine own children. Here is there not a remnant, even in this place, bad as it is, who are indeed thi [...] own, by regeneration and adoption? O, blessed be God, there is, or we had been as Sod [...]m and Gomortha. Lord, in mercy pour out o [...] these a Spirit of prayer and supplication. [...] stir up thine own children to greater dilige [...] in thy way and work: O let them be strength­ened, edified, yea sanctified throughout, for Je­sus' sake. O Lord, let not thine own children live at so low a rate, that they cannot be distin­guished from the children of the Devil. Lo [...]d▪ I lament this before thee, that thou dost receive so many cruel wounds in the house of thy friends. O let the children of Zion appear so eminent in their lives and conversations, that all who know them may take knowledge of them, that they have indeed been with Jesus▪ are indeed united to him; and do indeed en­joy secret, intimate communion with him, day by day. Lord, let it be thus, if it be thy bless­ed will. Unveil thy glorious face, discover thine adorable perfections to thy children, and they will be more transformed into thy lovely image: This will make their faces shine, whe [...] they partake more and more of thy holiness. O let holiness to the Lord be stamped upon all their employments and enjoyments as christians, easy to be read of every one, that glory may redound to thy great name. Lord, let it be no longer said of christians, professing thy name, here is one worldly minded, covetous, cheating▪ [Page 147] another drunken; another overcome of his vio­lent passions. Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I could weep day and night for the dishonor done to thy name by this. O my God, put forth thine hand and slay me this moment, rather than let me live to see that dreadful day, when religion shall suffer and be a stench in the nostrils of thine enemies, through my means. O my God, preserve me by thine almighty power, not for my sake, but for thine honor's sake. Lord, do what thou wilt with me, as to this world, only make me holy as thou art holy. Let me walk as Christ, my great pattern walked: Only let my conversation be as becomes the gospel of Christ!

January 1, 1755.

O BLESSED be God who has brought me to see the close of the last, and the beginning of this new year in peace. O my soul, how great has the mercy of thy God been to thee, the year past. How has he fed, clothed, and comforted thee with his bounty, given thee a good degree of health and strength, and caused every thing, in his providence, to work for thine advantage. Surely, truth and faithfulness have been written on all his dealings with thee. He has blessed thee also in spiritual regards; has granted thee more frequent access to his throne, than in years past, and has proved himself a God hearing prayer. He has quickened, and [Page 148] encouraged, and strengthened thee in his way; and though thou hast yet reason to be humbled before a holy God, because thou art no more conformed to his lovely image, yet thou ha [...]t reason to rejoice that he is daily carrying on his own glorious work in thee, in opposition to all thine inbred lusts and corruptions, the world and the Devil; and he will perfect the same, for he is a faithful, omnipotent God. O [...]y soul, stand amazed at the goodness that has re­covered thee from backslidings. O, wherefore is it, that the backslider is not filled with her own ways? Why has not God long ago said, Let her alone? Why am I not, from a backslider in religion, now become an apostate? O, whe [...]e is it that my God has again condescended to return to me, and admit me to draw near to him? yea even took me into his arms, and laid me in his bosom, there to rest my weary head! O my soul, if there be the least spark of grati­tude in thee, now be faithful to thy God, who has thus remembered the day of thine espousals, and would not let thee go, notwithstanding all thy provocations, thine unfaithful dealings with him. O lie in the dust, and adore the faithful­ness of a covenant keeping God, who has said, he will never leave thee nor forsake thee. O amazing grace! Astonishing love! O Lord, who am I, that thou art still mindful of me, and that thou hast brought me hitherto? O let my soul be strengthened. Since Omnipotence and Faithfulness have taken me into his hands he will not let me go. O my God, bind me ten thousand times faster to thyself than ever. [Page 149] From this day forward, let me be for thee and none else. O why should any other object have any part of my time, strength, talents, or thoughts, since all are thine? yea, the whole heart is thine. Lord, in the presence of thy holy Angels I solemnly renew the dedication of it to thee. O possessit more than ever. It is thine own. And let me possess my own God more than ever. Lord, whom have I in heaven but thee? And thou, who knowest all things, know­est that there is nothing on earth I desire in comparison, or competition with thee. O, therefore, whether I live or die this year, let me enjoy thee, and all is well. Lord, I ask nothing else: This is all my salvation, and will be all my joy. If I may but possess and glorify thee, all shall be well. Keep me upon earth, or take me to Heaven: Do with me as seemeth thee good: Only glorify thyself, and let me have my chosen portion. O let nothing steal my heart from God. O blessed Jesus, let no sep­arating walls be between us. Break them down: Rend every vail. I depend on thee. O appear daily on my behalf.

Sabbath evening, January 5.—O Lord, pity and pardon thy poor child, under the remains of corruption. Lord, help me to mortify the deeds of the body, yea to crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts. Let them be crucified: Let them be crucified. O let them die a sure death: Let them never recover strength; never separate between my God and me; never break the bond of the everlasting covenant be­tween thee and me. Lord, pity, Lord, help. [Page 150] O be not angry with me, but subdue my sins, for Jesus' sake. Lord, espouse the cause of thy poor defenceless worm. Behold what an host is encompassed against me. Lord, restrain Satan, or he will be as a roaring lion. Help me to overcome the world, or that will be too hard for me. O my Savior, thou hast bid me be of good cheer, since thou hast overcome the world. Lord, stand by and strengthen me, and then I will be of good cheer; for I know with thee all things are possible. Though I am weakness, thou art strength. O let me daily see thee, by an eye of faith, and clasp thee in the arms of faith, and all shall be well: I will not fear either earth, or hell. O manifest thy­self to me, as thou dost not to the world. O let me enjoy thee, my life, my light, my love▪ Let me lie on thy breast, or lie at thy feet con­tinually. O, by thy grace, I have chosen the one thing needful: That better part: Let it never be taken from me. O thou omnipotent, faithful Jehovah, hold me up in this life, and take me to thyself hereafter, for I am ten thou­sand times thine own; and thine, by thy grace, I will be to all eternity.

February 20.—O my God, appear for me, and break and humble this haughty stony heart. O, thou art, indeed, a holy, just and terrible God; and it is astonishing condescen­sion that ever thou shouldst admit such an un­holy soul as mine into thy Majesty's presence. O lay me in the dust, for I am vile, exceed­ingly vile. Lord, I am nothing but wounds, bruises, and putrifying sores; a perfect lump [Page 151] of ingratitude, pride, sloth, unbelief, hypocrisy, and all manner of abomination. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint: I blush and am ashamed to look up, because of my nonconformity to thee. O thou, who art of purer eyes than to behold sin, canst not but abhor these sins that thus pollute, and defile my soul. Lord, I bewail them, and long for freedom from them. But thou seest how in­iquity prevails over me. O Lord, be not an­gry with, but pity thy poor helpless worm. Is there not a fountain set open, in the blood of thy dear Son, for sin and uncleanness? What though my sins are of a scarlet and crimson die, what though they have ten thousand ag­gravations, is not the blood of Christ sufficient? Surely it is. O apply it, for thy name's sake, not only to free me from the guilt and punish­ment of sin, but from its pollution also. O blessed Jesus thou didst die to save thy people from their sins, not in them. O save me, even me, unworthy as I am, from mine. O let vic­torious grace gain a fresh conquest over my corruptions, that I may gladly hear thy voice, and open my heart to thee. And O come in and sup with me, and I with thee. O for u­nion, and more intimate communion with thee. Lord, conform me to thine image. It is easy with thee. O grant me some transforming views, and bring my soul out of the pit. O Lord, if thou dost not uphold me, I shall dis­honor thy great name. O bind me to thyself.

Let Zion prosper, and bless thy ministers, dear Lord, with the richest of thy blessings. O [Page 152] take them near thyself. Lord, encourage, quicken, and strengthen them, for Jesus' sake.

February 21.—This morning the Lord gra­ciously afforded me the humbling influences of his blessed Spirit. I think my heart was in some measure broken under a sense of sin. My pride, sloth, ingratitude, hypocrisy, and unbe­lief, appeared odious: Had some strength to plead for pardon and victory over them, for Jesus' sake. The Lord hear and answer. O let me rise by repentance, and renewed acts of faith in the dear Mediator; and O pour o [...] on me a spirit of prayer and supplication, that I may pray for thy ministers, and for the pros­perity of Zion, as well as for mine own soul. Lord, in mercy pour out thy spirit now, upon ministers and people. In this trying, distressing time, Lord, arise for thine honor's sake, and for thy Son's sake.

Sabbath day, March 2.—Yesterday I was in­dulged with another opportunity to join with my dear, dear friend, Susa Anthony, in prayer for ourselves, for ministers, and private christ­ians, the prosperity of Zion, in all parts of the world, for direction in the affairs of life, for sinners, for preservation from our enemies, or grace to be faithful if they prevail, for all in authority, for our dear relations. The Lord be praised for assistance granted, and hear and answer for Jesus' sake.

March 20.—This day being set apart, by our society, for fasting and prayer, I determin­ed, by grace assisting, to devote the whole day to the exercises of religion, in secret as well as [Page 153] in public, and if I found I could bear up, without being unfitted for duty, wholly to ab­ [...] from all food or refreshment.

That text seemed to remove my fears about my strength failing in the morning, "If ye have faith, as a grain of mustard seed; ye shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed." These words, also, of Esther, "I and my maids will fast also, and so will I go in to the King." And blessed be God, he has supported and strengthened me almost to the close of the day, and I humbly hope has enabled me to keep such a fast as he has chosen. Surely God has assisted me in confession of sins, both mine own, and those of our nation, and in my cries for pardon and strength, to mortify, and finally overcome, both in his house, and in secret, and in renewing my cries for holiness, even an entire conformity to his image. God has assisted me, also, in the work of self examination, and shone in on the evidences of grace in my soul, assisted me in reading, in renewing solemn covenant engage­ments. The Lord, He is God. The Lord Jehovah is my God, and I am his forever. I have not been crying to Baal, or any of the idol gods, but to the living God, even to that God, who has stiled himself a God hearing prayer: And he will hear and answer, for Je­sus' sake.

O my soul, be comforted, for God will car­ry on his own work in thee. He will subdue thine iniquities here, and ere long take thee to himself: And then a dismissal to sin, forever. Amen, Hallelujah. Blessed be God for Jesus [Page 154] Christ, the foundation of all my hopes and joys, whose I am, and by grace will be forever.

Saturday afternoon, April 5.—Blessed [...] God, indulged again with opportunity to [...] in prayer with my two dear friends. God granted them freedom, held them up to wre [...] with him, for a revival of religion, the prosper­ity of Zion in general, and especially for min­isters, for ourselves, and all dear to us by the bonds of nature: Assisted in confession and [...] miliation, as well as petition. I trust I a [...] did bear my part, while joining with the [...]: Was, I think, solemn and engaged. The L [...] hear and answer: Accept of any degree of [...] cerity, and graciously reward it for Jesus' [...] who purchased and bestowed it. The L [...] pardon the sins and imperfections cleaving [...] all our performances. O Lord, they have [...] of washing in the blood of Jesus Christ. And in particular humble me under thy frown [...] on me, when I attempted to open my mo [...] in prayer. O Lord, show me, if it be thy blessed will, wherefore thou didst contend w [...] me, by withholding the influence of thy Spi [...] O why was I so shut up, in a moment str [...] dumb before thy throne? Did I venture to [...]pproach in mine own strength, without that [...] pendence on thy blessed Spirit, which is [...] due? O Holy Spirit, did I thus grieve thee and cause thee to withdraw? Lord, I lame [...] it, and own thou art just. O forgive me.—O [...] Lord, didst thou see, if I were enlarged, t [...] spiritual pride would arise and rob thee of t [...] due, by ascribing that to self which belongs alone [Page 155] to thee? O didst thou do it, to hide pride from mine eyes? Lord, let it have this effect, for Jesus' sake, and I will rejoice even in mine infirmities. If it were owing to bodily indis­position, rather than soul diseases, Lord, thou [...]est: And O if it be thy will teach me to distinguish, that I may submit to thy sovereign pleasure. God forbid that I should murmur, for thou art an holy, wise, sovereign, good God, and dost all things well. But, O suffer me to long for that joyful period, when all these hindrances shall be done away; when sin shall never more cloud thy lovely face, nor shall my soul be clogged with this crazy body, but al­ways fly swift as a Seraph to execute thy com­mands. O Lord, thou knowest how it longs to soar aloft and fly to thee, as a bird out of the cage. When, O Lord, when shall the prison walls be broken down, that I may see thee as thou art, and be holy as thou art holy. O hasten the time, if it be thine holy will. But pause, my soul, and be awakened! Dost thou, in very deed, expect all this? Then wait God's time with patience. It is always the best. And be thankful for what thou dost en­joy of God here. It is ten thousand times more than thou deservest; yea, infinitely more. O follow hard after him. Fill every part of time with duty: If thou canst not find him in one duty, turn to another. He will be found of thee here, in some degree. O love him more, praise him more, trust him more, rejoice in him more, aim more at his glory. Be faith­ful unto death, and he will give thee a crown [Page 156] of life. Fly to that promise, for he will fu [...] it. "All things work together for good, to the [...] who love God, to them who are called accord­ing to his purpose." Rejoice, my soul, for in Christ Jesus all are yea and amen.

Saturday evening, April 19.—I have been these two days past in very poor, low fra [...] much bodily indisposition, headache, gre [...] co [...], quite unfit for close application to pre­paratory work for the sacrament. The Lord pity and pardon for Jesus' sake, who has died, the just for the unjust. O may I, by his blood, be brought [...]igh unto God. Lord, deal not with me according to my sins, nor reward [...] according to mine iniquities, for if thou dost, I shall surely profane thine holy table, and come empty away; yea, expose myself to terri­ble judgments. Lord, appear for me, unwor­thy as I am, and prepare my unprepared hea [...] O stir up suitable desires, hunger and thirst af­ter communion with thyself. Yea, draw forth every sacramental grace into lively exercise. O melt this frozen heart. Grant me evangeli­cal repentance, that I may look on him whom I have pierced, and mourn bitterly as for [...] only son. O humble me to the dust, and give me a sense of pardon, if it be thy blessed will. Let faith and love still cling to, and embrace a glo­rious Christ in all his offices; and O for his sake, Lord, grant me discoveries of thine adora­ble perfections, that my soul may be transform­ed more into thy lovely image. O for some higher degrees of grace. Lord, quicke [...], strengthen and sanctify me throughout. O say [Page 157] that I shall grow strong in the grace which is in Christ Jesus. Lord, let me not always re­main a dwarf, a babe in Christ; but O cause me to grow as the lily, or as the tall cedars of Lebanon. May I, by faith and love, mount up, as on eagle's wings, towards Heaven. O I am weary and heart sick of these low grovel­ing frames. I long to arise. Lord, draw me near to thyself by the influences of thy blessed Spirit. O water me with the dew of heaven. refresh my soul with a plentiful shower, now in this dry and thirsty land, where no water is. O may the Sun of righteousness arise with heal­ing in his wings, and shine into, and warm this cold heart. O let every property of the blood of Christ be applied to my poor, necessitous soul. Lord, hear, for his sake, who shed his precious blood on the accursed tree, even for such as me. O may I, by this ordinance, be bound ten thousand times faster to thyself than ever. O thou great Captain of my salvation, go before me, and conquer all my foes: Sub­due my stubborn will; yea, subdue me wholly and forever to thyself. Come, Prince and Savior, come and reign in me, whose right it is; and, O Lord, hasten the time when I shall enjoy thee, behold thy glory, see thee as thou art, when all veils and walls of separation shall be forever broken down, and I shall gaze, a­dore and praise, as glorified saints and angels do. Then this crazy load shall trouble me no more, nor sleep, that devourer of precious time, nor a vain world, that disturber of my peace and engrosser of my thoughts, nor Satan with [Page 158] his fiery darts. Sin shall cease, odious sin shall cease forever. O that this were the happy mo­ment. It was thou that causedst my Lords to bleed and die; it is thou that hast so often grieved his blessed Spirit, and hid his lovely face from me. God forbid, I should ever be friends with thee, hateful monster! Lord Jesus, let this enemy be crucified, let it be crucified for thy name's sake, and all shall be well for­ever. I will, by thy grace, wait with patience mine appointed time. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

April 22.—Blessed be God, the Sabbath was a sweet day to me. It pleased God graciously to afford me the influences of his Spirit all the day, and in special at his table. My whole soul was engaged. I think repentance, faith, love, desire, and every sacramental grace was in lively exercise. Sin appeared hateful; its utter destruction was vehemently longed for, and the increase of grace thirsted for. Re­newed solemn covenant, pleaded that I might renew my strength: That sin might now be nailed to the accursed tree. Longed for the full enjoyment of God; did believe God would keep me by his mighty power here, and at last bring me to glory. And he will, my soul, he will. O he is a faithful God. The snare is broken, and I am escaped; broken by a glorious Christ. O blessed be God, for Jesus Christ. I longed that every soul there might be indeed united to him, and enjoy commu­nion with him. I heard that day, also, that my [Page 159] poor performance was printed.* This gave me a sense of my vileness, and earnest longings that God might be glorified thereby. It ap­pears another solemn bond and obligation for me to lead a holy life. My soul rejoiced in every bond, and longed to be bound ten thou­sand times faster than ever. New arguments put into my mouth to plead for holiness in heart and life. In the evening very ill, and so remained all night, and the day after. Rejoiced that God had enabled me to yield active obe­dience before, saw that I was then called to passive obedience, and when God might give case hoped to return to active again. And blessed be God, he has enabled me so [...]o do with vigor. A precious refreshing season at the throne of grace today: A sweet calm ever since. The business of the day pleasant. Have enjoyed God in all. O my soul, be thankful, and press forward. Let nothing discourage thee, for thou hast to do with a compassionate, faithful God, who will secure his own honor, and order all things well for thee, who art his forever, for Jesus' sake.

April 30.—After I wrote yesterday had free­dom at the throne of grace: Was, I trust, re­ally assisted in pleading with God for his min­isters, [Page 160] and his churches, that his own glory might be advanced. Enabled to leave all e­vents with him, and determined to acquiesce in his will, whatever it might be, by the assist­ance of his Spirit and grace. The wisdom of God appeared lovely, which orders all things well; yea, and it is infinite. O may I ever submit to it, and to adorable sovereignty. Lord take from me every degree of resistance, all stubbornness, sourness, all pride and opinion of mine own knowledge. Let me have no choice in any event or affair but what is first thine. O that my will were wholly subject, that it might forever harmonize with the divine will. O that there might never be another jarring note, no discord, but that God might be forever glo­rified in and by me, as by the angels in heaven. Father, thy will be done. Amen: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

May 1.—A golden season at the throne of grace, after I wrote yesterday. The Lord make me thankful. A view by faith of the in­finite wisdom, mighty power, absolute sovereign­ty, and astonishing condescension of the glori­ous and faithful Jehovah. Had some sweet thoughts on the nature of true friendship: Pleaded that with Abraham of old I might ap­prove myself his faithful friend, by universally obeying his will; espousing his cause against all that oppose it; adorning the profession I have made by an holy life. Here faith fixed on the power of God, to subdue every rebel in me, and rejoicing because he can with infinite ease speak me into holiness. It is but to say, I [Page 161] will; be thou cleansed: I will; be thou holy: I will; be thou strong, and very courageous, and it shall be. I shall hold on my way, renew my strength, and mount up towards heaven, for Christ will keep the precious soul committed to his charge, the purchase of his precious blood. Here with joy I again committed it into his faithful hands, and triumphed in him as my strong refuge, my rock, my high tower and sure defence, and have ever since had sweet peace. Those words have been lovely to me, "Great peace have they, who love thy law, and nothing shall offend them." And these, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee."

Enlarged also in request for ministers and christians, that God may be glorified in them: And I trust God will grant my requests, for he brought me into his banqueting house, and I trust did hold out the golden sceptre, and ena­ble me to draw nigh, and touch the top: His banner over me was love, and he will grant me all that consists with his glory, and I want no more. May his will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen and amen.

Monday, May 5.—When I wrote last evening, I seemed only rationally convinced that things were well with me, but did not find the lively exercise of holy joy till I came to pray. Then I had a precious season, a distinct view of my ignorance of God, his perfections, and of all divine things: I appeared as a beast before him. A precious view of Christ, in his pro­phetic office, renewed my choice of him: In [Page 162] this pleaded my great need of divine teaching; believed he would teach me by his blessed Spirit, and lead me into all necessary truth. Rejoiced in him, as the great and only teacher come from heaven. Had also an humbling sense of the universal depravity of my nature. The direct contrariety to a holy God, and the stub­bornness of my perverse will, my unbelief, pride, sloth, hypocrisy of my heart, how awfully guilty, how deeply polluted. This I bewailed, and that I have been a transgressor from the womb; an ungrateful abuser of divine mercy. But Christ Jesus appeared so glorious and lovely in his priestly office, that my soul was transported with joy: His obedience and his blood; his glorious resurrection and session at his Father's right hand; his being touched with the feeling of my infirmities. My soul flew to him, and embraced him, as my great High Priest, my great Advocate in the court of heaven: Plead­ed for justification, a free and full pardon, for his sake alone. A view still of the great power and tyranny of sin, Satan and the world, to draw off my heart from God. Renewed my choice of Christ, as my absolute sovereign, my Prince, as well as Savior: Committed my precious soul again into his merciful and faithful hands. Yea, and he will keep, by his mighty power, what I have committed to him, for he is a glo­rious King, and he is my God and King, and I will, by his grace, be his loyal subject forever.

May 29.—Since I wrote last have had pre­cious seasons of prayer: I trust real communion with God, in his glorious attributes; joyful re­newals [Page 163] of choice and surrenders of soul. The Lord make me thankful.

Yesterday morning more confused, and so have been ever since, by a serious caution given by a christian friend, by which I was convinced I had been betrayed into too rash a censure of another's failings. O will God forgive me, and forbid I should ever indulge a censorious spir­it. Lord, let me not be unmerciful to the failings of others, while I have the feeds of ev­ery abomination in me, and it is owing to sove­reign grace alone, that I have not fallen into every thing that is dreadful. O my soul, be humble. Who hath made thee to differ, or what hast thou, which thou hast not received? —O that God would humble me, and conquer this pride and arrogance in me. O hateful sin. I abhor myself for it. O wash it away in the precious blood of my dear Redeemer.

Blessed be God, after I wrote this morning he poured on me the humbling influences of his blessed Spirit in prayer, for the pride of my heart. I was ashamed to look up, because so unholy, so unlike my great Pattern. I loathed and abhored myself, and have ever since car­ried self abhorrence about me. Blessed be God, for the reproof given by his servant, and applied by his blessed Spirit. The Lord bless his servant, and make him more and more faithful. O enrich his precious soul daily, with more of the graces of thy Blessed Spirit, that thou mayest be glorified in him here and to all eternity.

[Page 164]

Monday morning, June 9.—O this crazy load, this sloth, this sleep. How much of my precious time does it engross. O when shall it once be, that every moment shall be devoted to the immediate service of my God. O bles­sed be God! it will be so ere long. Wait, my soul, with patience, and mean while be thankful for the moments thou dost enjoy. Do not mur­mur. God gave thee thy body, thy constitu­tion, and as it is infirm and wants refreshment by sleep to fit it for service, do not complain, but be thankful, for it is God who gives his be­loved sleep. How many have this night groan­ed, and wished for the mercy thou hast enjoy­ed. The Lord make me thankful. But O, suffer me not to indulge the monster sloth. O my God, behold how an enemy lies in ambush on every side, and pity me. If I acknowledge the work of thy grace, and attempt to praise thee, behold pride and vain glory tyrannizing. If willing to take the refreshment thou afforde [...] me, behold sloth lurks under that cover. O these crawling toads, these hissing serpents! how contrary to thee and me! Lord, subdue them, for Jesus' sake, and hold me, by thine almighty power, near thyself. Lord, do but command, and they shall hide their impious heads. O crush them forever, my King and my God; for I am thine, and thou art mine.

Thursday morning, August 7.—While writing, yesterday had a realizing sense of the stability, of the promises, the security of the saint while surrounded by them: Could, in the strength of the Lord Jehovah, bid defiance to all the pow­ers [Page 165] of sin and hell. Had a precious season at the throne of grace in making over all my vast concerns into the hands of Christ, pleading that he might fully possess me by his Spirit, in every room and faculty of my soul. O let all my de­sires and affections be collected and sent, and all my delights lodged above in the highest heaven, where Christ Jesus is. Lord, so wean me from things below that I may in a moment be ready to pass over Jordan to meet thee.

O my God, I have lately seen what the ago­nies of death mean. A shocking sight, indeed, while the poor unprepared soul shrinks back and would lodge in its crazy cottage! But go it must, and appear before God. I had a deep sense of things, while with my dying neighbor, and God enabled me to send up strong cries to him for the poor soul. My spirits were over­whelmed, and my whole framed crushed with the weight. But alas! time is fled and gone, and the state of the soul is unalterably fixed in bound­less eternity. Whether in weal, or woe, God knows: I determine not. But this I know, that the will of a just and sovereign God is done, and he is glorified, yea and will be glorified: And may his will be forever done, whatever becomes of his enemies. In their misery, strictly speaking, I do not rejoice; but in God's being glorified I do, and will rejoice. Let every one, who finally loves not the Lord Jesus, be accurs­ed; yea, let all in me that loves him not, be bitterly accursed. Let all that will not submit to the sceptre of his grace be crushed with his iron rod; yea, let him dash them in pieces as a [Page 166] potter's vessel. In this, thou, Lord, who know­est all things, knowest that I will rejoice. Th [...] thou knowest I have been seeking many yea [...] with supplications and tears. And O remembe [...] them, and answer them, my God and my King, O brandish thy victorious sword: Make [...] drunk with the heart's blood of thine enemies▪ O let not an Agag escape. O let not [...] room, nor so much as the corner of a room [...] possessed by these traitors. But come, Lord Jesus, come now and possess a soul that is thi [...] Come, Lord, and satisfy it with thyself. O let the perpetual voice be there, "Christ and [...] Spirit, Christ and his grace—none but Christ, none but Christ."

O Thou altogether lovely One, come and a­bide with me. Lord, either stay with me, or take me to thyself. O I cannot let thee go. What is all this world to me? If thou be absent, thou knowest I cannot be comforted. No, by thy grace, I never will: Nothing but mine own p [...] ­tion shall content me. O let the blessed un [...] be more and more complete day by day. Gr [...] me sensible communion with thee. O manifest thyself to me as thou dost not to the world, f [...] thou hast redeemed me by thy precious blood, and thou hast by thy Spirit applied the purchased redemption. Lord, thou knowest I am n [...] of the world, for thou hast called me out of th [...] world. I have heard thy voice and have followed thee: Yea, and by the assistance of the grace (for without thee I can do nothing) I [...] determined to follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

[Page 167] Wednesday morning, August 27.—By the in­tenseness of my thoughts on God and divine things, last week, my animal spirits have been much exhausted, and bodily indisposition in­creased, so that I have since been interrupted in my flight heavenward. But still I have cause to be thankful; yea to bless, admire and adore the astonishing riches of grace; for I do, through it, walk with God again. O that I could take every backsliding child in the whole world by the hand, and lead them back to their heav­enly Father, since I, who have been a backslid­er, an abuser of the richest grace and dearest love, am, notwithstanding all, restored. O grace! O Truth and Faithfulness! Surely there is no god like my God, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin; yea, crimson and scarlet sins, big with the greatest ingratitude. O blush and be astonished ye heavens over my head, thou earth under my feet: For I have sinned against that light and endearing love, that many thousands now in hell never did: And yet O how does that precious blood plead for me! O how does it cleanse, pardon and sanctify. How does it overflow and cover the huge rocks and mountains sin has raised in my soul, and tri­umphs over all, and will speak peace and par­don: Will bring home the guilty runaway to her God and Father, and cause him to be rec­onciled and smile again. O precious blood! O precious Christ! O blessed union between Christ and my soul.

He will do all things well: He will give grace and glory: He will carry on his own work to [Page 168] the last finishing stroke. Oppose him, world: Oppose him, lusts, tyrants and traitors: Oppose him, devils! Ye shall not all be able to pluck the soul out of his hands. O precious, almighty and faithful Savior! O ye angels who excel in strength, if possible, love him more, praise him more. O all ye saints on earth, renew your flight to him and love him more. O my soul, who hast of all creatures most reason, love him more and serve him better.

Friday morning, September 19.—My heart is now full of grief because full of folly. My unruly tongue dropped many things yesterday which I fear will prove a disadvantage. O when shall I cease to vindicate myself to man. Lord▪ when shall this pride, this ostentatious spirit be suppressed? O pity and pardon me. Gracious Lord, teach me how, as far as in me lies, to live peaceably with all men, and to approve myself to God and conscience, and let the world judge of me what it will. O that I might follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. O for a meek and quiet spirit! this is to be Christlike.

Monday morning, October 6.—O! I have cause to hang my harp upon the willow, for all the day, yesterday, I was at an awful distance from God: My heart like a dry, barren wil­derness, little in it but wanderings. O my heart was pained last night, and wanted to ex­press itself by prayer, but could not find free­dom of access, till on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth, and obtained a little re­lief. But now I am heart sick of myself, and [Page 169] of my poor lifeless duties. Lord, what are these dead sacrifices to thee, the living God? Are they not an abomination in thy sight, O thou holy, holy, heartsearching Jehovah? O thou art infinitely just, if thou leave me thus to my­self, for I have daily forfeited all the assistance of thy blessed Spirit. But, O take not the for­feiture at my hands. Lord, I am ruined and undone, if thou depart from me. I cannot let thee go. O strengthen my faith! O may Om­nipotence hold me! Let not sin triumph and vaunt like a Goliah. O let it not separate be­tween my God and me, much less pluck me out of thine hands. O that mine head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I could weep day and night, because of my contrariety to thee.

Tuesday morning, October 7.—I scarcely know now what to make of myself. I am de­jected, pained at my heart. There seems to be a veil of separation between God and my soul, but I cannot find in particular what it is. Whether any thing more than bodily indispo­sition be in the way, I cannot tell. I know sin I daily do; but God keeps me watching a­gainst temptation, and crying for strength to stand; and God knows the way I take, though I know not the way he takes. He knows I want to follow hard after him, and am deter­mined, by his grace, never to let him go, nor to leave him or his ways. He knows I choose any or all the afflictions in this world, rather than be at a distance from him, or suffered to sin against him. He knows I want to serve [Page 170] and love him more, yea with all my heart and soul and strength. He knows I long to fly swift as a Seraph, to execute his commands. God knows that, for his glory, I want as high degrees of grace as can consist with a mortal state: And he knows also, that all my desires are of his exciting, for I am not sufficient for one of myself. And why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance and my God. If, for a small moments, he hide his face, he will return. O my soul, submint. Do not murmur, but trust in God; for he is the faithful and unchangeable Jehovah: And he will have compassion on thee still, because he will have compassion. As he always was, so he always will be selfmoved, and show mercy for Jesus' sake, for thou art accepted in the be­loved.

Tuesday noon.—Blessed be God, after I wrote was enabled to ease my burdened heart, by pouring out my soul in prayer to God; he heart my cries, and has assisted me in my bu­siness, and since my cares and concerns, as well as soul, are cast upon him, I have been at rest. And now, Lord, either keep me from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver me when tempted. O go with me, for Jesus' sake, and bind me fast to thyself forever.

Thursday morning, October 9.—Yesterday shut up, and much indisposed in body. Not enlarged in prayer; but, blessed be God watching and lifting up ejaculatory petitions to [Page 171] be kept from, or preserved in temptations, and God preserved me. I was refreshed in the e­vening by conversation, and in my sleep in the night thought I besieged the throne of grace, urging that the kingdom of heaven suffers vio­lence, and the violent take it by force, and de­termining not to give out, but press forward till I obtain. But, alas! I am destitute of life and vigor this morning. The Lord revive me, for Jesus' sake.

Evening, October 9.—Blessed be God, all the forenoon I was kept watching. At noon, in meditation and prayer, melted down by dis­coveries of God in his holiness, goodness, truth, and faithfulness. Was strengthened to plead for growth and perseverance in grace to the end. Greatly encouraged to hope, that God, for Jesus' sake, will strengthen me yet more. Solemnly renewed my choice of God for my God, and gave up myself afresh, with vehement longings to love and serve him bet­ter, since he has forgiven me ten thousand tal­ents. Rejoiced in my dear Redeemer's prom­ise, "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." O blessed be God for his gra­cious visit.

Saturday morning, October 11.—Blessed be God, I this morning awake with him, and have been refreshed and delighted in some con­templations on his adorable perfections. But my elevated souls has only fluttered as a bird from bough to bough, transported one moment with thoughts on his wisdom, in another, his holiness, another, his sovereignty, his power, [Page 172] his truth and faithfulness, and so on. Some sweets from these words, "I know that my Re­deemer liveth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." O transporting thought! O glorious resurrection! Then I shall gaze to eternity. Then I shall drink my fill. Then I shall be like him, for I shall see him as he is. Yea, even at death, my soul, thou shalt be admitted: Thou shalt have the open vision and full fru­ition of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, while the body securely sleeps in its dusty bed, free as well as thou from all discerned evil, free from sin the worst of all. Who knows but the joyful period is at hand? Who can tell, but the sand is almost run out. Rouse up, my soul, bestir thyself. Improve every moment here for God, and in special this day. Perhaps it may be the last. Act as if thou wert sure it would be so.

Wednesday morning, November 5.—I now re­cord, on purpose that I may hereafter see it more particularly, the good hand of Providence in ordering all things well for us. For the God who has fed and clothed me all my life long will not leave me now in any strait, unless by my unbelief I provoke him to it. At pre­sent, our way is much hedged up. We can­not, by our business, obtain wherewith to pay for our bread, butter, meat, or any necessary. Cannot buy food for so much as one day: Nor can we see any prospect of procuring wood for winter. Several debts we have unavoidably [Page 173] contracted lie heavy on my spirits, because I know they, to whom we owe, want as well as we.

My soul, remember, "He that believes does not make haste." If thou art in the way of duty, doing what lies in thy power, tis all that God requires of thee. Leave the rest with God to work out in his own way and time: He does all things well. Thou canst not, by taking thought, add one cubit. Come, thou art mighty strong and courageous when embarrassments are at a distance. Now, where is thy faith? Now God, in a gentle manner, puts thee upon trial, do not draw back or fear, but cast all thy care on him, for he careth for thee. Thou art of more worth than many sparrows, art better than the ravens, yea the very hairs of thy head are all numbered. God as always appeared, and he will appear for thee. Has he not said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee? Re­member, he that has not withheld his Sons from thee, will, with him, freely give thee all things: All things that he sees needful for thee. Come, my soul, rest securely now on the wisdom and care of thy heavenly Father. Venture on his power and faithfulness, for it will never, never fail. Has he not said, "Though the mountains depart, and the hills be removed, yet his kind­ness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of his peace be removed from thee?" He will give grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

[Page 174]After I wrote, I read part of Matthew [...]i. and when I came to that command, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." God excited a vehement thirst in my soul after himself, his Christ, and increase of strengthen­ing, quickening, and sanctifying grace; h [...]ld up my soul to plead for these as my chief good, and I solemnly promised, if he would grant me these, and subdue my sins, I would be content with any thing and every thing his providence shall allot; and casting my care on him, my soul was at rest, and is so still, blessed be his name. In a quarter of an hour after, I had tidings of some wood: So soon did God answer my faith and prayer, as to outward things.

Thursday morning.—Assisted in prayer, and my faith drawn out into exercise, both for spir­itual and temporal blessings. A temporal favor received presently after, in which the hand of God appeared plain.

Sabbath evening.—Blessed be God, notwith­standing all the glooms and distractions that perplexed me, occasioned, I believe, by bodily disorders, and a malicious mischief making devil, God gave me some nearness of access to his throne in the morning, to cry for deliver­ance, and at his table enabled me to renew my vows and engagements to be the Lord's. Hold up my soul to wrestle with him for strengthen­ing, persevering grace, as well as pardon, that the blood of Jesus Christ may cleanse me from all sin, the pollution as well as condemnation. God knows I cannot be satisfied with the be­lief [Page 175] of being delivered from condemnation; but I want to be saved from my sins. I want them crucified and slain. I want this accursed enmity, hateful pride, odious unbelief taken away, and God's image more and more restor­ed, that I may glorify him on earth, and finish the work he has given me to do.

When pleading again for this after I came home, and solemnly protesting, if Christ would subdue my sins, and strengthen me, I would live more to him than ever, I thought the bless­ed Jesus asked me, Believest thou I am able to do this for thee? My soul replied with tears, Lord, I believe: Help thou mine unbelief. I know it is but for thee to speak the word, and I shall be holy, I shall be strong and very cour­ageous. Then I had strong consolation from those blessed promises, My grace shall be suffi­cient for thee: I will strengthen thee, I will up­hold thee by the right hand of my righteousness. I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. Thou shalt go from strength to strength, till thou ap­pear before God in Zion. O my soul, be strong, be courageous. God has done, and still will do great things for thee. Remember his vows are upon thee. Keep close now to the great Captain of thy salvation, for all power is in his hands; and if thine enemies were a mil­lion times more and stronger than they are, he would conquer. He will subdue, he will sanc­tify thee, he will not let thee go. He will hold thee fast by his Spirit. O my soul, cling fast to him by faith: Cling resolutely; for he is thine own glorious Christ, thine own Savior, and he [Page 176] will fulfil the desires of thy longing soul. S [...]e hard for more grace, nearer union, and more intimate communion. He has condescended to call thee his friend, and he is thine everlasting friend, therefore be not strange; but, with hum­ble reverence and confidence, lean on his dear delightful breast, and ask him what is his will, with a fixed resolution, by his grace, to do what­ever he commands.

He is thy glorious Prophet, and he will teach thee: Thy glorious Priest forever, and he has and will satisfy divine justice for thee: He has and he will clothe thee with his own best robe, even his spotless righteousness. Thy shame shall never appear. Remember he has told thee thou shalt never be confounded, or put to shame. He is thy sovereign King, and he has made thee willing in the day of his power to submit to him. Thou art now under his pro­tection. Thine enemies are his enemies, and he has told thee that no weapon formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that riseth up in judgment against thee thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord▪ Amen.

Lord Jesus, into thine hands I commit my spirit, whole soul and body, with all my con­cerns for time and eternity, for thou art a suit­able Savior, suited to all my wants, just such as one as I need. O accept me for thine own sake, and keep what I have committed to thy [Page 177] charge. Lord, keep me from the evil, for I am thine own, and will be thine forever.

SARAH OSBORN.

November 18.—The night past, God has ful­filled my desire, that if in my day there should be an earthquake, I might be sensible of it.— Being awaked this night, among other thoughts, part of an hymn came into my mind with de­light.

Wake now, my soul, and humbly hear,
What thy mild Lord commands;
Each word of his will charm thine ear,
Each word will guide thine hands.

See how his sweet and tender care complies with our weak minds! Presently I heard a noise and felt a shaking, which I soon perceived to be an earthquake. My soul darted up to God, in ejaculation, that he would sanctify this shock, for the awakening and quickening of his people, and also for preservation. In the height of the shaking, God graciously, by his Spirit, gave me this cordial from his word, "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be remov­ed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be re­moved, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee."* Lord, what a pledge was this! What condescension was this, that even while thou vast displaying thy majesty and greatness, shak­ing terribly the earth, that then thou shouldest [...]e mindful of me, and say, "It is I; be not a­fraid." And again, "Be not dismayed: I am thy God."—Thou wast thus mindful of me, vile, [Page 178] sinful, wretched, ungrateful me, worm of the dust, and didst show me that, amidst it all, thou art my covenant faithful God. O let me lie in the dust, and abhor myself, while, with trem­bling and great joy, I behold thee a great, omnipotent, just, sovereign, terrible, holy, and yet gracious, faithful, covenant keeping God. A God at peace, even with me, for the great Me­diator's sake. Why, Lord, why was I [...] trembling and dismayed, before thee, because of my great, my heinous sins, my aggravated, God provoking sins, sins of a crimson die, sins of which even devils were never guilty!

O precious Christ! O blessed union between thee and my soul. My ark, my hiding place, my rock and sure defence, my refuge from the storm. Lord Jesus, in thee I stand complete God can be just, and yet the justifier of her who believes in Jesus. Lord, let me renew my strength. Now sanctify me throughout, in soul, in spirit, in body. Now make me like thee, holy as thou art holy. Now subdue me more than ever to thyself. I will rejoice and praise thee. I will run the way of thy command­ments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart. Draw me▪ I will run after thee. I will be for thee and none other all the days of my life.

Friday morning, November 28.—The Lord make me thankful, and again I say, my soul, be thankful, for he is an unchangeable God, a glorious portion. O what has God done for me, in enabling me to choose him for my all, for time and eternity. O happy choice, happy I, since God the Father is mine, Christ [Page 179] mine, the Holy Spirit mine, all the promises in the word of a faithful God are mine, grace mine, glory mine, all things on earth, so far as consists with God's glory and my good, mine: He has given me all things richly to enjoy; yea, afflictions and temptations are mine for good—even the remains of sin drive me to nay God. O surely none but God could make this worst of evils serviceable; but, with God all things are possible. And, O my soul, re­joice: For, ere long, this worst of evils shall be done away. Come, do not sink now, be­cause this must be dragged about while here; but look forward into eternity and rejoice, for it shall never follow thee there. It is now do­ing its worst: It shall then cease forever. Hal­lelujah, Hallelujah, then I shall be like him; for I shall see him as he is.

January 22, 1756.

OF all creatures that live, I think I have the most reason to be thankful. God is exceed­ingly gracious; verily his kindness doth not de­part from me, but increaseth day by day. In temporals, he doeth all things well; smiles on the work of my hands, gives me wherewith to answer all necessary demands, and it is enough, if he will but give me a Benjamin's portion in himself, I ask no more, I desire no more▪ and adored be his name, I have reason to hope, I am on the thriving hand in spirituals, yea, and shall grow stronger still, for God hath said it. [Page 180] His bow is set in the clouds as a token of his faithfulness to Noah, and he hath, (blessed be his name) given me such a token, such a pledge in that awful moment, when the earth was trembling under me, as shall be as my bo [...], for the eye of my faith to fix upon, I tr [...], through the assistance of his own Spirit, to the end of my days; for his kindness shall not de­part from me, though the mountains depart, and the hills be removed. He will, in cove­nant love and faithfulness, order all things well. Let what will come, afflictions, temptations, [...] whatever, God will overrule all for good, all for his own glory, and I will, by his grace, ac­quiesce, cling to him, and trust in him, for he is my own covenant God, in and through my dear Redeemer, and I will be his forever.

February 6.—I have been perplexed in my mind, and vexed with myself on account of a strong expression in conversation with a partic­ular friend. We were both speaking of what we experienced of the goodness of God to us, I trust with a view to his glory: He said he had a refreshing season that morning, &c. I an­swered, so had I, and added, I had a large draught at the fountain. He modestly replied, I dare not say so, I had a sip, a taste, &c. The Lord in mercy grant me prudence, and teach me how to speak with proper strength of expression, that I may neither withhold the truth to his dishonor, nor offend the ears of any friend, by expressing myself in too high terms. But now, let me see, my soul, on what did I ground this ex­pression? What did I experience that morn­ing? [Page 181] Truly it is not easy to tell what, but this I know, God by his Spirit sweetly applied that gracious invitation, "If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink," then my thoughts im­mediately turned upon the object, I was in­vited to, and that was Christ; next, what was the drink I should partake of; here the foun­tain opened! I should drink of his communi­cable perfections, he is a fountain of all grace, I might drink in faith, drink in holiness, drink in love, drink in humility, patience, yea every grace; drink in conformity to his image in ev­ery part, knowledge, courage, prudence, wis­dom, joy, delight, yea strong consolation.

My thirst increased, and grew more vehe­ment. God did open my mouth wide, and he did fill it. My soul was held up by the power of God, as the needle by the loadstone, and I did by faith, with joy draw water out of these wells of salvation. I drank and was satisfied from the fulness of my unchangeable God, who has loved me with an everlasting love, and with loving kindness has drawn me. I hated sin bit­terly, and myself for it. I renewedly chose my dear invaluable portion, my pearl of great price; my soul exulted, gloried, triumphed in her choice, and determined never to let him go, whom my soul loved! I gave up my all again, and again, into his merciful and faithful hands, and I am his own; he will keep what I committed to him, and I will cling to him and rejoice in him, for he is truth, and faithfulness in the abstract, yea, he is altogether lovely!

[Page 182]And, although I had but a sip, in compari­son with what he is in himself, and with my wants, yet, I had such a draught, as crowns and kingdoms could neither purchase for, nor from me.

Had I the world at my command,
And the more boundless sea,
For one blest hour at thy right hand,
I'd give them both away!

Surely the consolations of God, at this sea­son, were neither small nor few. My soul was filled as with marrow and fatness, and such a peace lasted all the day, as the world can nei­ther give, nor take away.

O how good, how gracious is God to me, an unworthy wretch! O, when shall I awake in his likeness, then I shall be eternally satisfied, then shall I shout forth the riches of redeeming love and grace, without fear of this hateful pride! Till then, may God guide me by his unerring Spirit, and prudent counsel, and or­dain to himself praise, out of the mouth of such a babe, for Jesus' sake.

Tuesday morning, March 9.—By thinking on the experience I had last week, how deeply I have been sunk under a sense of the intolerable weight and burden of sin. My soul has been sore broken, vexed, and harassed, by those venomous beasts of prey, that have interrupted my communion with God, broke in upon me as a flood, and, like Gehazi, thrust me away, even when, in the bitterness of my soul, I want­ed to lie at the feet of my gracious God, and bewail my contrariety to him.

[Page 183]O, what wanderings, what distractions, what pride, what sloth, what unbelief; O, how did my wounds grow corrupt, what an odious, pol­luted creature in myself am I! a creature full of leprosy; having an issue of blood, that no one but Christ alone can stanch; all other physicians fail; a blind, naked soul, without any covering of my own, all too short, too nar­row; bowed down, too, under a spirit of in­firmity, which I cannot loose; none but Christ can make me straight! But O, what a Christ have I! what a Prophet, what a Priest, what a glo­rious King, who holds the reins in his own hand, and although he, in infinite wisdom, suf­fers these tyrants, these vile sins, to lift up their heads and rage, yet he will not let them have dominion; and though Satan shake his chain, and gnash upon me with his teeth, envying my happiness in communion with my God; yet this glorious King will hold his chain, and not suffer him to move one hair's breadth towards me, further than shall be for his own glory, and my good.

Monday morning, June 28.—Yesterday morning, some precious moments in prayer, while pleading that I might glorify God. I had a sense of the self sufficiency, self happiness and greatness of God; that he stood in no need of me. An abasing sense of my own vileness, and unworthiness to attempt his praise; yet was en­abled to plead, that, notwithstanding I was so vile, still I was a part of the work of his hand, and for this very end I was created. And though I had ruined and undone myself by sin, [Page 184] lost his image, and rendered myself incapable of answering the end of my creation; yet he had been graciously pleased to choose, from eternity, this precious soul of mine, and gave it to Christ as part of his inheritance, and Christ hath accepted me, and hath actually manifested the greatest love, in laying down his life for me. And since my soul is redeemed by precious blood, it is a precious soul. Be­sides, God hath recovered it from the ruins of the apostasy; by effectual calling he hath made me willing in the day of his power to accept the purchased redemption; to receive Christ as he is freely offered to me in the gospel, and theref [...]re gave me power to become a child of God. He hath created me anew in Christ Je­sus, for the end that I might glorify him.

And what should hinder now, since I am thine, forever thine: Thine by purchase, by creation, preservation, regeneration, and adop­tion; thine by a thousand voluntary surren­ders; wholly a dedicated thing, soul and body, what should hinder, why no more holy? Why may not I, after my kind, as every bird, and spire of grass doth, shew forth the glory of God? What should hinder? Shall the remain­der of indwelling corruption? Forbid it gra­cious God! Since with thee all things are pos­sible, and this is thy will, even my sanctifica­tion; and all power is in the hand of Christ, it is but for him to say, I will, be thou clean, and it is done. God will be glorified, and this is all my salvation, and all my joy! O, let me bear much fruit, that God may be glorified. [Page 185] Lord, grant me speedy sanctification, for Jesus' sake. Thou hast said, Whatsoever I ask in his name thou wilt grant; this is my petition, and this is my request. O, grant me this, and it is enough!

July 1.—I have been reviewing former writings, and find, notwithstanding many, many deficiencies in every thing, yet God has kept me reaching after greater degrees of grace, and heart holiness. He hath enabled me to go from ordinance to or [...]nance, seeking and sow­ing in tears; and will he not enable me to go from strength to strength? Will he not cause me to return rejoicing, bringing my sheaves with me? Shall I not be able to say, For this grace, this holiness I sought the Lord, and he heard me for Jesus' sake, and hath granted me, this faith, this love, this humility, this patience, prudence, wisdom, resignation to his will, this zeal for his glory, this victory over my pride, unbelief, and every traitor in my soul? Surely he will. He will not suffer the serpent always to hiss in my breast; he will not give me a stone! O! go on my soul, and still follow hard after God, for he hath begun to deliver, and he will deliver for Christ's sake, though thou art unworthy! O, keep alive thy hope, thy strongest trust and confidence, for he will not make thee ashamed. Thou shalt not be con­founded nor put to shame; for the Lord hath spoken it; and he is not a man that he should [...]e, nor the son of man, that he should re­pent.

[Page 186]

Wednesday morning, July 7.—Yesterday morning, I had not any freedom of access, and something happened which was uncomfortable; yet I had a thousand times more comfort [...] I deserved. But oh, what has now overtaken me! Surely pride is again vaunting, disconte [...] arising, and I becoming my own to [...] Satan, also, stirring up the filth of my perverse heart. Lord Jesus, appear for me; espouse my cause; let not the tyrant prevail; I sha [...] dishonor thee, if thou dost not prevent. Oh, what a proud monster am I! O, King Jesus, subdue me to thyself; reign in, rule over, re­strain and conquer all thine, and my enemie [...] and grant me a spirit of meekness. O, give me not a stone; but for thy own glory give me the grace I ask.

Wednesday evening.—Forever blessed be my gracious God, after I wrote this morning, I w [...] enabled to apply with earnestness to the throne of grace, and pour out my complaints before him; to fly to him for succour, and cast my care and burden on him. He sustained and comforted me, and hath, I trust, been with me of a truth all the day! He stilled the tumult [...] my breast, which sin and Satan had raised, and cheered my soul with his forgiving love. O, who is a God, like unto mine! Ah, what [...] Christ have I! what a surety, what a friend, what an advocate with the Father, what a peace maker, a healer of breaches. O, my soul, [...] in him forever, for he will never make thee [...] shamed of thy highest confidence. O, love [...] all thy strength; admire, praise, and adore; for [Page 187] he will not suffer thee to f [...]ll a prey, to thy [...]less, cruel, and bloodthirsty enemies.

Thou art Christ's and none s [...]ll be able to pl [...]k thee out of his hands, though sin, earth, and devils do their worst. He is God over all, [...]ed forever; he will hold thee by his om­nipotent power. I know whom I have believ­ed; rejoice my soul, though devils rage. Yea, rejoice evermore, and still follow on to know the Lord; all will be well, bye and bye.

He hath glorified his name, and will glorify it again. He hath magnified the riches of his sovereign grace, in snatching thee as a brand out of the burning, and in preserving thee hith­erto every step of thy way. He hath done all in thee, and all for thee; though thou hast puff­ed through the fire, thou hast not been burnt, neither hath the flame kindled upon thee to consume thee. O, how often have sin and Sa­tan strove to rend my soul from thee, my God! B [...], everlasting is thy love, and Jesus seals it with his blood. Come, my soul, set up thy L [...]enezer, for hitherto the Lord hath helped thee. Come, renew the dedication of all thy powers to him, for thou shalt go from strength to strength, till thou appear before God in Zi­on, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. Amen, Hallelujah! I am thine, O God, for­ever.

SARAH OSBORN.

Monday evening, July 12.—Blessed be God, I had access to the throne of grace again this [...]ing, and the Lord only knows how sweet it was to pour out my whole soul before him, [Page 188] and renew the dedication of all to him, and plead, that for his own glory I might be sanctified, strengthened, and persevere to the end.

I trust I did really act faith on the po [...], allsufficiency, and faithfulness of a glorious [...] vior; and after leaving all my concerns [...] him, had sweet peace and rest. My soul [...] been satisfied as with marrow and fatness. Bless the Lord, O my soul, for he is good, for hi [...] mercy endureth forever.

And will God graciously grant me success this week, in my endeavors to settle my worldly business, that my mind may be at liberty [...] pursue my eternal concerns! Will God, in his providence, enable me to pay all their due, and likewise to do something to relieve the afflicted▪ If for thy glory, Lord grant it; but, however, fit me for disappointment, resign me to thy will may that be done on earth, as it is in heaven, for Jesus' sake.

Thursday morning, July 16.—We have not had very hot weather for eight days past, such as I used to dread and faint under; and I can­not but admire the goodness of God to me in this season; for he has certainly strengthened, and upheld my spirits, and all hath been well, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits! O, remember this season, and en­courage thyself in God; for all seasons are [...] like to him. And will God still be gracious, and preserve the lives and health of the little ones, and suffer not discontent to arise among their parents. Blessed be God for all the peace and satisfaction I do enjoy.

[Page 189]O, for Jesus' sake, and for thine own glory, Lord, give me grace to be faithful. O let me not be content with the name of being so, but make me so indeed and in truth, that God may be glorified, and the children profited. Blessed be God, for so much success as thou hast grant­ed in my worldly affairs.

Will God still bless my endeavors, and ena­ble me in all my ways to acknowledge him, and will he direct my paths. O thou, without whose permission a sparrow falls not to the ground, still order, in thy providence, that I may ac­complish my designs, pay to all their due, and be at liberty to devote my time, thoughts, and strength, to the more immediate exercises of re­ligion, my dear delight. Blessed be God, that I am satisfied, I am in the way of duty, while thus engaged in worldly matters. O, let thy glory be the ultimate end of all my actions, whether civil, or religious, and all shall be well forever, for I am thine, and thou art mine, and this is enough! O let me enjoy thee! I ask no more!

Friday evening, July 23.—The Lord make me truly thankful, for this hath been a good day to me. God hath carried me comfortably through it.—My children have been more dil­igent and submissive than usual, and I have been composed and diligent. God hath order­ed all things well. Surely he is a God hear­ing prayer. O my soul, trust in him at all [...]mes, and give the glory of all that is right, to him, who is the God that performeth all things for me.

[Page 190]

Friday morning, August 6.—O, thou whose eyes are as a flame of fire, search and try me; see if there be any guile, any reservation in my heart. Am I in league with any one sin? Lord, thou knowest, if I am I know it not. My heart doth not accuse me; but that is deceit­ful above all things, and I dare not trust it. O, I appeal to thee, glorious God! Have I any darling lust? O, convince me of it. Have I any Agag I want concealed? O, doth not my whole soul consent, when I cry, let all be cru­cified; O, let them be crucified? O, let me not be deceived through the deceitfulness of sin. I tremble at the thought. O, surely if I know there is a God against whom I have sinned, if I know I have a being, if I know I have a soul, I do know it longeth for the ut­ter destruction of sin, every sin, every degree of sin, because it is contrary to thee! Lord, I appeal to thee again; thou knowest, through thy grace, this is the vehement desire of my soul! O, then grant it for Christ's sake. I ask in his name alone. I am unworthy; but he is worthy for whose sake I ask. O, deny me not. I fly to the golden sceptre. Hast thou not said, Whatsoever I ask in his name, thou wilt give? Amen, amen. Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief; for I am thine forever.

Monday evening.—Blessed be God, he hath been with me all the day of a truth; hath en­abled me to be diligent, and aim at faithful­ness. Be of good cheer, O my soul, for the God that hath brought thee thus far on thy journey toward thy eternal home, through this [Page 191] dark, this howling wilderness, will still direct, and protect thee. He will not fail, nor forsake thee, all the days of thy life; only be thou faithful unto death, and he will give thee a crown of life. Hold out, faith and patience, a little longer, and the combat will be over for­ever! Sin, accursed sin, shall no more separate between thee and thy God; never hide his glorious face from thee; never cause thee to grieve him, nor wound thyself. O, astonishing! God shall wipe away all tears from thine eyes; all sorrow and sighing shall be done away! O, then thou shalt be like him, for thou shalt see him as he is! Then thou shalt be made perfect in holiness! Then my transported soul shall gaze to eternity, on the perfections of the sacred Three in One! O Lord, be not angry with me, that I have a desire to depart, and be with Christ, who is my life, while I also desire to submit to thy will, and wait thy time. O sanc­tify me more, that I may glorify thee upon earth, and all is well. Thy will be done: I am thine; do with me what seemeth thee good!

Friday morning, August 13.—O Lord my God, grant me some discoveries of thy glorious perfections, some transforming views, some re­alizing belief of the fulness, the sufficiency there is in Christ Jesus, for me, a poor grovel­ing mortal. Lord, a deep sense of my own vileness without this, will sink me too low. I cannot bear it; the sight is too shocking. O, let me now turn and see what Christ hath done. He hath fulfilled the law which I have broken; [Page 192] hath brought in an everlasting righteousness, by his perfect obedience, sufferings and [...] Justice itself is satifised; righteousness [...]d peace have met and embraced each other: Yea, and there is a communicative fulness in him also, and he hath imparted some grace al­ready. Sure I am not all enmity now, though I have such heartbreaking remains. O, th [...] restore thine image more and more! Suffer [...]e not to sit down discouraged, as if my case was desperate, for thou hast found a remedy. There is balm in Gilead, there is a glorious Physici [...] there. O, then, let me be healed, even me!

Saturday evening, August 21.—Surely I am the strangest creature upon earth. This morn­ing, God condescended to take me near to himself, held up my soul by his almighty power to wrestle, and plead for conformity to his glorious image; that I might get as near to pefection in holiness, as it is possible in a mortal state. Though I was unworthy of the least spark of grace, yet I pleaded, for Christ's sake, I might have large draughts from the full, overflowing fountain; clear evidences of my union to him. I had strong consolation from gracious promises. Matthew v.vi. Isaiah liv. and others. Likewise from God's eternal de­crees. For whom he did foreknow, he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. As many as were ordained to eter­nal life believed. These were chosen before the foundation of the world, through sanctifica­tion of the Spirit and belief of the truth. This is the will of God, even your sanctification. [Page 193] Also the mediatorial prayer of Christ: Sanctify them through thy truth. From the purchase, Redeemer's blood: He died to purchase to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. That hereby God would be glorified, if I bear much fruit. O, what shall hinder? All power is in his hands! Had an affecting sense of these things all the former part of the day.

But this afternoon in a restless frame. Could not converse, or fix on any thing, though with dear christian friends. Discontented and gloomy. Surely, this is the body. O, blessed [...]e God, that Christ Jesus is the same, as at the beginning! With him there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning. Though my frames vary, He is the same, yesterday, today, and for­ever, and will accomplish the thing which he pleaseth. He will conduct me through all these vicissitudes, and bring me at last to behold his glory, for I am his own forever.

Lord's Day, September 12.—Last evening died a child, whom I have had in my school from the cradle. Will God graciously pardon all my deficiencies in the instruction of this, as well as all my other children, and accept of any sincerity thou hast seen, in my endeavors to save the precious souls. Blessed be thy name, my gracious God, for the testimony of my conscience, in that I have labored, and longed for their salvation, though not so much as I ought. O, humble me, and give grace to be more faithful. If thou [...]eest fit to con­tinue [Page 194] me in this world, and in my calling, Lord sanctify this stroke to me, and to my little ones.

My bodily disorders have followed me more violently since Thursday, than before. Was very ill all Friday night, yesterday and last night; but blessed be God, not comfortless; no, adored be his name, very far from that, especially last night, when I began to cherish a hope, that this sickness would be unto death. O joyful prospect of eter­nity, while well assured that I have reposed my trust in a glorious all sufficient savior. I know on whom I have believed, and can gladly venture through the dark valley of the shadow of death, and fear no evil, for God is with me, Christ with me. I have fled to him for refuge, and he will keep me.

My affections are very strong toward my dear consort, my honored aged mother, my dear christian friends, from whom, under God, I have received so much comfort. My heart was raised in thankfulness to God for all the comfort, and refreshment he hath bestowed, on his poor, weary, unworthy worm, in her tire­some pilgrimage, and for all the dear privileges, with which he hath indulged me; for ministers, especially my dear pastor; for his written word, precious promises, sabbaths, sacraments, and all sanctuary enjoyments; these were all dear, all precious; but I could gladly resign them all, for full enjoyment of my precious Christ; can cheerfully commit my dear consort, mother, and dear friends, into the merciful and faithful hands of God, relying on his care and gra­cious [Page 195] providence, which hath, and will still provide for them: The God who hath fed me all my life!

Having taken my farewell of things dear be­low, I seemed to be looking and longing for the joyful period. But, O, if it be the sove­reign pleasure of my gracious God, to say, Re­turn, I submit. His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven! It is meet such a worm should, with patience, wait his time, if he hath any thing for me to do, or suffer. If he will give me grace, if he will sanctify me more, give me more holiness, that I may glorify him upon earth, all is well. But I cannot think of re­maining here, so unlike to God. Lord, sanctify me more, for Jesus' sake alone.

Thursday morning, September 22.—I have been all this week, and still am, very weak. My distemper returned, and hath brought me lower than before, and have been attended with more pain; but, through divine goodness, not in extremity, and God is still raising up friends to supply me with any little dainty my stomach craves, and with it gives me a sense of his goodness, fills my heart with thankfulness to him, and to my friends, and this doubles the sweetness. O, my God, this is a gentle rod, not according to my iniquities; yet let it serve a valuable purpose. Sanctify every twig, and let my sins be purged away, and make me more holy, for Christ's sake.

Wednesday evening, November 10.—Blessed be God, I had a precious season this morning. God excited vehement desires after holiness; [Page 196] drew forth faith, love, repentance, resignation to the divine will, into exercise. I renewed my choice, and dedications. I was comforted. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Sabbath evening, November 14.—Blessed, for­ever blessed be my gracious God, for he is good, and his mercy endureth forever. Yes­terday, and Friday evening also, God took me near to himself in meditation, prayer, and ex­amination; this morning also; and adored be his name, he keeps me in his fear, all the day long, habitually so. Blessed be his infinite wis­dom, love and faithfulness, for all the dispensa­tions of his providence; that he by his mercies hath led me to repentance; not only so, but hath used the rod, to reduce my wandering soul; breaking off my dependence on crea­tures, weaning my affections from things below, that they may be more steadily fixed on himself, and on his Christ, his spirit and grace, that these may be all in all to my soul. What wise and blessed steps hath he taken, though once afflic­tive. When in my young and tender years, my heart was much set on the husband of my youth, he rent him from me, and likewise be­reaved me of almost all that was dear to me according to the flesh, whereby he broke off my dependence on those streams for comfort, and led me to the fountain. O, "happy rod, that brought me nearer to my God." He hath abundantly made up to me, in himself, and in his Christ, the loss of all these. But, alas, still the world, its pleasures, profits and cares, threatened to engross and entangle my affec­tions. [Page 197] Infinite wisdom saw this, and therefore d [...]shed all my schemes, disappointed all my hopes and expectations, from friends and means, though, blessed be his name, he did not leave me wholly destitute. By this, through his grace, he brought me to cast my care on himself, and rely more immediately on his providence, to provide for me, and mine, ever since. And here I have lived secure and at rest, amidst many ups and downs, frowns and flatteries from creatures. The less Reason hath had to work upon, the more freely Faith hath cast itself upon the faithfulness of God; and here my expectations have never been disappointed. God hath comforted me, when creatures failed, and proved vanity and vexation of spirit.

But still my foolish heart must needs seek something below; to go out freely after, and hath been exceedingly attached to Christian friends. And here, because I hoped I loved for Jesus' sake, I have indulged excess; here have my affections twined; these have been as the apple of my eye, or even as my own soul! In these have I rejoiced; from these, my expectations of future comforts have been raised. I was ready to say, Surely these will not fail; but rather than my dependence should be placed on these, and they prove rivals in my heart, God will embitter them, every one, at some time or other, even to the breaking of my very heart; I shall find a sore thorn under every one of these sweetest roses upon earth.

And now, blessed be God, I am more than [...]ver convinced, that all things under the sun, [Page 198] are vanity, and nothing but God alone a sub­stantial good. Adored be thy name, O my God, for every twig of thy rod. Help me now to cease from man, whose breath is in his nos­trils. Now let me be effectually weaned from all the world, and all my hopes, expectations, desires, love, delight and joys, terminate in thee. Yea, let me forever be for thee, and for none other! Lord, thou hast won my heart, take it to thyself, fill it with thy grace, and possess it to eternity. Go on, I beseech thee, to rend away every rival. I stand divested of all the world; give it to whom thou pleasest; give me my chosen portion, thyself, thy spirit, and thy grace, and I have enough. Here I am, do with me what seemeth thee good.

Friday evening, November 19.—Blessed be God, an unexpected smile of providence, to­day, whereby we have been enabled to pay those debts which lay with greatest weight upon my mind, and also to purchase an article we wanted. O, my God, how good, how bounti­ful art thou to thy poor ungrateful creature! O, what need have I to perplex myself, for this, or that, since God thus careth for me. He knoweth all my wants, both for soul and body, and when it is the most proper time to supply them. O, may I ever rely on divine wisdom and faithfulness, casting all my care on him. O, may my conversation be without covetousness, and I be content with such things as I have, for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee!

[Page 199]Blessed be God, he hath strengthened me today, in body and mind, and brought me com­fortably through it, and I am nearer home than ever; and when I arrive there, I shall have done with sin forever, and praise forever, be holy forever, be full of God forever, behold his glory and be like him, for I shall see him as he is, and be eternally satisfied. O, precious Christ, the foundation of my hopes and joys. I am thine, and thou art mine, forever, forever. Amen. Hallelujah!

Friday evening, December 31.—Blessed, for­ever blessed be my gracious God, who hath condescended again to indulge me. a poor sin­ful worm, in spreading my complaints and sor­rows before him; and for Christ's sake bowed his ear, supported, encouraged, and comforted me. Yea, and he will be gracious still, be­cause he will be gracious. I shall still hold on my way; for he, who was the author, will be the finisher of my faith.

Blessed be his name, that he hath brought me to the close of another year, under such comfortable circumstances. God hath ordered all things well; and though I have reason to be deeply humbled, for my many heart sins, and imperfections, whereby I have dishonored him, and grieved his blessed Spirit, yet, adored be his name, he hath not left me to fall into any open scandalous sin. Blessed be God, for all the discoveries of heart sins; for the humbling influences of the blessed Spirit; for all the discoveries of the divine perfections, and the fulness of my dear Redeemer; for all the clear [Page 200] and satisfying evidences of my union to Christ by faith; for every degree of resignation to the divine will; for every affliction; for every dispensation of providence; for all the freedom of access to the throne of grace, from time to time; for all the sweetness I have tasted in the written word; O, hath it not been sweet [...] than honey, or the honey comb! for all [...] opportunities I have had in the house of God, and at his table; for all the refreshments there, and for all the joyful prospects of eternity! O Lord, how great is thy goodness; how sweet have been my meditations of thee, in the year past! How sweet the communion I have [...] with thee in thy providences, and ordinances! I have sinned, but thou hast been kind, beyond expression. Lord, I lament all the ungrateful returns I have made thee. O wash away all my sins, in the precious blood of Christ; and although I am an unprofitable servant, still look upon me with complacency, behold me not in my sins, but accept of me for Christ's sake. I fly to his righteousness—I have none of my own—this will stand the scrutiny of impartial justice; it is without a spot, without a flaw. O clothe thy prodigal with this best robe, and [...] me be justified by that alone. I forever [...] nounce every thing of my own.

Saturday evening, January 1, 17 [...]7.

BLESS the Lord, O my soul, and all [...] is within me bless his holy name, and return [Page 201] unto thy rest; for the Lord hath dealt bounti­fully with thee! Sweet was the morning, when God condescended to take his poor, feeble, discouraged, needy worm, nigh unto himself, humbled me for sin, and bowed his gracious ear to my groans, sighs, and tears. It was sweet renewing my solemn choice of God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for my all, my only por­tion! Sweet clinging by faith to him: Sweet casting my precious and immortal soul upon him, for time and for eternity; relying on his wisdom, power, and faithfulness, to keep what I have thus committed to him: Sweet pleading for grace to glorify him, in the ensuing year, or as long as it shall be his will to continue me in this world, resigning up myself, all I have, am, or can do, solemnly protesting that I desire nothing, but conformity to his image, to glorify and enjoy him. Let him do what seemeth him good.

A sweet peace followed; and this afternoon a precious season, in solemnly renewing my written covenant. I do, this day, avouch this God, his Christ, his Spirit and grace, to be all my salvation, and all my joy. Now, Lord, I am forever thine. O hold me in thine hand, that no evil befall me, no sin defile me. O, come take up thy abode with me. Lord, through thy grace, the everlasting doors of my soul stand wide open; O, come in, my king and my God. I cannot, I will not let thee go. Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none on earth, I desire, beside thee!

[Page 202]

Thursday morning, January 27.—Forever blessed be my gracious God, for he is good, and his mercy endureth forever. This morn­ing, God took me near to himself. I was much affected with the natural hardness of the heart, and love of worldly things: That when Christ had wrought so great a miracle as to cast out a legion of devils, from the possessed man, a whole city should go out and desire him to de­part out of their coasts, because they had lost their filthy swine. I was enabled to give the blessed Jesus, a solemn and hearty invitation in­to my soul, protesting, in his presence, that if he will come and take up his abode with me, I will gladly give up all this world for this enjoy­ment. I will be content, and rejoice in him, though he strip me of every thing dear to me, here below. I saw my absolute need of him, in all his offices; pleaded that he would exe­cute them all, and subdue me to himself. Casting my care on him, willing to wait his time, by prayer, I made known my request to him; asked for a temporal mercy in subordina­tion to his glory; believed he would grant it, which he did in less than two hours after! So quick did God answer faith and prayer, for Christ's sake. Had sweet peace in believing, and am thine, sweet Jesus, forever!

Tuesday evening, February 1.—Blessed, and forever adored, be my faithful, compassionate, and dear Redeemer, for he hath not forsaken me, nor left me comfortless, notwithstanding, all the provocations I have given him; but per­mits me still to come and spread my complaints [Page 203] before him, and by faith touch the hem of his garment: and I shall, before long, find the fountain of my corruption dried up. He will say, Be whole of thy plague. Surely he hath begun to heal me, and he will perfect the cure. Although with me, with men, or means, this is impossible; yet with God, all things are possi­ble, and his grace shall be sufficient for me, and his strength be made perfect in my weakness. Eternal truth hath said it, and eternal wisdom and power will effect it.

O my soul, fear not, though an host encamp against thee. Be thou couragous, and fight till death. The victory is sure. By little and lit­tle, God will drive out the Canaanites. Though now they are as goads in thy sides, yet thy glo­rious Christ will not suffer thee to fall a prey to thy merciless enemies. Thy great and good Shepherd will not give thee up to these devour­ing wolves. No, no; he will defend thee, he will strengthen and relieve thee; he will lead thee in the way thou shouldst go; he will cause thee to hear his voice, and thou shalt follow him whithersoever he goeth. In the path of holiness, he will guide thee with his counsel, and keep thee as the apple of his eye. Thou art in safe hands, my poor trembling soul; why art thou so fearful? Wherefore dost thou doubt? O be strong in faith, giving glory to God. Thy glorious High Priest is thy advo­cate in the court of heaven, and for his sake, thy God and Father will be reconciled, though thy sins be as scarlet and as crimson; though thou art a leper, thou shalt be cleansed by his [Page 204] precious blood, and that shall atone for thee. Thy sovereign king shall reign in and [...]ver thee; he will not be dethroned by sin, or Sa­tan; he will subdue thee to himself. Amen. Lord Jesus, do it more, and more, for I am thine own forever!

This morning, a precious season at the throne of grace, too great and good for l [...] ­guage to express! God's word was sweeter [...] the honey comb. God inclined me to ask for a temporal mercy, in faith, and with submission to his will, and he hath this day granted it. Surely I need not care for the things of thi [...] life, for God doth care for me. O may my care ever be, to please, love, and obey him forever!

Sabbath evening, February 6.—Blessed be my great and glorious God, for his goodness to me is beyond all possible expression. All his ways are mercy, truth and faithfulness; all his ways are pleasantness, and his paths are peace. O, how sweet is the calm I have enjoyed ever since I wrote last. Such a degree of resigna­tion to the divine will, sweet content, yea de­light, in all the dispensations of his providence, as millions of gold could not procure. He careth for me indeed, provides every thing I re­ally need, and at the moment it is wanted. He makes me pray, and believe, for all my mercies, before I have them; takes off my dependence from second causes, lets me see his hand in the smallest circumstances, and this makes every thing sweet.

[Page 205]Yesterday, it pleased God to un [...]it me for [...]tive obedience, by such a sick headache, that I could neither rise from my pillow, nor take my food till night; but it was all welcome from my glorious God, and I heartily cried, Lord, this, or whatever else thou pleasest, only take away my sin, only make me holy, only glorify thyself, in me, and strike, or do with me what seemeth thee good. It is not bodily pain, that can make me miserable; no, if my God will but grant me his gracious presence, I will gladly endure all that he will inflict, rather than dwell at ease, in palaces of plenty, without him.

This day, also, bodily indisposition has un­sitted me for vigorous, active obedience; but blessed be God, not for passive. I could not wait upon God in his house, but he hath not left me comfortless. Good God! is this after the manner of men! Would men, even the most excellent of all the earth, thus treat an ungrateful rebel, who had cast so many indig­nities, and offended him so often? No! O, how is it, and why is it that thou dost bear to take such a wretch into thy bosom, and indulge her at this rate, who deserves nothing but to be spurned from thy presence! Lord, I am amaz­ed. O, let me stand and wonder. Surely it is because thou art God! O, the riches of re­deeming love and grace! It is because thou hast clothed thy prodigal with the best robe, e­ [...]en the righteousness of Christ, that thou canst [...]t look upon me with complacency. It is this that hath covered my nakedness, that the shame of it may not appear. O, let me rather [Page 206] die, than ever again grieve thy blessed Spirit, by unbelief, by sloth, by discontent, by pride, pas­sion, worldliness, or any sin.

Lord Jesus, screen me, be my shield, my rock, and my sure defence. Be thou my strength, or I shall fall. I shall again dishonor thee, and wound my own soul. O, keep me under the shadow of thy wing. O let omnip­otence hold me, and I shall be forever safe. Neither sin, or Satan shall hurt or destroy me. Lord Jesus, I again commit myself into thy merciful, powerful, wise and faithful hands, and rest secure, for thou wilt keep what I have committed to thee, and I will, by thy grace, keep thy word, and do thy will. I will hold thee in the arms of faith and love, and will not let thee go. O, abide with me, come possess every room, every faculty of my soul, and ev­ery member of my body, and use me for thy­self forever.

Monday evening, February 7.—Sweet was the morning, when I awoke with God. His word was sweeter than the honeycomb, to my taste. I prayed over every sentence. Believed, rejoiced, and begged that God, the Father, [...], and Holy Ghost, would take up their a­bode, with me. Saw sin to be a bitter evil; bewa [...]ed it as such; flew to Christ for healing; and with Mary Magdalene could wash his feet with my tears, and wipe them with the hair of my head. Promising, by his grace assisting, that I will keep his commands, and thereby manifest my love to him.

[Page 207]

Saturday evening, April 2.—Blessed be God, some sweet moments this morning in prayer, and have, through divine goodness, been freed from the idle imaginations, and foolish fore­hand contrivances, which have so often per­plexed me. Have been refreshed by tracing back the footsteps of divine providence, seeing how infinite wisdom and goodness have brought about every change in my circum­stances, when most for the glory of God, and my good, without any of my help or care. He needed it not. When he hath seen me op­pressed, he hath always appeared for me, and done all things well, and will still care for me. Why need I be anxious? What need is there of any change of business or circumstance? Now I have a competency of the comforts of life, food and raiment, convenient. Friends, yea enemies at peace with me.

And now, with the fool in the gospel, I must needs be for pulling down my barns and build­ing larger to bestow my goods. Saying, Soul, take thine ease; as if my happiness consisted in these, when I know, and am assured it can­not be found in worldly good. Nothing but God alone can satisfy the soul. Oh how have I committed, two evils, in forsaking the Foun­tain, and hewing out broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Surely Satan hath stirred up himself now; but God hath, and will make a way for my escape. He will not suffer me to be tempted above that I am able to bear.

Sabbath evening, April 10.—Blessed be God, a precious season this morning, in reading, [Page 208] meditation, and prayer. Vehement thirst for conformity to God, that he would fill me with himself, come and take up his abode with me. Renewed my solemn choice and dedications, took hold of the promise of a glorious Christ, "Ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you; ask, that your joy may be full." This season too sweet to be exprest. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits▪ This has been, in general, a good day. God hath made me thankful, and assisted me in in­structing my dear little ones. O, that he would take hold of their souls by his special grace. God hath given me a sense of his goodness, in bestowing on us the warm influences of the sun today, made me serious in his house, fed me with delicious food, had clear evidences of a living faith.

I have been this evening to see my dear sick friend, found her under unusual fears, even fears of death, over which she hath for so many years triumphed. The Lord appear for her; suffer not Satan to distress her. Lord, defeat him, and glorify thyself; yea thou wilt do it; for the whole creation cannot produce an in­stance of one soul ever being made ashamed, who trusted in thee. Blessed be thy name, that thou keepest thy dear child, hanging on thee, submitting to thy sovereign pleasure. O, hold her by thy almighty power, that she may not let go her hold of thee. Into thy hands I commit her; for thou wilt deal graciously with her; thou wilt put underneath the everlasting [Page 209] arms of thy mercy. Having loved thy own, thou lovest them unto the end.

Friday evening, April 22.—O, thou holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, what a vile, a­bominable creature am I! who have transgress­ed every precept of the divine law, even from the womb, and still do so, notwithstanding all thou hast done for my soul. O, wo, ten thou­sand woes to me, if I were to stand before thy awful bar, arrayed in my most filthy and pol­luted garments, though the purest I have ever been capable of making: What rags, what dross are they, in thy most pure and holy eyes! With what detestation and abhorrence wouldst thou cast me out of thy sight, and bar the door of heaven against me forever: Yea, and I [...]rust forever own thy justice in casting all as dung in my face, should I attempt to plead my own righteousness, for my justification. But, Lord, I renounce every rag; I fly to my glorious Lord; his righteousness is sufficient to cover my naked soul. O let me be found in this. And now, Lord, sanctify me throughout, that I may glorify thee, with my body and spirit, which are thine, I ask, for Christ's sake.

Lord's Day, April 21.—Lord, permit me to plead that thou wouldst enlarge the faculties of my soul, that I may be more capable of enter­taining a Glorious Trinity. Thou hast said, We will come and sup and make our abode with him. Amen. So come, Blessed Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, a glorious God in three persons, come and fill me with thyself; and when I can hold no more on earth, let the [Page 210] earthen vessel break, and my soul mount up to thee, and drink its fill of the river which flows from thee forevermore.

Wednesday morning, May 25.—O, truth and faithfulness, that doth never, never fail me! Let me adore, and, with joy and gratitude, look over the mercies which now surround me; for God hath dispersed every cloud that hung over me; he has provided a horse and money, and every thing necessary, at the moment they are wanted to prepare for our journey. By extreme weakness of body, the path of duty is made quite plain about going, since I am not able to attend to my business. All is well. God will be with us in our journey, guide and protect us, and, i [...] i [...] is most for his glory, return us in safety. But if it be his ble [...]d will that I come to the end of my long journey, and reach my eternal home; then all shall be well indeed. If this be his will, a hearty farewell to my dear Bo [...]hel, my minister, my Susa, my other christ­ian friends. I hope to see you all in heaven; bye and bye. O, let me pass over Jordan first, and enjoy my Christ without sin.

But stop, my soul; what, this moment? O, ma [...]e not haste; be not impatient; the will of my sovereign God be done. Lord, I am thine, wholly thine; it is enough. Hold me in life, or take me to thyself; do with me what thou pleasest, only glorify thyself, and keep me from the evil. O come, and make thy abode with me; this will sweeten all enjoyments to me. O, go with me, or let me not stir hence.

[Page 211]

Saturday morning, June 11.—O Lord, how many, and how great are my defects in every duty. How short do I fall in every prayer I ma [...]e, of the fervor and enlargement that wants require; especially for sinners, for saints in general, for ministers, for magistrates, for our fleets and armies, for those who are suffering under the rage and power of antichrist. Other christians join in concerts for prayer, for the outpouring of the spirit; but I lay still, as if I had neither part or lot in the matter▪ O, will God keep me, if I live to see the time, to join with thy dear ministers and people, to plead that the Spirit may be poured out from on high, and let us all, with our prayers, be ac­cepted in the beloved. And, O let me every day be mindful of these things, when I come before thee, to ask mercy for myself. O, let me not forget dear friends, my mother, com­panion, and those committed to my charge. Let me not forget the poor and needy, the fatherless and widow, the afflicted and tempt­ed soul. Lord, grant me bowels of compas­sion, let me consider myself, only as a mem­ber of the glorious body of which my precious Christ is head, and let me seek the prosperity of the whole. O, let thy kingdom come, and thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Teach me to pray for rains, and sunshines, that the earth may yield her increase. Thou hast bidden me be careful for nothing; yet thou hast added, in every thing, by prayer and sup­plication, with thanksgiving, let your re [...]uests be made known unto God. O, let me not be [Page 212] inactive as a machine; for thou hast said, Thou wilt be inquired of by the house of Is­rael to do it for them. O, teach me duty, and enable me to do it. Enter not into judgment with me, for the sins of holy things. I fly to the perfect obedience, and precious blood of my dear Redeemer. He obeyed, till justice can ask no more; yet, let me yield a uniform obedience, that thou mayest be glorified.

Thursday evening, July 21.—Sweet freedom at the throne of grace today. The Lord make me thankful, and, for Christ's sake, grant my re­quest, for my very heart is broken because of my sin. I have been resolving, this day, that from this time forward, I never will, God help­ing me, allow myself in resenting any thing said of me, or done to me, nor pretend to vindicate myself, unless I am well satisfied the glory of God calls for it. I will not, God helping me, indulge my pride or passion, but leave my cause with God, and let him vindicate it.

Friday evening, August 19.—The Lord make me thankful. On Wednesday morning, I had as large discoveries of the perfections of God as perhaps ever in my life, and humbly hope I really had communion with him in his holiness; rejoiced and gave thanks at the remembrance of it; and in his sovereignty, justice, truth and faithfulness, infinite power, wisdom, and omni­presence. My faith, love, trust and confidence, were drawn forth. I dared to appeal to his omniscience for my sincerity. I felt vile, and weak as a babe, in myself; but in Christ, strong as a Goliah; could, in his strength, bid defiance [Page 213] to all the hosts of hell. Such a rock, such a shield, such a strong tower, did my Christ ap­pear, that all was well. The first chapter of Joshua exceeding sweet. I cannot express the sweetness of this feast; but I know, the exer­cises of my ravished soul were so strong that it wrecked my body much.—And when, my God, shall the clay vessel break, the clog fall off, and interrupt no more? O, in thy own time, my gracious Sovereign, it will, and I shall drink of those rivers of pleasure, which flow at thy right hand forever! Mean time, O my Christ, keep me from the evil if not from suffering. Thou knowest what thou hast determined to call me to.

Wednesday morning, 24.—O, my God, help me to remember it is by thy grace I stand. Suffer me not to be high minded, but fear, not with a fear of distrust of thee; but, O help me to realize that I am as helpless, and defenceless as those of my poor brethren, who have lately fallen into the hands of cruel and bloodthirsty Savages! O my God, if I have come out of late combats with some small ensigns of honor, behold my enemies yet lurk, they lie in ambush, and one ready, with more cruelty and violence, to fall upon me, than ever, if thou permit. O, my glorious Christ, save and defend me.

Wednesday evening.—Thanks be to God, a pleasant day, since God granted me some free­dom at the throne of grace. Sweet dependence on Christ for strength to resist, and overcome my spiritual enemies. Rejoiced today, in think­ing, that though God has graciously given me [Page 214] some respite these few days past, yet I have [...] capitulated with my enemies to lay down my arms; no, I never will, Christ strengthening me, to my latest breath. If they retreat, I will pur­sue, and nothing shall satisfy me, but their utter destruction. I am determined, through grace, to give no quarter. I will not only stand upon the defensive; but, act offensively also; and I know the weapons of my warfare are not car­nal, but spiritual, and mighty, through God, to the pulling down strong holds. God will grant me his whole armor, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, and through God I shall do valiantly. Rouse up, my soul, take courage, endure hardness [...] a good soldier; thou wilt soon finish thy course. Many sands are already run, and thou art much nearer thy eternal home, than when thou [...]st believed. A few struggles more, and all will be over forever Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ.

Saturday evening, September 2.—Blessed b [...] God, a sweet calm resting on God, since he has enabled me to cast all my care for his Church, on the blessed Jesus. The whole body is dear to me, and the more it is so, with the more quiet I can commit it into his hands, and re­joice in its safety. He is so wise, so just, pow­e [...] [...] and unchangeable, his love and ca [...] [...], that were they a thousand times dearer, [...] I could leave all with him, con­tent, Lord, that thou art Sovereign, and will do what thou pleasest with the whole world; that none can stay thy hand, or say unto thee, What [Page 215] doest thou? Thou art Zion's God and King, and wilt be glorified in her, and all is well.

Friday, September 30.—Blessed be God, re­ceived a debt today, and with this, paid two. This mercy God made me believe for, before I received it, and it is sweet. God knows I have [...] greater joy, relating to earthly things (except relieving any of his) than to receive wherewith to pay to others, that no one may ever be hurt by me.

Tuesday morning, October 4.—O, what a con­federacy do Satan, unbelief, and carnal reason, keep, to drive me out of my strong tower, my hiding place, my rest in God. But wherefore should I hearken? What iniquity have I ever found in my faithful God, to whom I have com­mitted all my concerns? Why should I now take the care of them upon myself, and distrust him? Hath he less wisdom, less power, less love and faithfulness, than he used to have? No, he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What if my shallow reason cannot see which way, God will provide now, as heretofore, is infinite wis­dom brought to a plunge? No, no; he knows what he intends to do for me and mine, and will, still, as he hath ever done, do all things wisely and well. This is not the first time, by scores, that I, poor shortsighted creature, could see no way; but God saw, and I have lacked nothing. I will trust the unchangeable Jeho­vah, and rejoice that my soul, and body, and all my concerns, for time and eternity, are in his dear and faithful hands. Go on, my soul, re­joicing. Why should so great a work, as prais­ing [Page 216] my great Creator, my bountiful Benefactor, and dear Redeemer cease, while I come down to hearken to these disturbers of my peace, these enemies to God and me? Lord, help me to stand my ground. In thy strength I can do it, and my enemies shall be driven back. Yea thou wilt help me, thou wilt favor my righteous cause; it is in defence of thy honor, my God, that I am now engaged to fight. O defend and save me; give me the victory over them, and do with me what seemeth thee good. Only let me not grieve or distrust thee. I cannot bear this. Deliver me from this bitter evil, and I will fear no oth­er. O, I have the one thing needful, and it shall never be taken from me: There is then no occasion of my being careful about many things; let me sit at thy feet, and hear thy gra­cious words, and let me wash thy feet with my tears, and wipe them with the hairs of my head; for thou hast forgiven much; O let me love thee much! Blessed be God, I am in the dili­gent use of the means he allots me, and that is all my God requires of me; he wants not my anxious cares, for he careth for me, and, by his grace, I will trust in him, and joy in the God of my salvation too.

Tuesday morning, Oct. 18.—Thanks be to God, a comfortable day yesterday, just as though I had come out of a thick fog, or gloomy, thorny wilderness, into clear sunshine, and a plain path. Last evening bent my mind to business, to set­tling affairs: Will God grant success, that we may gather wherewith to pay to others, and provide so far as is necessary the comforts of [Page 217] life. O, my God, suffer me never to live in the neglect of proper means, but use all dili­gence, casting my care on thee. Grant me prudence in every thing; suffer me never to act the part of a miser or covetous person; nor yet suffer me needlessly to squander. But thankfully and cheerfully to use what thou, in thy providence, hast provided, and trust thee for future supplies. Lord, grant us wisdom to direct. O let us not ungratefully hide thy tal­ent in a napkin, murmur, and complain of pov­erty, but cheerfully rely on the stores of thy providence, without coveting stores of our own. Thou didst never fail us, when we were poor, nor were we ever more happy than when we had nothing laid by; and why must there now be a reserve, why a treasure laid up on earth, where rust may corrupt, and thieves break through and steal. O may my heart be set on my treasure that is laid up in heaven; that is worth loving. Could that be exhausted, I should be poor indeed!

November 20.—It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in princes. Thanks be to God for all thy past goodness to thy unworthy child. I adore thy wisdom and goodness, while I review the footsteps of thy providence. Thou hast, for many years past, committed to my charge a great number of children; and hast, by thy grace, enabled me to exert myself to do them good. Adored be thy name, that I have the testimony of my con­science; that it does not reproach me with neglecting or wronging either the children or [Page 218] their parents. Lord, it is by thy grace that I have labored to be faithful. O mayest thou have all the glory, while I, worthless I, reap the comfort, for Jesus' sake.

And now, in the year past, thou hast, for wise and holy ends, deprived me of that bodily strength and vigor, so that I could not exert myself, as before. And thou hast, also, in a peaceable, gracious manner, lessened my busi­ness; proportioned it to my strength; and made me to acquiesce in thy dealings. And adored be thy name, though strength has failed, and business failed, thou dost not fail me; but art opening another door, by which thou suppli­eft our wants. Thou hast provided help for me in my family, and art providing wherewith to main­tain her. O Lord, how great is thy goodness to me and mine! How doth thy bounty feed and clothe us! Though we have neither store house, nor barn; yet, the more difficult the times grow, the more plentifully thou providest for us. O, for Christ's sake, accept my thankof­fering, this night; and let me from this mo­ment, more than ever, live, as well as speak thy praises. O my God, let my heart glow with gratitude all my days. Let me spend the remaining few in prayer and praise. Thou hast said, Praise is comely for the upright. And, Who so offereth praise, glorifieth me. O let me glorify thee, and this shall be all my salva­tion, and all my joy.

Wednesday morning, December 21.—I think nothing can more resemble my poor soul, than a helpless, simple sheep in a field, fiercely pur­sued [Page 219] by a greedy wolf, eager to tear in pieces, and swallow up quick: A bear, bereaved of her whelps, espies and pursues the same prey, and resolves, if possible, to possess and destroy it. A roaring lion, also, no less greedy, seeks to devour. They all pursue: And what can the poor creature do! It is helpless. Any one of these, should they overtake, would destroy in a moment. Would even a silly sheep go to meet these enemies, or stand still? No, its fears would almost give it wings. How swift would it run to some shelter, to its shepherd! And would its shepherd stand and look on, see it in this distress, and not screen it? Would he give it up to those devourers, when it is his particu­lar business to guard it from them; it is com­mitted to his care, he is called its keeper? No, no.

Neither will my glorious Shepherd give me up to sin, which like a ravenous wolf, is ever seeking to tear my soul in pieces. Nor shall the world, greedy as a bear, swallow me up. My Christ has bid me be of good courage; for he has overcome the world. Nor will the Lion of the tribe of Judah suffer Satan, that roaring lion, to devour me.

O my soul, only act the part that a poor, feeble sheep would do, and thou art safe; thy glorious Shepherd will keep thee. Often has he rescued thee: He has kept thee hitherto. Many a time hast thou feared, because of the fury of these oppressors, as if they were ready to destroy. But where is the fury of the op­pressors? Hitherto the Lord has helped me; [Page 220] and he will not give me up now to these hated, dreaded tyrants. He knows I have not chosen this world for my portion; and he will not put me off with a portion here. He will give me himself, his Spirit and grace; because he will be faithful. And his kindness shall not depart from me, though the mountains depart, and the hills be removed.

Saturday evening, January 7, 1758.

I WILL, by grace, wait patiently on the Lord; for my expectations are from him: And he will give me his holy Spirit; and I will ask, and seek, and knock, till I do obtain the mer­cy I need; till my glorious King doth appear for my help, and put to flight my foes. For he will not suffer them to triumph over me. He will not give up his right in my precious soul, and suffer this world, sin, and Satan to reign there. O my Christ, my precious Sav­ior, any thing but this; any discipline thy infi­nite wisdom sees best. Lord, pity me. Thou alone knowest what a dreadful heart I have; and thou alone canst make it better. O do it for thine own name's sake; for thy honor's sake; for the credit of the profession I make of thy holy religion: Make me holy. All who know me, know that I am thy professed disci­ple; then let it appear of a truth, that I have been with Jesus. O let me bear thy image more and more, day by day, that thou mayest be glorified. Lord, make me humble, meek, [Page 221] patient, submissive to thy will, prudent, discreet, holy, harmless, separate from sinners. O thou knowest all I need; and thou hast enough to bestow. Thou hast a full overflowing foun­tain.

And with me, remember all dear to me, and all thy dear children throughout the world; especially the ministers of thy everlasting gos­pel. Lord, hold them near thyself. Let them partake of every blessing purchased by thy blood.

Saturday morning, January 21.—O my God, when Israel groaned in Egypt, under hard task­masters, and cruel bondage, thou didst hear their groanings, and didst deliver them with a mighty arm. Nevertheless. Israel murmured against thee. But if God will indeed look on the affliction of his handmaid, and will deliver me from the cruel bondage, from sin, Satan, and the world, under which I groan, and grant me the grace I need, I will have no other God but thee. I will worship no graven image, nor any likeness of any thing in heaven or earth; but will worship thee in spirit and in truth. I will not take thy name in vain; but will adore thy name, and reverence all thy ti­tles, attributes, ordinances, word and works. I will remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. It shall be ever my delight: I will spend the whole time in public or private exercises of religion; except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

And I will cheerfully yield obedience and honor to parents, and all superiors, according [Page 222] to thy blessed will. I will do nothing that tendeth to take away either my own life, or the life of my neighbor; but for thy glory care­fully preserve both. Nor will I break thy seventh command, by unchaste thoughts, words or actions; but carefully preserve my own and others' chastity, so far as in me lies. Nor will I steal or defraud in any wise; but render to all their due. Nor will I bear false witness against my neighbor; but maintain and promote truth between man and man, and love my neighbor as myself. I will not covet his house, nor any thing that is his; but will be content with such things as I have. Never envy or grieve at the good of my neighbor; but promote it.

Lord, thy commandments are exceeding broad. But O the harmony, the beauty, the justice and equity of this divine law! Sure I delight in it, after the inward man. I do es­teem it holy, just and good. Ah wo is me, that I daily break it! Oh when shall I cease!

Friday evening, January 27.—Reviewing former writings this evening, I find confident expectations expressed, that God will sanctify me more and more, for his own glory. O Lord, let me not be ashamed of my hope. Let not my enemies shout for the victory. Let them not triumph, and say, Where is now your God? Lord, help me! O, for Christ's sake, more heart holiness; more strength to combat. O teach my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. Lord, pity me! Thou knowest I wrestle not only with flesh and blood; but with prin­cipalities and powers, with spiritual wickedness. [Page 223] O how long, Lord, how long shall iniquity prevail against me. How long shall I trans­gress thy holy, thy precious law. O I cannot bear it! and yet I do it. Lord, permit me passionately to long to be with thee. O is not my glass almost run out! O, if not, for Christ's sake, more grace to glorify thee upon earth. But O, if it might be thy will to take me home! For I shall sin against thee, as long as I live in this world. O killing thought! O fatal neces­sity! O wherefore should I grieve thee any longer, my compassionate, merciful, everlasting friend!

O let me not do it by impatience. I would be impatient with nothing but sin. I would sub­mit to thy will in all things: May it be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Thy time is best; and thou wilt glorify thyself, and that is enough. O may infinite wisdom, justice, love and faith­fulness ever dispose of me, as thou seest meet. Cast my sins behind thee: Blot them out as a cloud, and view me complete in my glorious head. Lord, view me in him, and thou canst delight in me, pardon and comfort me. O a­dored be thy name, that thou canst be just; and yet justify her who believeth in Jesus!

Wednesday morning, April 12.—Lord teach me the holy art of living with thee by the day. O help me to realize it, that thou wilt give me, day by day my daily bread. And that is e­nough. What business have I with months and years which I may never live to see? Why this puzzling myself about futurities? Why do I thus slinch and fear at the burden of [Page 224] my school, because weak in body? Cannot God strengthen me? Will God lay on me more than he will enable me to bear? O let it suffice that he hath said, As thy day is, so shall thy strength be. And do I not hear him say­ing, Be not dismayed, I am thy God, I will help thee, I will strengthen thee, I will uphold thee by the right hand of my righteousness? Amen! Lord, increase my faith. Blush, my soul, and lie down in dust, because of my unbelief. O my God, I am no more worthy to be called thine, because of my unbelief. O was there ever such a monster born! Hath the great Jehovah given me his Son, and with him given me all the promises in the new and ev­erlasting covenant, both for this life, and that which is to come, for my support and stay? Hath he condescended to apply them by his Spirit, time after time? Yea, when the earth was trembling at his presence, did he not then pledge his faithfulness, and tell me, Though the mountains should depart, and the hills be re­moved; yet his kindness should not depart from me? And yet, dare I distrust him?* O perfidious wretch! Blush, ye heavens, over my head; be astonished thou earth, under my feet! Blush, O my soul! Lord, pardon, wash away my crimson sins in the precious blood of Jesus. And O, slay this unbelief, this infidel­ity. How long, O Lord, how long ere thou a­venge me of this enemy!

Tuesday morning, June 20.—Ah Lord God! thou seest what a child I am, what a mere babe▪ O communicate strength to me, that I may be [Page 225] able to say, When I am weak, then I am strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Lord, thou hast been wont to qualify thy chil­dren and servants for the particular calling which thou hast allotted to them. O qualify me also for that calling, thou in thy providence hast chosen for me. I ask not for wisdom to govern states and kingdoms. Blessed be thy name, thou hast not called me to such a heavy charge: But for wisdom and grace, sufficient for me in the station in which God has set me: That glory may redound to thy great name by me, unworthy me. O dost thou say it! Let me hear powerfully the charming, soul satisfying words, "My grace is sufficient for thee, and my strength shall be made perfect in thy weak­ness." Amen! Most gladly then will I rejoice even in my infirmities, that the glory of God may rest upon me. Lord, keep me, thy de­pendent, needy creature, every moment; keep me in the right way. Let omnipotence hold me, and lead me in right paths. O let me be kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation. O nothing but omnipotence can hold me; for I have a cruel devil without, and a traitor within. Lord Jesus, I again make over my precious jewel into thy merciful and faithful hands. Keep what I have commit­ted to thee. Dost thou ask, Believest thou that I am able to do this for thee? Yea, Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief.

July 14.—Went out yesterday, though but poorly. Was disappointed by company there; and my friend from home. A few minutes re­freshment, [Page 226] after his return, by conversation, though not without fear of pride, because I could not join with them in expressing an un­willingness to leave this world, and fear of death. And thou, Lord, knowest, that I know not what this means; and therefore cannot in con­science say I do. But O let none think of me, above what they ought, on account of this! It is not because I am so good, that I want to die. Oh no! Were I better, so that I could glorify God here, I could be more content to stay. But oh! it is because I am so bad, that I want to die. It is because I am so unholy, so un [...] my God here: And I know I never shall be like him, till death; nor see him as he is.

O Lord, thy will be done. Keep me in [...] thy own time. But oh! keep me from the [...] vil. Oh make me more holy. Lord, if [...] wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Tuesday morning, July 25.—I have wounded myself so, by my foolish boasting, detracting tongue, that I do not know how to bear with myself! What need of all this exposing the failings of others, and blowing the trumpet [...] proclaim my own industry and good deeds! [...] How completely do I act the hypocrite! seek the praise of man, instead of aiming at the glory of God, and adoring his goodness. O th [...] hateful self! This abominable pride! How does it taint every thing I do! O Lord, forgive and wash away these filthy stains by the cleans­ing blood of Christ, and be reconciled to me. O be not angry with me! I hate and abhor my­self. And, I pray thee, enable me by thy grace [Page 227] to let a watch and guard over the door of my life. O help me to keep my tongue as with a b [...]le, that I speak evil of no one; for in this, so sure as I do it, so sure I violate the golden rule the precious, beautiful rule; for I can never say, I would others should expose my failings, Alas! What a pitiful figure should I make, should my friends do thus by me! How many defects in my practice—may they espy! And yet they cover them all, and love me still. O let me do likewise! Lord Jesus, be thou my guard; keep me from this evil, or I shall fall again by the first temptation; yea, without any temptation but my own vile lusts. O could my friends but see the brood, the litter of filthy lusts in my heart, how must they abhor me! And yet thou, God seest me. All is naked and open to the eyes of thy spotless purity. O thou holy, holy Lord God, were it not for the complete righteousness of Christ, which thou hast imputed to me, I could not look up: Thy purity must be my terror. But, adored be thy name, on account of this, I may still rejoice at the remembrance of thy holiness. I know there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.

But, O why should I remain so unlike to thee, my God! Why so little of a Godlike, Christ like temper in me! O Lord, speedy sanc­tification, for Christ's sake! Lord, increase my faith love, humility and every grace; and let me see thy reconciled face. O hide not thy face from me; but humble and comfort me; for I am thine own in Christ Jesus.

[Page 228]

August 2.—Thanks be to God! A fresh sup­ply yesterday. And my debts are, or can be, paid out of it. And I have all I ever earnestly asked of God: Namely, to be kept free from involvements. O God, I thank thee that thou art still enabling me to render to all their d [...]s. In this thou givest me the desire of my heart. I thank thee, Lord, that I am not forced to keep the laborers out of their wages; but can pay as soon as earned. In this thou indulgest me: In this I delight.

And thou hast taken away two of my chil­dren, in thy own gracious way; and I acqui­esce; and beg, if it may be thy sovereign pleas­ure, that thou wilt provide for me in the way wherein I can be faithful: For, Lord, thou knowest my infirmity. It is thou who hast de­prived me of strength; and thou knowest I am not able to take the care of such a number, as heretofore. Will God mercifully proportion my business, to my strength and circumstances. Lord, infinite wisdom knows how, though I do not. O help me to do all thou requirest of me; but no more. Lord, as my day is, so let my strength be. I entreat, not for my sake; but for Christ's sake, enable me to do my duty in every branch of it. And for his sake accept me, and forgive my ignorance, infirmities, fol­lies, thousands of short comings, and grosser sins. Wash them all away in the precious blood of Jesus: And behold the complete obe­dience of my dear Lord, and in him let me be esteemed complete. After all my desires and endeavors to yield universal obedience, I am [Page 229] an unprofitable servant. I fall infinitely short: But he has fulfilled all thy will. Thy law is fulfilled, and made honorable too, by him. Be­hold the union between this glorious Christ, and my precious soul; and view me, even me, with approbation, because he has laid down his pre­cious life for me, and I am his. O delight in me, then, because I am his, and he is mine. O grace from the foundation to the top stone! A­mazing grace! Even so, Father, for so it seem­ed good in thy sight.

August 19.—O thou, before whom angels [...]ow, and vail their faces, who am I, and what am I, that thou art mindful of me, a worm of the dust! And permittest me to run to thee with all my complaints and distresses! Lord, I am utterly unworthy of this gracious privi­lege. But oh, for Christ's sake, still enable me so to do; and indulge me, Lord, with thy gra­cious ear to the voice of my supplications. To whom else shall or can I go? Human help fails. Sense fails. God alone is stedfast and unmov­able; God alone unchangeable. And O let my faith be fixed on this unchangeable, able, faith­ful God. At what time I am afraid, O help me to trust in thee.

O my glorious Advocate, pray that my faith fail not. O give me not a stone, a serpent. O give me not up to the power of unbelief, anx­ious cares, and murmuring against thee; mur­muring in my tent! Oh I cannot bear it! Lord, thou only knowest how far I am influenced by selflove to dread this sin, because it is a tor­menting sin. But surely love to thee also makes [Page 230] me dread it. I cannot bear to distrust thy faithfulness, to dispute thy wisdom, and limit thy power: It is odious to me. Lord, thou knowest I would do otherwise at all times. Lord, help me! Adored be thy name, that my duty and my happiness are connected. Oh be with me through all changes; yea, choose my changes for me, and hasten my great and last change, if it be thy holy will; and then I shall distrust thee no more forever. Oh this body of sin and death! When, Lord, when shall I be free from it! O succor and support me all the way. Help me to cast my burdens on thee; and do thou sustain me, because Christ has re­deemed me; and I am his and thine forever. And I will be thine forever.

August 20.—Sabbath intermission season.— They who come to God must believe that he i [...], and that he is a rewarder of them who diligent­ly seek him. Adored be thy name, my gra­cious God, for freedom of access to thy throne this day. And now, Lord, the seed is sown in tears; let me reap in joy, for Jesus sake, in whose worthy name I come. Lord, hear and answer the prayer I have prayed before thee: And, if it may be thy sovereign pleasure, an­swer me speedily, since thou knowest it is for grace and strength to glorify thee; to enable me to cast all my cares on thee, and to acqui­esce in all thy will. Lord, hear. It is not for this or that circumstance in life, nor for life it­self, I beg: But for grace, for conformity to thy image and will. Oh do with me what seem­eth good to thee. Strip me of all dependence [Page 231] on any creature and thing on earth, if it be thy pleasure: But oh, do not let me murmur a­gainst thee, and grieve thee. I cannot bear it. It pierces me to the very soul! Thou re­quirest full contentment with my own condi­tion. And, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst give me sweet content and delight in thee, let my condition be what it will. Let devils rage; and ungodly men, who have no own God to delight in, complain and murmur under out­ward losses and disappointments: But oh for­bid that I should do so too. I have a glorious God for my portion; a precious Christ for my inheritance. How can I bear discontent! Lord, by thy grace prevent, or, thou knowest, through the depravity of my nature, and subtilty of Satan, I shall do it, unjust, ungrateful and un­reasonable as it is. Ah woful apostasy, and contrariety to God! I bewail it. O that I were entirely recovered from it; that I were wholly devoted to God in every faculty of my soul!

Sabbath evening, August 20.—Thanks be to God for the refreshments of this day; that I still dwell in thy house; oh may I be still prais­ing thee! May I dwell in the house of the Lord forever! And, O gracious God, since I have left my requests with thee, and all my destres are before thee; let me, with Hannah, [...]e at rest, and my countenance be no more sad. Let me not fear always because of the oppression of the enemy; but comfort me, my God? Speak peace, pardon and cleansing to me. Thou hast mercifully promised, that they [Page 232] who wait on thee, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint. Lord, strengthen me, according to thy word.

Let me carry much of this Sabbath into the week with me. And as thou hast enabled me, by thy Spirit, and grace, to be in some degree fervent in spirit this day; so enable me to be faithful and diligent in business, this week, and all my days. And, Lord, grant me success, if it be thy blessed will. Let me not always la­bor in vain, and spend my strength for nought. Be with thy feeble child, though no more wor­thy to be called thine, because of my sin; be­cause of my pride, my unbelief, my hypocrisy, my discontents and murmurings against God; and the sins of holy things. For all these I blush, and am ashamed to look up. For these I judge and condemn myself. But O condemn me not! Blot them all out. Wash them all a­way in the precious blood of Christ.

Thursday morning, August 31.—O, blessed be God, who has provided such help for me, that both my family, and school are attended to my satisfaction. Lord keep me diligent both for soul and body, I beseech thee. Suffer me not to waste the precious moments I may now redeem from family cares in idleness; but may I improve them to valuable purposes. Lord, thou dost all things well. I cried to thee, and committed this case to thee; and thou hast pro­vided suitable help for me. O, help me to re­joice in thy goodness, while I do enjoy; but preserve me from placing happiness on this, [Page 233] or any enjoyment; or depending on any thing below thyself, my only chosen, happy portion. O, make me rejoice in thee for what thou art in thyself, thou God of infinite perfections, thou God of love, sovereignty, justice, truth and faithfulness. Yea, I will rejoice in thy goodness to me too; for thou suppliest all my wants for soul and body; and art bestowing a degree of sweet content. O Lord, this is thy doing; for this I will bless thee; or had I all the world without this, I should be miserable. And this I can no more attain in myself, than I can make all the good things I want. No: It is my God who bestows it. To him be all the glory.

I remark a singular instance wherein God in­dulged me yesterday. A glazier came to mend our windows; and as he was taking them down, I thought, What shall I do for money to pay for mending them? And, immediately, before he had done taking them down, a child came in, and brought me money more than enough to pay him for his work. I received it as coming from the hand of God, who always enables me to pay the laborer; and rejoiced in it. Yea, and he does all things well.

Saturday morning, September 2.—For two days past the pain in my head and eyes has been such that I could not attend to reading, writing, or work, with any comfort. My eyes fail ex­ceedingly. O, if it be God's sovereign pleas­ure, strengthen my sight again, that I may be able to read, and write, and work. And grant me grace to improve so great a mercy as sight to the glory of God, and the good of my gener­ation [Page 234] But if it be thy will that it should fail, not my will, but thine be done. Lord, thou knowest how to enlighten my soul, resign my will, and make me happy. Do with me what thou wilt, only make me holy, that thou mayest be glorified, and delight to make thine abode with me, and it is enough. This, above all other mercies, I beg, for the sake of Christ. And he is worthy, in whose name I come. And the fountain is full, and grace is free. O, let not my unworthiness be any bar in the way of my receiving grace upon grace, and strength upon strength, since Christ has died; yea rather is risen again for my justification.

Wednesday evening, November 15.—My glo­rious, gracious God, I would praise thee with my whole heart. O how dost thou indulge me, enable me to provide the comforts of life for myself, and also to render to all their due; to do something still for the support of thy gospel. I thank thee for this privilege. Thou knowest I delight in it. And thou art still enabling me to feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, bless­ed be thy name. Go on, merciful Father, and for thine own honor's sake, add the mercy of a truly humble, grateful soul. Lord, thou canst make mine such an one. Thou canst preserve me from discontents and murmurings, when new straits come on. Oh, never leave me more to such ingratitude! I dread it, I hate it, I dep­recate it. Lord, help me at all times to trust in thee; prospect, or no prospect. Thou art worthy to be trusted in the dark, as well as in the light. How often hast thou made me a­shamed [Page 235] of my vile unbelieveing fears. And I am no more worthy to be called thine, because of them. I blush and am ashamed, and yet, my God, I am so vile that I shall surely do it again, unless thou by thy grace prevent. I fly to thee for protection. O save me from this bitter e­vil, and do with me, what seemeth thee good: For I am thine own forever.

SARAH OSBORN.

Sabbath morning, November 19.—Blessed be God! Yesterday morning a precious season at the throne of grace. Sweet freedom for my­self, family, dear consort, christian friends, min­isters; yea, for all the world; for the outpour­ing of the Spirit upon all flesh; that Christ might be King of nations, as he is King of saints. Some sweet relish remained the for­mer part of the day. In the afternoon grati­tude obliged me to visit a friend who was un­well. The conversation turned too much upon things not to edification; and it was chiefly my fault. Oh, when shall my words be all with grace, seasoned with salt! When shall all my conversation be as becometh the gospel of Christ! I lament every word that runs to waste. Blessed be God, some serious turns. And in the evening refreshed again, by perceiving a young woman with me to be somewhat thought­ful, and concerned about her soul. The Lord awaken her yet more, if it be thy blessed will. O Lord, convince her of her undone state by nature, and her absolute need of a Christ, and reveal him to her. Oh, make up to her, in thyself and in thy Christ, what thou hast taken [Page 236] from her in the creature. Father and mother have forsaken her. They are dead and gone▪ Lord, take her up, and adopt her into the num­ber of thy children. Oh, give her a heart to receive Christ, power to become a child of God. Lord, pity her and glorify thyself in her.

Monday morning, March 5, 1759.

BLESSED be God for the return of another birth day in peace. But oh! may the springs of godly sorrow be opened. For, alas! how much of this forty five years has run to waste! How little have I done for God. True, God stands in no need of me: But for his glory [...] was created. And oh, that the time past may suffice for all the pride, unbelief and murmur­ings of my whole life. Lord, let them all cease from this moment. And let the remaining part of life be all devoted to God. O blessed Je­sus, I would now make a renewed flight to thee, and embrace thee in all thy offices of Prophet, Priest and King. Oh teach me, save me, rule and protect me from the only bitter evil. My only request is, that thou wilt conform me to thy image, and resign me to thy will in all things that thou mayest be glorified. And do with me, and all I have, what seemeth good to thee; only make me holy. Entreat me not to leave thee. I cannot let thee go without this blessing. I stand in infinite need. Thou know­est the power, malignity and subtilty of my in­bred lusts. And thou knowest I cannot stand [Page 237] against these, and the world, and my invisible enemies, without thy special grace and help. Lord, help me!

Friday, May 4.—Once more the house up the hill is offered, if at liberty, as expected. The Lord overrule for good. Give me wis­dom, for Christ's sake, so to conduct that there may be no room for reflection on myself here­after, whether I stay here, or go there. Gra­cious God, I am thine. Help me to cast all my cares on thee. Direct all my doubtful ways. Order every step. Shall I raise my price for schooling? Do the rules of justice de­mand it? Lord, determine me by thy word and Spirit. Guide me with thine eye, and with thy prudent counsel. Make me wise as a serpent, and innocent as a dove. Determine me by thy word, my only chosen rule, that rule of right­eousness which infinite wisdom and goodness has put into my hands. May the precious, golden rule be ever mine. And oh enlighten and teach me by thy Spirit; for thou knowest I am a poor, dark, ignorant, shortsighted creature. Oh endue me with wisdom from above. Make me wise to know and to do thy will, for Jesus' sake.

And oh, draw me to Jesus more and more. Lord, I acknowledge I cannot come, except thou draw me. Adored be thy name, that this doctrine does not offend me. I will not go a­way, and walk no more with thee, because of this; but gladly be beholden to thee for thy grace. Lord, bestow it freely for Christ's sake alone; for without thee, without him, without [Page 238] the blessed Spirit, I can do nothing: But a glorious Trinity strengthening me, I can do all things. Yea, I can be content with all things thy wisdom allots.

Wednesday morning, May 9.—How gracious is God to me! A sweet sense he gave me yes­terday all the day, of his wisdom and goodness in bringing me to such a plunge, such dark­ness; and then bringing me first to rely on my faithful God for supplies; and then causing the day to break, and the shadows to flee away. And the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. O, let my heart now be lift up in the ways of the Lord. Lord, bring me nearer to thee by every step thou takest, for Jesus' sake. And [...] thou dost increase my business, increase my strength, I pray thee, that I may be faithful [...] the trust reposed in me. Lord, help me. They are precious, immortal soul, whom thou ha [...] committed to my charge. O God, make me faithful. O, may I train them up for Christ. Make me steady and exemplary. Endue me with wisdom from above, a spirit of govern­ment, my gracious God. And still preserve peace, good order and harmony in my family, among my little ones. I bless thee for assist­ance granted hitherto, that amidst all, I can so quietly enjoy my precious morning moments. And if they must in any degree be abridged, Lord, meet me in the happy few. Draw forth every grace into exercise; and enable me to embrace and cleave to my covenant God, my precious Christ. O blessed Spirit, be in me a spirit of prayer and supplication. Let me fall [Page 239] prostrate and adore before the throne of grace. And O my glorious Mediator, my Advocate [...]ve, perfume every petition, every lisp of praise, with thy own merits, and they will as­ [...]nd as incense, and be a sweet savor before [...] holy God: And they shall be answered in mercy. O my glorious Shepherd, keep to thy­self thy poor, needy, wandering, weak and tim­orous sheep. I am, through grace, of thy own fold. Let me hear thy voice; for I will follow thee. O lead me and keep me in right paths; for I am thine forever.

Sabbath evening, May 20.—O, thanks be to God! Sweet was this morning, when God took [...]e near himself, and granted me communion with him in his faithfulness. Lord God Al­mighty, I fly to thee for grace, wisdom and strength to go through the business to which thou art now calling me. I have now ten in family, and more than sixty in my day school. O, how many precious souls hast thou com­mitted to my charge! Lord, make me thank­ful and faithful. Bless the little ones, and let them all be trained up for Christ. Forgive all my sins, and still triumph, because thou art a faithful God, and I am forever thine. Strength­en me in body and soul, and I will be for thee, and none other, all the days of my life.

Monday morning, May 28.—Last week my dear husband went to Berkley, in hopes of re­covering his health. The Lord in his mercy bless the means, if it be his blessed will; and return him in his own time; and yet spare him to me. And oh, may we glorify God together [Page 240] here, and to all eternity. And now, in his ab­sence, while thou art calling me to take the sole charge of the family, Lord, assist me. Preserve me from pride, self seeking, ostentation, for­mality and hypocrisy. And O, make me lively and fervent in my prayers. Blessed Jesus, without thee I can do nothing but mock thee. O, send thy holy Spirit to warm my heart from time to time, to indite my petitions, and enable me to adapt my language to the capacities of the children. Make this path of duty plain before me. Preserve me from the zeal of a Jehu. And preserve me from being ashamed of thee and thy ways, in this crooked and per­verse generation, in this time of lukewarmness, and awful declensions and backsliding. O my Sun and Shield, enlighten, warm and defend me from every chilling damp, and blow up the spark of divine love in my soul to a most vehe­ment flame. O, let me grow stronger and stronger in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Adored be thy name! thou didst yesterday again hold out the golden sceptre, and said, Ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you: For, adored be thy name, I do abide in thee, and thy words abide in me: I have hid them in my heart, that I might not sin against thee. And thou knowest my most vehement petitions are, that God may be glorified by my bearing much fruit. Thou knowest my long­ings and heart breakings for this. Ah, thou hast said, If ye love me, keep my command­ments; and fain would I keep them all: But I break them all. And yet, Lord, thou who [Page 241] knowest all things, knowest I love thee. O then, grant my request, and enable me better to keep thy commandments. O, how beauti­ful are they! They are holy, just and good. O, how love I thy law! It is my delight. I love thy precepts, as well as thy benefits: And yet I break them all. Oh wretched one that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of sin! When shall death bring me a release! Lord, give me patience to wait thy time. But oh keep me then from the evil here. Lord Jesus, keep my soul in thy own gracious hands; for it is thy own forever, and I am thine.

Wednesday morning, August 15.—A sweet and solemn sense of what I wrote yesterday. Precious season! When the perfections of my glorious God appeared so lovely; sin so odi­ous; I so weak; and yet my soul so precious for Christ's sake, because he has redeemed it; God all sufficient to keep it from the evil, and make it holy, that he may be glorified, the top of all my desires.

O thou who hast said, Ask what ye will in my name, and it shall be granted, give me my pe­tition and my request. Let me not grieve thee any longer; but as thou knowest I love thee, grant me grace to keep thy sweet command­ments. O let me more and more have this genuine evidence. O make me every thing that will please thee. O, as ever thou didst mould a soul into thine own image, mould mine into it. As thou didst ever subdue a stubborn, rebellious will, and make it all sub­mission; Lord, bow mine, and resign mine, [Page 242] and do with me what seemeth good unto thee: Only subdue me to thyself, my King, my Prince and Savior. O, do this, rather than bestow on me health, wealth, crowns and kingdoms. O, grant me my petition now, for thine own sake; for I am thine forrver.

SARAH OSBORN.

Wednesday morning, December 26.—I had a sweet, cheerful day yesterday, bless the Lord, O my soul. O my God, with how much comfort art thou bringing me to the close of this year! Lord, thou hast heard the cries I put up in the beginning of it, in choosing my changes, change of help, and change of habitation, all quiet and peaceable. Thanks be to God for this. O Lord, how great is thy goodness! I am utterly unworthy of all this goodness and mercy thou art showing to me, for I have murmured, and distrusted thee; and am no more worthy to be called thine. But since thy mercy has triumph­ed over all my unworthiness, I fly to thee now, in the name and for the sake of precious Christ, for protection from this hated, hateful, dreaded sin. Lord, screen me for the future, or else, unreasonable as it is, I shall fall into it again, the first cloud that passes over me. I cannot stand against myself. I am as a feather in the wind of temptation. Lord, for Jesus' sake in­crease my faith, that thou mayest be glorified in and by me, even by me, though less than the least of all saints; yet thine own forever.

SARAH OSBORN.
[Page 143]

Tuesday evening, February 5, 1760.

THE Lord grant I may from this time reap the sweetness of having this dear closet. O God, meet and bless me in it, or it will be but as a dungeon to me: But let it be a Bethel. Here let me wrestle with God for all the mer­cies I want for myself, for sinners, dear friends, relatives, and the whole Israel of God. Here may the arms of faith stretch to embarce an in­finite God, and hold thee fast, by the assistance of thy own Spirit. Here may God condescend to bow his ear to the voice of my supplications. O, here may every grace be drawn forth into lively exercise, and strengthened. O, let it be in mercy thou hast given me this dear closet. O, never let me once play the hypocrite in it; but may I be ever sincere and upright in it. And, Lord, hold out the golden sceptre: Suffer me to touch the top. Grant me my petitions and my requests, so far as consists with thy glo­ry. May they all be in [...]ited by thy own Spir­it, and perfumed by the merits of Jesus, and then thou wilt delight to answer.

Lord, bless me, and thy other dear hand­maids, who devote one evening in a week to thee to be spent in religious exercises. Lord, make us upright. Preserve us from self seek­ing; from pride in every shape and form. Suffer us neither to be too proud to pray, lest we should appear weak to others, nor yet proud of the assistance thou grantest us. Lord, pro­tect, and screen us from this subtle enemy. And may our united cries reach the heavens. Bless [Page 244] our conversation, and every duty, for our mu­tual edification. And O, may a little leaven, leaven the whole lump. O that there may be a general revival of religion.

Tuesday evening, March 4.—The last day of my forty sixth year is now run out, a little more than twenty three of which I have openly pro­fessed Christ. But oh! how little have I lived to his glory. I would be humbled that I have made no greater proficiency in the school of Christ in twenty three years; and also that the half of my life was, as it were, without God in the world. I would also lament before God all my backslidings from him; and that to this day there are such bitter remains of contrariety to him: So much of pride, passion, unbelief, sloth, worldly mindedness, and what not!

But, O my soul, let not thy lamentations end in ingratitude; but bless God for all recoveries from declensions; for all the victories thy glo­rious King has given thee over the world, the flesh and the devil. That amidst such an ocean of corruptions, such a flood of temptations, the spark of grace is yet alive. That God has, not­withstanding all my fears, preserved me from all open violations of his law, which would have been to the dishonor of his dear name. God knows my fears and dread of this. Adored be his name, that for his own sake he has hitherto delivered me from all my fears. Where is the fury of the oppressor, who has often appeared as if ready to destroy? But hitherto the Lord has helped me. And I will rejoice and bless him, that by his grace I am what I am; though [Page 245] I am not what I long to be; yet I will hope in his mercy, that his grace shall be sufficient for me; and he will complete his begun work in my soul. He will not leave it unfinished: Nei­ther earth, sin, nor hell shall prevail against me. My jewel, my all, is in safe hands, even in the faithful hands of a glorious Christ. And though my sins of heart, and all my sins, are against him; yet his precious blood cleanses from all sin. To that I fly this night for pardon and cleansing.

Lord, my days are now far advanced. For­ty six years passed and gone, never to be re­called. O let the remaining be devoted to thee. Blessed be thy name, it cannot be long before I reach my eternal home. O, help me to work while the day lasts, to fulfil as an hire­ling my day. All thy works praise thee, and thy saints bless thee. Let me also, who am the work of thy hands, bear my part in this lower world. Thy saints may profit by it. O, let me not be an idle spectator, but an active doer of thy will: And cheerfully suffer and submit to all thy will; and cleave to thee, and speak honorably of thee to all around me, un­der every dispensation of thy providence, whether merciful or afflictive. I would renew my thanks to God this night, for the mercies of the year past, spiritual and temporal. Thou hast by thy almighty power bowed my will, and brought me to cast my care on thee for daily bread: And thou hast provided it con­tinually; I have lacked nothing. Lord, still help me to trust in thee, and confide in thy faithfulness for all supplies of grace as well as of [Page 246] food; for thou wilt not give me a stone in this respect, any more than in the other. Thou knowest I have cried more for grace, than for daily bread; and thou wilt answer, because I am Christ's, and Christ is thine, and I am thine forever.

Friday morning, March 28.—For wise and holy ends, God permitted me to be disappoint­ed: I did not receive that which I expected. And which way to get wood I know not. But God knows we want it, and that is enough. In the use of those means he allots me, I would leave it entirely with him.

I have other cares at present, of more im­portance, viz. how I shall get my heart more engaged for God, and stripped of pride, and self, and hypocrisy. Lord, pity me in this re­gard. O my God, supply all my need of greater degrees of grace and strength. I do stand in infinite need. O for thy presence and grace! Work all my works in me and for me, and the work of faith with power. Ah, blessed Jesus, without thee I can do nothing. But am I not united to thee? Lord, thou knowest what thou hast done for my soul. Surely I am not among those branches which shall be taken a­way. O no! thou knowest thou hast espoused me to thyself. Thou hast ingrafted me into thyself, by regeneration and adoption. O then, let me not be a fruitless branch; nor suffer me to bring forth sour, bitter, or tasteless fruit. O, if the tree has been made good, let the fruit be good also. Oh, I bewail before thee that it is so unsavory, so little generous and genuine: [Page 247] That it is so tainted with mixtures of sin. O thou glorious husbandman, purge me by what means thy infinite wisdom sees best, so I may but glorify thee in deed and in truth, and not seek hateful self. Lord, I hate myself, when I stand in competition with thee, and thy glory. Oh, take me out of self, in every shape and form. O ye glorious angels, and perfected spirits, who can glorify your God without any of these sinful mixtures; if possible, exert your­selves yet more. O, adore and bow yet low­er: And in God's time I will come and bear a part with you.—Refreshing thought! Lord keep me every step of the way; for I am for­ever thine.

Monday evening, April 21.—Thanks be to God, who has this day assisted me, and brought me through the day with courage and cheerful­ness. Has added to my family another board­er. Lord, adopt her into thine own family. Give me grace and prudence to instruct her and all the rest; and open their understandings to receive instruction. O let there be a foun­dation of knowledge laid in their tender hearts, which may never be rased out. O, help me to travail in birth till Christ be found in them.

And while thou art calling me to be so much engaged for the good of my generation, enrich my own soul with the gifts and graces of thy blessed Spirit; and, for Jesus' sake, indulge me with near and intimate communion with thyself in the few precious moments I can redeem, that thou mayest be glorified in me. Lord, help me, and I will offer praise. And though thou [Page 248] standest in no need of me; yet thou hast con­descended to declare thyself glorified by the praises of poor worms of the dust, even here upon thy footstool. O let me bear my part: This shall be my greatest joy, to adore and praise thee. Am I not akin to the worshipping and adoring hosts above? Then let me resem­ble them; and not the murmuring crew be­neath. O let me behave like those with whom I hope I shall forever dwell; and not like thine enemies, like those who hate thee, and wish in their hearts there were no God. Thou hast called me by the endearing name of friend, let me prove I am so of a truth, by keeping all thy commandments. O let me rejoice in thee, and give thanks at the remembrance of thy holi­liness.

Friday morning, April 25.—O Lord, thou seest my weakness in body as well as mind; and how my vital strength fails; and I am sink­ing under the weight of business: And yet the necessities of my family oblige me to covet it. Lord, help, and lay no more on me, than thou wilt enable me with grace and patience to bear, to thy glory. O grant me so much business— so much sickness—so much health—so much poverty, and so much prosperity, as will bring me nearest to thyself, and most advance thy declarative glory; and no more of either; Lord, no more of any thing, than thou wilt sanctify, I beg for Jesus' sake: For, except thou sanctify, business will hurry, fatigue, fret, and carry off my heart from God.—Sickness will clog, and utterly unfit for duty, secret and so­cial; [Page 249] and nothing will be attended to but an impatient complaining of aches, and weakness; an impatient, Jonah like spirit, wishing rather to die than live.—Health will be wantonly spent in the delights of sense: I shall sacrileg­iously waste that precious enjoyment, and rove from God among the creatures. Ah woful de­pravity! Ah bitter remains of enmity and con­trariety to God, that will abuse every mercy! —Poverty, unsanctified, will make me mur­mur and complain, and care, and cark, and quarrel with the dispensations of thy allwise providence. Oh, cutting thought! Thou know­est I shall murmur in my tent, and distrust thee in every thing, and impudently charge God foolishly; and hang down my hands, and unbe­lievingly cry, It will never be better than now! I shall bury all my mercies. They will be all lost in vile ingratitude; and I shall dis­honor God all the day long. Oh, can I bear it! Lord, canst thou, wilt thou bear it! For Jesus' sake forbid.—Prosperity will puff me up. Pride will rear up its venomous head; and I shall be glued to this world, and take up contentment in it, instead of laying up all my good in God.

But, Lord, sanctify, and all these shall work together for good, and bring me nearer thyself. For business, I will rejoice and bless thee; dil­igently attend, and rely on thee for a blessing, strength and success.—In sickness, I will sub­mit, and kiss the dear hand which strikes the blow. I will lie down and adore and praise, and cry, Thy will be done, when I cannot [Page 250] kneel and wrestle.—In health, I will arise, and with joy run the ways of thy command­ments. I can do all things, Christ strengthen­ing me.—In poverty, I will trust thee, and cling to thee, and rejoice in thee as my only portion. Yea, though thou slay me, I will trust in thee. I will acknowledge the least morsel of good to be more than I deserve.—And in prosperity, my heart shall be lifted up in the way of the Lord.

Therefore, O my covenant God, sanctify all to me, and do with me what pleaseth thee. I have no choice to make but that by which thou wilt be most glorified. Lord, any thing, only possess my whole soul, suffer no rivals, and it is enough. O keep me from the evil; for I am thine, forever thine. My strong tower, I fly to thee for protection this day, and all my days. O let me be safe.

Sabbath morning, April 27.—Now, my God, bring me again to stand still, and see the salva­tion of God. Thou knowest better than I can tell thee, how my way is again hedged up, and I know not which way to turn. We are deeply in debt already, and are obliged daily to plunge deeper, for the support of our family. But with thee all things are possible. All thy treasures are full, both in providence and grace. None of thy stores are exhausted. How dark did ev­ery thing appear a year ago! And yet thou didst to astonishment overrule, and bring me to rejoice in thy goodness. Thou hast chosen my changes; change of help, and change of habitation. Delivered me from the unreasona­ble, [Page 251] in a quiet way; and thereby taken off many burdens which then pressed my spirits. And thou didst to my surprise provide for th [...] winter, and brought me through it triumphing in thy goodness. And now help me to re­member, that if my stores are empty, thine are not. What have I to do, but to cast my care on thee? Lord, help me, and take me near thyself this day. Strengthen my faith, and re­sign my will to thine, whatever it is; and then do with me whatever seemeth good to thee.

Tuesday morning, May 13.—Thanks be to God, I had my hands filled with business yes­terday, and was brought through it with a de­gree of comfort and courage. More than sixty children now under my care, in this place, where I and others feared I should not have business. Lord, I bless thee. Thou art with me whithersoever I go. O, for Christ's sake, qualify me, and make me faithful. And as thou knowest my poor, weary body will require more rest, I pray thee let not the few moments for secret devotion be squandered away; but grant me speedy access. O, meet me immedi­ately. Grant me sweet communion, transform­ing views of thy adorable perfections.

O let me renew my choice and dedications; for thou art forever mine; and I am, and wil [...] be forever thine. O make me, as I delight to be, wholly devoted to thee in soul and body, and it is enough. Grant me this, and I ask for myself no more. O grant it for Christ's sake. Grant it, because he has said, Whatever [Page 252] I ask in his name, thou wilt give. Amen. Amen. It is enough, I am thine.

SARAH OSBORN.

Tuesday morning, November 25.—In casting up accounts last night I find we are in debt to several persons; and now we are contracting more debts for wood and provision. O Lord, help, and in thy allwise providence overrule that these just debts may be honestly and timely paid. It is not to consume on our lusts; but for the comfortable subsistence of our family, that we are thus involving. Lord, help. And enable others to render to us our due; and yet send us business: And make us thankful for it, and faithful in it. Business is now fail­ing every day. Grant me a Habakkuk's faith, that though all should be cut off, yet I may trust and rejoice in thee. O still glorify thyself, and grant that all may have their just due. Thou knowest how to bring all things to pass for thine own glory. O help me to believe thou wilt do so in all things concerning me: And let my heart be at rest in God, as to carking cares; and yet, my God, preserve me from a careless indolent frame of spirit. Lord keep me awake, I beseech thee. O my God, pre­serve me from a carnally secure, slothful frame. O, pour out a spirit of prayer; and help me to pray and watch, and watch and pray, left I en­ter into temptations on the right hand or the left. Dear Jesus, keep me. O keep me by almighty power. My soul is committed to thy keeping. Lord, I humbly expect preservation from thee. I fly to thee, O my Shield. De­fend [Page 253] me; ward off every blow that sin will strike, and every fiery dart that Satan will throw. Thou canst defeat the world in all its snares, whether to elevate and puff up, or to frown and cast down. Lord, all is alike to thee; nothing is too hard for thee, though all too hard for me alone. I can overcome all, through Christ strengthening me. O, thou art my sun to enlighten me, my shield to defend me. Help me to rest in thy faithful word, and suck at this full breast of consolation. For the Lord is a [...]un, and a shield. The Lord will give grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from them who walk uprightly. In this blessed text all is comprehended my heart can wish. O, thanks be to God for the prom­ise of grace, as well as glory: Grace to enable to walk uprightly; and that no good thing shall be withheld. O, let me seize the promise of grace now, and cheerfully trust for the rest. Lord, give me this part now, and I can trust for glory, and all good things. Faith can cheer­fully wait thy time. Hast thou not said, Thou wilt withhold no good thing? Then withhold not grace. Give me this in hand now, Lord, this moment, greater degrees, for Jesus' sake. Communicate from the full fountain, the head of all gracious influences. It will never be ex­hausted: Fill me to the brim. There is an infinite fulness for needy creatures. Am I not a needy creature? Lord, thou knowest I am. Indeed I am. O, withhold not grace. Let me bear away the blessing now, if it may be thy holy will. O, let me have no will but thine. [Page 254] And is not this thy will, even my sanctification. O then, let me be lean no longer; but fat and flourishing, for Christ's sake. Then thou shalt be glorified in and by me. Glory shall be as­cribed to Father, Son and Holy Ghost; and I will be thine now and forever.

SARAH OSBORN.

Wednesday morning, November 26.—The Lord make me thankful; for I felt what I wrote yesterday morning. And God will be gracious still; he will not be strict to mark in­iquity against me; he will forgive for Jesus' sake, and give grace and glory too: Neither will he withhold any good thing from me, since he has not withheld his Son, his only Son. Can I suspect his love and care of me, when he has not withheld his Son from me? How can I think that he who spared not his own Son; but delivered him up for me, will not now with him, freely give me all things, spiritual and temporal? How can I think that God, who looked on me when I was weltering in my blood, altogether a lump of pollution and en­mity, and redeemed me; brought me out of the house of bondage; took away my filthy garments, and clothed me with the best robe, even the righteousness of Christ; gave me his Spirit to sanctify me; and adopted me into his family; gave me a right and title to all the blessings of the new and everlasting covenant; became my covenant God; and has now freely bound himself by solemn promises to uphold and strengthen me; will now, on account of the bitterly lamented, bewailed, hated remains [Page 255] of enmity, contrariety and sinful infirmities, cut me off from the dear blessings he has promised, and let me wander from him? No; he will subdue mine iniquities, and my trans­gressions, he will purge them away. He will be gracious, because he will be gracious. He will not be strict to mark iniquity against me. O my soul, with filial and humble reverence, view God as a gracious Father, and faithful friend, who has said his kindness shall not de­part from thee; and not as a severe judge, standing ready to take all advantages of thy failings and shortcomings in duty. Had God acted this part, I had long ago been consumed. Should God be thus strict to mark iniquity, who could stand!

O Lord, strengthen my faith; for thou wilt forgive, for Christ's sake. Therefore let me fear to offend or grieve thee all my days. Thou wilt not withhold any good thing from me; therefore let me walk uprightly all my days. O, from this moment let me have no will but thine; nothing in view, but how to please and glorify thee here, and in heaven to all eternity.

Thursday morning, November 27.—Blessed be God! A precious morning again yesterday. A deep sense of what I wrote. And God help­ed me to wrestle for the blessings. A comfort­able day and evening. God smiled in his prov­idence. We received from several who owed. Thanks be to God, we have good success in gathering in our harvest. And God will supply all our wants. Does the husbandman expect another crop in Winter? No more can I. [Page 256] Thanks be to God, who enabled me, with the ant, to improve the summer. And as to the use of means, as to the world, I have done, and do all I can; what remains but that I now wholly depend on God, and believe he will withhold no good thing from me? O God, enable me to keep up high and honorable thoughts of thee, believing thou wilt be kind and gracious; believing thou wilt give grace; also, believing as far as the heavens are above the earth, so far are thy thoughts above my thoughts, and thy ways above my ways. Lord, preserve me from low, mean and unworthy thoughts of thee. Suffer me not to limit thee in any wise, for soul or body; for thy compas­sion has no bounds.

Friday morning, November 28.—Thanks be to God for a cheerful day yesterday. Some ex­ercises of faith and trust. Thanks be to God for refreshment in my waking moments this morning, before cares took place, from these words, "For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteous­ness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the mor­row; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself: Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."—Lord help me, and I will obey, and bless thee that thou knowest I stand in need of these things, and that is enough. Lord help me, and I will cheerfully cast all my cares on thee, and care for nothing but how I shall best please and serve thee, and my generation, ac­cording [Page 257] to thy will. Lord help me, and I will cheerfully rely on thy grace for this too, to make me faithful unto death, as well as to give me a crown of life. O, thou wilt be my sun and shield, thou wilt give grace and glory; and no good thing wilt thou withhold from those who walk uprightly: And thou wilt give grace to walk uprightly too. Lord, do all, and all shall be well. I can do and be every thing God would have me, if God will make me so. With God all things are possible: It is possible that my heart should be made more holy; more conformed to the image and laws of a holy God. It is possible that my stubborn, refractory will should be made all submission, reverence and thankfulness. It is possible it should continually bow to the will of Jehovah in all things without exception; to adverse as well as prosperous dis­pensations. It is possible for it to bow forever to the sceptre of King Jesus. O, so much of this as I may attain here, so much of heaven below: For this is heaven to submit to, adore, and please and enjoy God. This is the heaven I want; and as much of it, Lord, upon earth as may be attained by a poor mortal. Ah, Lord, forgive! Self indeed creeps in. Happy, happy indeed shall I be, so far as I attain. And wilt not thou also be glorified in this. Lord, then glorify thyself. I ask not happiness, in­consistent with thy glory. Nay: I cannot be happy, except thou art glorified; for in this does my happiness consist. O I adore thee that they are inseparably connected, and I shall yet glorify thee, and be happy too, because [Page 258] thou art a faithful, covenant keeping God. I shall yet praise thee, who art the health of my countenance, and my God; and I am thine forever.

SARAH OSBORN.

Tuesday morning, December 3.—Lord, help now, for Christ's sake, and prevent my placing my expectations on the creature, to dishonor and provoke thee. Lord, let all my expecta­tions be from thee; and then they cannot be too high. I cannot promise myself too much from a bountiful, faithful God. But if I prom­ise myself from the creature, all will surely fail. Glorious God, I fly to thee, and depend on thee to strengthen my faith, and to keep it fixed on thee alone, my sun to enlighten my shield to defend. Lord, give grace, while thou art withholding no good thing. Thou knowest my treacherous heart; but hold it fast; suffer it to turn to the creature no more; to distrust thee no more, since thou art dealing thus graciously with me. O now set me apart for thyself. Now let me serve thee and my generation, according to thy will, with the greatest cheerfulness, dili­gence and faithfulness. Lord, spirit me, and teach me what I shall teach my dear little ones. Suffer me in no wise to neglect them. While I and my family are fed and warmed, let me be strengthened, and be more and more dili­gent in business, as well as fervent in spirit serv­ing the Lord. And now I come to thee, Holy Father, in the name of Christ, for success. Lord not only teach me how to instruct; but seal instruction. Take hold of the heart of ev­ery [Page 259] one thou committest to my charge, if it may be thy holy will. In the arms of faith I bring them every one to thee. Dear Jesus, as thou wouldest not suffer thy disciples to forbid or re­buke those who brought little children to thee; but didst say, Suffer them to come, and forbid them not; and didst take them in thy arms, and bless them: So, Lord, rebuke me not; but take, mine in thy arms, and bless them all that ever have, or now do belong to me, whether to board or school. Let it be for thy glory I be­seech, that this is the calling thou art choosing for me. I would herein abide with God; spend and be spent for thy glory, and the good of the children. O, let gratitude be as oil to the wheels, that they may fly swifter round than ev­er. Yea, and thou wilt help me: And I will run the ways of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart; for I am, and will be thine forever.

SARAH OSBORN.

Sabbath morning, December 7.— Lord, wilt thou not draw out my whole heart and soul, and enable me to offer it up to thee this day, as a thank offering for all the mercies of the year past, and all my years. Glorious God, this is all I have to give; and this I would fain give up wholly and entirely, so as never more to be my own. Lord take my heart, soul, spirit, un­derstanding, will, affections, memory, desires, and every faculty, every gift or talent commit­ted to me. Let all be devoted to thee. Of thy own would I give thee. Take possession of every member of my body also. Lord, it is all [Page 260] thy own. And now say, with the power of a God, "I will that this whole soul and body be set apart for myself. I will be glorified in this creature." Amen! I ask no more. This is the utmost of my wishes. Wilt thou defend and keep me as the apple of thine eye. Keep me wholly to thyself. Lord, I am thine, for­ever thine: Why should I be for any other? Why should either sin, Satan or the world en­gross? I am none of theirs. Thou hast re­deemed me, O Lord God of truth. O behold what thou hast given for my ransom, and thou wilt not withhold any good thing from me. Thou wilt give grace; and so sure as thou dost, so sure it shall be improved for thee; and I will be for thee wholly and forever. I dare not promise thee any thing, on any other condi­tion. But, Lord, give grace, and it will strengthen me; and I will, I can do all things, through Christ strengthening me. I can live humbly and thankfully, resigned to all the will of God. And wherefore didst thou redeem me, if not to be for thee, and none other? Lord, grant it; from this moment grant it! View me as a dear purchased thing; purchased at no lower price, than the precious blood of thy own Son, thy dearly beloved Son, the very darling of heaven; thy joy and delight; and the joy of angels too. View me as a dedicated thing, and seize me wholly for thyself. Suffer not sin, Satan, or the world, ever to share with thee. Lord, why should they, when I am wholly thine, forever thine.

SARAH OSBORN.
[Page 261]

Saturday morning, December 13.—I was yesterday very poorly all day. But, blessed be God, have had a comfortable night. God has blessed means for my relief; pains are abated. I thank God, I was disposed to acquiesce in the will of my heavenly Father, as to my indisposi­tion. Some pleasing May bes, or Who can tell, but this may be the beginning of my last sick­ness? O, how sweet would it be to realize it: God only knows, while I am earnestly looking out for the first intimations of a dissolution. And yet would by no means neglect any thing God has appointed for the preservation of life, or health. Let God be glorified in his own way and time, and it is enough. Dear Jesus, keep my frame of mind, as well as my soul, in thine own hands. I commit this to thy charge. I can no more keep my frame good myself, than I can keep my soul eternally secure my­self. I look to thee for a Godlike, Christlike temper of mind. Keep me humble; keep me holy; keep me watchful, prayerful, submissive, thankful, adoring, praising, believing, trusting, hoping in, loving and longing after thee, and thy ways, and the glory shall be thine forever. O keep me in such a frame as much and as constantly here below, as is consistent with a mortal state. Sure this is becoming a christian: Sure thou wilt be glorified by this. O glori­ous, incomprehensible Trinity, glorify thyself in me, for thy own name's sake; because the world believes thou art my God; and therefore expects I will behave accordingly. O help me [Page 262] in all respects, that glory may redound to thy great name by me, for Jesus' sake.

And let all thy dear children share with me in this happy, this glorious privilege of glorify­ing God. O let us join heart and hand. O unite us in the sacred work. Let a sacred glow of love and gratitude to God and each other ever inspire our breasts. Let the world know the difference between those who have been with Jesus, and those who have not, by our love and delight in each other, as well as love and delight in God. O let Zion prosper. Let the Redeemer's kingdom thrive and flour­ish through all the world. My heart shall re­joice, even mine. Amen. Halelujah; it shall in those latter days. Truth has said it. The crown shall flourish on his royal head, and his saints shall shout aloud for joy. Amen.

January 11, 1761.

O LORD, who can stand before thy cold! O pity the poor and needy: Provide for them out of thine infinite stores. Spirit those on whom thou hast bestowed this world's good to relieve their wants; as thou dost spirit such to relieve the wants of thy poor, unworthy crea­ture; for which I bless thee; and pray thee to reward my benefactors. I trust they do indeed give for Jesus' sake. O let them not lose a re­ward of grace. Of thy free, rich grace, Lord, reward them. And as it is thy sovereign pleas­ure, that my circumstances call me rather to [Page 263] receive than give, I would cheerfully submit, and believe it is best of all. Lord, any thing, any circumstance in life thou seest best; so thou wilt but make me strong in faith, lead me to, and hold me near thyself, and all is well. If my hands may not relieve the poor, pour out on me a Spirit of prayer for them. O per­mit me to bring them to thee in the arms of faith and prayer, to thy full stores, day by day, that these their wants may be supplied.

And yet, as opportunities offer, and God gives leave, let me cheerfully cast in my mites for their support. O never let me be unmind­ful of the poor, the sick and languishing, the prisoner and captive, the aged, and the tempted soul. O my God, since thou hast done so great things for me, I pray thee, fill me with bowels of compassion, and let the widow and fatherless still be the objects of my tender concern and care. And may my zeal for the support of thy gospel never die. Let me still cheerfully do all I can: And when I can do no more, Lord, help me to pray continually that thy gospel may be supported, and for the prosperity of Zion; and, O God, hear and answer for Jesus' sake.

Let God glorify himself; and let him do as seemeth good to him. I have no other choice to make this new year, but that God may be glorified in me and mine, and all affairs and things. And yet, while I am thus anxiously careful for nothing, I would daily, in every thing, by prayer and thanksgiving make known my requests to God. I would pray more than ever, from the exalted views, and earnest long­ings [Page 264] that God may be glorified. O, are not these motives as strong to make me thirst and long and wrestle, as anxious, distressing cares? O God, let me not be freed from them in vain; but now may I get up and run with more vigor and cheerfulness than ever the ways of thy commandments, rejoicing in God, and in all the great and glorious events of his providence.

Saturday morning, January 17.—Forever blessed be God, for all that sweet content and acquiescence in the divine disposals which I feel from day to day. This is the Lord's do­ing. I am sure it is. It is God who has heard prayer for Jesus' sake, and has commanded de­liverance from the tormenting sins of unbelief, distrusts, anxious cares, and murmurings. O, for this, glory shall redound to Father, Son and Holy Ghost; for I could no more attain this frame, than I could get a kingdom by my own strength. Blessed be God, I had rather have the victory over my inbred lusts, and be wholly subdued to the royal sceptre and will of King Jesus, than possess crowns and kingdoms.

O, dear, precious Jesus, do thou but rule me and defend me, restrain and conquer all thine and my enemies—fill me with grace, that I may love, adore and proclaim thy glorious name to all around me, that thou mayest be glo­rified; let me but have the presence of my glorious King; I ask no more. I wish no more but to be near and like unto thee.

Thursday morning, January 29.—Blessed be God, who did mercifully assist me yesterday morning, and humbled and strengthened me by [Page 265] many gracious promises; and helped me all the day. And in the evening did, I trust, meet with us in the dear society; assisted his dear child to wrestle as a Jacob; and, I trust, en­gaged all our hearts. And will not God an­swer our united requests, for Jesus' sake? Dear Lord, we would plead and rely upon thy own gracious promise, That where two or three are met in thy name, there thou wilt be in the midst of them: And if two or three are agreed to ask any thing in thy name, it shall be grant­ed. O Lord, were not more of us than that number engaged in begging the destruction of sin and increase of grace, that thou mayest be glorified—pardon, cleansing and strength for time to come? Did we not anew commit our precious souls to thy keeping, dear Jesus? And wilt thou not keep us from the evil, and com­municate of thy all glorious, imitable perfec­tions to us, that we may grow more like thee? O God, grant it for thine own name's sake. Lord, grant it, and we shall glorify thee; if thou wilt transform us into thine own image, by giving us lively views of thy perfections. The more we see thee as thou art, the more we shall be like thee. O, let discoveries of thy­self to us grow clearer and clearer, till we are perfectly conformed to thine image. Then shall we be satisfied, when we awake in thy likeness.

Thursday morning, February 12.—O Lord, suffer me to come, and in the arms of faith and prayer to bring the sick man, if he be yet a subject of prayer. O Lord, have mercy on him, and glorify the riches of thy sovereign [Page 266] grace. Lord, get to thyself a great name; make this man a monument of thy mercy. I am unworthy to ask, or he to receive: But Christ is worthy. He shed his precious blood for great sinners. O, give him but faith in Christ, to lay hold on him, and God shall be glorified in his salvation. Lord Jesus, give him a new heart. O make him holy, and fit to be a par­taker of the inheritance of the saints in light.— Lord, enable him to commit himself, as I would commit him, into thy merciful and faithful hands. O let not death separate betwixt soul and body, till thou hast separated betwixt his soul and his sins.

Friday morning, February 13.—I was called by providence yesterday to see this sick man, who in all probability is at the point of death, and in most terrible agonies, bemoaning his past life, and crying for mercy. I, said he, was conceived in sin, and brought forth in iniquity. I have been inclined to sin from a child. I have feared neither God, nor man, nor any thing else.—I, who have been brought up in a christian land, am ignorant of the way of salva­tion.— I have had Eternity, Eternity, Eter­nity, sounded in my ears; but I put far away the evil day. And now I am launching into a boundless Eternity, and know not where I am going! Mercy, Mercy, Lord.—Oh, this would make the stoutest heart to shudder, said he. Oh, could I but have seen all this before, as I have just now had a glimpse of my eter­nal damnation! Wringing his hands, he cried, Oh, how shall I appear before a holy, sin hating [Page 267] God, who will search me to the quick, even all the secrets of my soul!—One speaking to him of Jesus. O Jesus! said he, how sweet is that word Jesus! But my sins are of a scarlet die. Mercy, Lord; mercy in and through Jesus Christ. I have not one word to plead in my own behalf; but Mercy, Lord! A rela­tion coming in, he said to him, O—I am gasp­ing for breath, can but just catch it. O, do not let sinners laugh you out of your religion. If you do, you will repent of it, when it is too late, &c. He earnestly asked the prayers of all around him, and thanked all for any advice, or pains they had taken with him.

Saturday morning, February 14.—I went again, as soon as I was up yesterday morning, wanting still to know more of the dealings of God with the precious soul of this sick, distress­ed man. After some conversation with him, he said to me, I think I do loath sin. I do abhor it, because contrary to a holy God. I said—And do you not then see a beauty in holiness, and love it for its own sake? Ah! said he, That I have to look for yet; I cannot answer you there. He was much weaker, and could talk but very little all the day and evening.

Thursday morning, February 19.—Yesterday I was comfortable some part of the day, and came through the whole as well as usual.—In the evening serious and engaged when telling my friends of the society, when met, of the dealings of God with the soul of Mr. —. And when I came to pray for him, my whole soul was engaged! He appeared to me, as in­deed [Page 268] he was, hovering just on the brink of E­ternity, and ready to launch into it in a mo­ment. And God gave me a deep sense of the worth of his precious soul; of his utter inability to help himself.—Of his utter unworthiness to receive mercy, and mine, or ours, earnestly to apply to the throne of grace in his behalf: But pleaded encouragements from our being jointly engaged for mercy for him, and I trust we really were so throughout the room. I bless God, who gave such a number of us op­portunity to unite, and implore mercy for him, and commit him into the hands of a glorious Christ, to be clothed with the all glorious and spotless robe of his righteousness; in which he might lift up his head before strict and impar­tial justice, before the bar of a holy God. I could heartily plead the glory of God in the salvation of this soul; and had a lively view of the joy in heaven in the presence of the blessed angels over this sinner repenting and arriving there. And I humbly trust my sensible view both of the worth of his soul—his undone state without Christ—his unworthiness to re­ceive, or mine to implore mercy—the ful­ness and sufficiency of Christ for him, as well as for Jerusalem sinners who had imbrued their hands in his own precious blood—and the glory that would redound to God, both in heaven and on earth, in the salvation of this soul—was from God; that those discoveries were from him, and the desires were excited by his own Spirit. It was he who emboldened me, who am but dust and ashes, thus to draw near, [Page 269] and plead with a righteous God. And I will hope he has answered the desires of his own ex­citing.

It was between seven and eight o'clock when we were thus united at the throne of grace, more than ten in number. And a little before nine dear Susa (Miss Anthony) was our mouth, and spread his case again before God with earnestness and importunity.—And before we broke up we heard the bell toll for his death. And I believe it was Satan who suggested to me, that my desires were not excited by the Spirit of God; for he was not then the subject of prayer; and therefore my prayer was lost; for God never assisted any to pray for the dead.—It gave my spirits a considerable damp: For I verily thought that God by his Spirit had held me up to wrestle with him, and given me such boldness and freedom of access; and even strong confidence that God would hear and an­swer for Christ's sake. And if he was dead at that very time, I knew not what to make of it! Still I could not help thinking God was with me of a truth in that prayer. I therefore went down to the house, and inquired, at what time he died? And his sister told me, Just at nine. —And God did help me: And he shall have all the glory, while I rejoice in hope that he is glorified in heaven, for the salvation of that soul.—And now, my God, lay me in the dust. —And comfort the near and dear relations, and all to whom he was dear. And sanctify it to all this town, and to all who may hear of it.

[Page 270]

Thursday morning, April 2. —Thanks be to God for increasing the number of our dear so­ciety. We are now thirty five in number. Twenty here last evening. O that God will for Christ's sake, increase our graces. Dear Lord, quicken thy dear children and strengthen them; encourage and comfort them. O build us up. Smile upon us. Lord, we meet to­gether to speak to one another of the Lord. Hearken and hear; and let us be thine in the day when thou makest up thy jewels. O, let this society be a nursery for piety.

Friday morning, April 17.—Eleven of our society spent the afternoon here yesterday. I, made a short attempt to pray. And for a few minutes had freedom, while breathing after perfection of holiness, and a freedom from every clog and interruption to my communion with, and enjoyment of my God. Some long­ings that the body might be laid to rest, and sleep it out in the grave, while I, free from all sin, sickness or weariness, shall worship, enjoy and adore, as glorified saints and angels do. However, here I submitted to the divine will, and turned my plea for greater degrees of grace and strength for us all, that God might be glorified by us. These desires, I trust, were excited by God's own Spirit, and shall be heard and answered, though I was not able to persist. "Think not that ye shall be heard for your much speaking," said my dearest Lord. O, let me not limit God, and confine the blessing to long prayers; nor yet form excuses for short formal prayers.

[Page 271]Thanks be to God who did assist — to plead and wrestle with importunity. She, as the im­portunate widow, followed God with plea upon plea, in the Mediator's name. She asked in faith and hope. Her petitions and confessions and pleadings, as well as thanksgivings, were, I trust, all excited by the blessed Spirit. And God will delight to answer. I often think of what I heard Mr. Byram say of Mr. Brainerd, when he was telling of his wrestling in prayer in the wilderness for the conversion of the In­dians. "I verily thought," said he, "that the dear man would have died upon the spot."— So it often seems as if she would breathe out her soul in prayer. The Lord be praised! O, assist her still more and more. Would to God all his children were such wrestling Jacobs.— And now, my God, into thy merciful and faith­ful hands I commit my soul, my body and all my concerns this day. Pardon my sin, and as­sist me for Jesus' sake; for I am thy own forever.

Monday morning, October 12.— Lord, make me truly thankful. Yesterday was a good day. God did solemnize my spirit when in public worship, in prayer and in preaching, and sing­ing too. An excellent sermon was delivered from Matthew xxviii. 18. "And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Blessed Je­sus, what a sweet discovery was this to thy poor disciples, when they were worshipping thee; but some doubting; a discovery of thy glorious power to forgive all manner of sin and blasphe­mies; [Page 272] to vanquish Satan; subdue our lusts, though ever so numerous and strong; to strengthen the believer though ever so weak; to enable to overcome the world, in all its cares, pleasures, vanities and frowns; to resist Satan in all his wiles and stratagems; yea, and overcome him too; yea, to overcome every e­vil that can beset us in our way. O Lord Je­sus, then fear flees before us, however weak in ourselves, and of ourselves can do nothing, yet then are we strong.—O for greater discoveries of this glorious attribute to both saints and sin­ners. Saints shall stand up and rejoice, grow strong and adore, because greater is he who is for them, than all who are against them; and none can pluck them out of his hand, or over­throw his work in their souls. O discover more and more of thy glorious power, blessed Jesus, to me. And let every dear child of thine share with me. O, rejoice the whole body of thy militant church, since thy power is not limited. No; all power is given unto thee, in heaven and in earth. O let our souls ex­ult and triumph in our almighty Redeemer; and in all our future straits, let the eye of our faith be unto thee. When we know not what to do, nor how to go forth against this great multitude. O then discover to us that all power is given unto thee both in heaven, and in earth.

O reviving truth! Christ will accomplish all that concerns us, since all power is in his hands. O what a dear Redeemer is this! How mighty to save! Who is this! who comes trav­elling [Page 273] in the greatness of his strength! Who is this! who for a little time was made lower than the angels for us; but is now exalted far above all principalities and powers. O let christians rejoice in, and sinners tremble before, this ex­alted Redeemer, this King of glory; and all bow to the sceptre of his grace; and not pro­voke him to crush with his iron rod. Lord, take hold of sinner's hearts. Now show forth, and make thy power known, now they are grown stark mad in sin. Now, Lord, speak with the power of a God, and stop them in their mad career. Thou shalt have all the glory. Thy name shall be magnified and adored. An­gels shall rejoice; yes, there shall be joy in heaven, if thou wilt take to thyself thy great power and reign.

Wednesday morning, October 14.—O Lord, overrule in the affairs of this day, I pray thee. Give me wisdom to direct. O my God, suffer me not to cut any duties short, through inclina­tion to, or delight in the things of this world, rather than in closet duties. Neither suffer me for a pretence to make long prayers, or think I shall be heard for much speaking, when the ne­cessities of my family, and affairs for its support call me for the present to attend. Dear Jesus, thou who hast all power given to thee both in heaven and on earth, guard me against the de­ceit of my heart, the wiles of Satan, and the world. And if I have but a moment, help me to give thee my heart; to commit my soul a­fresh into thy glorious and faithful hands; to trust in thee for the supply of all my wants, if I [Page 274] cannot stay to spread them all before thee; for thou knowest what I want, before I ask thee.— O, let me stay to tell thee, thou knowest I want, above all, increase of grace of every kind; strong faith, a resigned will, great humility, and the enjoyment of thy blessed self. Let me but glorify thee, and enjoy thee; and let thy dear children share with me, and it is enough.—On­ly, let sinners be brought home, that thy king­dom may spread far and wide; and my heart shall rejoice, even mine.

Sabbath morning, October 18.—Several christ­ian friends visited me yesterday afternoon. And I was engaged in talking about the vices of the times, and the need there is of wise virgins awaking, trimming their lamps, girding up their loins, now it is midnight, and preparing to meet our glorious Lord. And in hopes of refreshing my friends, I read some of my own writings.— But I am since perplexed. O my everlasting safeguard, I fly to thee for pardon of every de­gree of self love, pride, vain glory, ostentation, or self seeking. O my glorious God, thou knowest how secretly these sins will twist and wind in, when I most desire to glorify thee. Lord, save me! I hate these sins. O let them not prevail against me, now I would be all for thee, and none other. O for humility now. Glorious Lord, give me such a sight of my own vileness, as shall keep me low in my own eyes. O let me not become all a censurer abroad; crying out, of the vices of the times; calling to all to see my zeal for the Lord of hosts: And neglect that corrupt, that bitter fountain that is within [Page 275] me, which is perpetually turning me aside. O humility, Lord; humility, for Christ's sake. Not only a crying out against sin; but an inward, utter abhorrence and loathing of it, and myself for it.—But oh, not discouragement. Lord, guard me here. This will weaken my hands. There is forgiveness with thee; that thou mayest be feared. Dear Jesus, since all power is given to thee, in heaven and in earth, keep me in the strait path. Let me not turn to the right hand, or left. Keep me by thy almighty power, through faith unto salvation. And let me not grieve thy holy Spirit. My soul is committed to thy care: Lord, keep it from the evil. I cannot, O, I cannot. Sin will be too hard for me. If I turn not after Absalom, I shall after Adonijah, except thy grace prevent: It is by that alone I shall stand; let me not be high minded, but fear. Lord, I fly to thee. Behold thy babe, thy weakling, and defend me from all the assaults of sin and Satan; and glo­rify thyself in me. Dear Lord, do use me in thy own way; in my proper station, in the place where God has set me, let me glorify thee. Let me never move above my sphere, nor yet slothfully hide my Lord's talent in a napkin; but occupy till thou come. O let me gain more, be faithful in a little. O let me be found a trusty, faithful servant, working faithful­ly, in my Lord's absence, always ready to meet my glorious Lord and Master; lift up my head at his first approach, and bid him ten thousand welcomes.

[Page 276]

Wednesday morning, October 21.—On the 21st of October, thirty years ago, I first entered the married state. O that I could be sure I had then been espoused to Jesus Christ! But I can­not, though I have sometimes hoped I was. The Lord infallibly knows. O, adored be his name, I trust he knows I am now his. The foundation of God standeth sure, the Lord knoweth who are his. And if I am his now, let me evidence it to all who know me, by keeping his dear commandments, doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

Now let me frequently appear among the Lord's people. Now others are crowding to­gether, running all risques to attend the devil's entertainments, let love to Jesus Christ and each other, excite us to meet and visit each other. Let us who fear the Lord, speak often one to another; and in all humility give him the glory of his sovereign graces; declare what he has done and is doing for our souls. Let us show forth his faithfulness, and encourage each other to put our trust in him; for he is a faithful God, and none ever trusted in him, and was put to shame. O may the whole of our conversation be to speak honorably of God, exalt God and Christ, and the operations of his blessed Spirit, and grace; and lay self in the dust. O let self be debased. O let us never forget a Not I—Not unto me, Not unto me; but to God be glory. Thus let us communicate to each oth­er, and provoke to emulation. Thus let us scatter, and yet increase. Thus let us blow up [Page 277] the coals, till we are all a flame of love to Je­sus Christ and each other.

Lord, thus bless our dear Society. Thus let us love as christians; yes, as primitive christ­ians, who were dear to each other, as their own lives. Let us begin to live and love, as they do in heaven. Let us, while here on earth, a bound in piety towards God, and charity to men; especially the household of faith—Christ's dear sick and poor—Christ's precious ambassa­dors. O let us build upon the dear, the sure foundation, Christ Jesus, all the good works we can do. Let the words of Christ, "In as much as ye did it unto them, ye did it unto me," be as oil to our wheels, to make them run swiftly.

O may God reward every kind benefactor he has raised to me in every time of distress. May they never lose their reward, though they did it to one of the least of thine. Let them hear thee say, dear Lord, to their precious souls, even here, "Inasmuch as ye did it, ye did it unto me." O reward them a thousand fold into their own bosoms. And may gratitude ever glow in my breast to God and to them. And as I have freely received, in times of my dis­tress, so let me freely give, as God enables, and occasion offers. Lord, ever open my hand and heart to the sick, poor and needy; and make me a blessing in my day. O, make me extensively useful, in my family, in my school, in the dear, dear society, and to all around me. O, let the Lord God Almighty delight to own me, to use me, to set me apart for himself, in secret, in private, and in every way my proper [Page 278] station admits. Why do I still live below? If I may not glorify God upon earth? Why not permitted to glorify him in heaven? O God, glorify thyself in me somewhere, I beseech thee.

Saturday morning, October 24.—I have thoughts of drawing two bows, at a venture. If it is thy holy will that I do it, Lord, direct and assist me, for Christ's sake, that I may bear my testimony against this temple of wickedness, the play house, and be instrumental of breaking off thy young servant and handmaid from going there; and also from pursuing the vanities of this world. O Lord, determine me, as will be most for thy glory. If I draw, for Christ's sake, direct the arrows, cause them so to stick, that the wounds may never be skinned over till they are cleansed and healed by the application of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. O let me never be influenced by pride to do what does not become me. But enable me to take the advantage of all the favor thou hast given me, in the eyes of the great ones here. How know I but it was for this very end thou hast done it? Perhaps it was for such a day as this; and can I altogether hold my peace, and be guiltless! O God, direct and succeed my at­tempts to glorify thee, and do good to precious souls. For thine own honor's sake appear for me; be on my side, while I am attempting to shew myself on thy side. Let me fear the face of none, if I may approve myself to thee. And do thou, Lord, bless me, even me, and pardon [Page 279] all my sin, and strengthen me yet more in my soul for the sake of Christ alone.

Thursday morning, November 12.—I have had some sweet communion with God in his providences, admiring his wisdom in timing ev­ery thing, and supplying all my wants to a min­ute; enabling me to make timely and honorable payments to those with whom we deal; and to provide comfortably for all my dear family. O, how should I be delighted with my lot, since God enables me to do justice and love mercy! O that I could walk more humbly with my God; more worthy a child of God, who is so indulged! O my gracious God, forbid that I should offend and grieve thee, now thou art so dandling me upon the knee of thy kind provi­dence; freeing me from all pinching wants, and from all carking cares. Now, if ever, let me get up and run cheerfully; study what I shall render to the Lord for all his benefits; and how I shall refresh any of his dear ambassadors, or any of his poor, or the poor widow and fa­therless, whether they are his by special grace, or not.

Saturday morning, November 14.—Thanks be to God, all things go well with me now, as to temporals. I have no anxious cares or fears. And now, Lord, help; that whatsoever my hand finds to do, I may do it with all my might. Let me not abuse my freedom, from carking cares and unbelieving fears, by being indolent and slothful. O no! now let me get up and run, and lay myself out every way for the glory of my faithful, gracious God, and the good of [Page 280] my generation. Now let me prepare, as God allows me, free will and thank offerings, to re­fresh his ministers, and relieve his poor. O that self may be entirely laid aside; and wi [...] a single eye to the glory of God, O may [...] in the mites he allows me, be it more o [...] with cheerfulness and delight. Dearest Lord, I cannot be profitable to thee. But as I am, through boundless grace, thine own, use me in thy service for the good of others. And by thy grace, I will rejoice and praise thee. And the glory shall be thine forever.

Thursday, December 3.—Thanksgiving day.— I have been reviewing the particular difficul­ties I recorded last year in the Fall, which seemed then to lie before me: And now would record, with a heart glowing with gratitude, that God has brought me cheerfully through them all.—Perhaps I never knew a year of fewer straits, or carking cares. Is not God, a God hearing prayer? He is: I am sure he is. Is he not a God of infinite faithfulness, love, tender compassion, truth, kindness, benevolence, and absolute sovereignty? He is. Have I de­served any of this kindness at his gracious and holy hands? No, I have not. I am sure I have not. He is self moved, and his kindness does not depart from me. And in spite of all my foes, he is spreading my table, and carry­ing on his own work in my soul. O, let my soul triumph in my glorious Redeemer today, for his redeeming love to me, and all his; for his covenant faithfulness, in all the dispensa­tions [Page 281] of his providence to me, and his church, our nation and land, and God's church in Ger­many.

Lord, fill the hearts of all thy children with humble praise this day; and smell a sweet savor for Christ's sake. And let us gather strength today to glorify thee all our days. O, let us begin the work of heaven this day; and be made more like the inhabitants there.

Thursday morning, December 31.—Now God has graciously brought me to the last day of the year. And how great has been his mercy to me this year! I am still, through his grace, a living monument of his mercy, and a witness of his truth and faithfulness. He by his grace enabled me in the beginning of this year to commit all my affairs into his wise and faithful hands. And he has, blessed be his name, kept me almost throughout the year cheerfully leaving my affairs with him. I have lived securely on the wisdom and care of my heavenly Father. And he has done all things well. He has fed me and mine to the full; and comfortably cloth­ed us too. I have not known either pinch­ing wants, or carking cares. I have been en­abled to make satisfactory payments to those with whom I have had dealings; and to do something towards the support of the gospel, and relief of the necessitous: And in this God has given me the desires of my heart. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

O my God, accept my thanksgivings for Jesus' sake: And for his sake alone freely par­don [Page 282] all my sins, whereby I have abused all these mercies. O send not leanness into my soul, I beseech thee; nor suffer unbelief to a­rise, and suspect thee. Draw forth faith into exercise, Lord, and help me to believe now for grace to walk uprightly, as well as for tempo­rals. O, may my firm trust and confidence be fixed on God the ensuing year; yea, all of it, if I may live to see it. O God, let my will be swallowed up in thine all my remaining days. Thou good and gracious God, thou kind ben­efactor, thou dear Savior, and thou blessed comforter, let the time past suffice that I have grieved thee: Yea, more than suffice; let it break my very heart, that I have done so. Oh, I would bewail it before God, with deep hu­mility and tears of contrition. And now, O Lord, sanctify me throughout. Now conform me to thine image. Now let me be for thee, and none other, all my remaining days.

And may I, in the diligent use of all ap­pointed means, in the path of universal obedi­ence to all thy dear commands, confidently re­ly, wholly and alone, on my dear, dear Re­deemer's perfect righteousness for all accept­ance with God. O, in this let me rejoice, having no confidence in the flesh: In this let me lift up my head. And do thou, my God, smile upon me; yea, delight in base, vile, un­worthy, ungrateful me. And I will run the ways of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart; for I am thine forever.

SARAH OSBORN.
[Page 283]

New Year's day.January 1, 1762.

THE first duty I seem to be called to this year, is resignation to the divine will; for the pain and confusion of my head is such, that I seem altogether unfit for active obedience. Well, it is the Lord; let him do with me, what seemeth him good. I am sure I had better submit, and take all well from his hands, than to struggle. He stands in no need of me: And when active obedience is most pleasing to him, he will spirit me to yield it. I would humbly beg for myself, this new year's day, a stronger faith and a resigned will; that I may acquiesce in all the will of God, without exception in the ensuing year. Methinks I have no choice of circumstances to make, let them be what they will, merciful, or afflictive; only that God will glorify himself in all, resign me to his will in all. Lord, it is not a careless insensibility I am asking; but real strong faith and a childlike submission, and rejoicing in the will of my heavenly Father. Nor would I choose even this (though the most delightful, happy frame on this side heaven) merely from selfish views; but that God may be glorified hereby. I would not ask it, if inconsistent with the glory of God. But O my God, will not this be for thy glory? Then for Christ's sake grant it, this new year's day. Give me this new year's gift, that shall last all the year, if I live; even a strong faith, working by love, and influencing to universal obedience, and entire submission to all the will of God. Let it be what it will, I would object [Page 284] against nothing at all, neither life, nor death, sickness, or poverty, or reproach. I would have no name, or any interest, or comfort this year, but what is most for the glory of God. I would, this day, give up myself, my whole in­terest, my all, to be disposed of as he pleases.

Saturday morning, January 2.—Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his bene­fits! God graciously indulged our endeavors, and favored our designs of setting apart yester­day for solemn fasting; and spirited all that could attend to come. Twenty of the society were together. God mercifully assisted in prayer. We prayed together seven times. Thanks be to God, we were not left to be dull, dry, confused, and wandering. No. God did pour out a spirit of humiliation, and a spirit of supplication, and helped our infirmities. And now, my glorious God, give us faith to look out for answers of peace for Jesus Christ's sake alone, and not for any thing we ever have done, or can do. O, be with us this year! Now, my God, accept my sincere desires to be devoted to thy service. Now, Lord, take a full and free possession; and accept an entire surrender of my whole self, soul and body, to thee this year; for I am thine forever.

SARAH OSBORN.

Wednesday morning, January 13.—Thanks be to God for his quickening influences yester­day. After I began to write, the blessed Spirit helped my infirmities, and taught me what to pray for. And methinks this one petition, Let [Page 285] thy grace be sufficient, comprehends all I want for myself—for my relatives—for my dearest friends—for the dear Society—for my benefac­tors—for my dear children in the family and school—for those who resort hither for instruc­tion—for the poor and needy, the sick and dy­ing, the sorrowful and bereaved, the prisoners and captives, and those persecuted for righteous­ness sake—the poor deserted, afflicted and tempted soul. Lord, for all these, let thy grace be sufficient to bear them up, and enable them to glorify thee in their particular circumstances, be they what they will. O grant this request, for Christ's sake, and do with me, and all who can be called dear to me by the bonds of friendship, gratitude, nature or grace, as seem­eth good to thee. At present I have no other choice to make for any in all this world.

Now, having made this my solemn choice, my this be my earnest plea to my dying day. And may I never attempt to order or govern the world; or to object against the allwise Dis­poser of all events; but acquiesce in his dis­pensations, be they what they will, to me, or to the world. Ah, Lord, let thy grace be suffi­cient for me, and I will behave as becomes a child of God; but otherwise I cannot. Lord, thou knowest I cannot, but shall act in direct contrariety to thee, and inconsistent with my own choice and surrenders. O, let thy grace be sufficient for me, that I may stand, that I may be stedfast and immoveable, always abounding in the work of thee Lord; that I may be estab­lished, strengthened, settled.

[Page 286] Let thy grace be sufficient for me, to speak to thy glory; to hold my peace to thy glory; to pray to thy glory; or put it upon others to thy glory. Suffer neither selfish pride to prompt me, nor floth and want of love and zeal to hin­der me. Lord, pity me. And whilst thou seest me beset behind and before, and on every side, let thy grace be sufficient for me, and then I will be for thee, and none other, all the days of my life; for I am thine forever.

SARAH OSBORN.

Friday morning, January 15.—My Lord and my God, I renew my request, that thy grace may be sufficient for me, to guard me from every temptation. Let me neither be stopped from dealing out my morsel to any, as I think God in his providence calls, or gives me leave to refresh any of thine, any of the household of faith. May I, with Job, ever be able to say, "I have not eat my morsel alone." Let thy grace be sufficient to guard me from sounding a trumpet before me. My God, still indulge me with the dear privilege of doing with my right hand, without letting my left hand know.

Wednesday morning, January 27. —It is with peculiar pleasure I now reflect on the exercises of my soul in the beginning of the year 1760. when almost all my plea was, that God would choose all my changes. O, what have I got by referring my choice to God! How wisely has he chose every thing for me! How worthy is he to be trusted! And when, in the beginning [Page 287] of last year, he enabled me to give up all that was dear to me, what advantage has he ta­ken of my solemn surrenders? Verily, though he has a right to all my comforts, to take them all away just when he pleases, whether I resign or not, yet he has spared them all, and added to the number; and given me the sweet of them, as he daily gives me to see all flowing from his bountiful hand; that dear, that faithful hand, that will give me nothing to hurt me; from that infinite wisdom that knows infallibly what is best for me; from that love, truth and faithfulness that has said, All things shall work together for the good of those who love God, of whom I trust I am one.

And now, my soul, in time of prosperity re­joice in God. Now let him have all thy love, all thy warm affections. Set them not on the creature comforts he has preserved and bestow­ed. No, no! Now may God be all in all. And since he has so graciously answered my choice and resignation, and thus filled faith's mouth with blessings; now, my soul, open thy mouth wide, and cling to thy faithful God, that his grace may be sufficient for thee, for the present day, and for every day, and for every change God shall see best for me; and for my great and last change.

My soul, think not to build thy nest in the lap of prosperity. This is not thy rest. Sit not down so content, as to make this thy home. Bless God for these refreshments in the inn; but remember thou art a pilgrim and a stranger. [Page 288] O, hasten home. Sin and Satan are here still. Thou wilt not long be at rest, if they can prevent it.

Thanks be to God, there is a rest for his peo­ple, where they can never, never come. Ah! gladly would I leave all my enjoyments below, to be freed from these.—But I resign.—Thy time is the best. My God, still choose all my chang­es. Infinite wisdom cannot err. Only grace sufficient for me during my abode here, Lord, and it is enough. And thou wilt give grace as well as glory. It is enough! Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief. I believe thou art a­ble, blessed Jesus, to do this for me. And since thou hast said, My grace is sufficient for thee, I will humbly hope. Though I am per­fect weakness, yet in thee I shall wax stronger and stronger.

Wednesday morning, February 3.—I have been laid aside almost ever since the Sabbath, with a great cold and pain in my head. But, blessed be God, not dissatisfied. God has been with me in the night watches, in my waking hours; and I have contentedly lain by, when he would not have me work. And I will as cheerfully get up and work and run, when he shall restore bodily strength, and enlarge my heart.

"Take my yoke upon you, said Christ, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.—Ye shall have rest in sickness, as well as in health. My yoke is easy. I require no hard things of you. [Page 289] Nothing more than I will give strength of body, and grace sufficient to perform. My bur­den is light. I do not bind heavy burdens up­on you. No; I bear your burdens, I feel your griefs and infirmities. Only rely on me, submit to my will, and all shall be well. Wait in a way of believing patiently for me, and I will return and help thee. I will strengthen thee. I will uphold thee. Make no impatient complaints, as though I were cruel, and expect to reap where I have not sown. Do not repre­sent me, as expecting ten talents in return, if I commit but two. No; be diligent when able, be submissive when disabled, depending on me alone for all assistance and acceptance; and my yoke shall never gall thee, nor my burden press thee down. Thou shalt ever find me a kind master in life to the end of it. My grace shall be sufficient for thee. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." Amen, Lord, Amen.—

Thursday morning, February 11.—Last even­ing I heard of the death of my Reverend un­cle, Doctor John Guise. The Lord sanctify it to my aged mother, and to me; and enable us to follow him, who, through faith and pa­tience, is gone to inherit the promises. Thanks be to God, for his distinguishing grace to him; and that thou didst make him so rich a blessing to thy church, and continue him so long a faithful laborer in thy vineyard. Thanks be to God for the success thou didst grant him; for the seals of his ministry; that thou didst not suffer him to toil all the night, and catch noth­ing. [Page 290] Or if he did, yet when at thy command he let down the gospel net again, he caught many, both in Hereford, and at London too.

Thanks be to God for that patience and re­signation to thy divine will, thou didst grant to thy servant, under all the afflictive dispensations of thy all wise providence; when thou didst take away the desire of his eyes with a stroke; and when thou wast pleased to take away the light of his eyes, that he could no more behold the light of this world, or objects of sense. That then thou didst resign his will, cause him cheer­fully to acquiesce in it: That then thou didst strengthen the eye of faith to behold invisibles, to behold its glorious object. Now faith is swallowed up in open vision and full fruition, as I suppose.

Hail, happy soul, all hail! I congratulate thee on thy safe arrival to the blissful regions. O, let me by faith peep in a little, and view thee now thou hast dropped thy clog of mor­tality. Now thou beholdest with open face the glory of Jehovah in the dear, the lovely face of Jesus Christ, that God-Man-Mediator, who died for thee, and said, Father, I will that those whom thou hast given me, be with me to behold my glory.—Ah, hast thou dropped the whole body of sin and death. All hail again! What! Canst thou now worship in the most humble, and yet exalted strains, without the least de­gree of taint of that abominable thing which God's soul hateth? What! Made perfect in ho­liness! No danger of one wrong principle; no [Page 291] pride; no self to rise and rob God of his glo­ry? O happy, happy soul!

O, when shall I arrive to this perfection of holiness: Thou wilt not fear for me there. I shall never damp thee more. My odious pride shall have no being there. Let me leap for joy, or shout as loud as I will the riches of distin­guishing, free, rich, sovereign grace, thou wilt join me. I shall never unstring thy harp, nor thou mine. O thanks be to God, that I am re­joicing in hope of coming to thee, to be with thee, and to be with Christ, which is far better.

O for grace to make haste, and finish the work God has given me to do. I would fulfil as a diligent hireling my day. But, my God, permit me to long for the shadows of the even­ing. O, to me to live, is Christ; but to die, unspeakable gain. Let not the Lord be angry. Indulge me a little here, while, through thy grace, my soul breaks for the longing it hath for a freedom from sin. Oh monster!—And the full enjoyment of thyself. Thou knowest I am not groaning under worldly cares. Blessed be thy name, thou hast taken them away.—

And now, O my God, grant me strong pa­tience, and profound submission to the divine will in all things; that I may wait all the days of my appointed time, till my great change come. I bless thee, that my bounds are set, and I cannot pass them. I shall not stay, when my work is done. Lord, it is enough! Thy time is best. Only grace sufficient for every moment, and it is enough. I am forever thine. [Page 292] Do with me, and all dear to me, as seemeth good to thee, and all is well.—

April 15.—Ah, my Lord and my God, though I mourn for sin less than I ought, yet, blessed be thy name, there is such a rooted a­version in my soul, to it, that the thought of my being freed from condemnation, without the hope of being freed from the pollution of sin, seems not to satisfy me at all. Oh, were it pos­sible I could carry the monster to heaven with me, it would abate my joy at the prospect of heaven itself. It would be no heaven to me, if there I must still sin against, and grieve my Lord. But, thanks be to God, there I shall be free indeed. O, I bless thee from my inmost soul for this prospect of a freedom from sin.—

April 18.—Lord, be with me this Sabbath. Call off Satan, if it be thy holy will. Suffer him not to suggest a thousand trifles to my foolish heart. Nor things of a serious nature neither, which are foreign to the present duty. Lord, whence is it, unless from him, that I am so much more beset to keep my heart fixed on the business of the present moment, on thy day, than on any other? Lord, preserve me. I want to say, My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed. Oh, let not Satan cast in rub­bish, to smother the spark of love, as soon as it begins to kindle. Oh, let not my foolish heart start aside, like a deceitful bow, today. O God, engage our hearts in prayer, in singing, meditation, examination, in ejaculations in thy house, and out of it. Lord, discoveries of thy­self will do it effectually. This will soon at­tract [Page 293] the hearts of thine. There is no one per­fection of thy nature, if thou wilt unveil, and show thyself, which will not engage the whole heart in a moment. It cannot start aside un­der discoveries of thyself. If thou wilt show thy majesty and greatness, the eye of faith will gaze there, till the soul and all things else in its view, will shrink into nothing, and it will lie in the dust and adore.

Sabbath morning, May 23.—Lord, how long shall Satan and my own heart conspire, on the Lord's day in particular, to break, confuse and disturb my thoughts. Lord, appear for me; and let Satan lose his aim this time, I pray thee. He is trying to stir up resentment, be­cause of another's ingratitude. Now is the time, my soul, if I am a christian indeed, to do more than others; now to apply the rule my glorious Savior has set before me. I have so­lemnly declared, that I have taken his word for my rule. I am, then, to bless them who curse me; do good to them who hate me; and pray for them who despitefully use me, and per­secute me. My soul, my trials do not rise so high as this. All I am now called to, is to be kind to the unthankful, that I may be the child of my Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. If I love them who love me, what reward have I? Do not even the publicans the same? And If I salute my brethren only, what do I more than others? Do not even the publicans so?

[Page 294]Lord, now, in my degree, let me be perfect as my Father who is in heaven is perfect, and triumph over the ingratitude of any, and all. Now let me cover these infirmities with the mantle of love, and leap over them all, to do good to the poor and needy, whether they will think it any thing, or no. Thus may I be ac­cepted of my God. He will not throw back my mites as dung in my face, let who will do it. Thus let me be avenged of Satan, and my own corrupt heart, and become their conquer­or, through thy grace; and I will rejoice and praise thee.

And now, let me, in defiance of Satan, and my own vile heart, enjoy a Sabbath of rest to­day. Rejoice over me to do me good this day, my God. Let me see the goings of God in his sanctuary this day. Assist thy ministers; Lord, assist them, and set home thy word with power, upon saints and sinners. O for a re­freshing shower of thy Spirit this day!—

July 2.—Yesterday God permitted twenty one of us to meet together, and to keep our solemn fast. I was, before it came on, and at the beginning, all gloom and discouragement: Yet God triumphed over my unbelief, and gave me kind access, and graciously assisted ev­ery one. And now, Lord, for Christ's sake, help us to believe that thou art, and that thou art a rewarder of all those who diligently seek thee. O, help us to look, and long, and wait; for thou hast said, those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. O, for Christ's sake, answer those petitions put up in his name for [Page 295] heart holiness, stronger faith, thankfulness of heart, a resigned will in all things without re­serve. O hear in heaven thy dwelling place, forgive and do; for we are thine. Lord, still encourage our waiting upon thee. O, encourage us to hope in thy mercy. Thou hast never said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain. Let us find, by kind and gracious answers, as well as in the present moment, it is good for us to draw near to God. O, let us with Hannah, have cause to rejoice and say, For this humili­ty, this thankfulness of soul, for this strong faith, this love, this heart holiness and risignation we prayed, and the Lord heard us; not, This is the child; but, This is the grace. And now we will give back to the Lord; yea, we will give back ourselves, and all God bestows, and abide in the house of the Lord, and minister before him forever.

Monday morning, July 12.— I was engaged last week in reading and thinking on Mr. Bel­lamy's Theron, Paulinus, and Aspasio. An an­swer to Mr. Harvey's Dialogues. And heart­ily do I wish that all who are setting their face towards Zion, could and would, divested of all prejudice, for or against either of these authors, weigh Paulinus' strong, clear and beautiful ar­guments. O that I may ever love the glori­ous God for what he is in himself, because he is a perfect, glorious Being; just and holy, as well as merciful. O God, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. Let me with open face behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, till I be transformed into the same image. O God, [Page 296] let me ever reach above the publican's standard. O, may I love thee for thyself, as well as what thou art to me. Lord, inspire me with a gen­erous love, I beseech thee, to thee, and thy righteous law, which is holy, just, and good, though the whole human race had been con­demned, and eternally banished from thy glo­rious presence for transgressing it. Shall that beautiful transcript of the divine image be es­teemed a tyrant! Severe, hard and cruel, be­cause it requires me to love the Lord my God with all my heart and soul and strength and mind; and my neighbor as myself? O God, forbid. Slay every degree of enmity that rises up against this righteous law, and calls it cruel. O may I ever lie in the dust for my continual deviations from and violations of thy holy law, and acknowledge I deserve eternal damnation for every breach of it: While I adore the in­finite wisdom which has magnified the law and made it honorable in the death of the Son of God; while I adore the grace which has said, There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. O, may my evidences be ever clear. Let me never build upon a persuasion that Christ, grace and pardon are mine, with­out knowing that I have received him, and do rest upon him alone; am conformed to his im­age, in the temper of my mind, and tenor of my life. Amidst all my deficiencies, yet I do love righteousness and hate iniquity. Yea, I do delight in the law of God after the inner man. I do esteem it beautiful, holy, just, and [Page 297] good; yea, good for me. I do hate myself for my nonconformity. I do loath, judge, and condemn myself for this. O thanks be to God, that I can, notwithstanding, be cleared in an honorable way from the curse of the law; that God can be just, and yet the justifier of her who believes in Jesus.

Tuesday morning, November 9.—On Friday, October 15, I was taken with an ague fit, and extremity of pain, and so put to bed.—For some days I thought it nothing different from what I had been used to for many years, only in degree; as ague fits, hot fevers, and sweats. But at length I was convinced it was of a dif­ferent kind. This presently gave a spring to my hope that this might prove my last sickness. That God was going, in mercy, to set his weary pilgrim free from the intolerable burden of sin, and take me to himself, to behold his glory. And as my disorders increased, my hope arose to a strong persuasion that I should die. And O how did my eager soul press forward, and bid death ten thousand welcomes! My God, my covenant, faithful God, shone in upon his own work in my soul; gave me clear and sub­stantial evidences of my union to Christ by faith. All was calm within. I had enough to do to admire the astonishing goodness of God to me, inwardly and outwardly. Mercies flow­ed in upon me from every quarter. All that could be thought of that was suitable for me was sent me in plenty; so that I had to spare to relieve other sick ones.

[Page 298]Twelve days I kept my bed, except being just taken up to have it made. My dear friends were tender of me, and tended me night and day. Perhaps not less than fifty offered to watch. My dear Susa tended me every day. The Lord reward her, and all the rest of my dear friends!

And since this sickness has not been unto death, I beseech thee, Lord, for Jesus Christ's sake alone, let it be for the glory of God. And as sure as Lazarus was raised from the dead, so sure let me be raised by the power of God to newness of life. O now let my faith be raised above the fears of sin and Satan and the world, as it has been raised above the fears of death. Now, Lord, help me to rely on the same al­mighty, faithful, covenant God, with whom I could gladly have ventured through the dark valley of the shadow of death; and feared no evil, because thou wast with me. O now make me strong in faith, giving glory to God. Now let me come up through this wilderness leaning upon my beloved; depending on his love, his care, his faithfulness, his allsufficient grace to uphold and keep me, and suffer me neither to stinch nor fear, though I am perfect weakness; but, in thy strength, let me be as a giant; gird up my loins, and run with patience the race set before me. Now let me endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ; and not, as a timorous hare, shrink back. O let vehement love be as oil to the wheels; and let my soul be ever as the chariots of Aminadab, swiftly moving in the paths of universal obedience. O now glorify thyself in me. Dear Lord, where­fore [Page 299] hast thou said to me, Live, if not to thee. O make me more humble than ever. Do all for Christ's sake, who has said, "Because I live, ye shall live also."

Sabbath morning, December 20.—O Lord, let integrity and uprightness preserve me this day. Let me not act the hypocrite in showing a concern to get to thy house, without a real, hearty desire to seek thee there, and to wor­ship thee in spirit and in truth. O God, an honor is due to thy public worship. O let not a carelessness and indifference seize me, under pretence of resignation to thy will. O blessed Savior, take care of me, and make me just what thou wouldest have me to be. Lord, thou seest how many snares await me on every side. O be my perpetual guard, or I shall some way or other dishonor thee: Yea, I shall do every thing in contrariety to thee. O let a sense of these bitter remains of indwelling sin keep me humble. Suffer not Satan to teaze me perpetually. Lord, restrain him, and let me have the comfort of that sincerity thou hast put in my heart. And let me be indeed re­figned to thee in all things, without reserve. If it be thy holy will to recover my strength before I go hence, and be no more here; that I may go up and down in my family, and with cheerfulness put my hand to help, when its ne­cessities call for it, without being overthrown by it; if it be thy pleasure to give me more vital strength, and to strengthen the organs of sight, that I may attend to reading, meditation, and other secret duties, as well as the duties of my [Page 300] calling, without being outdone; and if it will please thee to restore my hearing, and strengthen me to walk to thy house as formerly; Lord, by grace, I will bless thee, and, by grace, improve all these to thy glory. O let me not despise or set so light by such mercies as these, as to neglect to ask with submission for them. O God, preserve me from a presumptuous cove [...] ­ing of symptoms of a dissolution. Let me not provoke thee to lay thy hand heavy on me, and then leave me to see how I can sustain such distressing disorders, and linger along without the light of thy countenance. Lord, this thou mayest justly do, if I go to choosing for my­self. And then, Oh! what fears, what doubts, what dishonoring God may follow; even till I pass through the dark valley of the shadow of death! O Lord, suffer me not, by presumption or unbelief, to tempt thee to leave me to my­self. Nor let me from this moment have any choice but to improve every moment of life to thy glory; and leave all with thee as to time and circumstances. Lord, I am forever thine. Let me have no will but thine, no choice but thine. O for a humble resignation of a truth! This becomes a child of God at all times; and nothing can come amiss to a resigned will. O, this is right, it is fit, it is just, it is beautiful! Lord, for Christ's sake, grant it.

[Page 301]

Thursday evening, January 13, 1763.

O LORD, look down upon me in mer­cy, and for Christ's sake freely pardon all my sins. O let me not with Moses provoke thee by speaking unadvisedly with my lips. O make me holy in heart, lip, and life: And suf­fer not Satan to distress and worry me with his lies; nor let me imitate him by accusing my­self falsely. True, Lord, I do fall inconceiva­bly short of perfection in holiness. But thou, who knowest all things, dost know this is my grief and burden. Could it be, I had rather be perfectly holy, than to have all the world. I do hate sin, and myself for it. I do hate the remains of hypocrisy, as well as all my other sins. I do not want to be deceived, nor to deceive. O never let me have a name to live, and be dead. O that I could never de­viate from thy holy law any more. O when shall it once be, that I shall be perfectly con­formed to thy image and will! My heart is in thy hand: The work is thine. It is begun, let Satan say what he will: O carry it on to perfection. Sure thou wilt not leave it unfin­ished. O when wilt thou make me perfect! I am weary of sinning against thee, and yet persist. Oh when shall death set me free! When shall I cease to dishonor thee, and see thee dishonored by others! How long shall my heart be broken! How long shall Judas betray with a kiss! How often shall I see thee, blessed Jesus, crucified afresh and put to open shame? [Page 302] Wounded in the house of thy professed friends! How long shall my sins be as cruel spears, to pierce thee to the heart!

Oh while I grieve for others sins, let me ab­hor my own: For they who have not known thee cannot sin at so high a rate, as I who have. For I have known thee, and known that thou camest forth from God, and art the very Christ. Flesh and blood hath not reveal­ed this to me; but thy heavenly Father. I have not picked this up from the experiences of others. It is not from the saying of the woman; but I have heard thee myself, and know thou art the Christ, in whom I have be­lieved, and to whom I have committed my precious soul. O let me never go away; never be confounded; never be put to shame. O keep me; hold me fast by thy almighty power; by thy word, by thy Spirit, and grace; by the bonds of the everlasting covenant. Re­member thou hast said, They shall not depart from me. Amen, Amen. Then I shall not depart. Thy grace shall be sufficient for me, amidst all the thorns in the flesh, and messen­gers of Satan. I am thine forever.

SARAH OSBORN.

Sabbath Day, March 6.—I am thy poor, weary pilgrim, Lord. O if it may consist with thy glory, give me a speedy release. But I would not ask it, if inconsistent with thy glory. Oh no.—I would not desire to enter into [Page 303] heaven itself, inconsistent with thy glory,* any more than I would ask any enjoyment upon earth, inconsistent with it. Help me then, from this moment, to leave all to thy consummate, infinite wisdom, power, love, care, and faithful­ness, and have no will but thine. Here I am, do with me what seemeth good unto thee, and all is well; for I am thine in Christ Jesus, and thou art mine. Amen. Hallelujah!—

Sabbath, March 13.—My glorious God, raise me this day above the temptations and trifling difficulties of time, which are but for a moment. Thou hast said, They who wait on thee shall renew their strength. O let me this day mount up on the wings of faith to Pisgah's top, and take a view of my glorious, risen, as­cended Savior. He who was crucified for my offences, and raised again for my justifica­tion.—

Thanks be to God! Here my thoughts grew too big to get vent by writing, and were vented [Page 304] by tears.—I trust God has granted me some sweet communion with a once crucified, but now risen and ascended Savior. My soul has rejoiced in him, and that as my forerunner, he has entered there, at the Father's right hand. He is my advocate there. He is gone to pre­pare a place for me; and will come again, and receive me to himself, that where he is, there I may be also. O glorious hope! More glori­ous enjoyment! Lord ripen me fast! And let many souls be raised from sin this day, this First day, on which thou didst arise. Say to thousands, if it be thy will, this day, "Because I live, ye shall live also." O breathe into dead souls spiritual life this day, and they shall live. Breathe on them, Lord, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost in all his quickening, renewing, sanctifying influences. Blessed Spirit, do thou apply the purchased redemption this day in all the worshipping assemblies of thy people. Be with thy ministers. O teach them what arrows to choose; and do thou point them to the hearts of all.

Wednesday morning, March 30.—I awoke re­freshed in the night with that part of the gra­cious covenant betwixt God and his people. "I will put my fear into their hearts; and they shall not depart from me." Was enabled to say, Amen! To rejoice in it, and plead it for my security against departing from God. O thus put thy fear into my heart. I fly to thy shall not, as a greater security than ten thou­sand thousand of my resolves never to depart. I am all weakness; but if thou sayest I shall [Page 305] not, I shall not. O so put thy fear into my heart, and I shall not. O blessed security! Cheer up, my poor soul! It is the word of Je­hovah which is gone forth for thy stay and sup­port, under the strong propensities of thy vile nature to depart from God. O my rock, my strong tower, my sun, my shield, defend and save me. I am forever thine. Lord, save me from the worst of evils, even a departing from thee by sin. O save me for Christ's sake, and for thine honor's sake.—

Tuesday morning, May 17.—My Lord and my God, permit me for Christ's sake, to draw near at this time, and renew my request for a sufficiency of grace to make me just such an one as thou wouldest have me to be. Make me dili­gent and faithful in my calling, I pray thee; and in every thing glorify thyself by me. Me­thinks, in the various dispensations of provi­dence, my repeated dreams of being sunk in water, in tempests, earthquakes, thunder, &c. realizing sudden death, being bowed to the will of God, and then restored, are interpreted: For thus God frequently plunges me; and no sooner do things come to an extremity in pros­pect, but God then appears, and so resigns my will, that I can choose nothing but what he wills. I choose his honor and justice should be vindicated and glorified. I can then rely on his wisdom in choosing the best time, and doing all things well.—Then the streams of his mercy, flowing from his everlasting covenant, love, truth, and faithfulness in Christ Jesus, are doubly sweet, infinitely more than I deserve; [Page 306] and all is well. And when God has brought me to this temper of mind he speedily removes the threatened stroke. He strikes me not a blow in the way I expected.

This day two months ago, I seemed to be going forth without purse or scrip. Poverty stared me in the face, and I knew not which way to turn. But we have lacked nothing. God has supplied all our wants in unexpected ways. And I do not know that we are more reduced now, than we were then. O that I could ever rely on infinite wisdom and good­ness! O that I could always stay till God gives the finishing stroke to any affair, before I pre­tend to draw up any conclusions; for I know not now, what he is about to do; but I shall know hereafter. Let it suffice that he does all things well. Infinite wisdom cannot err. Love, truth, and faithfulness will never leave nor for­sake me. Amen.

Sabbath evening, June 12.—Blessed be God for permitting me to wait on thee in thy house and at thy table; and that thou didst engage my whole soul. O now let my strength be re­newed. Now help me to get up and run, and press forward in the paths of faith and holiness; since there I bemoaned my unkindness to my everlasting friend; there I bewailed my pride, my hypocrisy and my unbelief; that I had cru­cified my Lord; there I pleaded that sin might die; that I might there derive strength from Christ to overcome sin, Satan, and the world. There I solemnly renewed my choice of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost for my God, [Page 307] my portion in time and eternity. There I a­gain chose the word of God for my only rule; and cried for strength to obey, that I might henceforth evidence my love by universal o­bedience.

The perfections of Jehovah, the perfection of the divine law, once more appeared lovely, I could once more cry, See ye him whom my soul loveth? Tell him, I am sick of love. Bless­ed be God, that I have once more felt love to the brethren: Once more known, in a degree, what communion with saints meaneth: And now, my Lord and my God, fulfil the desires of thy own unworthy child, which thou didst excite at thy table, while I was at thy feet with penitential tears; yea, with Peter, wept bitterly for my unkindness to thee, while I rested my weary head on thy dear, delightful breast: For thou didst, O astonishing grace! Thou didst once more take me near, and hold out the golden sceptre. O fulfil the desires of those who fear thee: Now let me go on my way re­joicing. Low let my countenance, with Han­nah's, be no more sad. Now let me again sing restoring grace, and adore thee for what thou art in thyself, and for what thou art to me. O now let me know, and do thou make Satan know, I have an almighty friend, who will not leave me in his hand, nor suffer me to be led captive by him at his will. O may all his evil insinuations, blasphemies and slanders, whereby he has reproached the living God, and vexed my weary soul, from day to day, light on his own head, for his malice against thee, while I [Page 308] escape as a bird out of the hand of the fowler. O thou faithful God, make a way for my es­cape, that I may perform my vows, and run the way of thy commandments with delight. For I am a dedicated thing. Now use me, Lord, for thyself, and glorify thyself in me.

Sabbath evening, October 2.—Yesterday God permitted a number of his handmaids to meet here, and unite in prayer. It was our solemn fast day; and, blessed be God, he is still en­couraging us to seek him; did graciously assist us: And has this day, beyond all expectation, suddenly and remarkably strengthened me to go up to his house; and permitted me to sit down at his table.—And now the vows of God are upon me; now, Lord God Almighty, ena­ble me to wait upon thee; and let all my ex­pectations be from thee.

Thursday, October 27.—The last Thursday in the month is come. And now will God gra­ciously bring his handmaids here this afternoon, and meet with us, and excite in us vehement longings and strong cries for thy holy Spirit. O let us so ask, that we may receive for our­selves and others. Give the holy Spirit to those who ask him this day. This comprehends all other blessings. O come, blessed Spirit; come, and make thy abode with us, and it is e­nough: We shall be holy then. Then we shall pray and praise; we shall run and strive; we shall submit and love; we shall believe and rejoice, acquiesce and adore. Thy will shall be our will; thy cause and interest, ours: And we shall grow strong in all the grace there is in [Page 309] Christ Jesus. Blessed Spirit, O come. It is by thy help alone, we can ask. O come this day, and make intercession within us, with groanings which cannot be uttered. O come, and revive our dear society. Lord, come in the midst today, and revive our drooping souls. O let us find it is good for u [...] to be here, and let us receive lasting benefits, even the abode of the blessed Spirit with us. O come as on the day of Pentecost; and fill this room with thy glory, and our hearts with thy praise.

Wednesday morning, March 21, 1764.

LORD, what a barren figtree am I become! Sure thou comest seeking fruit, and findest none: And shouldest thou give the command­ing word, "Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?' my dying breath shall, by grace, pro­nounce thee just: For thou hast waited year after year; but still no good fruit to be found on me! If any is materially so, thou knowest it is all so corrupted by sin, it is not worthy the name of fruit; not worthy the notice of a holy, holy, Lord God. I am ashamed of all that ever I did. I hate my corrupted, rotten trash. It is sour, it is bitter, it is filthy. I dare not present it, I dare not plead it, that I have brought forth such fruit, however fair to the eye of man, since thou knowest all is tainted by sin. Lord, will thy infinite patience and long suffering yet be lengthened out. Wilt thou yet cause thy ser­vants to dig about the tree; and wilt thou bless [Page 310] divine cultivations? If not; if it be thy will, rather cut it down, than curse it. O say not, "Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for­ever." Lord, I deprecate standing a withered monument of thy indignation!

For Christ's sake, and for thy honor's sake, cause me to bring forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness; or let me die, and my name perish, and be forgotten among men. Why should I live to be a reproach to thy name and ways; or live to deceive the world? God for­bid! O God, hast thou not long ago made this tree good by regeneration? How then comes so much bad fruit to grow on it? Is not this branch grafted into the true vine? Sure it is not to this day growing on its old stock. O then, purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. O may the sap and nourishment derived from Christ, cause it yet to bring forth full ripe clusters. I fly to the general, gracious prom­ise, that every branch in Christ shall be purged, and shall bring forth more fruit. Yea, thou hast said, They shall bring forth fruit even to old age, for the manifestation of thy faithfulness, to show that the Lord is upright. I have boasted of this word; yea, triumphed, that thus it should be, because thou art my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in thee. Lord, let me never be ashamed of my hope; but take a­way my corruption; turn away from my sin and behold it not. Let the sin be condemned, and the sinner escape, by the blood and right­eousness of Jesus Christ, whose righteousness alone I plead.

[Page 311]

Tuesday morning, March 27.—Lord, in mer­cy strengthen my resolutions, as to self ex­amination, and the putting every neglected duty into practice. Assist me, Lord, in communing on my bed, and offering up my morning sacri­fice. This I endeavor to do; but O engage my heart more when I approach thee. O God, take away formality and hypocrisy, and make me all devotion; and hear and answer, for Christ's sake.

Lord, strengthen my memory to retain thy word, read or preached. I have taken it for my rule, let me never swerve from thy pre­cepts. Let no command of thine be grievous. Set home thy threatenings and promises with power. O humble and encourage my poor soul, under all the damps from Satan and unbe­lief. Pardon and cleanse my soul by the blood of Jesus, and make Satan yet to know I have an almighty friend. O make me more than ever to walk within my house with a perfect heart. Thanks be to God for any assistance that way. —Thanks be to God for any assistance in self denial. O God, for Christ's sake, go on to strengthen me more and more to this duty, till I have no self, and no will but thine.

Thanks be to God, that I do take care of my company. I have no intimates, but such as fear thee. O join us, when we are together, and when apart. Be our constant guest, till we get to the full enjoyment of thyself in glory. Lord, I bemoan that I am so far from being perfect in relative duties. Forgive, O forgive my short comings; and accept of praises for [Page 312] assistance in that way: For I do aim at dis­charging these duties. Accept my endeavors, for Christ's sake.

Ah, my God, here I find cause of bitter la­mentation, that my heart is no more ascending up to thee by ejaculation! My affections no more set on Jesus Christ, and things above, where Christ sitteth, at the Father's right hand O blessed Jesus, if I be risen with thee, O then raise my cold affections, and set them on thyself. Thou hast bid me do it; but the work must be all thy own. O breathe love into my soul day by day; yea every moment, that I may be able to say, and appeal to thy omniscience too, Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest I love thee. Ah, Lord! thou mayest well put this question thrice, Lovest thou me? Since I have been so cold towards thee. O forgive, according to the riches of thy boundless mercy and sovereign grace, for­give mine iniquities; for they are very great.

And now show me clearly, Lord, from day to day, what thou wilt have me to do, for the honor and glory of thy name. Lord, though thou needest me not, yet let me be fruitful in every good word and work; keeping my heart with all diligence, hating vain thoughts, and loving thy law. O preserve me from the work­ings of pride and passion. O God, humble me for these. Grant me the shield of faith, that resisting the devil, he may flee from me.

O help me to watch and guard my tongue. May I avoid all evil speaking, and glorify God with my tongue every day, and hour in the [Page 313] day; endeavoring to be profitable to all com­panies, into which God shall bring me.

Lord, rectify the disorders of my appetite, and my views in refreshing my body. I be­moan before God, that I so often eat and drink with no higher view than merely to refresh my body. Lord, recover me by thy grace from these contracted selfish views; and let me only aim thankfully to refresh a servant of Jesus Christ, that God may be glorified thereby. O cure my ingratitude, respecting my food and sleep; and now go with me into my calling.

March 29.—O let divine love once more take place in my soul, Lord God Almighty. O breathe love into my heart, thou Dove of heav­en, that I may love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, strength and mind. And teach me how in all respects to love my neighbor as myself. I bemoan before God my want of love. O for conformity to this per­fection of the divine nature! Lord, I am guilty of want of love to thee, and thine; so guilty, I dare not lift up my head. O preserve me from defrauding in any wise. Keep me close to the rules of strict justice.—Let me never swerve from truth, [...]n any dealings with others. O God, preserve me, that hypocrisy may never be found in my heart.

March 31.—Lord, I would with sorrow be­moan all my short comings and imperfections, respecting those to whom thou hast called me to act a mother's part. Blessed be thy name, thou hast put some bowels of compassion in me, and hast enabled me, according to, yea, beyond [Page 314] my ability, to relieve them; yet, thou knowest how even all I have done in this is tainted with faintings, with pride at one time, and unbelief at others—Murmuring at second causes—An­gry resentments—Want of cheerfulness and de­light, at times: Though, blessed be thy name, not always destitute of all that. But all these mixtures of sin render even these duties mat­ter of shame and blushing. These deeds of charity, I dare not plead as good works. No; these, even these, though they may be specious in the eyes of man, need washing and cleansing in the blood of Jesus. I fly to it, O Lord, for pardon and cleansing. I fly to the righteous­ness of Christ. I fly from these defiled rags, in point of justification, as from a serpent. I will have nothing to do with them. But O for Christ's sake take away these pollutions. Make me more holy and upright.

Am I a redeemer of precious time?—As to the redemption of time, blessed be God, con­science in some degree acquits. Every part seems to be some way filled up with duty. And one duty seems to crowd so fast upon another, that it is hardly possible to prevent one inter­fering with another. And yet, even here again I am a guilty creature. In the evening, worn out with exercises, it is but little I redeem for secret prayer and examination; so little, that it is even trifling sometimes. Lord, help me in this regard. Thou knowest my straits, and in­firmities of body, as well as barrenness of soul, which so unfit me for these duties. Lord, thou seest that except thou dost appear for my help, [Page 315] and quicken me, how utterly incapable I am to perform them. I dare not quarrel, as formerly, with that time devouring sleep, since by this my poor, crazy body, is in any measure fitted for duty. Blessed be God for so much quiet rest in sleep. May I sleep to the glory of God I think I allow myself no more than that for which necessity calls. But O help me to fill up every moment, when awake, with duty. Thou art preserving me from needless visits. Lord, preserve me from idle discourse also with visitants. Lord, help us to improve those moments to thy glory, or what business have we to be together? Or why is the company of each other desired? Lord, help us who call ourselves christians to detest the very thought of visiting without a view to the glory of God, and the good of each other's souls. Lord, re­vive christian conference, and let our souls be revived by holy conversation. O blessed Je­sus, join us, and then our hearts will burn. Meet thy dear handmaids this day, Lord. Meet and bless them. Help them to keep such a fast as God requires. O strengthen them to pray, and do thou hear and answer their re­quests, for Christ's sake.

Tuesday morning, April 3.—What is my end in practising the duties of religion? O Lord, thou knowest. I am so dark now that I cannot tell. As to fears of hell, thou knowest I am almost if not wholly without them, whether from faith or stupidity, I cannot tell: But it is certain I am not actuated by slavish fears of hell. But I bemoan it before God, that a legal [Page 316] spirit is so interwoven with every thing I do, so that I act rather from fears than delight. And yet, if I do not delight in these exercises of religion, I am sure I have no delight at all. Sure here is the greatest satisfaction I do take. And, upon the whole, my soul, What are my fears, when I omit or carelessly perform duties? Answer. They are fears of provoking God to withdraw yet more from my soul; fears of his leaving me to hardness of heart, blindness of mind, barrenness of soul; and to fall so far as to wound his glorious, precious name. Sure it is precious to me, let Satan say what he will, or why these fears?

But why do I not rejoice in going to God's house, and to his table, as I used to do, esteem­ing it and other duties the choicest privileges of my life? Answer. Because I do not meet with God in them. Could I find him whom my soul loveth, I should soon run to draw water out of these wells of salvation. O God, never suffer me to slight the means, for they are precious means ap­pointed by Christ himself. Help me then, in the diligent use of all, to follow on till I do find my Lord again, to my unspeakable joy and con­solation. Blessed Lord, thou hast said, I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you. O come, leap over the mountains of my sins, and come away, and my heart shall rejoice, even mine: And I shall practise examination and ev­ery other duty, with zeal and fervor, not with mercenary, selfish views. Only unveil thy beauties, my Lord and my God, I shall receive and rest upon thee alone for salvation, as thou [Page 317] art offered in the gospel. I shall more and more renounce, not only in words, and my judgment; but from my inmost soul, all my own filthy rags, and rest upon, delight in, and plead thy precious, perfect, spotless righteous­ness: Yes, I shall again rejoice to be nothing, that Christ may be all. O, come, my Lord, and I shall again adore electing love, free, dis­tinguishing grace and mercy. This sullen, un­grateful pride shall subside; these murmurings in my tent; this unbelief; this atheism; this hypocrisy; this formality; this lukewarm frame. O come, and my whole soul shall be engaged for God, and the honor of thy name. O come and make thy abode with me.

Wednesday, April 4.—How do I behave now, with respect to death and judgment? Alas, in a stupid manner! It is but seldom I can bring it near, as in times past. Death and eternity seemed always almost, at the door. Now death seems to fly from me: And being weary of toiling, of temptation, sinning and sorrowing, I cast, as it were, a languishing look after it; but despond, expecting yet long and wearisome days and years. As to fears of death, blessed be God, I am not terrified with them. I, somehow, look on the day of death, as the day of Jubilee. But I cannot stretch into eternity, as heretofore. A negative happiness, a not sin­ning, not conflicting, &c. is all I can attain to. I cannot reach to a Pisgah's view of the full en­joyment of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I cannot conceive any thing about either the en­joyments, or employments of the inhabitants a­bove. [Page 318] The eye of faith is so dim, it cannot pierce within the veil. I cannot converse with glorified saints and angels, as once I could. I cannot fall prostrate at the feet of Jehovah, cast down my crown, and adore free, distin­guishing grace; I cannot gaze on the perfec­tions of a holy, holy, Lord God, as once I could; nor conceive how I ever shall. I have not a lively sense how it will be far better to depart, and be with Christ. I cannot get near him; a veil covers his lovely face; and there­fore my soul is not enamored with his beauty, as once it was. O, if he could graciously draw aside the veil, before I was aware, my soul would be like the chariots of Aminadab. One glimpse of my Lord and my God, and it is done in a moment.

April 5.—Am I prepared for death and judgment? A great question this!—My soul, do not trifle in answering. There will be no trifling before the judgment seat. Art thou ready to appear there, and give an account of all the deeds done in the body? Of all the idle words that I have spoken, and of all the vain, vile, unbelieving, proud, hypocritical, murmur­ing, atheistical thoughts, which have lodged in my heart? My soul, art thou ready? Nay; but art thou this moment ready? Say, Wilt thou go to the judgment seat, and there be tried by impartial justice? I know thou wilt. But art thou willing, cheerfully willing to go? Art thou ready? Say, art thou ready? Is the glorious judge thy friend, or is he not? If not; remem­ber thou must answer for all thy sins, in thy [Page 319] own person. Oh I cannot do that; for then I am sure I must roar in hell forever! No other sentence awaits me, but, Depart, ye accursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels! I am sure then I must be bound hand and foot, and cast into outer darkness, where shall be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth: For I am an unprofitable servant. All my rags must fall off, and I shall be both naked and speechless before the judgment seat; a forlorn, odious spectacie to men and angels. Well, how knowest thou this will not be the case?

Friday morning, April 6.—My soul, to the work of examination again. How knowest thou, that thou shalt not stand at the left hand of Christ, at the great day? Where is the foun­dation of thy hope of lifting up thy head with joy, before the bar of God? How wilt thou look him in the face, whom thou hast so much abused? Since in every thing I have offended, and in all come short of the glory of God; justice must and will be satisfied. Now thou canst trifle with justice, as well as every other attribute, as though God was altogether such as thyself. But how wilt thou do then?

Saturday, April 7.—My soul, be serious. What is the foundation of thy confidence, now so many of the evidences of grace are lost, or dim; so much pollution, yet tainting every thing I do?

Answer. This is all that emboldens me to look up.—Sure God has enabled me to fly out of self, into the ark Christ Jesus. When I saw [Page 320] the flood of divine vengeance ready to drown my soul in eternal perdition: When I found no rest for the sole of my foot, I flew to Jesus, and he put forth his hand and took me in; took me into union with himself; became my surety; appeased the wrath of an angry God. The flood abated, and he frowned no longer; but spake peace and pardon; entered into cov­enant with me, and I became his own. And now, though he make not my house to grow; yet, I know he has made with me an everlast­ing covenant, ordered in all things and sure. And in this is all my hope and confidence; for in that day God did clothe his returning prodi­gal with the best robe; even the white and beautiful robe of the righteousness of Christ. And though, in myself, I am all deformity, all loathsome, more so than the most offensive car­rion; yet in that I am lovely, beautiful and complete. Yes, in Christ I am complete. I have the word of God for it, that I am so. In that, I can face death in all its terrors, and lift up my head even at the judgment seat.—Bless­ed be God, that he has accepted a vicarious sat­isfaction. O blessed be God, for that perfect righteousness, wrought out by Christ, and im­puted to me, being received by faith alone!

Thursday morning, June 7.—Lord, overrule for thy own glory, both as to servants and chil­dren.* Let me not take one step, but what shall indeed be for thy glory, and their good. [Page 321] Incline still farther, or disincline, open a door, or shut it, as to the means, as thou seest best. As to the heart, it is thou who openest, and no man can shut it. Lord, suffer not Satan to shut it by his insinuations, that I am about to train up a company of pharisaical hypocrites, like myself. O make the path of duty plain because of my enemies. Let me not take one wrong step. O guide me by thine unerring Spirit, and enable me to devote all the strength thou wilt give me to thy service; come forth and show myself on the Lord's side; neither a­fraid of man, nor ashamed to own Christ and his ways, before the world. O God, be with me. I know I am unworthy to be employed for thee; unworthy to be owned and blessed. And if thou dealest with me according to my deserts, thou wilt fling back all my endeavors, as dung in my face, with a Who hath required these things at thy hands? But I ask not accept­ance or success, in my own name, or for my own sake; but for thy glory, and for Christ's sake revive thy work here. Rhodeisland sin­ners are capable of salvation.

Lord's day morning. June 10.—Integrity and uprightness, faith, love, zeal and humility, O God, for Christ's sake, bestow on me. And if thou wilt not permit me to build thee [...]n house, or to build up thy cause, as I had thought; I pray thee strengthen and spirit me to the work, to which thou dost call me. Make me faith­ful: O God, make me faithful. And, if thou wilt, prosper me any way, and enable me to give thee the glory too, I will bless thee from [Page 322] the inmost soul. O, if thou wilt but strip me of pride, and enable me to renounce hateful self, and set the crown on thy glorious head; then I will rejoice indeed. O Lord, grant me humility, and never suffer me either to be slack in the Lord's work, or to run before I am sent.

Thursday morning, July 19.—What a very fool I am! I can tell servants, they are free from cares, because it is their masters part to provide, and theirs only to do their duty.— And is not this the very case with me? Am I not a servant to a better master than any earth­ly one? A child to a better Father than the world affords, let them be as indulgent as they will? And yet I am caring and fearing. Poor, silly mortal! Lord, forgive, and give me more grace, for Christ's sake.

December 9.—God is dealing very gracious­ly with me, with respect to temporals. We have an ample supply from day to day; a pros­pect of closing the year, with rejoicing in the goodness of God. With God all things are not only possible, but infinitely easy. His grace is sufficient for me, to make me take deep root downward in humility, and grow upward, to the honor and glory of his great name. He can yet glorify himself in me. He can yet clothe me with humility, that dear, that beauti­ful garment, which of all others, best becomes a christian. Lord, I find I am laid in the bal­ance, and found wanting every where. I have not yet attained in one point. I thank thee, Lord, that thou hast one only begotten and [Page 323] dearly beloved Son, in whom thou art ever well pleased. I thank thee that he is my sure­ty. I thank thee that thou hast accepted of a vicarious satisfaction. O thanks be to God for an imputed righteousness, and that in it I may yet lift up my head and hope for pardon and acceptance with God. O thou holy God, make me holy too; in my measure, perfect, as God is perfect. God, be merciful to me a sinner! Turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God, though I am no more worthy to be called thine.

December 21.—Lord, make me in every re­spect as a little child, in thy lovely eye, and modest before men. And teach me to show all due respect to those who are without, as well as to thy saints. And O, may my affections to Jesus Christ, be as Mary's precious ointment poured out on his glorious head, which filled the whole house with its sweet odour. O when shall I be humble in deed and in truth! O may my affections ever flow from a truly brok­en heart, as out of Mary's alabaster broken box. And may penitential tears wash my dear Re­deemer's feet; and love divine, love to his holy person, and because much is forgiven me, con­strain me to universal obedience. O for this best, this clearest evidence of the sincerity of my love. "If ye love me, keep my com­mandments." O Lord, help. For thine hon­or's sake, help me to overcome all that ob­structs, let it be from within, or without. O deliver me from sin and Satan, and the world; and make me every thing thou wouldest have [Page 324] me to be. And let me be accepted in the be­loved alone. Yes, for his sake alone.

Lord's Day, December 23.—O my precious Christ, make me as a little child, every way thou wouldest have me to be so. O make my heart tender, as one who is new born. O may I be easily bowed in spiritual things. May I be filled with sympathy, when I see others in distress; weep with those who weep.—And may I ever be easily won with kindness. O make and keep my heart always tender, with regard to the evil of sin; apt to be alarmed at the appearance of moral evil. O preserve me from self confidence in engaging spiritual ene­mies. But as a little child flies to its parents for help, so may I fly to Christ.—Make me as a little child, afraid in the dark, and when far from home; so make me sensible of spiritual dangers, jealous of myself, full of fear, when I cannot see my way plain before me; afraid to be left alone, to be at a distance from God. (Proverbs xxviii.14.) As a little child is afraid of superiors, apt to dread their anger, to trem­ble at their frowns, and threatenings, so let me with respect to God. As a little child ap­proaches his superiors with awe, so may I ever approach to God with holy awe and reverence. O God, for Christ's sake, preserve me from a presumptuous boldness. Let thine excellency make me afraid, and thy dread fall upon me. Let no pretence to childlike freedom and bold­ness prompt me, a poor, sinful worm of the dust, to approach God with less fear and rever­ence than the spotless and glorious angels do in [Page 325] heaven, who cover their faces before thy throne: Nor with less reverence than Elijah, that great prophet, who had so much holy fa­miliarity with God. At a time of special near­ness, even when he conversed with him in the mount, he wrapped his face in a mantle. May I ever, with the publican, see my own vileness, smite upon my breast and cry, God be merci­ful to me a sinner! Surely it becomes me, so sinful a creature as I am, to approach a holy God (although with faith, and without terror) yet with contrition and penitent shame and con­fusion of face. O God, deliver me from such a temper as is described below. For I do be­lieve, as Mr. Edwards says, "That nothing can be invented, that is a greater absurdity, than a morose, hard, close, high spirited, spiteful, true christian."*

January 4, 1765.

THANKS be to God, who did appear for our help on New Year's day. Thirteen or fourteen of us met, though one of the severest days for cold, I ever knew. Five of us pray­ed. God assisted; we found access to the throne of grace. Blessed be God, who has not yet rejected us. O let this society be still re­garded for Christ's sake alone; because we pro­fess [Page 326] to be set apart for his honor and glory. Let us stand witnesses to the truth and faithful­ness of that God, whom we profess to own and love, admire and adore, obey and submit to, as our only Lord and righteous sovereign. Gra­cious God, bestow on us every day, grace suffi­cient for the day, to our latest breath, that we may in the end be more than conquerors, through him who has loved us, and given him­self for us who believe on him. And O, let there not be one unbeliever among us; not one withered monument of thy displeasure: But may we stand here as monuments of thy distinguishing, free, sovereign grace; and to eternity, monumental pillars in thy temple. E­ven so Father.

[N. B. From this last date, January 4, 1765. to October 2, 1766, which is one year and nine months, Mrs. Osborn's diary, consisting of a number of volumes, is lost. These were not to be found some time before she died, of which she spake to her friends; but could not tell where, or by what means they were gone.

The Editor.]

Thursday morning, October 2, 1766.

GOD has again brought us to one of our appointed seasons of prayer. O God, say not, Your new moons and appointed seasons, my soul hates: But for Christ's sake, condescend, this day, to impress upon our souls a deep sense of our sins. O that we may this day lie in the [Page 327] dust and bewail before God all our hypocrisy, all our formality and covetousness, which is idolatry. Lord, humble us all this day, and make us upright before thee, and grant us that wisdom which is from above. O help us not only to confess, but to forsake sin this day. Lord God, pour out thy Spirit upon us, a spir­it of humiliation, prayer and supplication. O that thou wouldest rend the heavens, and come down, and cause all mountains that rise in our way of access and conformity to thee, to flow down at thy presence. O excite our cries for thy church universal; for all the world of sin­ners; for thy ministers every where; for our minister and church in particular. Lord, have mercy upon us, and yet revive us, for Jesus Christ's sake. And let us, thy poor, unworthy handmaids, yet rejoice in thy salvation.

And still permit me to feed thy lambs, and devote my whole life to the service of my God. In the Beloved let me be accepted: And thus let all thine be accepted. O be in the midst of us this day! Say me not nay; but come and sanctify us throughout. O make us holy, as God is holy.

Saturday morning, November 8.—Lord, I be­seech thee, show me yet more and more of my own vileness, for the suppression of my vile pride. Shew me thy purity, and how far I am from being pure in thy sight. Shew me, Lord, how every thing I do is tainted with sin, all polluted, all deficiency; and imperfections mix­ed every where. Turn to what duty I will, and I find it there, whether secret duties, public [Page 328] private, social or relative. I have nothing to plead before God: I cannot be clean in his fight. I fly from all, to the blood and right­eousness of Christ; and there I will stand and lift up my head, not only at the throne of grace; but even at the bar of God. There I can look death, judgment and long eternity in the face without amazement; yea, with joy and transport.

O blessed be God for the great, the glorious atonement, made by the precious blood of Je­sus Christ for all the sins that have attended my holy things! And for the sake of the great a­tonement alone, they shall be accepted, yea, meet with reward of grace, notwithstanding all that Satan can say. The Lord rebuke thee, Satan. I adore the grace which has enabled me, vile as I am, to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, destitute, fatherless ones—to labor to support the gospel of Jesus Christ; and to refresh occasionally his dear ministers and chil­dren. And I will plead for acceptance for his own name's sake: For he has told me, A cup of cold water shall be accepted; and those who give it in the name of a disciple or a prophet, shall not lose their reward. And I will hope in the mercy and free grace of God for accept­ance of my poor labors of love, in educating the poor, from year to year; that I have been able to say, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee. And the Lord seal instruction, and make those I have instructed a godly seed to serve the Lord, and instruments [Page 329] in his hand to pull down Satan's kingdom; when I can speak no more.

The Lord rebuke thee, Satan; for by the grace of God I am what I am; not such a use­less creature as thou dost insinuate, though de­filed. Blessed be God for the testimony of my conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity I have had my conversation in this world renouncing evil, hating covetousness, pride and unbelief; hating murmurings, dis­contents, distrusts of providence and grace; hating deceit, guile, sloth and hypocrisy; yea, hating and groaning under the whole body of sin, and contrariety to God and his holy, pre­cious law: And I do delight in it, after the in­ward man, and long for conformity to it; yea, perfect conformity. And in the righteousness of Christ I am complete; though not in my own; I own it to be imperfect and defiled; yet in the Beloved I am accepted: And, God helping me, I will cling there, and with Job I will hold my integrity, till I die. I am not wholly a hypocrite, though tainted with hypoc­risy. The Lord rebuke thee, Satan, and in his own time deliver me from thee. And he will do it: For he has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. And he never will. O now let me boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear. O my God, help me! All my sufficiency is of thee. Make me humble and make me thankful; for I am thine forever.

[Page 330]

Thursday morning, January 29, 1767.

MY God, for Christ's sake, pardon my ini­quity, my tenaciousness of my own opinion, the stubbornness of my will, when crossed, my pride. O my pride! O my God, make me indeed willing to be nothing that Christ may be all; and to become all things to all, that I may win some. I pray thee, seal a pardon to me.

The Lord rebuke thee, Satan! My God will forgive me. It is not worth your while to ag­gravate this sin; for it is not beyond the reach of the blood and righteousness of Christ. I am but among the chief of sinners, make the worst of me you can; and for such Christ di­ed. In the name of Christ, avoid! And leave me to his mercy and boundless grace; for where sin abounds, grace much more abounds: And he will crush thy venemous head, though thou bruise his heel, in afflicting his child. Blessed be God, I shall soon be made perfect in holiness, and immediately pass into glory. My body, being still united to Christ, shall rest in its grave until the resurrection. Blessed be God, death is near, Satan; and then I shall be out of thy reach forever. Thou shalt not make me sin; and then afflict me for sinning, any more. Thou comest down in great wrath now, and art the perpetual disturber of my peace, because thou knowest thy time is short. But rejoice not against me, O my enemy; for though I fall, I shall arise and obtain the victo­ry forever, through Jesus Christ, my Lord.

[Page 331]If thou hast foiled me, and caused my feet to slip, thou hast not beaten me out of the field. I have not thrown down my arms against thee. My great Captain is general and commander of all the hosts in heaven and hell. He can com­mand you all; and he will defend me, let me be feeble as I will. In the armor he has pro­vided, I shall stand and fight, till I die. I make no capitulation with thee; for I deter­mine, by his grace, to fight till I die; taking the whole armor of God, and putting it on, that I may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.—How will I put it on?—Why, by faith I will put it on, that I may be able to stand in the evil day: And having done all, to stand; stand in the strength of Christ, and see his salvation; his victories an [...] triumphs over all his enemies. And my soul shall rejoice, even mine; having my loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of right­eousness, and my feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: Above all, taking the shield of faith, whereby I shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. I will, God helping me, take the helmet of salva­tion, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And by the help of his Spirit and grace, will pray always with all prayer, and supplication in the Spirit; watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all saints, that they also may stand, and with me overcome at the last. And through God, we shall do valiantly, notwithstanding all thy vaunt­ing; for he it is who shall tread down all our [Page 332] enemies, and to him shall be all the glory and praise forever. Yes, at the Redeemer's feet we will cast down our crowns and palms of victo­ry, and sing eternal hallelujahs. Salvation to God and the lamb, shall be all our song.

Wednesday morning, April 1.—O most glori­ous God, thou seest my discouragements now. And sure I am, all my hopes will be dashed and come to nothing at all, and every soul of those who meet at my house, will be yet more hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, ex­cept thou dost in infinite mercy take hold of their hearts by thy Spirit; I am but adding to their condemnation by all that I am doing, making hard hearts harder, and blind eyes blinder. O Lord, thou knowest they will, through the malice of Satan, dishonor thee more than ever; be more averse to the ways and people of God than ever, except thou dost turn them about by almighty power. Lord, is thy hand shortened that it cannot save? Are even the children of Rhodeisland out of the reach of sovereign grace? Shall goodly appear­ances all wear off and come to nought? O that thou wouldest rend the heavens, and come down, and cause all mountains to slow down at thy presence! Thou canst stop these poor young creatures, in their mad career. Thou canst rescue them out of the paw of the lion of hell. O my Lord, O thou selfsufficient Being, I know thou standest in need of none of us. Thou canst be forever happy, and thy throne forever spotless, though all Rhodeisland sinners should [Page 333] perish. And I will, by grace, justify thee till I die, though no one soul should ever be profited by me.

But O my God, if it may consist with thy sovereign pleasure, triumph over all my unwor­thiness, and make me an instrument for good to these precious souls. O my God, will not glory redound to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, if they shall be created anew in Christ Jesus? If thine image is restored, will they not be pre­cious in thy sight? O thou who wast ever self moved to pity man, pity Rhodeisland now. I have nothing to plead but our misery, our poverty, and undone state, without thy sove­reign grace and mercy. O thou, who spared not thine own Son, but freely delivered him up for sinners, yea the chief of sinners, have mercy on us, for the sake of Christ alone: For, it is a faithful saying, and worthy of all accept­ation, that Christ Jesus died to save sinners, of whom we are chief.—Hardened sinners, gospel impenitents, gospel despisers, old and young, rich and poor, bond and free; Sabbath breakers, and what not. Lord, what not▪ O let pure mercy plead on our behalf. Justice is satisfied in the death of thy only, beloved Son, for the chief of sinners: Now let mercy plead, because of the full atonement. Oh, be­cause of the full atonement, let me lift up my guilty head, and plead for sovereign mercy, and boundless grace. O why should we go on hardened, impenitent and unreclaimed? O my God, I would humbly bless thee that some, I trust, are brought home. O let it be as an [Page 334] earnest of a plentiful harvest. O get to thyself a great name here. Angels will rejoice and a­dore, and saints will bless thee. And thou hast said, Whoso offereth praise glorifieth thee.

Thursday, April 23.—It has pleased a righteous, holy, and good God, to lay his hand on me from Saturday afternoon; so that I have been unable to attend on either the black peo­ple, young women, lads, or school. Have kept my chamber from Lord's day; attended with an ague in my face, much swoln, a fever, &c. And, blessed be God, a sweet content, a resigned will; some little glimpse of hope that I might possibly go home. A sweet satisfaction in a settled belief, that, however poor, short­sighted, ignorant mortals may, through frailty, have set their eyes too much on a worthless worm, God stands in no need of me. What­ever infinite love and wisdom has devised, in­finite power will effect. I cannot cause a sin­gle word to do good to any one; but God can do his own work by whom he will. Blessed be his name, that does not depend on so slen­der a thing as my poor, feeble frame. Though that were dissolved, the Lord yet lives. Let this comfort me, and all my dear friends; and resign us all to thy holy will.

But, Lord, if it be thy pleasure to continue me in life, thy will be done. Then, even here do what thou wilt with me: Only glorify thy­self in me; only make the path of duty plain to me, and I will, by grace, go in it. Whether thou dost call me to active or passive obedi­ence, thy will be done. If the Lord hath no [Page 335] more for me to do, who am I, that I should contend! If it be his pleasure, I should yet serve him, and my generation according to his will, he will bring me back, restore health of body, and fortitude of mind, against Satan's wiles. He will kindle my love to him and his cause afresh. He will of his own sovereign grace, grant me warmer zeal to run the heav­enly road: For he is a faithful God. And he will clothe me with that humility, which shall, of his infinite grace, prevent his work being marred in my worthless hands. And glory shall redound to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, through the thanksgivings of many, on my be­half.

And now I determine, by grace, cheerfully to go forth to the work, to which God shall call me this day and evening, so far as God, with strength of body, and assistance of his Spirit, permit. Thou knowest that without thee I can do nothing. Only help me, Lord, and I will neither flinch nor fear; but work till I die.

Tuesday morning, May 5.—Will God over­rule for me on the morrow,* if I live, and clear my way, and make the path of duty plain before me, as to staying at home, or going a­broad. I would not be set upon gratifying my appetite, nor upon the pleasure in visiting friends. I would take pleasure only in glorify­ing thee, at home or abroad; in being resigned to thy glorious will, and honoring all thy name. O let me but do this, and this shall be my darling pleasure. Here I will solace my soul, [Page 336] whether sick or well, at home or abroad. Only still secure my darling, thy honor and glory, and it is enough. I have no other choice to make. Indulge me then, my God and Father in Christ Jesus. Look upon the face of thine anointed, and grant me my petition and my re­quest. Consider what it is. It is only that thou mayest be glorified in me, in every the most minute circumstances in life, as well as the greatest.

Permit me now humbly to adore thee wherein thou hast done it, thou glorious, victo­rious, triumphant King of Zion, from the day of my espousals, amidst ten thousand inbred lusts, traitors, serpents, vipers, which have lift up their heads and heels against thee, and sought my overthrow. Yet thou hast preserved me, and my darling too, thine own honor and glo­ry; and hast not suffered me to wound that name, which thou hast from the first, made dearer to me than life. Yea, though, through weakness and folly, and a thousand stratagems of Satan, I have risked it, yet thou hast pre­served it. Ten thousand times ten thousand praises, my God, that thy glory is what it is to thee; that the cause is one, and the interest one. O I humbly bless thee, that thou didst from the first moment in which I became thine, lay thy glory so near my heart, that it has ever since in­deed been my darling, my delight and joy, a­midst ten thousand imperfections, and foiling by Satan and the world; yet here thou hast kept me stedfastly determined, through grace, through Christ strengthening me, That I will [Page 337] leave, lofe and deny all that is dear to me in life; yea, and life itself too, if ever they stand in com­petion with thy glory. And here I am, after more than thirty years, still determined, by grace, to be for thee, and no other to my latest breath, and to all eternity. O grant me strength from heaven to perform my vows. This is what I want. O strengthen me with strength in my soul now, in the day I cry to thee. Be­hold thy worm, thy babe, thy weakling, and uphold me by thine almighty arm.

May 7.—O my Lord and my God, pre­serve me from being a censurer abroad, from prying into the secret failings of others, till my heart gets so wounded, that I know not what to do. O that God will convince all his dear children, what is right, and what is wrong; and rectify all that is contrary to thy will in them. O root out the monster sin. Lord, root it out, for Christ's sake, of my heart, as well as theirs. O could any one see the secret iniquity, the secret cov­etousness, after all my watchings and strivings against it, which thou, God, knowest, how would they be stumbled, and puzzled to re­concile this with all my renunciations of the world, and all that is dear in life. And yet this I desire to do, thou, God, seest me. And I do hate all that opposes it. Thou knowest my secret groanings under the oppression of the enemy, which none but thou canst fully know. And thou art acquainted with all the secret groans of thy other children, which we cannot know.

[Page 338]O then, let us make no other use of the knowledge of the imperfections of our dear christian friends, but to bring them, with our own souls, to the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, and plead for them, as well as ourselves, the atonement Christ has made; bring them with our own ignorant souls, to him who teaches as man never taught, that every path of duty may be made straight and plain before them, as well as us, because of our enemies, our infer­nal enemies, who daily watch for our halting, and glory in our dishonoring God.

O defeat them. Make them know we have an almighty Friend, who will uphold us, who will not leave us to be the sport of devils, and slaves to lust; that we have a glorious King and Captain of our salvation, who will in his own time, set his victorious foot on the hateful necks of our lusts and corruptions; and will break the serpent's head; and, after all, glorify himself in us. O do it, dear Redeemer, for all thine, without exception, as for my own soul. And bring us all out from under the clouds, which hang over our guilty heads: And let our righteousness yet appear as the noon day, to the confusion of earth and hell, and to the honor and glory of thy great name. O what wilt thou do for thy great name, if thy own children go on wounding it; and the more they are known, the more they are scrupled, whether they do indeed belong to thee or not. Lord, help! Thou hast said, "The path of the just is as the shining light, which shineth more and more to the perfect day." Amen! O let [Page 339] integrity and uprightness preserve us all our days; for we have trusted in thee. Let us never be ashamed.

July 17.—Blessed be God for refreshing showers upon the dry and thirsty earth. And now the artillery of heaven is displaying, sup­pose the arrows of the Almighty should drink up my spirits in an instant; say, my sluggish soul, art thou ready to appear before Jehovah's awful bar? Lord God, thou knowest; and I pray thee, let me not be deceived, if I answer in the affirmative. Let me with joy lift up my head, if my redemption from sin is so near; if this poor, mean clog, my feeble body, will in­terrupt communion with God no more. Adieu, my dear companion! If it be the Lord's will, I bid thee a cheerful adieu, till the morning of a glorious resurrection. I ask not a moment's reprive, if it be my Lord's will to take me. O, if it might be his will to take me, and grant me the open vision and full fruition of himself in glory!

But, my hasty soul, art thou ready? Thou polluted, thou imperfect one, Dost thou know what a holy, sin hating God he is, into whose presence thou wouldest hasten? Whence this confidence of seeing his face with joy? Art thou ready? Say, Art thou indeed ready? Do not want to rush as a horse into the battle. Art thou ready?—Alas! all my works are imperfect, and unfinished; and will remain so, if I should live to the age of Methuselah: Yea, and I shall add sin to sin, against my gra­cious God, till death does stop me. Not till [Page 340] then will my sanctification be complete. But Christ has finished all the work his Father gave him to do. He said, It is finished! The right­eousness he has wrought out is complete, and in him I stand complete. I have fled to it, I have laid hold on it; God has imputed it, and clothed me with it; and in it, I will cherfully venture through death, and to the judgment seat: For there Christ will openly acknowledge me. I have confessed him before men, and he will confess me before his Father, and his holy angels. The law and justice of God will ac­quit me; for it is magnified, and fully satisfied; and there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. He is able to keep me from falling, should God yet preserve me in this life, and to present me faultless before the throne of God.

My soul, rest secure in him, whether in life, or in death. Reach after as great degrees of conformity to the divine image, and resignation to his will, as can be attained below; and bye and bye God will take thee. Wait his time, that is the best of all.

Saturday morning, July 18.—Thanks be to God for the refreshment of yesterday morning; and last evening, while dear friends were here. Thanks be to God for the continuance of rain upon the thirsty earth. So water me this morning, I pray thee, by thy blessed Spirit. O Lord, since it is thy sovereign pleasure yet to hold me in life, I would delight to live, because it is thy will: And renew my petition for grace to live to thy glory here. And, by grace, I [Page 341] will wait all the days of my appointed time, till my great change come. It is with submission I ask to depart; but encourage my importuni­ty for grace sufficient for my day. I will with­draw the other request. Though I long to de­part and to be with Christ; yet this I would leave with infinite wisdom; if it be expedient for any that I abide in the body. But to what end should I live, if I live a cold, careless, sin­ful life. Lord, how shall I glorify thee in life, if I remain so extreme unholy, so unlike to thee! If I backslide yet more; play the harlot yet more: And my love to thee, and zeal for thy glory, and the good of precious immortals grow cold. O my God, shall I not thus dis­honor thee, and harden others hearts against thee! O, as sure as God is in heaven, and I upon earth; so sure I shall act this treacherous part, if thou dost not stand by me, strengthen and uphold me. O my God, leave me not a moment; for in that moment I fall. O help me to lay hold of thy strength, and never let thee go, till I do derive from that infinite ful­ness there is in Christ Jesus, grace sufficient for every moment of life.

Monday morning, July 25, 1768.

THE Lord look in mercy upon me now, every way broken by infirmities. None of my powers are whole. And I think the imperfec­tions of every mortal, that I have seen, disliked, and bemoaned before God, now all meet in me. [Page 342] And my greatest refreshment seems to arise from the benefits which believers receive from Christ at their death. I trust my eternal All is secure in him. My hopes of a speedy dissolution are, in some degree, increased. And in the full a­tonement and perfect righteousness of Christ a­lone, I lift up my guilty head. And if I escape out of time into eternity without wounding or fullying the declarative glory of God, I beg my friends will rather set apart a day of thanksgiv­ing, than of mourning. Tune your harps, my dear souls, and rejoice with me.

Wednesday morning, July 27.—I have been very poorly, and unfit for every duty. The disorder by which I first lost my strength, fol­lowed me closely yesterday; and I begin to be cheered with hopes of taking my farewell to life. But may the will of God be done. If I cannot be active, then let me be passive. Pas­sive obedience will be accepted, through Je­sus Christ my Lord. And if I cannot do his will, let me suffer it patiently; and all the days of my appointed time, wait till my great change come. Only, my Lord and my God, keep me from the evil, and sanctify me through the truth: Thy word is truth. This petition is and has been upon file. It is put up in the name of Jesus. It is before thee. It is put in, and was put in when kind access was grant­ed; when the golden sceptre was held out: I drew nigh, and touched the top: And thou didst tell me, Whatsoever I ask in Jesus' name shall be granted. I cannot withdraw this pe­tition, Lord, encourage me to renew it, and be­lieve [Page 343] that as sure as the enemies of Esther and her people, were slain and caused to perish; so sure will Jesus yet triumph over my cruel foes; over my pride, which, as Haman, would [...]e [...]r down all before it; over my unbelief, sloth, sullen ill nature, ingratitude, covetousness; and all that now press me down and vaunt over me, as a poor, despicable outcast, for whom, against the prevalency of these daring lusts, there is no help in God, while I live in this world. O God, confound their rage; turn Satan back by the way he came: Put a bridle in his nose. Thou knowest his blasphemy and rage against thee. Let him not prevail against me. I have trusted in thee; and thou hast said, I shall nev­er be confounded. Overrule for thine own glory all that concerns me and mine, and all thine. Make sin and Satan know we have an Almighty friend, who will not deliver us up to the will of our enemies; but as he has glorified his name in us, he will yet glorify it.

[N. B. Mrs. Osborn wrote several volumes on the scriptures; not as a critical commentator; but in a devotional way, improving the passage upon which she meditated in application to herself, and so as to excite devout thoughts and exercises in addressing God, and hearing him speak to her in his word. In this way she wrote on the book of Genesis, and on the gos­pels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The fol­lowing are copied as specimens of her writ­ings [Page 344] of this kind, to give an idea of the manner in which she meditated and wrote on the scrip­tures, which she found entertaining and profit­able to her: Which may, perhaps, excite some others to improve the Bible in the same man­ner, to their own advantage.]

Wednesday morning, October 7, 1767. Matthew xvi. 13, &c.

MY glorious Lord, dost thou inquire, Whom do men say that I, 14 the Son of man am? There are indeed various opinions of thee this day. 15 Some believe thee to be only as a great prophet, who did not exist till time began, 16 &c. But dost thou ask me, who I think thou art? Lord, I know thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. Yea, from everlasting to everlasting thou art God, that great I AM, who art still the same.

Let me hear thee pronounce the blessing on me; 17 for flesh and blood did not reveal this to me; but thy Father who is in heaven, by his Spirit, for the salvation of my poor soul.

And on thee, as an eternal rock, are all my hopes of safety forever built: 18 And I do be­lieve the gates of hell shall not finally pre­vail against me, after ten thousand attempts to overthrow my faith, yet this rock is my defence.

I humbly bless thee for assurance from thy word, 19 that what thy Peter and other apos­tles by their writings bound on earth, is bound in heaven; and what they have loosed on earth, is loosed in heaven.

[Page 345] 20 Is it thy will that I should keep secret the discoveries thou makest to me of thyself? Then show it to me clearly. Let me not be at a loss to know what is duty in this point: That I may neither withhold, nor reveal, contrary to thy blessed will; but always do the things that please thee, and by which thou wilt be glorifi­ed in me, and by others too.

21 My dear Redeemer, since thou hast suf­fered, according to thy word, let me never be offended in a crucified Jesus, 22 or any doctrines of his cross; or sufferings to be endured for thy sake. 23 Lord, let me never favor the things that be of men; flesh pleas­ing things; and hereby merit thy sharp re­bukes: But teach me to acquiesce in all the will of God; all that is brought to pass by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, however contrary to flesh and blood. Lord, teach me effectually, to believe at all times, that infinite wisdom knows best what is most for his own glory, and does all things well.

24 And in whatever thou art pleased to call me to selfdenial, I pray thee, grant me strength from heaven, that in every thing, without reserve, 25 I may cheerfully take up my cross, and follow thee, never attempting to save my life in a sinful way; but joyfully lose it, rather than sin against thee, lose thee, and lose my own soul. What shall all the world profit me, 26 while bemoaning a lost God, a lost Christ, a lost heaven, and a lost soul! Oh, in those circumstances, what would not a man give in exchange for his soul! But alas! Noth­ing [Page 346] is to be had as an equivalent; nor will God accept of any thing in exchange for the re­demption of the soul, when the only Savior he has provided for its redemption is denied and rejected: 27 —For when the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his holy angels, to reward every man according to his works, it will be forever too late for those out of him to find mercy.

O Lord, set home by thine almighty power, these alarming considerations upon my own soul, for quickening, I pray thee; that I may give all diligence in making my calling and election sure here; and at last have a reward of pure free grace, according to my works; though not for them.

November 5, 1767. The xxvth Chapter of Matthew.

Contents.—The parable of the ten virgins, 1— 13. The parable of the talents, 14—31. A description of the day of judgment.

O THOU great Searcher of hearts, I fly to thee to search and try me now. I am one of these virgins who have taken a lamp, and am come forth to thy ordinances, 1 the ways of thy own appointment, to meet the Bride­groom of precious souls. Show me the truth now. 2 Am I a wise, or am I a foolish one? Have I took my lamp without oil? Or have I the oil of true grace in my vessel with my lamp? 3 Have I my lamp, and my oil too? [Page 347] O let me not live at the least uncertainty. 4 Arouse me out of my spiritual slumber. And with me, 5 all professors; for we all slum­ber and sleep.

6 O arouse us before the midnight cry comes, that we may now arise and trim our lamps, 7 while oil is to be had. Now let us search our lamps, and see if they are likely, yea, if there is a possibility that they will go out. O my God, let us not be mistaken, till the day of grace is past.

8 It will be in vain to ask wise virgins for part of their oil. Poor hearts! Though thou hast, 9 of thy boundless grace bestowed a suf­ficiency on them, to keep their lamps burn­ing, they have none to spare: They cannot communicate one drop. I fly to thee; thou hast a sufficiency; yea, an allsufficiency to fill my lamp and vessel up to the brim. I cannot go forth to meet thee without it; my lamp will go out, and I shall be left in obscure darkness. I cannot go to buy, when I should have it to burn: I must have it now. I know not how soon the cry will come, Go ye forth to meet him; and then it will be too late forever. Lord, pity me, and with me all who profess thee. I beg for others, as for my own soul, that we may not be found foolish virgins at last; 10 and while we are gone to buy, thou come, and those who are ready go in with thee, and the door be shut.

O will it be thus with me? Tell me cer­tainly by thy word and Spirit, Is it possible I shall come at last, 11 with a Lord, Lord, o­pen [Page 348] unto me! 12 And thou answer, Verily I know you not. Many have been deceived; Lord, can it be that I should be so too! Here I am, now, Lord, search me and try me, and discover what is the truth to me also. Dost thou not know me? And do I not know thee? Speak, Lord, by thy word and Spirit. Say to me, I know thee by name, and will not reject thee. I will, in no wife, cast thee out.

13 But O, let not me, nor any of thine, rest secure in past attainments, but all watch. For we know not the day, nor the hour where­in the Son of man cometh, 14 to call to an ac­count those to whom he has committed his goods. To one five talents, to another two, and to another one, to every one according to his ability. 15 Glorious Lord, I have, at least one. 18 I pray thee suffer me not to dig in the earth by carking cares about this lower world, and hide my Lord's money, sloth­fully folding my hands, imagining I can do nothing, because I have not strength and ability of my own, 24 basely and ungratefully, and falsely accusing thee with being an hard mas­ter, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gath­ering where thou hast not strewed: 25 And so, through cowardly fear and unbelief, hide my talent in the earth.

True, hateful pride is ready to rise and rob God of his glory, in every attempt to improve my talent. But shall I, to prevent that, run to the other extreme, and hide my Lord's money? Is not his grace sufficient for me? O my God, guide, direct and protect me, even me. He [Page 349] who had five talents, did improve; he who had two, did improve. It was by thy grace they did so. Say to me, even to me, My grace is suf­ficient for thee, and I will endeavor to improve also. O make me wise to know in what way I may best improve to thy honor and glory; wise to know times and seasons, and in what way God does call me to improve. Art thou in thy providence lessening my opportunities in a social way? Will God now guide and direct my pen. Let that be improved to the glory of him who has committed that talent to me. My pen is thine, guide it for thy own glory. And guide me in the business of instructing little ones. O Lord, make me faithful there, to im­prove the talent thou hast committed to my charge; and bear me up against all discourage­ments. And make me to improve my talent for the good of my poor family. O let me some way; yea, every way improve so, by thy grace, that at last I may be able to lift up my head with joy, and say, Lord, thou deliveredst to me—and, behold, I have gained! O, of thine infinite grace, assisting me all the while, et me hear at last, a Well done, good and faith­ful servant; and free grace shall forever be my song.

29 Thou hast said, Unto him who hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance. I humbly plead for more grace to exercise grace.

30 Let me not at last be cast, with the unprof­itable servant, into outer darkness; where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth— nor any dear to me, by the bonds of nature or [Page 350] friendship. I would beg for all, as for my own soul. Go forth with me this day, and let my petitions be answered for the great Inter­cessor's sake alone. Thanks be to God for the assistance of his Spirit with his word, which is indeed of use to direct us in prayer.

Prepare me, Lord, for that grand and awful moment, when thou who hast taken on thee the human nature, 31 shall come in thy glory, and all the holy angels with thee: And thou shalt sit on thy throne of glory; and before thee shall be gathered all nations; 32 and thou shalt separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. O then let me stand on thy right hand, and not on the left. 33 O then, unworthy as I am in myself, 34 let me, of thy boundless, sove­reign grace, hear thee bid me come; hear thee pronounce me blessed of thy Father; and called to inherit the kingdom, prepared for thine from before the foundation of the world. Wilt thou then remember, and mercifully accept what poor, 35 imperfect services I am now, by thy own grace, enabled to do to any of thine? 36 Whether to relieve the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, or in prison. Lord, it is so little I can do; and that little so polluted with the dreadful nature of sin, that I dare not plead any thing I have done, or ever can do. Yet make me more than ever sincere, in aiming at doing as to thyself. Let love to thee be the motive and spring of all my ac­tions; and then I shall never grudge my ut­most to any of thine.

[Page 351] 37 &c. O Lord, I beseech thee enlarge my heart; for I am heart sick of all I do. I fall so infinitely short, that I may well cry out with astonishment at the thoughts of acceptance. Lord, when saw I thee, and did any kind offices to thee, or thine? Alas! my poor, poor, little, little, is not worthy of notice: Yet wilt thou, of thy free grace, say to us at last, In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, 40 ye have done it unto me. O amazing condescension and goodness! And thine shall be the glory forever. Only let me now own and honor thee more before men, than ever I have done, and cheerfully depend on thy gracious acceptance, and owning me at the last day.

And, Lord, have mercy on those who will not own thee, or thine, or do as thou hast com­manded. Bring them into subjection to thyself now, Lest they hear the dire anathema, Depart from me, 41 ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels. O let not poor souls be deceived by their acts of charity, 44 while they proceed from selflove only, 45 or grudge to do for the relief of thine here, and be discovered by thee, and sent away into everlasting punishment; 46 while the righteous shall go into life eternal.

[Page]

PART IV. The Conclusion of her Life.

THE bodily infirmities of Mrs. Osborn increased so much; and her eyesight failed to such a degree for above twenty years of the last part of her life, and her whole bodily frame was so weakened and worn out, that she was obliged to give up her school, and was not able to do any thing to support herself. And as she had nothing laid up to live upon, she was wholly dependent on Divine Providence and her friends for daily supplies, during the whole of this time; and was, the greatest part of it, confined to her room. This was in many res­pects the happiest part of her life. She was free from worldly anxiety and care. She en­joyed a calmness and serenity of mind, the at­tendant of resignation to God, and humble trust and confidence in him, contented with the al­lotments of Divine Providence, seeing the hand of God in every thing which took place—con­stantly thankful to him for the mercies she was daily and every hour receiving—full of grati­tude to those whom God inclined to show kindness to her—spending the chief of her time and strength in devotion, in contemplating the divine perfections manifested in his works of [Page 353] creation and providence, and in his word—a­doring and praising the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, praying to him for the church and the world; for her acquaintance, relations, friends, benefactors, and for herself; with constant, humble confession of unworthiness, aggravated sins, and depravity of heart, making the daily occurrences respecting herself, and others, the matter of prayer and praise.

She enjoyed an almost uninterrupted assur­ance of her interest in the divine favor through Jesus Christ, and longed to be perfectly holy. The thought of dying was pleasing to her: And when any particular disorder, or pain of body, came upon her, which seemed to indicate a speedy dissolution, it would commonly give a spring to her mind and excite pleasure and joy. Thus she appeared in this last part of her life in a measure to enjoy the happy consequence and reward, of the sore trials, labors and conflicts, through which she had passed in former years. Something of which the reader has seen in that part of her diary which has been transcribed.

Mrs. Osborn often said to her friends in this time, that she considered her situation and cir­cumstances in life, to be the best for her; and that she knew of none, with whom she could wish to exchange outward circumstances, were it left to her option. She expressed a particu­lar satisfaction in living sensibly dependent on the providence of God, for daily supplies for the body, living with God by the day, as she used to express it, having no store of her own, and not able to do any thing to supply her re­turning [Page 354] wants, and not knowing how and by whom they would be supplied, till it was sent in to her, commonly in ways, and by persons not thought of by her. This was suited to ex­cite a constant sense of her dependence on God for daily and hourly supplies, and the exercise of trust in him, and constant application to him, and acknowledgement and admiration of his goodness in supplying her wants, in a way and at times suited to discover his hand and par­ticular care of her; and to excite her gratitude to her friends, and prayers for them, who sent or brought to her the things she wanted.

In this manner she lived more than twenty years, and often declared to her friends that her daily wants were fully supplied, and that she was never destitute of the necessaries of life, and commonly had a fulness, and often abound­ed. Her wants were not great. She stood in need of daily food, washing, candle light, fire wood, and some clothing, and money to pay the rent of her house, which was five dollars every three months. All these wants were constantly supplied, while no particular person was en­gaged to do it; so that she had none to depend upon but God. While the British had posses­sion of Rhodeisland in the time of the war, which was near three years, the inhabitants of Newport were driven to great straights, by the scarcity of provision, fuel, &c. and many suffer­ed to a great degree. Mrs. Osborn lived in a great degree of quiet, and had a constant sup­ply of the necessaries of life; and received no abuse from the British officers or soldiers, as [Page 355] most others did. Though a number of soldiers were quartered near the house in which she lived, none were obtruded on her, as they were on others. And as to those who were quarter­ed near her; it was remarked by her and oth­ers, that they made less disturbance and noise, than they did elsewhere; and were particularly careful not to do any thing on the Sabbath to disturb that good woman, as they called her. And they took care to avoid all profa [...]e words when near her. Which she used to mention afterwards to her friends, as a remarkable in­stance of the tender care and protection of heaven.

In the year 1778, while the British soldiers had possession of Newport, Mr. Osborn, her husband, died; and a grand daughter of his, with her husband, who lived in her house, on whom she had some dependence for protection and assistance, moved into the country, by which she appeared more destitute and expos­ed, than before, being left alone.

In this time of particular danger and trial, Mrs. MASON, a person who gave good evi­dence that she was a real friend to Christ, and to his followers, manifested peculiar friendship and generosity towards her, by her constant at­tention to her, and supplying many of her wants; and continued her special kindness in ministering to her as long as she (Mrs. Mason) lived, which she did till March, 1792. Mrs. Orsborn often said, that Mrs. Mason never failed her in one instance, as a peculiar friend and constant benefactor, to the day of her [Page 356] death. We have no reason to doubt that they, both the giver and the receiver, are peculiarly happy together now; and that the former is re­warded a thousand fold for all her kindness to the latter, as a dear disciple of Jesus Christ. Others have distinguished themselves in their kindness to Mrs. Osborn in ministering to her, whom it is improper to mention, as they are yet alive. We have the pleasure of being as­sured that they, and all who have ministered to her, because she belonged to Christ, will have an ample reward at the resurrection of the just.

There was something peculiar and extraor­dinary in her being able punctually to pay the rent of her house in this time, which is worthy of particular mention. She depended wholly upon the unsolicited benefactions of her friends for this, as she did for her daily support. And no one was engaged to assist her in doing this, or to take any care about it. She had there­fore no particular person to look to for it, or to make up any deficiency by which she should be unable to pay what was due at the end of each quarter. It was therefore a very preca­rious matter, to human appearance, whether, when she had paid the rent of one quarter, she should ever be able to pay another. She could not conjecture from whence it would come, as she had no [...]e to look to for it, but that God, whose is the world, and the fulness thereof. Her intimate friends were sometimes concerned for her, when her quarter was near at an end, and she had received but part of the five dollars which would be soon due, and there was a [Page 357] great scarc [...]ty of money, and all appearances that she would not be able to pay. When this was suggested to her, she would reply nearly in the following words. "I desire to be thank­ful to God, I do not feel in the least anxious about it. I do not doubt of my having the whole of the money at the time in which it will be due, or near it. God has given me a con­stant and earnest desire to do justice, and pay when any thing is due. This is a just debt, and God has been pleased hitherto to gratify me by enabling me to pay, when it is due; and I believe he will still continue to do it. Per­haps I shall not live to the end of the quarter. I shall then leave enough to pay this debt. I desire to leave it with God." She generally had the money in her hand by the time it was due, and never failed being able to pay with punctuality. She frequently did not receive much, if any part of the money, till just before the quarter was ended, and knew not from whom, or from whence it would come; yet be­fore the time to pay came, as much as was necessary to answer her end at that time, would be brought or sent to her, by persons who knew nothing of her present strait. And it was often sent by persons who lived at a distance, which would come to her just at the time in which it was wanted. She had money sent her from Quebec, from the West Indies, and from vari­ous parts of the United States.

This is related as a remarkable instance of humble trust in God, and resignation and acqui­escence in his will; and of the tender care [Page 358] and faithfulness of God, and loving kindness to­wards one devoted to his service, and trusting in his promises: And that it may serve as an example and encouragement to all, to "trust in the Lord, at all times, and pour out their hearts before him."

Mrs. Orsborn was, in the last twenty years of her life, stripped, by degrees, and deprived of many privileges and enjoyments, which to her had been very great and precious. She had esteemed public worship, attending on the preaching of the gospel and public institutions, as far more desirable and important than all worldly good, in attending on which she had great enjoyment. But her bodily infirmities were so great and increasing, that for near twenty years she was unable to attend public worship. Her eyes failed her to such a degree, that she was obliged to lay by her pen, not being able to write any thing considerable, which she had done before this with great pleasure and profit to herself, having written more than fifty volumes, the least containing near 100 pages, the bigger part above 200, and a number 300, and more, besides letters to her friends, and other occasional writing. The failing of her sight also deprived her of the pleasure and profit of reading; especially of reading the Bi­ble, which she had before daily perused with great pleasure and advantage. She had the Bible, indeed, read to her daily; which she considered as an unspeakable favor. But this did not equal the privilege of being able to have access to it, at all times, and on every [Page 359] particular occasion. But she paid such atten­tion to the Bible, read it so much, and so trea­sured it up in her memory, while she could read, that she found great pleasure and bene­fit in being able to recollect so much of it, when she was not able to read; which she fre­quently mentioned to her friends, as matter of thankfulness.

The religious meetings in the room where she lived, which have been mentioned, of the church, of the female society, and occasional meetings for prayer of a number of professors of religion, which she considered as a great priv­ilege, were continued as long as she was able to bear them, partly for her sake. But at length her infirmities were so great that she was obliged to relinquish this enjoyment. And she became so weak that she could not bear lengthy visits of her friends, in which she used to take a peculiar pleasure. Her most intimate friends could only have short interviews with her at different times. But while she found herself thus deprived of these privileges and her precious enjoyments, one after another, she remained calm and resigned in a sense of her unworthiness of them, and desert of in­finitely greater evils; and constantly expressed her thankfulness for the privileges and favors she yet enjoyed; particularly that God had not taken himself from her; but indulged her with such a degree of free access to him, and such enjoyment of him in views of his glorious per­fections and works, especially his love and grace in the glorious work of redemption, [Page 360] which more than made up for all that was taken from her. She enjoyed the almost uninter­rupted light of God's countenance, and spent most of her time and strength in devotion, in prayer and praise, in which she had unspeaka­ble delight, and a rich foretaste of heaven. She used to say, she had learned to consider and hold her nearest friends, as well as all worldly enjoyments, as a cloak or loose garment, which she was ready to have taken off and laid aside, whenever there was occasion for it.

Some years before her death, she said to her friends, she thought the time was now come for them, and all who knew her, to be quite willing that she should leave the world; for she was become useless in all respects, and was only a charge and burden to those by whom her bodily wants were supplied. She was told, that all her friends desired that her life might be yet continued, if consistent with the divine will, as she was far from being useless, as we had her prayers for her friends; for the church and congregation to which she belonged; for all the people and churches of Christ, and his interest and kingdom in the world, &c. And when her acquaintance, and, particularly, the congregation of which she was a member, thought of her, as being alive in her room, which probably most of them often did, it was attended with an idea and feeling, which tend­ed to their good, and which they could not have, if she were not in the world. And as to those who ministered to her support and com­fort, they enjoyed a privilege and satisfaction [Page 361] in it, instead of its being an undesirable burden, which they could not have, if she were not here in just such circumstances. And they who did this to her, because she belonged to Christ, had opportunity hereby to exercise christian charity, and express their love to Christ, for all which they would be abundantly rewarded in his eternal kingdom. Her reply was to this purpose. "If this be so, and I can be in any respect and degree useful in my situation and circumstances, I am willing to continue in the body; but to depart and be with Christ is far better. I desire to leave it all with God, and am willing to live or die, just as he pleases."

Some months before her decease her disor­ders of body appeared to increase; her strength failed her more and more, and she became dropsical, and was at times in great distress for want of breath. She considered herself as now soon going home, as she expressed it, and wished for patience to wait till the appointed time of her departure should come, and to bear what­ever bodily distress God was pleased to lay upon her. She desired her friends to pray for her, that she might have faith and patience to the end of life, and, in no respect, conduct so as to be a disgrace to the religion which she pro­fessed, and put her christian friends to shame on her account: But that she might glorify God, and speak, and conduct worthy of her high and holy calling, to her last breath.

In a sketch of Mrs. Osborn's character, in­serted in the Theological Magazine, No. 1. [Page 362] Vol. II, is the following paragraph, written by one who visited her often in her last sickness.

"As she drew near the close of life, she was a proof of the strength and hope of the righteous; was an instance of the mysterious example of flourishing virtue, with the decays of nature: Of satisfaction in the prospect of future good, when from the world she could derive no pleasure. My physician," she said, "has seriously intimated, that I cannot live [...]ng; but I am not alarmed. Unless my heart deceive me, and the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; but unless mine greatly deceive me, I have no reason to be apprehensive for the future state. It appears to be the will of God that I should go hence. I ought to submit to his will, and I do, with cheerfulness. May his will be done." In an­other season, she said, "The trials of my situation are great; to be in want of breath, is very distressing; pray for me, that I may have patience and resignation: I desire them above all things. O pray for me that, in these last hours of my life, I may not cause you all to blush that I have professed christianity." It being remarked, that God was faithful, and would never forsake those who had loved and served him. "Yes," she replied, "I know, by experience, that he is a faithful covenant keep­ing God, and he will never leave those who love and serve him; though without his grace I should immediately sink, and my mind be filled with darkness and repining." In this temper of humility and reliance on God, she [Page 363] continued, and gave no sign of impatience, more than saying, a day or two before her death, when she heard the bell toll, that some­body had got the start of her."

She continued to sink by degrees, till after a distressing turn, she appeared more comfortable, and they who attended her, helped her to lie down, at her desire, hoping she might get some rest and sleep. They left her for a few minutes, and when they returned, they found her breath was gone, and she a lifeless corpse! Thus she left the world, and passed that death which [...] had so often and so long desired, calm and se­rene, without the least perceivable struggle or groan, and, we doubt not, entered into that rest to which the righteous go, on the 2d day of August, 1796, in the 83d year of her age. Her funeral was attended on the 4th day of August, by an uncommon concourse of peo­ple. The corpse was carried into the meeting house, and a funeral sermon was preached, from Ephesians iv.1. I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you, that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.

THESE Memoirs will be concluded by mentioning a number of particulars of her christian character, in which Mrs. Orsborn was eminent, and worthy of imitation, which have been in some measure brought into view in the foregoing narrative, and the extracts from her diary; and appear in a more clear and striking [Page 364] light to those who have perused the whole of her writings, or had a particular and intimate acquaintance with her.

She was sensibly and strongly devoted to the glory of God, and conscientiously sought to honor him in all her ways. She was tenderly concerned, and careful to do and say nothing which had the least perceivable tendency to [...]onor him, and constantly watched against every thing of that kind. She desired nothing for herself or others, and that nothing might take place, but what was consistent with the highest display of the divine glory; and it was matter of constant joy to her, that God was able and would secure his own honor, and make the brightest manifestation of his own glorious per­fections; and would suffer nothing to take place but that which should be for his glory; and there­fore would cause even those things and events, which, in themselves appeared to have a tenden­cy to the contrary, to be the occasion of a more clear discovery of his most amiable and glori­ous character. She had an affecting and strong abhorrence of every thing which she saw in herself, even all moral depravity; and which appeared in others, as having a tendency to dishonor God. This was a constant source of grief and trouble to her. By this she mani­fested a high degree of disinterested, benevolent love to God, and was more conformed than most professing christians appear to be, to that apostolic injunction, "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

[Page 365]Her love to God, and benevolence to man­kind led her greatly to desire the prosperity and advancement of the interest and kingdom of Christ in the world, and the salvation of men. For this she prayed, and rejoiced when she found others engaged and united in this, and when there was any appearance of the re­vival of religion, and of the conversion of sin­ners, or heard of any thing of this kind in dis­tant places. She earnestly sought the salvation and temporal good of all whom she knew, and with whom she had any connection; and their circumstances, and the events respecting them, whether prosperous or adverse, affected her, which constantly afforded her matter of prayer and praise, while she endeavored to conduct towards all, and treat them so in all respects as to recommend religion to them, and persuade them to embrace and practise it.

She practised secret devotions at stated times, unless prevented by some unavoidable inter­ruption; in which she spent considerable time every day, in reading the Bible, serious medi­tation and prayer, in which she had, especially at times, great enlargement and delight. And when she had no sensible access to God, she could have but little comfort and enjoyment in any thing. Her mind was frequently and almost constantly exercised in devotion by pi­ous ejaculations, when in company, or attending to her daily business.

She was a great friend to family religion, to have some portion of the Bible read, and prayer attended in the family, in the morning [Page 366] and evening; and took care to have all her family present, and that they should behave with decency. And when no man was present, she thought it her duty to pray with her family herself.

She had a great veneration and love for the christian Sabbath, and public worship. This was a high day with her; and she commonly had great enjoyment in attending public prayers, singing, and hearing the word preach­ed; and especially in attending the Lord's Sup­per; for which she was careful and solemn in preparations, and self examination. She used to recollect the particular heads of the public discourses for her own improvement in her re­tirement, and often committed them to writing, with her reflections on them. She was care­ful to prepare for the Sabbath, by ordering her family affairs so as not to be led by them to intrude upon the Sabbath, or be any disturb­ance to her devotions. And after she was con­fined, and could not attend public worship, she took special care not to attend to any thing on the day before the Sabbath, which might in any respect unfit her for the private duties of the Sabbath, wishing to reserve all her strength of body and mind for the exercises of that high day. And though she could not enjoy bodily attendance on public worship; yet in her spirit she was present with the worshipping assemblies of christians; especially with that to which she had a more particular relation, so as to have a peculiar enjoyment in her attending to them, and joining with them in her mental exercises. [Page 367] In this respect she received great benefit by public worship, and doubtless had more bene­fit and enjoyment from it, than many, if not the most, received, who were allowed to attend constantly. She was so inquisitive to know what were the subjects of the public discourses, that she would be informed what they were to be, before they were delivered, or soon after, and she would attend to them, and so feast upon the truths contained in them, that her en­tertainment and profit by them appeared far to exceed that which most who heard them in public obtained.

The following extract of a letter which she wrote to a friend, is inserted here, as an illus­tration of the above. Speaking of her being deprived of the enjoyment of public worship, by bodily infirmity, she said, "My Lord's days' enjoyments, since my confinement, have been better felt than expressed. Perhaps my exercises never were higher, when worshipping in God's own house, nor even at the Redeemer's table: Never felt a dearer union with the people of God; that oneness which cannot be expressed. Nor had stronger desires excited by the Spirit of God for Zion's prosperity; and the destruc­tion of sin and Satan, and advancement of Christ's cause and kingdom: Nor stronger de­sires to help my dear minister while he was en­gaged in the Lord's work; to be permitted to hold up his hands, that Amalek may not pre­vail, but the work of the Lord prosper in his hands. The sweet delight I have in realizing that the dear sheep and lambs of Christ's fold [Page 368] are feeding on the gospel dainties, is not easily described. I am indeed a partaker with them, though absent in body. And God so blesseth something repeated to me from the sermons, that I retain and feed more on the precious truths all the week, than I have been able to re­tain, when I have heard the whole. Thus, be­cause akin to the glorious Jesus, I dwell in Go­shen, though not in the King's court, or at his table. And dare I be restless and complain, because I cannot go out? No, no! The will of the Lord be done. I stand amazed at his gen­tle dealings with such a monster of iniquity!"

She was not talkative; yet affable and pleas­ant in conversation, and when in company with her friends and acquaintance, she had an aver­sion to vain, trifling conversation. And if at any time it took place, she would generally at­tempt to divert it to something serious and profitable. If in any instance she neglected this, and in any degree joined with them, and spoke any thing which on reflection she thought to be too light and unprofitable, she would with sorrow condemn and humble herself before God. Her chief enjoyment in company was with her christian friends; and when she was with them and little or no religious conversa­tion took place, it would be matter of grief, shame and lamentation to her. Few have their tongues so much under a bridle, as she had; yet she often lamented that it was not more so.

She had a deep, abiding, and increasing con­viction and sense of the evil of sin, as being en­mity against God, and all that is truly good; [Page 369] and of the exceeding depravity and wickedness of her own heart, and felt herself wholly undone and lost, if left to herself; that she deserved to be cast off and made miserable forever, and that God would be most just in casting her into endless destruction; that she depended wholly for salvation on the sovereign mercy of Him, who has mercy on whom he will have mercy; that a heart to embrace the gospel, and every degree of right exercise of heart was the gift of God, of which she was infinitely unworthy; and that she depended on the same sovereign grace for the continuance in the exercise of grace; [...]o be kept from falling, and to be made per­fect in holiness. She therefore trusted in Christ alone as her redeemer and sanctifier. He was infinitely honorable, excellent and precious in her sight, on whose atonement, merit, righteous­ness, wisdom and power she relied, as every way sufficient for her pardon and complete salva­tion. This is abundantly expressed in her dia­ry. She felt the power of these truths to form her to a willing obedience to Christ, and ear­nestly to desire perfect conformity to the holy law of God, and his moral image and character, knowing that she could not be completely hap­py till she awaked in the likeness of Christ.

She highly esteemed those who appeared the true ministers of the gospel, for their work's sake, and was liberal in her contributions for the support of public worship and the preach­ing of the gospel, knowing it was ordained by Christ, that they who preach the gospel, should live of the gospel. It is known that in this [Page 370] matter she was willing to her power, and even beyond it; and that she often gave more to this end, than many wealthy persons of the same congregation. And she used her influence to excite others [...]o contribute. And when she was wholly dependent on her friends for a support, and unable to attend public worship, if she had more given to her than she want­ed for her present supply and comfort, she would give a part of it for the support of the gospel; and would say, she presumed her friends who kindly ministered for the supply of her wants would be willing that she should have the satisfaction of contributing her two mites for the support of the gospel ministry, when she had any thing to spare.

Mrs. Osborn had an uncommon concern to do justice to all with whom she had any deal­ings, in all respects, both in the sight of men, and before God. In this she was conscientious, and constantly exercised herself with great care and circumspection to have a conscience void of offence towards men, always keeping what she called the golden rule in her view, desiring to do to others, as she would they should do to her. This appears in a clear and striking light in her diary.

And she not only did justice, but loved mer­cy. She gladly embraced every opportunity to relieve the wants and distresses of others, when in her power, and would often run ventures, and strip herself of what she really wanted, to relieve others who appeared to her to be in greater want. When she was dependent on [Page 371] others for support, and she had any thing in her hand which she could spare, she took delight in relieving the poor in distress, knowing that her benefactors were willing she should enjoy this pleasure, which was much greater to her, than to use it for herself. In this way she was al­ways laying up a treasure in heaven, and became rich towards God.

Mrs. Osborn was a kind and faithful friend. She was a true friend to all, even to those who acted an unfriendly part to her, and injured her. But her heart was united in a peculiar manner and degree to those who appeared to be friends to Christ. These were her chosen associates and companions, in whom she had great delight. And all her christian friends might place the greatest confidence in her, and use the utmost freedom without giving offence; and trust any secret with her, with the greatest safety, without the least fear of being betrayed, or that it would be communicated to any one. She had a number of intimate friends, with whom she conversed with great openness, free­dom and pleasure, finding, on acquaintance, that she could safely rely on their candor, friendship, prudence and fidelity. Among these Miss Susa Anthony, whose life has lately been published, was the first, and her greatest inti­mate, whom she highly esteemed and loved, as an eminent christian, of uncommon discerning and judgment; and whom she found to be a most faithful, prudent friend, at all times. There was a distinguished and eminently christ­ian and happy friendship enjoyed and cultivat­ed [Page 372] between them, for about fifty years, without any interruption, and to their great mutual comfort and helpfulness.—They were truly, and in a distinguished degree, of one heart and one soul, and during the whole time loved each other with a pure heart, fervently. It is not known or believed that there is to be found, or has been in this century such a union and hap­py christian friendship between two such emi­nent christians, for so long a time, as took place in this instance. What fervent prayers and praises did they pour out before God for each other, when separate! What hearty and sweet counsel did they take together, giving mutual advice and assistance, under their various trials, burdens, difficulties and doubts, while they o­pened their hearts and feelings, in full confi­dence in each other! With what fervor, freedom and pleasure, did they two join in devotion, by pouring out their hearts before God, when they had opportunities! With what high delight and rapture have they met among the spirits of the just made perfect, where, free from all sin and sorrow, their long continued friendship in this world, is made perfect with an assurance that it will increase in happiness and last forever, in the favor and presence of Him, whom they love with all their hearts, and is their everlasting portion! Here we are lost, and must wait till the curtain of mortality be dropped, to have a perfect knowledge and enjoyment of that felic­ity and glory of which we have now ideas so dark and very imperfect. Blessed are they [Page 373] who are not slothful, but followers of them, who, through faith and patience, now inherit the promises!

AFTER Mrs. Osborn had laid by her pen for a number of years, through the defect of her eye sight, and debility of body and mind, her thoughts unaccountably turned upon meditating on divine subjects, in verse or rhyme. This increased upon her, so that she made verses on a number of subjects; and her memory retained them, while they were not written, so that she could rehearse them dis­tinctly, when she pleased; which she did to some of her intimate friends. They were pleased with them, not for their elegance and poetry; for to this she made no pretension; but for the sentiments, as expressed by her, and flowing from her heart, without any speculative study: And some of them were written from her mouth.

Her mind became more and more engaged in this way, which she found to be entertaining and profitable to herself. At length she thought of attempting to resume her pen, and write her verses on several subjects, though she knew she was not a poet, and had never before attempted any thing of the kind. She found herself able to write, beyond any thing she, or her friends, had ever expected, and wrote so much on a number of subjects, many of which she had before [Page 374] composed in her mind, and retained in her memory, that, if collected together, they would make a considerable volume.

As this was, in several respects, an extraordi­nary event, and these writings express the de­vout exercises of her heart, in a manner differ­ent from her diary, the following is here in­serted as a specimen of the whole.

The Employment and Society of Heaven.

WHAT goodness this, which God extends
To us, who once were not his friends!
Compassion had on whom he would,
Though we did evil as we could.
Infinite love! 'Tis all divine;
God's wisdom form'd the vast design;
His pow'r has kept and brought us in,
Through all the assaults of hell and sin.
And now we shall forever gaze
On God, and his perfections praise;
We shall be like him more and more;
Th' Incomprehensible adore.
No hateful sin, or weariness,
Shall cause us any more distress.
To do God's will with Seraph's joy,
Shall ever be our sweet employ.
[Page 375]
Ye dear companions here at rest,
With love sincere in every breast,
We now will cordially embrace,
Without a blush in any face.
No more misunderstandings here;
No misconstruction now we fear;
No censures hard, those bitter roots,
Which cast out love and blast its fruits.
No envy now, or selfishness,
Will e'er again our souls possess;
Benevolence shall sweetly flow:
We felt too little when below.
No prejudice shall make us stand
Aloof, as in that foreign land;
Because when there we could not see,
We in essentials did agree.
We surely did, since we are here,
Where none but friends to Christ appear;
And now our God hath brought us home,
We ever will rejoice as one.
O here's no trace of discontent;
Not one who murmurs in his tent:
Nor are there any fiery darts,
Ever to break or vex our hearts.
O precious blood, that once was spilt,
To cleanse our souls from all their guilt;
By which we are indeed made free,
Our souls from sin at liberty.
[Page 376]
O this gives joy its fullest tide,
That out Redeemer's glorify'd;
With satisfaction views the whole,
The fruitful travail of his soul.
Ye who are now before our eyes,
Who were on earth our enemies,
We bless the Lord that you 're forgiv'n,
And are arrived safe in heav'n.
For this we gave the Lord no rest,
And he has answer'd our request;
For which we magnify his grace,
And join with you to sing his praise.
Ye worthy friends, who did relieve
Our pinching wants, ye now receive
The great reward Christ promis'd you;
Ten thousand thanks to God most true.
Now grateful love our souls doth cheer,
That we enjoy your presence here:
You did it for King Jesus' sake,
And of his joy you do partake.
Ye sweet acquaintance, christian friends,
Partakers of our joys and pains,
How oft by you did God afford
Relief to us from his own word!
Your tender sympathy and love
Did oft to us as cordials prove;
By sweet reproofs, and fervent prayer,
Ye kindly did our burthens bear.
[Page 377]
In sore temptations, sharp and long,
You faithful held the Lord, and strong:
The great atonement all complete,
The promises most sure and sweet.
Ten thousand welcomes to this state,
Each other we congratulate,
And now our work shall all be praise
Through an eternity of days.
Though bonds of nature now do cease,
Our happiness it does increase,
To see our godly parents here,
And relatives to Christ most dear.
Can we review God's providence,
And yet retain no grateful sense
Of all your love and tender care,
Us for this heaven to prepare?
Do we not know you? Yes, we do,
No ign'rance hides you from our view:
The leaks in mem'ry are all stopp'd
Since we our imperfections dropp'd.
What multitudes are there which rise
To fill our souls with sweet surprise?
It is the charming infant race,
Brought here thro' rich and sovereign grace.
These little ones were born again,
And did believe in Christ, 'tis plain:
God's Spirit wrought the work; but how
On earth we could not fully know.
[Page 378]
Glory to God, that now we see
Nothing's too hard for Deity:
These were the lambs, whom Christ caress'd,
Took in his holy arms and bless'd.
Thanks be to him his word was giv'n
"Of such the kingdom is of heav'n,"
Now they behold his glory too:
Sweet babes we do rejoice with you.
New wonders still! Lo, here are they,
Unjustly brought from Africa!
They've heard the gospel's joyful sound,
Though lost indeed they now are found.
Those we see here who once have been
Made slaves to man by horrid sin.
Now through rich grace in Christ are free,
Forever set at liberty.
Thanks be to God, though not to man,
'Twas he who laid this glorious plan
From evil great, this good to bring
All glory to our God and King.
Hail Ministers of Jesus' name,
Who this salvation did proclaim;
Our very souls do live anew
That we in heaven do meet with you.
You have receiv'd the sweet, "Well done:"
And your eternal joy's begun;
Rich and complete is your reward,
And we forever bless the Lord.
[Page 379]
What saints are these with crowns we see,
Of joy and immortality?
Gladly we find they are the same
Who out of tribulation came.
The holy prophets who did die
Because they truth did prophesy.
Apostles bless'd, and Martyrs, slain
Because Christ's truth they did maintain.
We know that these the world did hate;
But Christ has made them rich and great
He promis'd them this great reward,
And we adore the faithful Lord.
New scenes arise. Let us attend:
Here's Abr'am's seed, God's ancient friend.
We see God's covenant was sure,
And did from age to age endure.
All these have had repentance giv'n,
The true Messiah own'd from heav'n.
His promises they did embrace,
And now behold his glorious face.
That very blood by them was spilt,
Which truly wash'd away their guilt;
Glory to God! we see the Jew:
We, Gentiles, do rejoice with you.
Transporting scene! All is delight!
Throngs numberless are in our sight,
Of every kindred, tongue and size,
To overwhelm us with surprise.
[Page 380]
When Christ a thousand years did reign,
Ten thousands then were born again;
Who now, through rich and sovereign grace,
Are here to fill this holy place.
Language is pure and all refin'd;
Quickly we know each other's mind.
All here is concord; all at peace;
And happiness does still increase.
These holy angels all have skill
To know and do Jehovah's will:
They joy'd at our Redeemer's birth,
And minister'd to him on earth.
The Angels, who excel in strength;
Who were our guardians all the length,
Of the afflictive, tiresome road,
And bare us safe to this abode.
Is this the heav'n of which we heard!
Are these the mansions Christ prepar'd!
How low have our conceptions been,
In a blind world of night and sin.
O come, yet lower let us fall,
Before our God, our all in all.
Sing praises to the worthy Lamb:
Ever adore the great I AM.

Amen, Hallelujah.

FINIS.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.