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* I enjoyed some divine comfort and fervency in the public exercise and afterwards. While riding to my lodgings, was favoured with some sweet meditations on Luke ix. 31. 6 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease, which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.” My thoughts ran with freedom ; and I saw and felt what a glorious subject the death of Christ is for glorified souls to dwell upon in their conversation. O the death of Christ ! how infinitely precious !
Nov. 30. “ Preached near night, after having spent some hours in private conference with some of my people about their souls' concerns. Explained and insisted upon the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Luke xvi. 19–26. The word made powerful impressions upon many in the assembly, especially while I discoursed of the blessedness of Lazarus in Abraham's bosom. This I could perceive affected them much more than what I spoke of the rich man's misery and torments; and thus it has been usually with them. They have almost always appeared much more affected with the comfortable than the dreadful truths of God's word. That which has distressed many of them under conviction is, that they found they wanted, and could not obtain, the happiness of the godly; at least, they have often appeared to be more affected with this than with the terrors of hell. But whatever be the means of their awakening, it is plain, numbers are made deeply sensible of their sin and misery, the wickedness and stubbornness of their own hearts, their utter inability to help themselves, or to come to Christ for help, without divine assistance; and so are brought to see their perishing need of Christ to do all for them and to lie at the foot of sovereign mercy.
Lord's day, Dec. 1. – Discoursed to my people in the forenoon from Luke xvi. 27–31. There appeared an unfeigned affection in divers persons, and some seemed deeply impressed with divine truths. In the afternoon, preached to a number of white people; at which time the Indians attended with diligence, and many of them were unable to understand a considerable part of the discourse. At night discoursed to my people again, and gave them particular cautions and directions relating to their conduct in divers respects, and pressed them to watchfulness in their deportment, seeing they were encompassed with those who waited for their halting, and who stood ready to draw them into temptations of every kind, and then to expose religion by their missteps.
Dec. 2. - Was much affected with grief that I had not lived more to God; and felt strong resolutions to double my diligence in my Master's service."
After this he went to a meeting of the Presbytery, at a place in New Jersey, called Connecticut Farms ; which occasioned his absence from his people the remainder of the week. He speaks of some seasons of sweetness and spiritual affection in his absence.
Lord's day, Dec. 8. “ Discoursed on the story of the blind man, John ix. There appeared no remarkable effect of the word upon the assembly at this time. The persons who have lately been much concerned for their souls, seemed now not so affected nor solicitous to obtain an interest in Christ as has been usual ; although they attended divine service with seriousness and diligence. Such have been the doings of the Lord here in awakening sinners, and affecting the hearts of those who are brought to solid comfort with a fresh sense of divine things, from time to time, that it is now strange to see the assembly sit with dry eyes and without sobs and groans.
Dec. 9. “Spent most of the day in procuring provisions in order to my setting up house-keeping among the Indians. Enjoyed little satisfaction through the day, being very much out of my element.
Dec. 10. “ Was engaged in the same business as yesterday. Towards night got into my house.*
Dec. 11. " Spent the forenoon in necessary labours about my house. In the afternoon rode out upon business; and spent the evening with some satisfaction among friends in conversation on a serious and profitable subject.
Dec. 12. “Preached from the parable of the Ten Virgins, Matt. xxv.
The divine power seemed in some measure to attend this discourse ; in which I was favoured with uncommon freedom and plainness of address, and enabled to open divine truths, and explain them to the capacities of my people in a manner beyond myself. There appeared in many persons an affectionate concern for their souls, although the concern in general seemed not so deep and pressing as it had formerly done. Yet it was refreshing to see many melted into tears and unaffected sobs ; some with a sense of divine love, and some for the want of it.
Dec. 13. “Spent the day mainly in labour about my house. In the evening, spent some time in writing; but was very weary and much outdone with the labour of the day.
Dec. 14. “Rose early, and wrote by candle-light some considerable time : spent most of the day in writing, but was somewhat dejected. In the evening was exercised with pain in my head.
Dec. 15. - Preached to the Indians from Luke xiii. 24-28. Divine truth fell with weight and power upon the audience
* This is the third house that he built to dwell in among the Indians. The first at Kaunaumeek, county of Albany; the second at the Forks of Delaware; the third at Crossweeksung, Ney Jersey.
and seemed to reach the hearts of many. Near night discoursed to them again from Matt. xxv. 31–46. At this season also the word appeared to be accompanied with a divine influence, and made powerful impressions upon the assembly in general, as well as upon numbers in a very special and particular manner.
an amazing season of grace. “ The word of the Lord,” this day, " was quick and powerful, sharper than a two edged sword,” and pierced the hearts of many. The assembly was greatly affected and deeply wrought upon; yet without so much apparent commotion of the passions as appeared in the beginning of this work of grace. The impressions made by the word of God upon the audience appeared solid, rational, and deep; worthy of the solemn truths by which they were produced ; and far from being the effects of any sudden fright or groundless perturbation of mind. O, how did the hearts of the hearers seem to bow under the weight of divine truths; and how evident did it now appear, that they received and felt them, “ not as the word of man, but as the word of God.” None can form a just idea of the appearance of our assembly at this time but those who have seen a congregation solemnly awed, and deeply impressed by the special power and influence of divine truths delivered to them in the name of God.
Dec. 16. “ Discoursed to my people in the evening from Luke xi. 1-13. After having insisted some time upon the ninth verse, wherein there is a command and encouragement to ask for the divine favour, I called upon them to ask for a new heart with the utmost importunity; as the man mentioned in the parable, on which I was discoursing, pleaded for loaves of bread at midnight. There was much affection and concern in the assembly, and especially one woman appeared in great distress for her soul. She was brought to such an agony in 'seeking after Christ, that the sweat ran off her face for a considerable time together ; (although the evening was very cold ;) and her bitter cries were the most affecting indications of her heart."
The remainder of this day he spent chiefly in writing ; some part of the time under a degree of melancholy; but some part of it with a sweet ardency in religion.
Dec. 21. " My people having now attained to a considerable degree of knowledge in the principles of Christianity ; I thought it proper to set up a catechetical lecture among them ; and this evening attempted something in that form ; proposing questions to them agreeably to the Assembly's Shorter Catechism, receiving their answers, and then explaining and insisting as appeared necessary and proper upon each question. Vol. X.
After this I endeavoured to make some practical improvement of the whole. This was the method I entered upon. They were able readily and rationally to answer many important questions which I proposed to them ; so that, upon trial, I found their doctrinal knowledge to exceed my own expectations. In the improvement of my discourse, when I came to infer and open the blessedness of those, who have so great and glorious a God, as had before been spoken of, " for their everlasting friend and portion;" several were much affected, and especially when I exhorted, and endeavoured to persuade them to be reconciled to God through his dear Son, and thus to secure an interest in his everlasting favour. So that they appeared not only enlightened and instructed, but affected and engaged in their soul's concern by this method of discoursing. After my labours with the Indians, I spent some time in writing some things divine and solemn; and was much wearied with the labours of the day, found that my spirits were extremely spent, and that I could do no more. I am conscious to myself, that
my labours are as great and constant as my nature will admit; and ordinarily I go to the extent of my strength, so that I do all I can : but the misery is I do not labour with that heavenly temper, that single eye to the glory of God, that I long for."
Lord's day, Dec. 22. “Discoursed upon the story of the young man in the Gospel, Matt. ix. 16–22. God made it a seasonable word, I am persuaded, to some souls. There were several of the Indians newly come here, who had frequently lived among Quakers; and, being more civilized and conformed to English manners than the generality of the Indians, they had imbibed some of the Quakers' errors, especially this fundamental one, viz. That, if men will but live soberly and honestly according to the dictates of their own consciences, or the light within, there is then no danger or doubt of their salvation. These persons I found much worse to deal with than those who are wholly under Pagan darkness; who make no pretences to knowledge in Christianity at all, nor have any self-righteous foundation to stand upon. However, they all, except one, appeared now convinced that this sober honest life of itself was not sufficient to salvation ; since Christ himself had declared it so in the case of the young man. They seemed in some measure concerned to obtain that change of heart, the necessity of which I had been labouring to show them.
This was likewise a season of comfort to some souls, and in particular to one, the same mentioned in my journal of the 16th instant, who never before obtained any settled comfort, though I have abundant reason to think she had passed a saving change some days before. She now appeared in a heavenly frame of mind, composed, and delighted with the divine will. When I
came to discourse particularly with her, and to inquire of her, how she obtained relief and deliverance from the spiritual distresses which she had lately suffered ; she answered, in broken English,* " Me try, me try save myself; last, my strength be all gone; (meaning her ability to save herself;) could not me stir bit further. Den last me forced let Jesus Christ alone send me hell ; if he please." I said, “ But, you was not willing to go to hell ; was you?” She replied, “ Could not me help it. My heart, he would wicked for all. Could not me make him good, (meaning, she saw it was right she should go to hell, because her heart was wicked, and would be so after all she could do to mend it.) I asked her, how she got out of this case. She answered still in the same broken language," By by, my heart be glad desperately." I asked her, why her heart was glad ? She replied, “ Glad my heart, Jesus Christ do what he please
Den me tink, glad my heart Jesus Christ send me to hell. Did not me care where he put me; love him for all.” foc. She could not readily be convinced, but that she was willing to go to hell if Christ was pleased to send her there; although the truth evidently was, that her will was so swallowed up in the divine will, that she could not frame any hell in her imagination which would be dreadful or undesirable, provided it was the will of God to send her to it. Toward night discoursed to them again in the catechetical method, which I entered upon the evening before. When I came to improve the truth which I had explained to them, and to answer that question, “ But how shall I know whether God has chosen me to everlasting life ?” by pressing them to come and give up their hearts to Christ, and thereby " to make their election sure," they then appeared much affected: and persons under concern afresh engaged in seeking after an interest in him; while some others, who had obtained comfort before, were refreshed to find that love to God in themselves, which was an evidence of his electing love to them.
Dec. 23 and 24. “ Spent three days in writing with the utmost diligence. Felt in the main a sweet mortification to the world, and a desire to live and labour only for God; but wanted more warmth and spirituality, and a more sensible and affectionate regard for the glory of God.
Dec. 25. “ The Indians having been used on Christmas-days to drink and revel among some of the white people in these parts; I thought it proper this day to call them together and discourse to them upon divine things; which I accordingly did from the parable of the barren fig-tree, Luke xiii. 6–9. A divine influence, I am persuaded, accompanied the word at this
* In proper English, “ I tried, and tried to save myself, till at last my strength was all gone, and I could not stir any further. Then I was at last obliged to let Jesus Christ alone, to send me to hell if he pleased.