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herself," besides repeating a form; and from childhood, experienced at different times pungent convictions.

“ When about seven years old, her attention was much awakened, by a sermon of Dr. Cotton Mather. He preached by exchange, in the Old South Church, from Jeremiah xxiii. 29. Is not my word like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?' In the course of the sermon, the Doctor, after a solema pause, which produced a breathless silence through the whole assembly, inquired in a voice louder than his usual tonet' Is there any one present who has a heart like a rock?' Then, after pausing again, as if waiting an answer, he added, if there is, God has a mighty hammer to break it in pieces.' Her mind, which had before been wandering with the eyes of the fool to the ends of the earth,' was now fixed upon the venerable preacher; and remained so, through the rest of the service. She left the sanctuary, and retired to her chamber, with emotions till then unknown. Their continuance however, was short. Her heart, though smitten, was not broken in pieces. It was ' a heart of stone'-a rock, still. The fears which had been excited within her, gradually died away; and in a few weeks, her accustomed gaiety was resumed. Not however, without occasional interruptions, for several months after, especially in violent storms; when the question which first aroused, would recur to her mind, and conspire with the war of the elements, to bring her on her knees before God. From this period, to her sixteenth year, she was the subject of frequent convictions of sin; which finally issued, in what was then supposed, by herself, and her Christian friends, a saving conversion to God. Shortly after she made a public profession of her faith, and united herself with the South church, Feb. 8th, 1736. But, all are not Israel, who are of Israel.' The world was still her idol; the love of self her ruling passion, and she soon relapsed into a state of great stupidity and sloth, doing no more in fulfilment, than was absolutely necessary to silence the reproaches of conscience, and preserve a fair show in the flesh.'”

P. 31-33.

In 1740 the Rev. George Whitfield first visted Boston, and his preaching convinced her that she was not a Christian. She determined in her own strength to be one; and for a time became "a perfect Pharisee.”

" While she was in this state of self-confidence and delusion, the Rev. Gilbert Tennent arrived in town. Curiosity induced her, as it did many others, to go and hear him preach: little thinking, that a sovereign God had selected him, as the chosen vessel, to bear his treasure to her heart. But so it was.

The words of the texts were these, For I through the law, am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.' His discourse was quick and powerful:' it stripped her of all her imaginary righteousness; and laid her a guilty, condemned, helpless sin. ner in the dust before God. While walking from church, a few yards behind her sisters, who had accompanied her thither, in deep meditation upon what she had heard, and in dreadful apprehension of the ruin which awaited her, as yet under the law;'on a sudden it seemed as if hell gaped beneath her feet; and she fell like Paul on the plains of Damascus, with her face to the earth, unable to speak or to move. Her sisters immediately came to her, raised her up, and supported her home. She remained for several weeks in the utmost distress of mind. “The terrors of the Lord' were set in array against her; and she was almost ready, at times, to despair of that mercy which she had so long slighted and despised. One day, after reading the Bible for some time, and attempting repeatedly to pray over it, she shut it up in despair, resolving never to try againthinking that the more unsuccessful efforts she made, the more sinful she became; and the more wrath, of course, she was treasuring up. This resolution, however, soon failed her, and she determined to make one more trial before she gave up all for lost. With a trembling hand, and an agonized heart, she again took up her Bible, and opened it. Casting her eye, dim and swollen with weeping, upon the sacred page, she read, 'Be not weary in well doing, for in due season ye shall

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ye faint not.' The hand-writing on the wall of the palace at Babylon was not more appalling to the impious monarch, than this passage of scripture, thus brought to view, was cheering to her oppressed and desponding heart. She regarded it as a message from the invisible world, encouraged by which, she resolved never to desist pleading for mercy, until she had obtained it. This resolution she was enabled to keep; availing herself at the same time of every opportunity to attend upon the ministrations of Mr. Tennent, whose labors were hardly intermitted during his residence in town. She obtained however, as yet, no evidence of her acceptance. The more she prayed and strove, the more she was convinced of the dreadful depravity of her heart; and of the indispensable necessity of Divine grace to work within her both to will and to do. In this state of mind, she heard Mr. Tennent upon the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem. In what manner he treated the subject, I do not recollect to have been told: but the effect was such, as to drive her almost to distraction. She called on Mr. T. immediately after-gave him a full account of herself--and of the strong temptation which she felt to abstain from all farther efforts for the attainment of salvation. He told her that that VOL. I.

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temptation was from the adversary of souls; and begged her as she valued her eternal welfare, to resist it-assured her that her case was more hopeful than it had ever been before, because she now saw that she was absolutely helpless in herself; and was therefore prepared to receive as a gift, what could never be claimed as a debt. “My dear child,' said he, you must not be discouraged; remember the darkest hour of night immediately precedes the break of day.'-He then commended her to Him, who is equally the author of spiritual and of natural light; devoutly praying that 'the day' might soon 'dawn, and the day star arise in her heart.' How long her distress of mind continued, I am unable to say. But at length, He, who in his sovereign grace, had planted the arrows of conviction in her heart, was pleased to extract them; and apply to the bleeding wound, the balm of consolation and hope.

With gentle force, soliciting the darts, He drew them forth, and head, and bade (her) live."" p. 35–41.

From this time to the end of her life, she manifested a consistent Christian deportment, and was distinguished by an uncommon measure of the spirit of supplication. She was the principal instrument in establishing a pray. ing society, which still exists. She associated with her a few of her pious young female friends, who adopted “a form of covenant, a confession of faith, and rules of discipline,” which the Rev. Mr. Prince drafted for them; and the providence of God prepared for them a chamber for worship, at the house of a pious lady,

66 whose husband though kind and affectionate, was not a man of religion.” He consented, however, to gratify his partner. Mr. H. observes,

“ Happy would it be, were all husbands, who are strangers to religion themselves, equally accommodating to the feelings, and wishes of their believing wives. But alas! how many excellent women are so unequally yoked,' as to be deprived in a great measure of the privileges which are indispensable both to their comfort and improvement. It is strange, indeed, that a man of integrity and honour, (religious principles aside,) can so abuse the confidence reposed in him, and disregard the Fows made by him, before the altar, as to oppose the best interests, and mar the sweetest enjoyments of a faithful and affectionate wife.” p. 47.

"The society met eighteen years at the house of this pious lady. At the expiration of that time, her husband became dissatisfied, and another place was procured. It was not long,

however, before he regretted the removal --confessed that nothing in his worldly affairs had succeeded to his wishes since; and begged that his house might again become an house of prayer. * Rejoiced at the change in his mind, the society immediately returned to the place where they at first convened; and which, so many seasons-delightful and refreshing seasons of communion with God, and one another, had endeared. There they continued to meet, until the British took possession of Boston, in 1775, when they were dispersed. After the evacuation of the town, they again assembled as before, though in a different place; and have continued to do so, to the present day: the vacancies occasioned by death, and otherwise, being supplied, and more than supplied, by the addition of new members.t

“ It may perhaps be thought, that some part of the foregoing account savours of superstition. The writer only records facts, which the venerable object of these Memoirs has often repeated to him, in the course of his acquaintance with her, and which, in this connexion, he presumes will be gratifying to her friends." p. 48, 49.

«* Little do the world think, how much they are indebted even for their temporal prosperity, to the prayers of the people of God. Were they better acquainted with the Scriptures, or did they credit their testimony more, they would see it to be no less their interest, than their duty, to increase the number of believing suppliants. Had there been ten righteous persons in Sodom, who with Abraham could have plead in behalf of that guilty city, it would have been spared. Though Moses and Samuel stood before me,' said God to Jeremiah, when interceding for Israel, my mind could not be towards this people;' clearly implying, that the supplications of those eminent saints had often been prevalent with him before. ' Let me alone,' said Jehovah in another case, that I may destroy them;' as if He could not execute his purposes, even upon the incorrigibly wicked, until his people had ceased to pray for them! Has the Most High sach respect to the prayers of his people, in his dealings towards cities and nations; and can it be supposed that families, and individuals, as such, are not equally benefited by them?”

“ + Should it be thought that the foregoing account is objectionable, as making the society referred to, a subject of public notoriety; the writer observes, that he has been induced to give it, from a persuasion that it may, and in the hope that it will, lead other pious females to 'go and do likewise.' The spirit of Christianity, indeed, forbids every thing like ostentation and show in matters of religion; but is it not equally opposed to that shrinking timidity, or that pusillanimous fear of man, which would lead its professors to hide their light under a bushel? The time it is hoped, is approaching, when social prayer will be so common, that there will be no need of concealment, to screen it from the ridicule of an unbelieving world."

The subject of these Memoirs, during her long life, experienced many and severe trials, which she bore with uncommon fortitude and resignation, which evi. dently proceeded from peculiar manifestations of divine love. The heaviest affliction she was called to endure, resulted from the sudden death of an affectionate, be. loved, and pious husband.

“ Mr. Waters came home from his shop at one o'clock, in perfect health, and dined with as good an appetite as usual. Soon after dinner, he complained of an unusual sensation in his head, went immediately up stairs to lie down, and never spoke again. Mrs. Waters sat by his bed till six, and then, with her own hand, closed his eyes in death! 'Strange and almost incredible,' said she to me, 'as it may appear, and wonderful as it was to myself, I never performed an act with greater composure or satisfaction in my life. Though he was the kindest and most affectionate of husbands, his departure did not draw from me a tear, or a sigh. I was swallowed up in God. Every thing compared with his glory, seemed nothing. I could have parted with every friend on earth; and if I had had a thousand lives, could have given them all away.' Let it not be thought that this state of mind, was the result of stoical apathy, or indifference to her husband. Few persons possess sensibilities stronger and more ardent than Mrs. Waters—few perhaps, are able more feelingly to appreciate the enjoyments of domestic life-enjoyments connected with, and resulting from, an union formed in the vigor of youth, and strengthened by the obligations of mutual kind offices. Nor did the ties of affection alone, tend to make this stroke severe. Her situation in the world was such, as to render the life of her companion very necessary to her temporal interests. But neither the ardor of conjugal love, nor the formidable aspect of lonely and helpless widowhood, could materially affect that strong consolation,' which was inspired in her soul by the Holy Ghost. That a person can realize a loss to be irreparable, and yet submit to it, not only without complaining, but with triumph, must indeed appear inexplicable to those who are unacquainted with the nature of true religion. But to the Christian, there is no mystery in this. He knows there is nothing impossible with God, or impracticable to faith; and under the various calamities of life, is enabled to exclaim,

• I hear a voice you cannot hear;

I see a hand you cannot see.'"-p. 65–67. “ The hardships of penury,” not long after, were

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