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diator between God and man, and his wondersul, great, full, pure and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension. This grace that appeared so calm and sweet, appeared also great above the heavens. The person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception, which continued as 'near as I can judge, about an hour; which kept me the greater part of the time in a flood of tears, and weeping aloud. I felt an ardency of soul to be, what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated; to lie in the dust, and to be full of Christ alone; to love him with a holy and pure love; to trust in him; to live upon him; to serve and follow him; and to be perfectly sanctified and made pure, with a divine and heavenly purity. I have, several other times, had views very much of the same nature, and which have had the same effects.
I have many times had a sense of the glory of the third person in the Trinity, in his office of Sanctifier; in his holy operations, communicating divine light and life to the soul. God, in the communications of his Holy Spirit, bas appeared as an infinite fountain of divine glory and sweetness; being full, and sufficient to fill and satisfy the soul; pouring forth itself in sweet communications; like the sun in its glory, sweetly and pleasantly diffusing light and life. And I have sometimes had an affecting sense of the excellency of the word of God, as a word of life; as the light of life; a sweet, excellent, life-giving word; accompanied with a thirsting after . that word, that it might dwell richly in my heart. Often, since I lived in this town, I have had very
affecting views of my own sinfulness and vileness; very frequently to such a degree as to hold me in a kind of loud weeping, sometimes for a considerable time together; so that I have often been forced to shut myself up. I have had a vastly greater sense of my own wickedness, and the badness of my own beari, than ever I had before
conversion.* It has often appeared to me, * Our author does not say, that he had more wickedness, and badness of heart, since his conversion, than he had before; but
that if God should mark iniquity against me, I should
I appear the very worst of all mankind; of all that have been, since the beginning of the world to this time; and that I should have by far the lowest place in hell. When others, that have come to talk with me about their soul concerns, have expressed the sense they have had of their own wickedness, by saying that it seemed to them, that they were as bad as the devil himself; I thought their expression seemed exceedingly faint and feeble, to represent my wickedness.
My wickedness, as I am in myself, has long appeared to me perfectly ineffable, and swallowing up all thought and imagination; like an infinite deluge, or mountains over my head. I know not how to express better what my sins appear to me to be, than by heaping infinite upon infinite, and multiplying infinite by infinite. Very often, for these many years, these expressions are in my mind, and in my mouth, “Infinite upon infinite - Infi
nite upon infinite!” When I look into my heart, and take a view of my wickedness, it looks like an abyss infinitely deeper than hell. And it appears to me, that were it not for free grace, exalted and raised up to the infinite height of all the fulness and glory of the great Jehovah, and the arm of his
grace stretched forth in all the majesty of his power, and in all the glory of bis sovereignty, I should appear sunk down in my sins below bell itself; far beyond the sight of every thing, but the eye of sovereign grace, that can pierce even down to such a depth. And yet, it seems to me, that my conviction of sin is exceedingly small, and faint; it is enough to amaze me, that I have no, more sense of my sin. I know certainly, that I have
little sense that he had a greater sense thereot. Thus a blind man may have his garden full of noxious weeds, and yet not see or be sensible of them. But should the garden be in great part cleared of these, and furoished with many beautiful and salutary plants; and supposing the owner now to have the power of discriminating objects of sight; in this case, he would have less, but would see, and have a sense of more. To which may be added, that the better the organ, and clearer the light may be, the stronger will be the sense excited by sin or holiness.
of my sinfulness. When I have had turns of weeping and crying for my sins, I thought I knew at the time, that my repentance was nothing to my sin.
I have greatly longed of late, for a broken heart, and to lie low before God; and, when I ask for humility, I cannot bear the thoughts of being no more humble than other Christians. It seems to me, that though their degrees of humility may be suitable for them, yet it would be a vile self-exaltation to me, not to be the lowest in humility of all mankind. Others speak of their longing to be " humbled to the dust;" that may be a proper expression for them, but I always think of myseli, that I ought, and it is an expression that has long been natural for me to use in prayer, “ to lie infinitely low before God.” And it is affecting to think, how ignorant I was, when a young Christian, of the bottomless, infinite depths of wickedness, pride, hypocrisy and deceit, left in my heart.
I have a much greater sense of my uoiversal, exceeding dependance on God's grace and strength, and mere good pleasure, of late, than I used formerly to have; and have experienced more of an abhorrence of my own righteousness. The very thought of any joy arising in me, on any consideration of my own amiableness, performances, or experiences, or any goodness of heart or life, is nauseous and detestable to me. And yet I am greatly afflicted with a proud and self-righteous spirit, much more sensibly than I used to be formerly. I see that serpent rising and putting forth its head continually, every where, all around me.
Though it seems to me, that, in some respects, I was a far better Christian, for two or three years after my first conversion, than I am now; and lived in a more constant delight and pleasure; yet, of late years, I have had a more full and constant sense of the absolute sovereignty of God, and a delight in that sovereignty; and have had more of a sense of the glory of Christ, as a Mediator revealed in the gospel. On one Saturday night, in particular, I had such a discovery of the excellency of the gospel above all other doctrines, that I
could not but say to myself, “ This is my chosen light, my chosen doctrine;" and of Christ,
- This is
chosen Prophet.” It appeared sweet, beyond all expression, to follow Christ, and to be taught, and enlightened, and instructed by him; to learn of him, and live to him. Another Saturday night, (January 1739) I had such a sense, how sweet and blessed a thing it was to walk in the way of duty; to do that which was right and meet to be done, and agreeable to the holy mind of God; that it caused me to break forth into a kind of loud wecping, which held me some time, so that I was forced to shut myself up, and fasten the doors. I could not but, as it were, cry out, “ How happy are they which do that which is right in the sight of God! They are blessed indeed, they are the happy ones!” I had, at the same time, a very affecting sense, how meet and suitable it was that God should govern the world, and order all things according to his own pleasure; and I rejoiced in it, that God reigned, and that his will was done.
Erlract from his Resolutions.
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory and my own good, profit and pleasure, ON THE WHOLE; without any .onsideration of the time, whether now, or ever so niany myriads of ages. hence; to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in generalwhatever difficullies I meet with, how many and how great soever. 2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoriog to find
new contrivance to promote the forementioned things.
4. Resolved, never to do, be, or SUFFER, any thing in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.