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to me, great part of his glory. It has often been my delight to approach God, and adore him as a sovereign God, and ask sovereign mercy of him.
I have loved the doctrines of the gospel ; they have been to my soul like green pastures. The gospel has seemed to me the richest treasure ; the treasure that I have most desire ed, and longed that it might dwell richly in me. The way of salvation by Christ has appeared, in a general way, glorious and excellent, most pleasant and most beautiful. It has often seemed to me, that it would in a great measure spoil heaven, to receive it in any other way. That text has often been affecting and delightful to me, Isa. xxxii. 2. A man shall be an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, &c.
It has often appeared to me delightful, to be united to Christ ; to have him for my head, and to be a member of his body ; also to have Christ for my teacher and prophet. I very often think with sweetness, and longings, and pantings of soul, of being a little child, taking hold of Christ, to be led by him through the wilderness of this world. That text, Matth. xviii. 3, has often been sweet to me, except ye be converted and become as little children, &c. I love to think of coming to Christ, to receive salvation of him, poor in spirit, and quite empty of self, humbly exalting him alone ; cut off entirely from my own root, in order to grow into, and out of Christ ; to have God in Christ to be all in all ; and to live by faith on the son of God, a life of humble, unfeigned confidence in him. That scripture has often been sweet to me, Psal. cxv. l. Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake. And those words of Christ, Luke x. 21. In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes : Even 80, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. That sovereignty of God which Christ rejoiced in, seemed to me worthy of such joy ; and that rejoicing seemed to shew the excellency of Christ, and of what spirit he was.
Sometimes, only mentioning á single word caused my heart to burn within me ; or only seeing the name of Christ, or the name of some attribute of God. And God has appeared glorious to me, on account of the Trinity. It has made me have exalting thoughts of God, that he sul sists in three persons ; Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The sweetest joys and delights I have experienced, have not been those that have arisen from a hope of my own good estate; but in a direct view of the glorious things of the gospel. When I enjoy this sweetness, it seems to carry me above the thoughts of my own estate ; it seems at such times a loss that I cannot bear, to take off my eye from the glorious, pleasant object I behold without me, to turn my eye in upon myself, and my own good estate.
My heart has been much on the advancement of Christ's. kingdom in the world. The histories of the past advancement of Christ's kingdom have been sweet to me. When I have read histories of past ages, the pleasantest thing in all my reading has been, to read of the kingdom of Christ being promoted. And when I have expected, in my reading, to come to any such thing, I have rejoiced in the prospect, all the way as I read. And my mind has been much entertained and delighted with the scripture promises and prophecies, which relate to the future glorious advancement of Christ's kingdom upon earth.
I have sometimes had a sense of the excellent fulness of Christ, and his meetness and suitableness as a Saviour; whereby he has appeared to me, far above all, the chief of ten thousands. His blood and atonement have appeared sweet, and his righteousness sweet ; which was always accompanied with ardency of spirit ; and inward strugglings and breathings, and groanings that cannot be uttered, to be emptied of myself, and swallowed up in Christ.
Once, as I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man,
and his wonderful, 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 macie pure, with a divine and heavenly purity. I havc, 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, has 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 sonietimes 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 lifegiving 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 free quently 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 heart, than ever I had before my conversion.* It has often appeared to me, that if God sould mark iniquity against me, I should 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 expressions seemed exceeding faint and feeble, to represent my wickedness.
* Our author does not say, that he had more wickedness, and badness of heart, since his commersion, than he had before ; but that he had a greater sense
My wickedness, as I am in myself, has long appeared to me perfectly ineffable, and swallowing up all thought and iinagination ; 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..... Infinite 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 power and grace stretched forth in all the majesty of his power, and in all the glory of his sovereignty, I should appear supk down in my sins below hell 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 exceeding small, and faint ; it is enough to amaze me, that I have no more sense of my sin. I know certainly, that I have very little sense 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. thereof. 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 furnished 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.
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 selfexaltation in 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 myself, 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 universal, exceeding dependence on God's grace and strength, and mere good pleasure, of late, than I used formerly to have ; and have ex. perienced 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 selfrighteous 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 my 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 Satur