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nexions--the several congregations in Glocéstershire. The intelligence was not very pleasing. I observed it was a resolution from necessity, and for convenience, and that it was my wish to testify the continuance of my affection, by visiting them as often as I could, and by makiug an exchange with their ministers, as opportunity offered. My most highly esteemed friend Mr. Hill, was not pleased by the event, but I presume he saw the propriety of it. He introduced me to my new charge, February the 2nd, 1778, expressing himself very warmly in my favor, and the next morning he left me to prove the justice of all he had said.
As soon as he departed, my soul was filled with much distress, and an unusual gloom overspread me. I began to suspect the propriety of my conduct, and to be apprehensive, that I had stepped out of the path of Providence. I retired to prostrate myself before the Lord, and intreated him not to forsake me. In the exercise of prayer I found relief; had a token for good from whence I could conclude, I should not be left in my new situation comfortless, nor useless. Hitherto the Lord had brought me, and it was unavoidable but that I must continue dependent upon him. I had laid
. up nopart of
thing in store, and excepting a little furniture and linen, and my little library, had nothing to bring with me to Marlborough. As I had engaged to serve the people for £30 per annum, I was under the necessity to set out parsimoniously. Mr. Whitefield's hints often occured to me, and as I had previous to my settling at Marlborough, adopted them, so in the early
residence there especially, they were of great advantage to me. It was well I had learned to be contented with a little, and to habituate myself to frugality.
By an exhibition obtained from the indepen, dent board, and now and then a present obtain, ed from my much honored friend Mr. Thornton, I was enabled to render a little assistance to the poor, as well as to defray my own expences.
I now more than ever found the want of a greater share of literature. Marlborough is an high church neighborhood and full of prejudice against methodism, for under that appellation I was considered, and many of its inhabitants, are men of letters: therefore that I might not disgrace my profession through ige norance, any more than by making an ostentatious parade of learning, I entered sparingly into company, conversed with caution and improved my time to the best advantage. I had no notion of studying merely for the sake of making myself an acceptable companion; indeed, to go on with my design it was necessary that I should preclude company.
I still kept the important object of an active ministry in view, which engrossed all my time. I preached thrice on the Lord's day, met a society on the Monday evening, statedly preached a lecture on the Thursday evening, preached in the country on Tuesday, or on Wednesday, or on Friday, and very often had engagements on each day in the evening, and on Saturday, held a reading and prayer meeting. From this rule I seldom deviated and at the same time held a correspondence, of which I have before remarked that it took up too much of my time, and diverted me from more important pursuits in my younger years; latterly it has become indispensible.
Our congregations grew, and some good was done, but the prejudice of the neighborhood was very powerful, and the young people, as is usually the case, imbibed it. Some indiscretions previous to my settlement had created disgust, nor were they intirely removed at my coming. I found as I gained knowledge of my flock, that I had need of patience, while I had cause for thankfulness. I was not a stranger to the divine presence neither in my retired moments nor in my public work. Always weakly I felt the weight of my office. I never gave myself to intense thinking, but with disadvantage to my health ; nor was it without a considerable degree of languor, that I passed through the exercises of the study, or the pulpit. The closeness of the country-houses in which I preached, and the different changes I passed from heat to cold, had an hazardous effect upon my frame, which, though often shocked, has not been suffered yet to fall. It has been matter of surprise to me that I have been so little disabled, amidst such sensible weakness as I have experienced. Many great men have fallen while I have continued to stand. Sturdy oaks have been torn by the roots, while I, a shrub, have only bent by the strength of the wind. Why this difference is best known to him who suffers nothing to occur by chance. Our times are in his hands who hath given us our work, and till our work is done, our day will not close. Every star has its fixed period for rising and setting. It has its hemisphere appointed to it, yea, and its orbit also. We nove arranged in our places, and do the work for which we are appointed, one shall not do the work of another, but every man in his own order. It becomes us to watch the appointments of Providence, to walk in his paths, to take care we do not clash with each other, neither to envy nor despise one another, but in our respective stations to act as the different builders in the same house, who, by taking their respective parts in the same edifice, aim jointly to bring the fabric to its perfectioni, You, my very dear friend, are an exact, may you be a very successful workman in his hands, in whom,
MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,
I TAKE it for granted in what I have remarked on the divine conduct with me, you conceived, that I have rather been stating facts, than complaining of difficulties. Nothing occurred which was insupportable, no disad. vantage was thrown in my way but was reme. diable. My first settlement at Marlborough