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Although this was no more than a dream, yet the impressions it made on my mind were both deep and lasting. I was now de. termined if poffible, to escape that place of torment; and in order to this, I began to serve God in good earnet. Satan like a roaring lion, now came upon me with his fiery darts; he told me, “ It is now too late, your doom is fixed; and the place you have seen in your dream is to be your everlafing babitation ! " I strove all in my power to, filence these temptations, but being ignorant of the maxim which Jesus Christ taught his followers, namely, “ Without me ye can do nothing ; " I was frequently captivated by fin. However I constantly attended all the means of Grace, both public and private ; and was resolved of this, that if I did perish, it should be in the path of duty. I am fully persuaded these pious resolutions were from the Lord, from whom every good and perfect gift cometh.
I now united with the Methodists, whose ministry, with that, of the Rev. Mr. Curshom*, was made a great blessing to me; and I received much divine light. I daily discovered more of the evils of my own heart, which was a means of humbling me, and destroying that pride which is so natural to me. My dittress of mind was very great, on account of fin; and although I was firmly persuaded none could save but Jesus Christ, yet I could not obtain peace and joy. in God. I believe the chief cause was, the perplexity my mind was thrown into, by reading and bearing both Arminians and Calvinifts, in order to determine which of these was right. My judgment decided in favour of the former; but orthodoxy is not faith: and I bless God that I was not permitted to rest in mere opinions, which I fear is the case of but too many.
In the month of January 1785, God was pleased to permit me to be feverely tied with persecution and temptation ; but througk his grace I was enabled to conquer; though I have reason to la. ment my not preserving a proper condu&t and temper.
I continued nearly in this ftare until July 1787, when it pleased God to speak peace to my soul, under a fermon on Zech, ix. 12. I could then rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. I lost these divine transports, and was again brought into bondage, through disputing about particular predestination. I continued in this state until November following. At that time I was in great diftress of mind, and afflicted in body; but God, who is rich in mercy, shewed me his favour, under a fermon on Micah vii. 18.
* Mr. CURSHOM, was several years Curate of Ashover, his labours were great, and crowned with much success. But lome of the leading men procured his expulsion. He now keeps an Academy at Sutton near Mansfield, in Nottinghamshire. Many of his enemies are called away to give an account of their conduct to the Judge of all. Some of his friends are safely landed in bliss ; where I hope they will joyfully welcome him to his crown,
. . I experienced
I experienced what I had seldom done before ; for instead of that
O for a trumpet's voice; .
To bid their hearts rejoice
For all, my LORD was crucified ; .
About this time I was much perplexed concerning the lawful.
I dreamed I was at church attending service; the minister was reading the Litany: a sudden noise caught my attention; and looking towards the place from whence it proceeded, I saw a per.. son of bright appearance, who beckoned 'me with his hand. I followed him ; He led me to the back part of the church, and dee.. fcending down a number of steps into a cellar under the church.. It seemed as if the foundations of the church were removed, and the superstructure was now supported upon pillars of wood, which were worm-eaten and rotten. I was much astonished: My guide: observing this, said, “ You see the situation of this foundation;!. and then pointing to the place by which we entered, said " Escape!" I did fo.and suddenly awoke. This, and a thousand circumstances .
which have since happened, have satisfied me, that it is inexpedient for me to aliend any place of worship where the Gospel is not preached. But I condemn no man in this matter. .
Another thing which affected me much, was, the awful views which I had of the miserable condition of sinners. For them I interceded with God in mighty prayer, that he would convert them to himself. Sometimes it was powerfully impressed on my mind to Speak in public, and warn my fellow finners of their danger. The awfulness of the work, and my unfitness, humbled me into the dust, and made me decline só arduous an employ. God is my witness, that I never fought to speak in public; and could I have kept a good conscience, I am persuaded, I fhould not have preached at all. When an opportunity offered I used to meet a class, pray in public, and at length gave an exhortation.
The first time I ventured to take a text, was when we were disappointed of a travelling preacher : I was altogether unprepared both with subjeet and matter; but looking to the strong for strength, I was supported. This was the case several times; but the Lord gave me favour in the eyes of the people, and some Ginners were brought to himself, I never went to any place unless requested, for fear I should run before I was sent; but divine providence opened my way, so that I soon had more work than I could well attend. Many were awakened, and blessed be God, some stand to this day,
In the summer of 1790, I conversed with Mr. WESLEY OR the fubje&t of travelling, but did not then give my consent. However thro' the solicitations of some of the preachers, I afterwards complied; and at the Bristol Conference, the same year, I was appointed to Nottingham. I went with much fear and trembling, but the people received me with great affection ; they bore with my weakness, and by every instance of love endea. voured to strengthen my lands. Unworthy as I was, the Lord gave me some seals in this place, and in some o:her parts of the circuit.
The next year I was stationed at Huddersfield, where I con. tinued iwo years; and tho' unworthy, the Lord gave me to see his work revive, crowning my labours with success...
In 1793, I removed to Bristol, where I met with some friends, some blellings, and some crosses, but all these have contributed to my good. The following year I laboured in Bath, the City of Folly and Diffipation; and I have reason to belieye with some success. This year I entered into the marriage state, and blessed be God, I have an help-mate indeed.
My present station is Birmingham, where pride, barbarism, deism, and their half brother socinianism, produce a copious crop. I am endeavouring to spread vital, rational piety; and tho' Satan has fown his tares, yet religion encreases; and I trust it
will continue its progress, until the universe is filled with the
SERMON ON MATTHEW XXVIII. 20.
[Concluded from page 531.]
11 scribed the Persons, and their Office, to whom the great Promise in the next belongs, I now proceed, lastly, to consider the main part of the subject, namely, The PROMISE, Lo, I am with you always, not now and then, but always : not even with my first apoftles only, but with all my true messengers, to the end of the world.
I would just here premise, that this is a very striking proof of our LORD's Divinity ; for if he were not omnipresent, how could he be with his servants always, and every where, till time shall be no more? Such a prerogative can only belong to him who fills heaven and earth, and whose “ eyes are in every place, beholde ing the evil and the good.” To proceed then with the Promise.
1. He will be with his servants, to enlighten and instruct them. Their work will need his wisdom, as it will be oftentimes perplexed and knotty, by the powers of darkness, and the depravity of the human mind, and the various vicissitudes of human life. Here he has need to lead the blind by a way they know not, and in va. rious paths which they have not known; to make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. It is highly neceflary that he should teach them the mysteries of the kingdom of God, to make them scribes well instructed in the way to the kingdom, so that they may bring forth things out of their treasury, new and old. But mark, this does not supercede their closest endeavours, by no means. We are not to idle and lounge away our time under a pretence "that Chrift will teach us; no, we are to be instant in season and out of season ; we are to give attention to reading, to meditation ; to stir up the gift of God within us, and then we may expect our Lord will give us a right under/tanding in all things. If he is the light, we must walk in the light, so shall our path be as the shining light, which fhineth more and more to the perfect day. This wisdom is not only necessary in their study and public administrations, for that is not half of a minister's duty; but in governing and directing the flock; in keeping the fences in due repair : they have to do with persons of different Itates and con
ditions, tempers and dispositions ; some tender, timerous, and fearful: others of a more obftinate and perverse turn, who will neither lead nor drive very readily; and yet there may be some. thing good in them, which a minifter of Christ would willingly preserve, so that in the end they may be saved. ..
2. He is with them to comfort them in all their tribulations and various trials, which they will unavoidably meet with in the course of their labours Observe, they are men of like passions with others, and therefore have their own peculiar trials and temptations to grapple with ; their own hopes and fears, joys and sorrows dejections and elevations, their cloudy hours and lucid moments : they have likewise their own family affairs to cope with, which may be often very much embarrassed, a very trying circumstance to men of their sensibilities; for I presume, no man's feelings are more acute than those whose hearts are penetrated with a sense of divine things. Thus they have their private and domestic difficul. ties to coniend with, as well as others : But besides these, the care of the churches, from whence a variety of heartfelt troubles are fure to arise from various causes, too numerous to particularize ; but which you, who have been long in the ministry, are not ignosant of. If we had only to combat with the avowed enemies of the cross of Christ, the task would be easy: but we have false brethren, real hypocrites, and self-deceivers, who will give much trouble and uneasiness; and many weak and mistaken fouls, who tho' they mean well, yet often give much trouble, and like fick children in a family, need much nurling. Great numbers who are giving way to fin and error, will certainly give pain to a true minister of Jesus, and often caufe his hands to hang down, and his knees to wax feeble. In all which cases, they have need of ahe cheering presence of their Saviour, unto whom he says, “ Fear ihou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousnesst. ". In all their afflictions he is afflicted, and walks with his servants through the fire and thro' the water. And although they bemoan their want of success where they spend much labour, yet if they labour faithfully it is accepted. If Ifrael is not gaihered, yet may the faithful minister say, “I shall be glorious in the eyes of my God, and he will be my ftrength*." And he is good company, like the rising sun' upon the nightly traveller; yea a hiding place from the wind, and like rivers of water in a dry place. In the world, he declares we must have tribulation ; "but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Thus will he be with them to comfort them. :
3. But he will be with them to support and strengthen them in their work ; for they need. strong faith in many respects, and a hope which may be'as an anchor of the foul, sure and stedfaft: for they will have many buffetings from satan, as well as from the world. We find even an apoftle, bad satan let loose upon him, + Ifa. xli. 30. * Pa. xlix. 5.