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soon and how much was the religion of Jesus corrupted from its primitive simplicity.
“June 23, 1781.-Some delight in reading Mosheim's History of the Reformation.Several times in the day had pleasant feelings on dying in the Lord.
“26.—Have been reading Mosheim's History, Cent. XIII. and XIV. to-day. Really I am sick in reading so much about monks, mendicant friars, &c. I could have wished the history bad more answered to it's title-a history of the church: but it seems little else than a history of locusts.
“ 29.-Some sacred delight in reading more of Mosheim, on the coming forth of those champions of the Reformation, Luther, Melancthon, Zuinglius, Calvin, &c. into the field. I think I feel their generous fervour in the cause of God and truth.
How were the arms of their hands made strong by the mighty God of Jacob !
“ July 3.- I was taken up to-day in reading Mosheim, whose partial account of the English Baptists would lead me to indulge a better opinion of various sects who have been deemed heretics.
“ Was very ill to-night, but felt tenderhearted and earnest in prayer.
“ Aug. 16.-In reading Dr. Owen, the end of predestination seemed sweet to me; namely, conformity to the image of God's dear Son. “Nov. 14.-My mind to-day seems bewildered. The lives of some poets have taken up my thoughts. The grandeur and stretch of thought in their writings seems rather to flatten my mind towards the simple truths of Christianity. But, alas! what am I after ? what am I admiring? Pompous trifles! Great souls employed in dressing atoms! O religion, thy joys are substantial and sincere. When shall I wake and find myself where nothing else shall attract the soul?”
Much more that is very good might have been extracted, but chiefly such things as are common to all Christians.
Extracts from a Diary kept after his Removal to Kettering, beginning April 11, 1784.
An interval of more than two years took place, between the close of the former diary and the commencement of this. It is believed Mr. Fuller himself destroyed another volume, which comprehended this period.
On the 30th of April, 1784, he wrote
“ I earnestly desire, these papers and books, if I should not burn them in my life-time, may never be shown, except to very few persons, after my death; for such a life as mine I wish never to be imitated. When I read the life of one whom I think to have been a good man, I feel apt to account his acquisitions nearly the utmost that can be attained in this life. The fear lest any one should think thus of mine, makes me write this desire.”
On this paragraph, I would make two or three remarks, previously to my inserting any extracts from this volume.
1. I am strongly persuaded, that I am one of those few whom he would not have
precluded from the sight of these papers. And I find sufficient evidence in this very manuscript of his affectionate regard for me, and his sympathy with me, under trials of my own, to coufirm this opinion, if it needed confirmation.
2. That I wish, according to what I suggested in the former chapter, (p. 121.) to guard against the abuse of his many complaints and conficts.
3. That, all things considered, I found more to humble me on the perusal of the whole, than to administer that despicable and pernicious comfort, which we both feared some professors would be tempted to extract from it.
4. That I sincerely wish, as I am sure he would still more earnestly than 1, to beware of any attempt to make others think more highly than they ought to think of my dear departed friend; or to lead them to imagine that he was "exempt from the common infirmities of our corrupted nature." A sinner ready to perish, but saved by marvellous grace, was the only light in which he wished to be viewed, or in which I have attempted to exhibit him. I only add,
5. That I have made such a selection, according to the best of my judgment, as I thought would tend to the honour of his blessed Lord, and to the benefit of candid and intelligent readers; inserting nothing which I conceived he would have objected to insert, had he been the biographer of just suchi another man.
Many things which indicate his pastoral watchfulness I have omitted, lest any one should guess at individuals whose conduct gave him pain. It must be supposed that he had some trials of this sort at Kettering, as well as at Soham: since, as the great Mr. Howe observes, * “The true, the proper, and right notion of the Christian church, or the churches of Christ in general, is, that they are hospitals, are rather one great hospital, wherein are persons of all sorts under cure. There is none that is sound, none that is not diseased, none that hath not wounds and sores about him." He was, however, anxious for them, and for others of his acquaintance, that they might not only adhere to the truth, but be sanctified by the truth,
As to himself, it appears that he watched continually over the state of his own soul, both in private, and in the discharge of his public work.
I had thought of dividing these two particulars; but after transcribing them separately to the close of this year, I found them so interwoven together, that I concluded it would be better to let them
Works, VI. 177