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* 1791.- In the Spring of this year there appeared a religious concern among some of our young people. I proposed to meet them once a week at the vestry, to talk and pray with them. I hope this has been of use both to me and them. I find there are some hopeful appearances in neighbouring churches. May the Lord revive his own work.
“ I feel some return of peace, but am not as I would be. Reading Owen on Spiritualmindedness, I feel afraid lest all should not be right with me at last. What I have of spirituality, as I account it seems rather occasional than habitual.
“ Towards the latter end of this summer, I heard of some revival of religion about Walgrave and Guilsborough ; and that the means of it were their setting apart days for fasting and prayer.
From hence I thought we had been long praying for the revival of God's cause, and the spread of the gospel among the heathen, &c. and perhaps God would begin with us at home first. particularly affected with this thought, by finding it in the sixty-seventh Psalm, which I was expounding about the same time: 0 that God's being merciful to us, and blessing us, might be the means of his way being made known upon earth, and his saving health among all nations; at least among a part of them.
O to be spiritually alive among ourselves! One Monday evening, I think in October, I told our friends of some snch things, and prayed with them with more than usual affection. I was particularly encouraged by the promise of giving the Holy Spirit to them that ask. Surely if ever I wrestled with God in my life I did so then, for more grace, for forgiveness, for the restoration of the joys of salvation; and that not only for myself, but for the generality of Christians among us, whom I plainly perceived to be in a poor lukewarm state, when compared with the primitive Christians.
“ The 27th of December, I set apart for fasting and prayer. I felt tender in the course of the day. Thought with some encouragement of Psa. cxix. 176.—1 have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant, for I do not forget thy commandments. I employed a considerable part of the day in reading over Owen' on the Mortification of Sin. A review of the past year, and of several past years, tended to humble me.
“I felt tender on Friday evening, Dec. 30. in addressing my friends from Psa. xc. 14. on the mercy of God as the origin of all solid joy.
“1792–This year was begun, or nearly so, with a day of solemn fasting and prayer,
kept by us as a church.
most affecting time with me and many more.-Surely we never had such a spirit of prayer amongst us!
“ On the 2d of April, we lost our dear and worthy deacon, Mr. Beeby Wallis.* The next
• Mr. Fuller published a funeral sermon for this very excellent man, in which he has given a just delineation of his character, and some account of his ancestors, who were the first pastors of the Baptist church at Kettering.
He was buried under a sycamore-tree, which he had planted in the meeting-yard, the ground having been originally given by him; and the following epitaph, composed by Mr. Fuller, was inscribed on his tomb:
Kind Sycamore, preserve beneath thy shade
Beneath thy shade we mourn a heavier loss. His widow, Mrs. Martha Wallis, a valuable friend to Mr. Fuller, and to the cause of Christ, long survived her husband, and entered into rest, Oct. 17, 1812. She was buried in the same vault with him; and the epitaph was altered as follows:
Kind Sycamore, preserve beneath thy shade
church-meeting was kept as a day of solemn fasting and prayer, and a very affecting opportunity it was. During this and the last year we have had a good deal of religious concern among the young people of the congregation. I set up a private meeting, in which I might read, and pray, and converse with them; and have found it good both to them and me. This spring several of them joined the church.”,
[For the exercises of his mind in the time of Mrs. Buller's ļast ilļness and death, see Chap. IX.]
“ July 18, 1794.-Within the last two years I have experienced perhaps as much peace and calmness of mind, as at any former period. I have been enabled to walk somewhat more near to God than heretofore ; and I find that there is nothing that affords such a preservative against sin. •If we walk in the Spirit, we shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. This passage has been of great use to me, ever since I preached from it, which was on June 3, 1792, The idea on which I then principally insisted was, that sin is to be overcome, not so much by a direct or mere resistance of it, as by opposing other principles and considerations to it, This sentiment has been abundantly verified in my experience: so far as I have walked in the Spirit, so far has my life been holy and happy: and I have experienced a good degree of these blessings, compared with former times ; though but a very small degree compared with what 1 ought to aspire after.
[See more of this date in Chap. VII.] “ I have lately spoken some strong language against the sin of covetousness. O that I may never be left to that spirit myself! I have been concerned this morning lest I should. We know but little of what we are till we are tried! I dreamed last night, that a person of a religious and generous character was making his observations upon Dissenters, that there were but few eminently holy and benevolent characters amongst them. On waking, my thoughts rán upon this subject. I felt that there was too much truth in it, (though perhaps no truth if they were viewed in comparison with other denominations,) and possessed an ardent desire, that, let others do what they would, I and mine might live not to ourselves, but to him who died for us! It seemed a lovely thing which is said of Christ-he went about doing good! O that whatever I may at any time possess of this world's good, it might be consecrated to God! The Lord ever preserve me from the mean vice of covetousness!
“I felt very tender last night, in preaching from Job xxix. 2.-0 that I were as in months past, &c. I do think the last two years have been the best two years of iny life; but within