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even after large overflowings of his love in my foul, as a river overflowing all its banks. Had he not, after such seasons of rejoicing, veiled his presence, and clothed my soul with mourning, I might, like ancient Ifrael, have "fang his praise, and soon • forgot his works.'t. But now, through the many tribulations, and wise turnings of his holy hand upon me, my foul semains bowed, and to this day sensible of the tendering impressions of his love and goodness. The favour of life is still fresh within me. He has led me about and instructed me, and (with reverence 1 speak it) hath kept and preserved me. May I still be preserved, and henceforth for ever kept safe under his all-powerful protection ; walking worthy of the same to the end of my days. Amen.
During a great part of the foregoing exercises, I had frequent openings, and lively prospects respecting the christian warfare, and the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. I often believed, in the
openings of divine light, that, if I stood faithful, it would be required of me to declare to others what the Lord had done for me, and given me an underftanding of, and to entreat my fellow creatures to seek an habitation in that kingdom that cannot be shaken or fade
-This concern began now to grow upon me considerably, even to that degree, that I felt at times in meetirigs a living engagement to communicate somewhat to the people ; but, fearing I should begin in that great work before the right time, I kept back; and even divers times, when I was almost ready to stand up, I have concluded I would keep silence this once more; considering within myself, that if my so doing should be displeafing to the Lord, he would manifest his displeasure to me; but if I should presume to speak a word in his name, and it should prove to be without his holy requiring, or too soon, I should not only displease him, but also burden his people; and perhaps get into and become entangled in a way of speaking from too small motions or impressions felt, or mournfully mistake the sparks of my own kindling for divine iinpressions; which might, in consequence of my giving way thereunto, be suffered to increase upon me to my great loss in the substantial and divine life, if not to my utter ruin. In this guarded frame of mind I passed on for some time, often seeking to the Lord for counsel and direction in this and other concerns of importance. And though I believe I might have publickly borne testimony in the name, power, and approbation of the Lord, rather sooner than I did; yet as I was not obftinately, but carefully backward, I seldom felt much condemnation for withholding: however, I did a few times find some real uneasiness on that account. But he who laid the concern upon me, well knowing the integrity of my heart, and that I was bent faithfully to serve him, without going too fast, or yet tarrying behind my guide, dealt graciously with me, passed by my little withholdings, favoured with fresh and increasing incomes of his love, and, from time to time, cast up my way with ftill greater clearness; and at length in a manner so clear, and confirming, as eraled doubt and hesitation from my mind. In the fresh authority whereof I uttered a few words in our meeting at Providence, on the first day of the week, and roth of the 4th month 1774, to my own and I believe my friends fatisfaction. I felt the returns of peace
only * Psal. cvi. 12 13.
my own bosom, as a river of life, for a confiderable time afterwards, sweetly comforting my mind, and confirming me in this solemn undertaking
After some time of heavenly rejoicing, I began again to be tried with various exercises and conflicts of mind, though still frequently favoured with the flowings of divine love, in a very comfortable and soul-fatisfying manner. At divers times I had lively impressions to say a few words more, in publick testimony; but still waited to be well assured. The unspeakable consolation which I found, on my first uttering a few words, and that after a considerable time of rather holding back, than hafty procedure, had fully confirmed me that there is greater safety in turning the fleece, and well proving it, both wet and dry, than in rushing forward in the first operations or openings. The beasts, allowed in facrifice, were to chew the cud and divide the hoof. Chewing the cud is a deliberate act: they chew and swallow, and chew and swallow again. The division of the hoof being on the stepping member, shews the danger of taking a single step in divine services, without a clear division of things, and the way cast up in the mind.--As I thus waited for clearness, not being by once succeeding encouraged to run too fast, I was favoured to know the fire of the Lord rightly kindled upon his altar; and to witness an offering of his own preparing. And I am well assured that such, and such only are the offerings which will find acceptance with him. He never will reject these. any more than accept thosc of human obtruding.
My second publick appearance in the ministry was at the lower meeting-house in Smith-field, the 19th of the 10th month 1774, when I found a liv. ing concern to encourage a careful engagement before the Lord, out of meetings; and to press it upon Friends to draw nigh unto him from day to day, that strength may be renewed, and the divine favour of life retained, left we lose the living sense of what we often graciously enjoy in our religious meetings. Life, divine life, attended me in this little testimony, as in the former. And after meeting I enjoyed the sweet influence of him who is
the God of my salvation, in a degree that was greatly to my confirmation and encouragement. After this I still continued seeking unto and waiting upon God for counsel and direction; in which frame of mind I was favoured to renew and increase a living acquaintance with him; and witnessed fresh instruction to my mind. I appeared but seldom in publick testimony, and mostly in a few words at a time, and yet I have some few times been made fenfible of saying too much ; and for which I have felt more pain of mind than I have often felt, if ever, for withholding. However, through merciful preservation, I have seldom to my knowledge appeared oftener or said more than has tended to my own relief and satisfaction, and, for ought I know, to the fatisfaction of my brethren : bleflea be the name of the Lord my God. I bow awfully before him, for his directing and preserving presence through many deep probations. He hath been with me in the heights and in the depths ; has ftrung my bow and covered my head in the day of battle. May I serve him faithfully all the days of my stay here, until I go hence and be seen of men no more.
His exercises continued. Palles through some discowragements
. A word of encouragement to the exercijed traveller. A view of God's goodness, and anciently with Noah, Abraham, &c. Trials about the war, paper currency and taxes. An address to Zion. His fickness, and other trials. Waits in filence, &c.
T this time I kept a school for Friends chil
dren in the town of Providence ; and having for several years paft believed at times, that it might be best to preserve some account of my pilgrimage through the wilderness of this world, I now began a more regular and constant journal of my exercises, and the Lord's gracious dealings with me, than I had heretofore preserved. I had before made a few minutes of some remarkable occurrences, which (together with what was fresh in
my memory, and so recorded there as not likely foon if ever to be obliterated) enabled me to write the foregoing account; and thus to bring it forward to this time.
On the first day of the week, the ist of the ift month 1975, I fell and received a small wound which was attended with considerable foreness and pain ; and next day having in addition to this a turn of the nervous or fick head-ach, I was confined to the house: and hope these light afflictions were not wholly useless to me, in regard to my best interest. O! that
trial may help to refine and prepare my soul for the city of my God.
Fourth day 11th, went to the quarterly meeting at New-Port ; it held two days, not very lively ; yet a reinnant were concerned to labour for the welfare of Sion.