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thing, I have lotted upon it all the way as I read. And my mind has been much entertained and delighted with the fcripture-promifes and prophecies of the future glorious advancement of Chrift's kingdom on earth.
"I have fometimes had a fenfe of the excellent fulness of Chrift, and his meetness and fuitableness as a Saviour; whereby he has appeared to me far above all, the chief of ten thousands; and his blood and atonement has appeared fweet, and his righteoufnefs fweet; which is always accompanied with an ardency of fpirit, and inward ftrugglings, and breathings, groanings, that cannot be uttered, to be emptied of myself, and fwallowed up in Chrift.
Once, as I rode out into the woods for my health, anno 1737, and having lighted from my horfe in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view, that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man; and his wonderful, great, full, pure, and fweet grace, and love, and meek, and gentle condefcenfion. This grace, that appeared to me fo calm and fweet, appeared great above the heavens. The person of Chrift appeared ineffably excellent, with an excellency great enough to fwallow up all thought and conception, which continued, as near as I can judge, about an hour, which kept me, the greater part of the time, in a flood of tears, and weeping aloud. I felt withal, an ardency of foul to be, what I konw not otherwife how to exprefs, than to be emptied and annihilated; to lie in the duft, and to be full of Chrift alone; to love him with a holy and pure love; to trust in him; to live upon him; to ferve and follow him, and to be totally wrapt up in the fulness of Chrift; and to be perfectly fanctified and made pure with a divine and heavenly purity. I have feveral other times. had views very much of the fame nature, and that have had the fame effects.
"I have many times had a fenfe of the glory of the Third perfon in the Trinity, in his office of Sanctifier,
in his holy operations, communicating divine light and life to the foul. God, in the communications of his Holy Spirit, has appeared as an infinite fountain of divine glory and fweetnefs, being full and fufficient to fill and fatisfy the foul; pouring forth itself in fweet communications, like the fun in its glory, fweetly and pleafantly diffufing light and life.
I have fometimes had an affecting sense of the excellency of the word of God, as a word of life; as the light of life; a fweet, excellent, life-giving word; accompanied with a thirsting after that word, that it might dwell richly in my heart.
I have often, fince I lived in this town, had very affecting views of my own finfulness and vileness, very frequently fo as to hold me in a kind of loud weeping, fometimes for a confiderable time together, fo that I have often been forced to fhut my felf up. I have had a vaftly greater fenfe of my own wickednefs, and the badnefs of my heart fince my converfion than ever I had before. It has often appeared to me, that if God fhould mark iniquity against me, I fhould appear the very worst of all mankind; of all that have been fince the beginning of the world to this time, and that I fhould have by far the lowest place in hell. When others, that have come to talk with me about their foul-concerns, have expreffed the fense they have had of their own wickedness, by saying that it feemed to them that they were as bad as the devil himself, I thought their expreffions feemed exceeding faint and feeble to reprefent my wickedness. I thought I fhould wonder that they fhould content themselves with fuch expreffions as thefe, if I had any reason to imagine that their fin bore any proportion to mine. It seemed to me, I fhould wonder at myfelf, if I fhould exprefs my wickedness in fuch feeble terms as they did.
"My wickedness, as I am in myfelf, has long appeared to me perfectly ineffable, and infinitely fwallowing up all thought and imagination, like an infinite deluge, or infinite mountains over my head. I know not
how to exprefs better what my fins appear to me to be, than by heaping infinite upon infinite, and multiplying. infinite by infinite. I go about very often, for this many years, with thefe expreffions in my mind and in my mouth, "Infinite upon infinite-Infinite upon infi "nite!" When I look into my heart and take a view of my wickedness, it looks like an abyfs infinitely deeps er than hell. And it appears to me, that, were it not for free grace, exalted and raifed up to the infinite height of all the fulness and glory of the great Jehovah, and the arm of his power, and grace stretched forth in all the majefty of his power, and in all the glory of his fo vereignty, I fhould appear funk down in my fins infinitely below hell itself, far beyond fight of every thing, but the piercing eye of God's grace, that can pierce even down to fuch a depth, and to the bottom of fuch an abyfs. "And yet I am not in the least inclined to think, ' that I have a greater conviction of fin than ordinary. It feems to me, my conviction of fin is exceeding fmall and faint. It appears to me enough to amaze me, that I have no more sense of my fin. I know certainly, that I have very little fenfe of my finfulness. That my fins appear to me fo great, do not seem to me to be, because I have fo much more conviction of fin than other · Chriftians, but because I am so much worse, and have so much more wickedness to be convinced of. When I have had these turns of weeping and crying for my fins, I thought I knew in the time of it, that my repentance was nothing to my fin.
"I have greatly longed of late, for a broken heart, and to lie low before God. And when I asked for hu. mility of God, I cannot bear the thoughts of being no more humble than other Chriftians. It feems to me, that though their degrees of humility may be fuitable for them, yet it would be a vile self-exaltation in me not to be the lowest in humility of all mankind. Others fpeak of their longing to be humbled to the duft. Though that may be a proper expreffion for them, I always think for myself, that I ought to be humbled down be
low hell. 'Tis an expreffion that has long been natural for me to use in prayer to God. I ought to lie infinitely low before God.
"It is affecting to me to think how ignorant I was, when I was a young Chriftian, of the bottomlefs, infi nite depths of wickednefs, pride, hypocrify, and deceit, left in my heart.
"I have vaftly a greater sense of my univerfal, exceeding dependence on God's grace and ftrength, and mere good pleasure of late, than I used formerly to have, and have experienced more of an abhorrence of my own righteoufnefs. The thought of any comfort or joy arifing in me on any confideration, or reflection on my own amiablenefs, or any of my performances, or experiences, or any goodness of heart, or life, is naufeous and deteftable to me. And yet I am greatly afflicted with a proud and felf-righteous fpirit, much more senfibly than I ufed to be formerly. I fee that ferpent' rifing and putting forth its head continually, every! where, all around me.
Though it seems to me, that, in fome refpects, I was a far better Chriftian for two or three years after my first converfion, than I am now, and lived in a more conftant delight and pleasure, yet, of late years, I have had a more full and conftant fenfe of the abfolute fovereignty of God, and a delight in that fovereignty; and have had more of a fenfe of the glory of Chrift, as a Mediator, as revealed in the gofpel. On one Saturday-night, in particular, had a particular difcovery of the excellency of the gospel of Chrift above all other doctrines, fo that I could not but fay to myfelf," This "is my chofen light, my chofen doctrine:" and of Chrift, "This is my chofen Prophet." It appeared to me to be sweet, beyond all expreffion, to follow Christ, and to be taught, and enlightened, and inftructed by him; to learn of him, and live to him.
"Another Saturday-night, Jan. 1738-9, had fenfe how sweet and bleffed a thing it was to walk in the way of duty, to do that which was right and meet
to be done, and agreeable to the holy mind of God, that it caufed me to break forth into a kind of a loud weeping, which held me some time, so that I was forced to fhut myself up and faften the doors. I could not but as it were cry out, "How happy are they which do "that which is right in the fight of God! They are "bleffed indeed, they are the happy ones!" I had at the fame time a very affecting fenfe how meet, and fuitable it was that God fhould govern the world, and order all things according to his own pleasure; and I rejoiced in it, that God reigned, and that his will was done.
Containing a HISTORY of his LIFE, from his Entering on the WORK of the MINISTRY unto his DEATH.
His General Manner of Life.
R EDWARDS made a fecret of his private devotion, and therefore it cannot be particularly known; though there is much evidence that he was punctual, conftant, and frequent in fecret prayer, and often kept days of fafting and prayer in fecret, and fet apart time for ferious devout meditations on spiritual and eternal things, as part of his religious exercife in fecret. It appears by his Diary, that in his youth he determined to attend fecret prayer more than twice a-day, when circumftances would allow. He was, fo far as can be known, much on his knees in fecret, and in devout reading God's word and meditation upon it. And his conftant, folemn converfe with God in thefe exercises of secret religion made his face, as it were,