1729 December 6. The Hand of God is still heavier upon us. Exceeding weak, low and faint, my Self, almost ready to lie down under my prevailing Infirmities. But when both my Flesh and Heart fail, God is still the Strength of my Heart, and my Portion for Ever. But Dark as it has been with us it is become much Darker at or about the Sun setting. The Sun of Maro’s Life Sat. The First Death in my Family! God enable me to See His Sovereign Mind, and Comport with his holy Will!
As my Servant is Summon’d to go before, So God only knows whether his Master is not Shortly to follow after; and so the former to prove as an Harbinger to the latter. O that the whole Family may be getting ready, in another Sort than ever heretofore! But Especially O that God would enable Me to Live apace, Seeing I am Dying apace; to give Diligance, to work with my might, and to stand Waiting all the few Dayes of my appointed time, till God shall call; that when I hear the Summons, I may, with Serenity, Say, Speak Lord, thy Servant heareth, may Depart in Peace, and See the Salvation of God!
While God is Stripping me of Outward Enjoyments I humbly trust God will let me have more of Himself and bestow more of Spiritual, invaluable Blessings.
Every Comfort is that to us, that God makes it, and is so long with us as He pleases to Continue it.
Conclusion of the Year 1729
It is Said in Psalm 55.19. “Because they have no Changes, therefore they Fear not God.” (By which it obviously appears to be intimated, that Changes are very usefull and proper, nay very needfull means to excite the Fear of God.) I would then, from these words, Infer 1. That they are to be well observ’d and esteem’d as they are Such excellent means of Grace and God is to be praised for them. 2. Such persons fall under a no less Severe, than just Reprehension, who, although they have Changes, yet fear not God, and 3. It is matter of Melancholly Consideration whom those that meet with many Changes, have notwithstanding, but Slender Effects wrought upon them, by So powerfull means and but little more (if any) of the Fear of God excited in them thereby.
I have pass’d through many Changes, Especially this Last Year has been a Year of Changes. I would Humbly and Devoutly take notice of the Hand of God in them. I would humbly acknowledge and revere the Sovereignty and Majesty, and adore and magnifie the Righteousness and Holiness, the Wisdom and Goodness of God therein. I would humbly submit and resign my Self to his Sovereign and all wise Disposal with Satisfaction, remembering that I am in my Faithfull Creator’s and Compassionate Redeemer’s Hands, and I would, with Religions Fear and Care, Enquire after the holy Ends and Designs of God in his Several Visitations; and would give my Self to all Endeavours ([two Greek words]) to answer the Divine Demands. But before I proceed any further I would Look back with Shame and Sorrow on the Provocations offered to God, to punish and afflict me, as He has, in the various Sufferings I have been brought into, and would with Regret and Grief Observe the but faint Influence I have permitted My Changes to have upon me, and that there are so few Signs of the true Fear of God in me. And Finally would Earnestly beseech God to accompany all his Methods with me, with his Almighty Grace, that they may not fail, hence forward, to produce both his own Glory and my spiritual and Eternal Good. And Oh that the more and the Greater Changes I pass through the more I may fear, and glorifie God whom alone I am to acknowledge in them.