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constant devotedness to him, in promoting his interest and kingdom, the good of his people, and the salvation of men.
This led her seriously to consider in what way, and by what means, she, in her situation, and circumstances, could best answer these ends. She was a poor, obscure person, and had no prospect of obtaining much of the things of this world, so as to do much good by supporting the gospel or distributing to the relief of the indigent. She did not expect to rise into general repute, or to any public station, by which she could have opportunity of extensive influence : and her natural capacity she considered as small, and she was destitute of the advantages of education, which many had.
After a careful and conscientious attention to this subject, and much earnest prayer for direction, daily crying to God, in the language of Saul, when he was converted, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?" she was led to conclude that she could serve the interest of Christ, and of his church, and promote the good of her fellow men, more, by devoting
herself to prayer, than in any other way, of which
was capable. And as, in her circumstances, she was in a great measure free from domestic cares, and had opportunity to spend much time in retirement, she thought it was her duty, to devote as much time as could be spared from her particular employment, and necessary avocations, in prayer, not only for herself, and all her particular friends and near connexions ; but more especially for the prosperity of the church of Christ, and the advancement of his kingdom in the world, until all nations, Jews and Gentiles, should be converted, and brought into it ; in which, prayer for the ministers of the gospel was included, that they might be filled with the spirit of Christ, and abundantly assisted and succeeded ; and that the head of the church, and Lord of the harvest, would raise up and send forth faithful laborers into his harvest, &c.
For this exercise, she frequently set apart whole days, when her circumstances would admit of it, and especially wnen there appeared to her to be a particular call for prayer : and spent them in secret fasting and prayer. And she used to spend the afternoon and evening of the last day of the week in this exercise, when not prevented by some uncommon circumstance ; also the morning of the Sabbath.
Before she was sixteen years old, she joined a society of women, who met once every week, for prayer, reading, and religious conversation ; and who devoted the afternoon, once in a month, to this exercise ; and spent at least, four whole days in a year, in fasting and prayer together. Of this society she was a distinguished member, as long as she lived ; by whom she was greatly beloved and esteemed ; and they received much confort and edification from her conversation and prayers. In the latter, especially, she was distinguishedly eminent; and, at particular times, had such enlargement and access to the throne of grace, that she would pray an hour and a half, or more, with such engagedness and fervency, without any repetition, with a flow of words expressing the most pertinent and affecting ideas, and with such a natural connexión, and progression from one to another, that none who joined with her would appear to be tired, but all pleased, affected and edified : and felt a consciousness that none could have an adequate idea of what passed at such times, who were not present, as a full description of the holy fervor, the clear view of invisible things, and that nearness to God, while she poured out her heart before him, which she discovered, cannot be made by any narration of them.
In the practice of this important duty, she excelled most christians, and in an eminent degree conformed to the following apostolic injunction : " Praying always, with all prayer, and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverence, and supplication for all saints; and for me," for the ministers of the gospel, in particular. And she had many l'emarkable answers to her prayers ; many instances of which she has recorded in her diary. Some of which will be transcribed from her private writings ; and the whole that has been mentioned under this head will be thereby in some measure illustrated. Particularly by the following, which may most properly be inserted here.
The first is dated June 27, 1749, which was in the twenty third year of her age.
v Now would I adore God. Marvellous are thy works, Lord God Alniighty! I have renewed occasion to praise thee, and to live devoted to thy service and glory. And now determine, the few remaining days of my life, through thy grace assisting, shall be renew= edly devoted to thee.
“In the year 1744, in September,* I came to a fixed resolution to spend some days in a year to seek God's favor to a miserable world; for the bringing in of the Jews and Gentiles, and the advancement of the kingdom of Christ in the world. And likewise some time of one day in every week, to pray for the ministers of the gospel, and the whole church of God, militant. Besides other days of fasting and prayer, which I kept more especially for my own soul, I determined not to forget them.
“ And I remember my soul followed hard after God, day and night, that the gospel might reach the utmost ends of the earth, in its saving power and efficacy on the souls of men ; entreating that God would stir up bowels of compassion in his ministers and children, 10 unite their addresses to him, on this account.
Nor can I ever forget what access God condescended to grant me, iti pleading that the Holy Spirit might be poured out on his children, that they might not cease to wrestle and cry mightily to God, until he make Jerusalem a praise in the whole earth.
“ And I have now met with an account, which came from Scotland, that in the same year, in November, they came to a united agreement 10 spend the first Tuesday in each quarter of the year; and some part of Saturday night, and Sabbath day morning, in this exercise. Which account or desire, I never met with until very lately: nor had I ever heard of such a thing being thought of. Which makes me conclude the inotion came from the Spirt of God; and the agreement was in answer to prayer."
The following, which is found in her diary, dated March 28, 1754, relates to the same subject ; and shows that she continued in this resolution and practice.
* In the 17th year of her age.
« Lord, thou hast the residue of the Spirit. O, pour it out upon a sinking world. Where, 0, where is the Lord God of Elijah ? And where his promises ? Art not thou he? And wilt thou not arise ? O strengthen my faith, and enable me to wrestle, day and night, for the good of thy chosen. O Lord, Jehovah, pour out thy Spirit on me, and on all thy people. Let thy Spirit fit me for the work, and I will devote my life to the duty of prayer and supplication for all men. O, accept of this recovery of health, which I devote to this exercise. Only do thou, Lord, qualify me for the sacred, solenin cxercise, and I dismiss every other scheme or project, and make this the grand pursuit of my life. , ( assist me, or I retract. For I cannot persist without thee. For I should surely bring on myself a tiresome burden, I should either faint, and drop the purpose ; or lengthen out a formal, lifeless duty, neither pleasing to myself, nor for the glory of God, or the good of others.
“But, if this purpose be good in thy sight, 0, pour out thy Spirit and grace for this end : and then, Lord, -behold, here I am. I allow no reserve. Furnish my mind with arguments ; raise my soul with desire ; and let faith and hope animate my heart. O God, if thou will accept me, in this way, by thus qualifying me for it, thou, Lord, shalt have the glory. But, 0, suffer me not to attempt in my own strength. Lord, empty me of self. I desire to seek and serve thee ; yet I fear offering strange fire ; or, with hasty Uzzah, unpreparedly, or uncommissioned, to touch the sacred ark. I know thou callest upon thy saints to cry mightily to thee, until thou makest Zion the praise of the whole earth: and throughout thy word art encouraging and exciting thy people to wrestle with thee, in prayer, for the glorious day of thy power, when all iniquity shall stop her mouth, and the dear Redeemer's kingdom shall spread far and wide. O, do 1hou prepare thyself a sacrifice, and accept it, through thy dear Son.
“ Blessed be God for any assistance. Lord, my soul longeth for thy salvation. (), when shall I see the good of thy chosen! , how sweet, to think of being at one and the same instant united in spirit, lifting up holy hands without wrath or doubting, for one and the same
cause and interest, with many of thy dear saints : and the divine Spirit cementing us together, in the love of Christ and one another !!
The following is an extract from a letter, dated November 27, 1769, written above twenty years after the foregoing, on the same subject, to a particular friend of hers. By which it will appear how.conscientious she was in this matter ; and what fears she sometimes had, that she had engaged in this business, and prosecuted it with so much labor and so many conflicts, from pride, or something wrong in her, which brought great perplexity and distress on her mind, in which the accuser of the brethren, the tempter, no doubt, had a great hand.
“ I had a very strong inclination to write to you last week : but I dare not. I was even ashamed to see you, or open my mouth before you, under my pressure of mind. The case is this, dear sir, which I now take the liberty to mention.
“ After I had publicly given myself up to God, and commenced a member of Zion, I felt some disposition to study what I should render to the Lord for all his benefits; and how I could, in my low and private capacity, best promote his interest, and serve the church of Christ. Prayer and supplication appeared the only, or chief way; as good in that way might come more pure and unsullied. Accordingly, I devoted myself to the service of the sanctuary, in this way, if God would but accept and assist me herein ; though I should be but as a burden-bearer. And herein I thought my eyes were not lofty, or my heart haughty ; neither would it be to exercise myself in things too high for me ; encouraged by the gracious acceptance of the offerings of women in the tabernacle service.
“ And herein, I thought, God did graciously condescend to assist and bless me, and repeatedly dispose me to devote myself to the cause, in this way ; making it a powerful motive to cleanse myself from all filthiness of flesh and spirit. But I soon found great conflicts ; and it has often been suggested to my mind, that I should never have any rest, so long as I persisted in this way. However, I thought from a sincere desire