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grave, and do you remember what I have said to you. I am going into eternity : And it is sweet to me to think of eternity ; the endlessness of it makes it sweet: But , what shall I say to the eternity of the wicked! I cannot mention it, nor think of it: The thought is too dreadful. When you see my grave, then remember what I said to you while I was alive ; then think with yourself, how that man that lies in that grave, counselied and warned me to prepare for death.
His body seemed to be marvellously strengthened, through the inward vigor and refreshment of his mind; so that, although before he was so weak that he could hardly utter a sentence, yet now he continued his most affecting and profitable discourse to us for more than an hour, with scarce any intermission; and said of it, when he had done, it was the last sermon that ever he should preach.
This extraordinary frame of mind continued the next day : of which he says in his Diary as follows.
Lord's Day, September 20..... Was still in a sweet and comfortable frame; and was again melted with desires that God might be glorified, and with longings to love and live to him. Longed for the influences of the Divine Spirit to descend on ministers, in a special manner. And 0, I longed to be with God, to behold his glory, and to bow in his presence.
It appears by what is noted in his Diary, both of this day, and the evening preceding, that his mind at this time was much impressed with a sense of the importance of the work of the ministry, and the need of the grace of God, and his special spiritual assistance in this work: And it also appeared in what he expressed in conversation ; particularly in liis discourse to his brother Israel, who was then a member of Yale College at Newhaven, and had been prosecuting his studies and academical exercises there, to that end, that he might be fitted for the work of the ministry, and was now with him.*
* This young gentleman was an ingenious, serious, studious, and hopefully truly pious person : There appeared in him many qualities giving hope of his being a great blessing in his day. But it has pleased God, since the death of his brother, to take him away also. He died that winter, at Newhaven, on Jan. 6, 1747-8, of a pervous fever, after about a fortnight's illuess.
He now, and from time to time, in this his dying state, re. commended to his brother, a life of selfdenial, of weanedness from the world, and devotedness to God, and an earnest endeavor to obtain much of the grace of God's Spirit, and God's gracious influences on his heart; representing the great need which ministers stand in of them, and the unspeakable benefit of them from his own experience. Among many other expressions, he said thus : “ When ministers feel these special gracious influences on their hearts, it wonderfully assists them to come at the consciences of men, and as it were to handle them with hands; whereas, without them, whatever reason and oratory we make use of, we do but make use of stumps instead of hands."
Monday, September 21.....I began to correct a little volume of my private writings : God, I believe, remarkably helped ne in it; my strength was surprisingly lengthened out, and my thoughts quick and lively, and my soul refreshed, hoping it might be a work for God. O, how good, how sweet it is, to labor for God!
Tuesday, September 22..... Was again employed in reading and correcting, and had the same success, as the day before. I was exceeding weak; but it seemed to refresh my soul, thus to spend time.
Wednesday, September 23.....I finished my corrections of the little piece forementioned, and felt uncommonly peaceful : It seemed as if I had now done all my work in this world, and stood ready for my call to a better. As long as I see any thing to be done for God, life is worth having : But O, how vain and unworthy it is, to live for any lower end ! This day 1 indited a letter, I think, of great importance, to the Rev. Mr. Byram in Newjersey : 0 that God would bless and suca ceed that letter, which was written for the benefit of his church !* O that God would purify the sons of Levi, that his glory may be advanced ! This night, I endured a dreadful turn, wherein my life was expected scarce an hour or min.
* It was concerning the qualifications of ministers, and the examination and licensing of candidates for the work of the ministry.
üte together. But blessed be God, I have enjoyed considerable sweetness in divine things, this week, both by night and day.
Thursday, September 24..... My strength began to fail exceedingly ; which looked further as if I had done all my work: However, I had strength to fold and superscribe my letter..... About two I went to bed, being weak and much disordered, and lay in a burning fever until night, without any proper rest. In the evening I got up, having lain down in some of my clothes ; but was in the greatest distress, that ever I endured, having an uncommon kind of hiccough ; which either strangled me, or threw me into a straining to vomit ; and at the same time was distressed with griping pains. O, the distress of this evening! I had little expectation of my living the night through, nor indeed had any about me : And I longed for the finishing moment ! I was obliged to repair to bed by six o'clock; and through mercy enjoyed some rest ; but was grievously distressed at turns with the hiccough. My soul breathed after God, while the watcher was with me: When shall I come to God, even to God, my exceeding jog? O for this blessed likeness !
Friday, September 25..... This day, I was unspeakably weak, and little better than speechless all the day: However, I was able to write a little, and felt comfortably in some part of the day. O, it refreshed my soul, to think of former things, of desires to glorify God, of the pleasures of living to him! O my dear God, I am speedily coming to thee, I hope! Hasten the day, O Lord, if it be thy blessed will : O come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.*
Saturday, September 26..... I felt the sweetness of divine things, this forenoon ; and had the consolation of a conscious. ness that I was doing something for God.
Lord's Day, September 27..... This was a very comfortable day to my soul ; I think, I awoke with God. I was enabled
* This was the last that ever he wrote in his Diary with his own hand: Though it is continued a little farther, in a broken manner; written by bis brother Israel, but indited by his mouth in this his weak and dying state.
to lift up my soul to God, early this morning ; and while 1 had little bodily strength, I found freedom to lift up my heart to God for myself and others. Afterwards, was pleased with the thoughts of speedily entering into the unseen world.
Early this morning, as one of the family came into the room, he expressed himself thus : I have had more pleasure this morning, than all the drunkards in the world enjoy ; if it were all extracted ! So much did he esteem the joy of faith above the pleasures of sin.
He felt, that morning, an unusual appetite to food, with which bis mind seemed to be exhilarated, as looking op it a sign of the very near approach of death ; and said upon it, I was born on a sabbathday ; and I have reason to think I was new born on a sabbathday; and I hope I shall die on this sabdathday : I should look upon it as a favor, if it may be the will of God that it should be so : I long for the time. O, why is his chariot so long in coming? Why tarry the wheels of his chariots ? I am very willing to part with all : I am willing to part with my dear brother John, and never to see him again, to go to be forever with the Lord.* O, when I go there, how will God's dear church on earth be upon my mind !
Afterwards, the same morning, being asked how he did, he answered, I am almost in eterniiy; I long to be there. My work is done ; I have done with all my friends ; all the world is nothing to me; I long to be in heaven, praising and glorifying God with the holy angels : All my desire is to glorify God.
During the whole of these last two weeks of his life he seemed to continue in this frame of heart, loose from all the world, as having done bis work, and done with all things here below, having nothing to do but to die, and abiding in an earnest desire and expectation of the happy moment, when his soul should take its fight, and go to a state of perfection of ho
He had, before this, expressed a desire, if it might be the will of God, to live until his brother returned from New jersey : Who when he went away, intended, if possible, to perform his journey and return in a fortnight ; hoping once more to meet his brother in the land of the living. The fortnight was now near expired, it ended the next day.
liness and perfect glorifying and enjoying God, manifested in a variety of expressions. He said, that the consideration of the day of death, and the day of judgment, 'had a long time been peculiarly sweet to him. He from time to time spake of his being willing to leave the body and the world immediately, that day, that night, and that moment, if it was the will of God. He also was much in expressing his longings that the church of Christ on earth might flourish, and Christ's kingdom here might be advanced, notwithstanding he was about to leave the earth, and should not with his eyes behold the desirable event, nor be instrumental in promoting it. He said to me, one morning as I came into the room, My thoughts have been employed on the old dear theme, the prosperity of God's church on earth. As I waked out of sleep, I was led to cry for the pouring out of God's Spirit, and the advancement of Christ's kingdom, which the dear Redeemer did and suffered so much for. It is this that especially makes me long for it. He expressed much hope that a glorious advancement of Christ's kingdom was near at hand.
He once told me, that he had formerly longed for the outpouring of the Spirit of God, and the glorious times of the church, and hoped they were coming; and should have been willing to have lived to promote religion at that time, if that had been the will of God; but, says he, I am willing it should be as it is ; I would not have the choice to make for myself for ten thousand worlds. He expressed, on his death bed, a full persuasion, that he should in heaven see the prosperity of the church on earth, and should rejoice with Christ therein ; and the consideration of it seemed to be highly pleasing and satisfying to his mind.
He also still dwelt much on the great importance of the work of ministers of the gospel; and expressed his longings, that they might be filled with the Spirit of God; and manifested much desire to see some of the neighboring ministers, whom he had some acquaintance with, and whose sincere friendship he was confident of, that he might converse freely with them, on that subject, before he died. And it so hapVOL. III.