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September 4. I feel my spirits depressed. Oh that I could attain to a greater submission of soul to the wise dispensations of a kind indulgent God, who manages all our concerns with an unerring hand! But I am so soon shaken and tossed to and fro by my own wretched feelings! Since I wrote here, my very dear, deservedly dear, husband has been again afflicted; so has my dear little one, and last night my beloved William. Under all this, if my heart were as open to the world, as it is to that God with whom we have to do, would it not be justly said, that thus when troubles come upon me, I am like a wild bull in a net? Oh have I known the LORD for thirteen years, and made no greater progress! Why not more unreservedly leave them in his hand who hath hitherto made, and will never fail to make, all things work together for good to them that love him. And do not I love him? Though I feel so much sin, and so many many departures of heart from him; yet I cannot but conclude, that the bent of my soul is to him and his ways. But the sin, Oh the cursed sin and evil of my heart! If death is a deliverance from sin, surely to the believer it must be gain. But husband and children are such a preponderating weight, that, except in the view above mentioned, I can hardly think of death without terror and dismay. The little ones lie heavy on my heart in many respects. God almighty preserve their lives to be devoted to himself! and then he only will know the joy of my heart, that I should have been the instrument of bringing such dear babes into existence. The very thought of their being eternally miserable! Oh it would pierce a heart of stone! LORD preserve them from this for Jesus' sake! Amen and Amen.
September 15. Will the Lord be pleased once more to direct me in the choice of a servant ? I feel it an important matter. Oh that I might be favoured with a servant of his own to serve me! Well, there is nothing too hard for him to accomplish.
My servants give me much trouble; but I know I must have trouble. If not in my own person, or in those so near and dear to me, as husband and children, it must be somewhere: but then my heart inclines to think, why should it be from this quarter ? There seems no just cause for it. Yet my better judgment again replies, this is not our rest. Trials we must have; and, that being the case, where could it be better? It is a trial of my wisdom, my patience, and especially my resolution. Here I have to lament that I often experience feelings like these; if I do not reprove at the moment, I cannot find courage to do it at another time; and thus too many faults pass unnoticed: and for such conduct as this my heart stands condemned. I have many things on my mind at present, concerning which I feel I know not how to act as I ought. Oh that the LORD would be pleased to condescend to notice my mean affairs, and grant me prudence to discern which path I shall take; not only as it respects my own comfort in these things, but that which shall effectually promote his glory in and by me. But if I may ask in this matter, Oh that I might be favoured with one in the capacity I want, that would be kind by day and night to my beloved offspring—No tale-bearer, no backbiter-One that would not ascribe all one's sayings and doings to mean and base motives -One earnest for God's glory. Such a servant would be a comfort to me; but I again
repeat, I must not have all my good things here. Gracious God! thou hast helped me through many embarrassments; and the more my heart has trusted in thee, the more have I been helped. Look upon and help me ; bring me through my present difficulty, and give me a thankful heart !
The Lord knows my heart, and how much I love my dear children. I would not spoil them, but I am often afraid I do not sufficiently correct them as I ought. Indeed, since the severe illness of my dear William, how hard have I felt it to be obliged to lay my hand upon him! I do think it has been a severe temptation to me: I mean, I fear when I am constrained to correct him lest, if the LORD should take him from me, it should give occasion for bitter reflections.