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his precept, and reliance on his promise, and refer the result to God. If we set up our golden-calves made of our own ear-rings, our wit, strength, and carnal prudence, because God seems to neglect us, the issue may be the same to us, as with the Israelites, and the very dust of our demolished calf may be as bitter to us as theirs was to them.
God hath as much wisdom in fixing the period of performance, as he had mercy at first in making the promise.—How presumptuous would it be for a vain ignorant world to prescribe rules to the Creator; much more for a single atom of dust, full of vanity, and worse than nothing. Since we had no part in making the world or ourselves, let us not presume to direct God in governing us.—God being infinitely wise, and his will infinitely good, it must needs be that goodness and wisdom are the rules whereby he directs himself in his actions in the world. And what greater motive, (or argument,) can there be to persuade our submission, than wisdom and goodness transacting all things. God's counsel being the firmest as well as the wisest, it is folly both ways to resist it.- We might as well murmur at God's creation, as at his providence, for that is as arbitrary as this: he is under no law, but his own righteous will. Murmur not, therefore; whatever is done in the world, is done by a wise agent, who acts for the perfection of the whole universe; and why should I murmur at that which promotes the common happiness and perfection, that being better and more desirable than the perfection of any one particular person ?- This temper of murmuring will hinder our prayers; with what face can we pray to that God whose wisdom we thus repine at. If God doth exercise & providence in the world, why do we murmur? If he doth not take care of those things, why do we pray to him? Do not presume to lead God, but be led by him; 'tis our safety to follow him ; 'tis our sin and danger to presume to be his directors, We may lose ourselves when we are our own blind guides, and fall into a ditch; but when we follow God, he hath wisdom to foresee the precipices we may stumble into, and goodness to divert us from them.--The church wherein God hath laid up his gospel, and those souls which are as the ark wherein God hath deposited his law, shall be shadowed with the wings of his merciful providence, in a perpetual succession of all true blessings.-All the providences of God are to preserve his law in the world: his severest judgments are to quicken up the law of nature in them that know no other, and the law of his gospel' in men that sit under it. And he hath given Christ to his church, and thereby given an earnest that still their good shall be promoted. 'Tis not to be thought that God will spare any thing else, when he hath given them his Son. THE GRACE OF GOD MANIFESTED.
• MEMOIR OF MRS. MARY FLOOD, OF STAPLE FITZPAIN,
in the County of Somerset.
By her Husband, James Flood. This amiable woman (whose maiden name was Murless) was born October 18, 1776. Her parents were unawakened persons, and therefore she had not the advantage of a religious education. She was, from her childhood, a sober moral character, of a mild and agreeable temper, and very dutiful to her parents. The Lord was graciously pleased to bless her with good desires, even from her infancy, and she constantly attended Divine service at the Established Church, and thoughi that this was all that the Lord required. Her vain hopes, however, were frequently shaken by reading the 3d chapter of St. John, and the necessity of the new birth was deeply impressed upon her mind, and occasioned very painful feelings.
The circumstances which led to her conversion were as follow: Mr. Murless (her uncle) having some business at Taunton, was introduced to Mr. Porter, a local preacher, with whom he was entirely unacquainted. Mr. Murless could not forbear being struck with the unaffected' piety, kindness, and benevolence of Mr. Porter. After some conversation together on religious subjects, Mr. Porter frankly told him that he was a Methodist. A Methodist, says Mr. Murless! what is that? I should like to be one; and he said it with his heart. So gloriously did the light of Divine grace shine forth in the conduct and conversation of Mr. Porter, that he felt a longing desire to be like him; and after conversing some little time longer together, Mr. Murless gave him an invitation to his house to sing hymns and pray. On his return home he called at Mr. Grabham's, and related the circumstance to Mrs. Grabham, who instantly felt a desire to become acquainted with the Methodists, and requested that they might also come to her house. In a short time, Mr. Porter and a young man came from Taunton and held a prayer-meeting, and it was a blessed season indeed. Many were convinced of sin, and among the rest Mary Murless was powerfully awakened, and brought to see her state by nature and practice. This was about the year 1795. These prayer-meetings having been continued for some time, the local preachers from Taunton were appointed to preach the glad tidings of salvation to the people; and they were indeed tidings of great joy to my dear wife. From this time she sought the Lord with her whole heart, and passed through many distressing conflicts of mind before she found peace with God. It was at a love feast held at Ashel, three miles from Staple, that the Lord was graciously pleased to set her captive soul at liberty. During the solemnities of that meeting,
the terrors of her awakened conscience and self-accusing heart were dreadful, and despair had almost overcome her. But just as the meeting was ended, and the people were about to rise from their knees, she cried out in the bitterness of her soul, '“ Lord, I am damned but thou hast died.” In that moment the compassionate Jesus delivered her from that heavy burden of guilt which had filled her with the most exquisite anguish, and most graciously burst all her bands in sunder. The following words were so powerfully applied by the Spirit of God, that they went through her whole soul: Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen on thee." The application of these words was so strong, that she distinctly heard them, and instantly cried out, “ My Lord and my God." This happy circumstance put new life into the people, and caused them to continue the meeting two hours longer. The whole assembly was bathed in tears. The power of God was present to heal, and a more happy and glorious time was perhaps never experienced, My dear partner was so filled and enraptured with the love of God, that she was constrained to bless and praise him day and night for many days together; and as sleep had deparled from her eyes in her penitent state, so it did also when her mourning was turned into joy. With mingled feelings of gratitude and love, she often exclaimed, .
“My God is reconcil'd,” &c. A few nights after her espousals to Christ, as she lay in bed, meditating upon what God had done for her soul, she was blessed with such glorious happiness, that she could not help crying aloud. And no wonder; for in the exercise of living faith, she saw such glory as her mortal frame was scarce, able to bear. She thought she saw, as it were, a curtain raised, and the Lord Jesus Christ in all his glory with his holy angels. She was so transported at the sight, that for some time she knew not whether she was in the body or not. The blaze of glory was so insufferably great, that, unable to bear it, she alarmed the whole house, and her friends ran to her apartment to know what was the matter. The glory of God so filled and overwhelmed her soul, that it was some time before she could recover sufficiently to tell them of the Lord's goodness to her. But, alas, they did not understand her. They thought she had been dreaming, and desired her to lie down and take her rest. She told them that she did not sleep. so they left her. Indeed the sweetness of the love of God so overcame her, that sleep was departed from her eyes. My beloved wife had not been on the mount long, before the grand adversary suggested that she had deceived herself; but she did not listen to his suggestions; she well knew in whom she had believed, and had confidence in Christ, who had pardoned all her sins for VOL. XLII. JULY, 1819.
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with such glupon what God mousals to Chris
his name sake; and although the enemy was trying her from every quarter, yet she could adopt the language of the poet and say,
“ Standing now as newly slain,
To biin i lift mine eye,” &c. · She was the first person among us that found the Pearl of great Price. About the year 1796 the travelling preachers visited Siaple, and formed a society of 12 or 14 persons, of which my wife was one. The greater part went back again, but she continued steadfast to the end. On the last day of this year, a watchnight was held in Taunton, which she attended. The brethren renewed their covenant with God, and the meeting continued till the commencement of the new year. From a grateful recollection of the blessings then received, she always spoke of that meeting with the greatest pleasure. To her it was such a resemblance of heaven as she was unable to describe. In renewing her covenant with God, she was truly sincere, and was determined by the help of God, to keep it. When singing the hymn, “ Come, let us use the grace divine," &c. she was so filled with the love of God, that she could scarcely forbear crying aloud, “O the glory! O the glory!" It was such a time of refreshing from ihe presence of the Lord, that it caused her the more earnestly to press after all the mind that is in Christ. From this time she was more devoted to God than before: the means of grace were her delight, but as she was then under the care of her father, and he a man of the world, she had some difficulty to attend the word preached on a week night, as she had to go two miles. But she continued to put her trust in the Lord, and he graciously made her way plain.
In the year 1797, we were united together in the bond of wedlock. This union did not take place without much consideration, and earnest prayer to God on both sides, and his blessing certainly attended it. She was now at full liberty to serve God as she desired, without any interruption whatsoever, for we were both of one heart and mind, and fully determined, in the strength of grace, to worship God in spirit and in truth. Deeply sensible of such a privilege, she would often say, “ How happy are we, who in Jesus agree," &c.
In the year 1798 she had a dream, which was made of great use to her. She dreamed that the day of judgment was come; that she saw the Lord upon his throne, and on his right hand a great multitude of saints and angels, among whom she thought she saw two of her own class, while she herself was at a great distance among the wicked. This occasioned the greatest distress to her soul, to think that she was left behind her friends, and those with whom she had taken sweet counsel, and in whose company she had frequently and delightfully walked to the house of
distance soul, to
she had and deligh
God. In this state of distress, she dreamed that she saw one coming towards her, who presented her with a key, and said, go on to the gate, and this key will unlock it. She did so, and immediately obtained admittance with her friends. By this dream she was convinced of the necessity of a larger measure of sanctifying grace, which caused her to pray earnestly to God, that he would be pleased to cleanse her from all unrighteousness, and make her holy throughout body, soul, and spirit ; that whenever it should please him to call her hence, she might be ready. From this time she was more in earnest than she had been for perfect holiness, and more clearly saw it to be her privilege to press into the glory of her dispensation by the exercise of living faith. That blessed Saviour who hath said, “ Ask, and it shall be given you'; seek, and ye shall find,” was graciously pleased to grant her the assurance of his sanctifying love, so that she became a burning and a shining light. She was so punctual in her attendance on the means of grace, that for years together, (unless prevented by sickness) she never missed an opportunity, although she had to go two miles, in very bad roads, and in all sorts of weather.
In the year 1799, a circumstance of a very trying nature happened in the society, which caused her the keenest anguish, for fear that the preaching should be discontinued. The person who first encouraged the preaching of the gospel turned his back both upon the preachers and people, excluded himself from the society, and delivered up his class-paper. From that day till the day of her death we entertained both the travelling and local preachers at our own house; and although we were not of ability to entertain the servants of the Lord as they deserved to be entertained, nor worthy so to do, yet the Lord was pleased to confer that honour upon us. The first travelling preacher that came to our house was Mr. Gower, and he was made a great blessing to my dear wife. And now that the Almighty had opened a way for us to have the preaching of his blessed word in our own house, we thought ourselves amply compensated ; and the constant cry of my dear wife was, “ Lord, make me more humble and more thankful.” At this time she experienced much persecution, yet the Lord was pleased not only to support her through all, but to pour his blessing upon heroin an abundant manner. O how did she plead with God in behalf of that unhappy man who had deserted the cause of God, that he would not blot his name out of the book of life, as he had done his own name out of the class-paper; and he was graciously pleased to restore him again, so that he became more than ever in earnest about his immortal soul.
In March, 1800, she was delivered of a second child, and in a few days her life was despaired of. She was apparently so near gone that we could not perceive any life for some time; but it
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