in His taking him out of the dunghill, and converting of him to the faith of
His blessed Son, Jesus Christ: here is also particularly showed, what sight
of, and what trouble he had for sin; and also what various temptations he
hath met with, and how God carried him through them.
“I have been
vile myself, but have obtained mercy; and I would have my companions in sin
partake of mercy too.”
ACCOUNT OF THE PUBLISHING OF THIS WORK; WRITTEN BY THE AUTHOR THEREOF, AND
DEDICATED TO THOSE WHOM GOD HATH COUNTED HIM WORTHY TO BEGET TO FAITH, BY
HIS MINISTRY IN THE WORD.
grace be with you, Amen. I being taken from you in presence, and so tied up,
that I cannot perform that duty that from God doth lie upon me to you-ward,
for your further edifying and building up in faith and holiness, &c.,
yet that you may see my soul hath fatherly care and desire after your
spiritual and everlasting welfare; I now once again, as before, from the top
of Shenir and Hermon, so 'now' from the lions' dens, from the mountains of
the leopards (Song 4:8), do look yet after you all, greatly longing to see
your safe arrival into the desired haven.
thank God upon every remembrance of you; and rejoice, even while I stick
between the teeth of the lions in the wilderness, at the grace, and mercy,
and knowledge of Christ our saviour, which God hath bestowed upon you, with
abundance of faith and love. Your hungerings and thirstings also after
further acquaintance with the Father, in his Son; your tenderness of heart,
your trembling at sin, your sober and holy deportment also, before both God
and men, is great refreshment to me; "For ye are my glory and joy"
(1 Thess ).
have sent you here enclosed, a drop of that honey, that I have taken out of
the carcase of a lion (Judg 4:5-9). I have eaten thereof myself also, and am
much refreshed thereby. (Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the
lion that roared upon Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see
them, we shall find a nest of honey within them.) The Philistines understand
me not. It is 'something of' a relation of the work of God upon my own soul,
even from the very first, till now; wherein you may perceive my castings
down, and raisings up; for he woundeth, and his hands make whole. It is
written in the Scripture (Isa 38:19), "The father to the children shall
make known the truth of God." Yea, it was for this reason I lay so long
at Sinai (Deut 4:10,11), to see the fire, and the cloud, and the darkness,
that I might fear the Lord all the days of my life upon earth, and tell of
his wondrous works to my children (Psa 78:3-5).
(Num 33:1,2) writ of the journeyings of the children of Israel,
and commanded also, that they did remember their forty years' travel in the
wilderness. "Thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led
thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee,
to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his
commandments, or no" (Deut 8:2). Wherefore this I have endeavoured to
do; and not only so, but to publish it also; that, if God will, others may
be put in remembrance of what he hath done for their souls, by reading his
work upon me.
is profitable for Christians to be often calling to mind the very beginnings
of grace with their souls. "It is a night to be much observed unto the
Lord for bringing them out from the landof Egypt:
this is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of Israelin
their generations" (Exo 12:42).
"O my God," saith David (Psa 42:6), "my soul is cast down
within me; therefore will I remember thee from the landof
and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar." He remembered also the
lion and the bear, when he went to fight with the giant of Gath(1
was Paul's accustomed manner (Acts 22), and that when tried for his life
(Acts 24), even to open, before his judges, the manner of his conversion: he
would think of that day, and that hour, in the which he first did meet with
grace; for he found it support unto him. When God had brought the children
the Red Sea,
far into the wilderness, yet they must turn quite about thither again, to
remember the drowning of their enemies there (Num ).
For though they sang his praise before, yet "they soon forgat his
works" (Psa 106:11-13).
this discourse of mine you may see much; much, I say, of the grace of God
towards me. I thank God I can count it much, for it was above my sins and
Satan's temptations too. I can remember my fears, and doubts, and sad months
with comfort; they are as the head of Goliah in my hand. There was nothing
to David like Goliah's sword, even that sword that should have been sheathed
in his bowels; for the very sight and remembrance of that did preach forth
God's deliverance to him. Oh, the remembrance of my great sins, of my great
temptations, and of my great fears of perishing for ever! They bring afresh
into my mind the remembrance of my great help, my great support from heaven,
and that the great grace that God extended to such a wretch as I.
dear children, call to mind the former days, "and the years of ancient
times: remember also your songs in the night; and commune with your own
heart" (Psa 73:5-12). Yea, look diligently, and leave no corner therein
unsearched, for there is treasure hid, even the treasure of your first and
second experience of the grace of God toward you. Remember, I say, the word
that first laid hold upon you; remember your terrors of conscience, and fear
of death and hell; remember also your tears and prayers to God; yea, how you
sighed under every hedge for mercy. Have you never a hill Mizar to remember?
Have you forgot the close, the milk house, the stable, the barn, and the
like, where God did visit your soul? Remember also the Word––the Word, I
say, upon which the Lord hath caused you to hope. If you have sinned against
light; if you are tempted to blaspheme; if you are down in despair; if you
think God fights against you; or if heaven is hid from your eyes, remember
it was thus with your father, but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
could have enlarged much in this my discourse, of my temptations and
troubles for sin; as also of the merciful kindness and working of God with
my soul. I could also have stepped into a style much higher than this in
which I have here discoursed, and could have adorned all things more than
here I have seemed to do, but I dare not. God did not play in convincing of
me, the devil did not play in tempting of me, neither did I play when I sunk
as into a bottomless pit, when the pangs of hell caught hold upon me;
wherefore I may not play in my relating of them, but be plain and simple,
and lay down the thing as it was. He that liketh it, let him receive it; and
he that does not, let him produce a better. Farewell.
dear children, –
The milk and honey is beyond this wilderness. God be merciful to you, and
grant that you be not slothful to go in to possess the land. – Farewell.