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were so filled with divine comforts, and a sense of God, that they made but little use of either meat, drink, or sleep, and professed that they did not feel the need thereof. The same author gives an account of very much such things in Mrs. Catharine Brettergh, of Lancashire, in England, p. 391, 392, as have been cried out of, here amongst us, as wild and distracted : how that after great distress, which very much affected her body, the sweat sometimes bursting out upon her, God did so break in upon her mind with light and discoveries of himself, that she was forced to burst out, crying, “O the joys, the joys, the joys, that I feel in my soul! 0 they be wonderful, they be wonderful! The place where I now am is sweet and pleasant ! How comfortable is the sweetness I feel, that delights my soul !
The taste is precious; do you not feel it ? O so sweet as it is !" And at other times, “O my sweet Savior, shall I be one with thee, as thou art
rt one with the Father ? And dost thou so love me that am but dust, to make me partaker of glory with Christ? O how wonderful is thy love! And Othat my tongue and heart were able to sound forth thy praises as I ought.” At another time she burst forth thus : " Yea, Lord, I feel thy mercy, and am assured of thy love! And so certain am I thereof, as thou art that God of truth, even so certainly do I know myself to be thine, O Lord my God; and this my soul knoweth right well !" Which last words, she again doubled. To a grave minister, one Mr. Harrison, then with her, she said, "My soul hath been compassed with the terrors of death, the sorrows of hell were upon me, and a wilderness of wo was in me; but blessed, blessed, blessed be the Lord my God! he hath brought me to a place of rest,
I de Ven to the sweet running waters of life. The in is a sweet and easy way, strewed with flowers ;
he hath brought me into a place more sweet than the garden of Eden. O the joy, the joy, the delights and joy that I feel! O how wonderful !"
Great outcries under awakenings were more frequently heard of in former times in the country, than they have been of late, as some aged persons now living do testify : particularly I think fit here to insert a testimony of my honored father, of what he remembers formerly to have heard.
"I well remember that one Mr. Alexander Allyn, a Scots gentleman of good credit, that dwelt formerly in this town, showed me a letter that came from Scotland, that gave an account of a sermon preached in the city of Edinburgh (as I remember) in the time of the sitting of the general assembly of divines in that kingdom, that so affected the people, that there was a great and loud cry made throughout the assembly. I have also been credibly informed, and how often I cannot now say, that it was a common thing, when the famous Mr. John Rogers, of Dedham, in England, was preaching, for some of his hearers to cry out ; and by what I have heard, I conclude that it was usual for many that heard that very awakening and l'ousing preacher of God's word, to make a great cry in the congregation."
TIMOTHY EDWARDS. Windsor, May 5, 1742.
Mr. Flavel gives a remarkable instance of a man that he knew, that was wonderfully overcome with divine comforts ; which it is supposed he knew, as the apostle Paul knew the man that was caught up to the third heaven. He relates that,
“As the person was traveling alone, with his thoughts closely fixed on the great and astonishing things of another world, his thoughts began to swell higher and higher, like the water in Ezekiel's vision, till at last they became an overflowing flood. Such was the intenseness of his mind, such the ravishing tastes of heavenly joys, and such his full assurance of his interest therein, that he utterly lost all sight and sense of this world, and the concernments thereof, and for some hours knew not where he was, nor what he was about : but having lost a great quantity of blood at the nose, he found himself so faint that it brought him a little more to himself. And after he had washed himself at a spring, and drank of the water for his refreshment, he continued to the end of his journey, which was thirty miles ; and all this while was scarce sensible, and says he had several trances of considerable continuance. The same blessed frame was preserved all that night, and in a lower degree, great part of the next day : the night passed without one wink of sleep, and yet he declares he never had a sweeter night's rest in all his life. Still (adds the story) the joy of the Lord overflowed him, and he seemed to be an inhabitant of another world. And he used, for many years after, to call that day one of the days of heaven ; and professed that he understood more of the life of heaven by it, than by all the books he ever read, or discourses he ever entertained about it."
There have been instances before now, of persons' crying out in transports of divine joy, in New England. We have an instance in Captain Clapp's memoirs, published by the Rev. Mr. Prince, not of a silly woman or child, but a man of solid understanding, that in a high transport of spiritual joy, was made to cry out aloud on his bed. His words, p. 9, are, “God's Holy Spirit did witness, I do believe, together with my spirit, that I was a child of God, and did fill my heart and soul with such full assurance that Christ was mine, that it did so transport me, as to make me cry out upon my bed, with a loud voice, He is come, he is come !"
There has, before now, been both crying out and falling down, in this town, under awakenings of conscience, and in che pangs of the new birth, and also in some of the neighbor towns. In one of them, more than seven years ago, was a great number together that cried out and fell down, under convictions; in most of which, by good information, was a hopeful and abiding good issue. And the Rev. Mr. Williams, of Deerfield, gave me an account of an aged man in that town, many years before that, that being awakened by his preaching, cried out aloud in the congregation. There have been many instances in this and some neighbor towns, before now, of persons fainting with joyful discoveries made to their souls : once several together in this town. And there also formerly have been several instances here, of persons' flesh waxing cold and benumbed, and their hands clenched, yea, their bodies being set into convulsions, being overpowered with a strong sense of the astonishingly great and excellent things of God, and the eternal world.
Secondly, Another way that some err in making history and former observation their rule to judge of this work, instead of the holy scripture, is in comparing some external accidental circumstances of this work, with what has appeared sometimes in enthusiasts; and as they find an agreement in some such things, so they reject the whole work, or at least the substance of it, concluding it to be enthusiasm. So, great use has been made to this purpose of many things that are found amongst the Quakers; however totally and essentially different in its nature this work is, and the principles it is built upon, from the whole religion of the Quakers. So, to the same purpose, some external appearances that were found amongst the French prophets, and some other enthusiasts in former times, have been of late trumped up with great assurance and triumph.
4. I would propose it to be considered, whether or no some, instead of making the scriptures their only rule to judge of this work, do not make their own expérience the rule, and reject such and such things as are now professed and experienced, because they never felt them themselves. Are there not many, that chiefly on this ground, have entertained and vented suspicions, if not peremptory condemnations of those extreme terrors, and those great, sudden, and extraordinary discoveries of the glorious perfections of God, and of the beauty and love of Christ; and such vehement affections, such high transports of love and joy, such pity and distress
for the souls of others, and exercises of mind that have such great effects on persons bodies, merely, or chiefly, because they knew nothing about them by experience? Persons are very ready to be suspicious of what they have not felt themselves. It is to be feared many good men have been guilty of this
yet does not make it the less unreasonable. And perhaps there are some that upon this ground do not only reject these extraordinary things, but all such conviction of sin, and such discoveries of the glory of God, and excellency of Christ, and inward conviction of the truth of the gospel, by the immediate influence of the Spirit of God, that are now-supposed to be necessary to salvation.
These persons that thus make their own experiences their rule of judgment, instead of bowing to the wisdom of God, and yielding to his word as an infallible rule, are guilty of casting a great reflection upon the understanding of the Most High.
We should not judge of the whole by a part.
ANOTHER foundation error of those that reject this work, is their not duly distinguishing the good from the bad, and very unjustly judging of the whole by a part; and so rejecting the work in general, or in the main substance of it, for the sake of some things that are accidental to it, that are evil. They look for more in men that are divinely influenced, because subject to the operations of a good spirit, than is justly to be expected from them for that reason, in this imperfect state, and dark world, where so much blindness and corruption remains in the best. When any profess to have received light, and influence, and comforts from heaven, and to have had sensible communion with God, inany are ready to