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A Narrative of Some of the Lord's Dealings with Ge

That I bought a crucifix in a frame


On

my way to Halle I thought, this is the way I should like always to preach. But then it came immediately to my mind, that such sort of preaching might do for illiterate country people, but that it never would do before a well educated assembly in town. I thought, the truth ought to be preached at all hazards, but it ought to be given in a different form, suited to the hearers. Thus I remained unsettled in my mind as it regards the mode of preaching; and it is not surprising that I did not then see the truth concerning this matter, for I did not understand the work of the Spirit, and therefore saw not the powerlessness of human eloquence. Further, I did not keep in mind, that if the most illiterate persons in the congregation can comprehend the discourse, the most educated will understand it too; but that the reverse does not hold true.

It was not till three years afterwards that I was led, through grace, to see what I now consider the right mode of preparation for the public preaching of the Word. But about this, if God permit, I will say more when I come to that period of my life.

I now preached frequently, both in the churches of villages and towns, but never had any enjoyment in doing so, except when speaking in a simple way; though the repetition of sermons, which had been committed to memory, brought more praise from my fellow-creatures. But from neither way of preaching did I see any fruit. It may be, that

the last day may show the benefit even of these feeble endeavours. One reason why the Lord did not permit me to see fruit, seems to me, that I should have been most probably lifted up by success. It may be also, because I prayed exceedingly little respecting the ministry of the Word, and because I walked so little with God, and was so rarely a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use.

About the time that I first began to preach I lived for about two months in free lodgings, provided for poor students of divinity in the Orphan-House, built in dependence upon God, by that devoted and eminent servant of Christ, A. H. Franke, Professor of Divinity at Halle, who died 1727. I mention this, as some years afterwards I was benefited myself through the faith of this dear man of God.--About that time I was still so weak that I fell repeatedly into open sins, yet could not continue in them, nay, not even for a few days, without sorrow of heart, confession before God, and fleeing to the blood of the Lamb. And so ignorant was I still, that I bought a crucifix in a frame, and hung it up in my room, hoping that being thus frequently reminded of the sufferings of my Saviour, I should not fall so frequently into sin. But in a few days the looking to the crucifix was as nothing, and I fell about that very time more than once deeply.

About this time I formed an intimate acquaintance with a brother, who was also a divinity student: and as we loved one another so much, and were so happy in one another's society, we thought that it would greatly add to our joy, and to one another's benefit, to live together, and that thus we might mutually help one another. Accordingly in September 1826, I left the free lodgings in the Orphan-House, and lived with him. But alas! we were not aware, that because God is greatly glorified by the love and union of His people, for this very reason Satan particularly hates it, and will, therefore, in every possible way, seek to divide them. We ought to have especially prayed, and that frequently, that the Lord would keep us together in love; instead of which, I do not think that we at all feared disunion, as we loved one another so much. For this reason our great adversary soon got an advantage by our neglecting prayer concerning this point, and we were disunited, and love and union were not fully restored between us till after we had been for some time separated.


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