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

Seeing that I was in a backsliding state


About

ten weeks had by this time passed away, since I was first taken ill. This illness, in which a particular care for the body seemed to be so right, and in which therefore frequent walks were taken, and in which I thought myself justified in laying aside the study of Hebrew, &c., had not at all a beneficial effect on my soul. In connexion with this one of my chief companions at this time, the last-mentioned American Professor, was a backslider. If the believing reader does not know much of his own heart and of man's weakness, he will scarcely think it possible that, after I had been borne with by the Lord so long, and had received so many mercies at His hands, and had been so fully and freely pardoned through the blood of Jesus, which I both knew from His word, and had also enjoyed; and after that I had been in such various ways engaged in the work of the Lord; I should have been once more guilty of great backsliding, and that at the very time when the hand of God was lying heavily upon me. Oh! how desperately wicked is the human heart.

It was in this cold state of heart, that I rode with my friend to Leipsic, at the time of the famous Michaelmas fair. He wished me to go with him to the Opera. I went, but had not the least enjoyment. After the first act I took a glass of ice for refreshment. After the second act I was taken faint in consequence of this, my stomach being in a very weak state; but I was well enough; after a while, to go to the hotel,

where I passed a tolerable night. On the next morning my friend ordered the carriage for our return to Halle. This circumstance the Lord graciously used as a means of arousing me; and on our way home, I freely opened my mind to my friend about the way in which we had been going on; and he then told me that he was in a different state of heart, when he left America. He also told me, when I was taken faint, that he thought it was an awful place to die in. This was the second and last time, since I have believed in the Lord Jesus, that I was in a theatre; and but once, in the year 1827, I went to a concert, when I likewise felt, that it was unbecoming for me, as a child of God, to be in such a place. On my return to Halle I broke a blood-vessel in my stomach, in consequence of the glass of ice. I was now exceedingly weak, in which state I continued far several weeks, and then went for change of air into the country, to the house of a beloved brother in the Lord, who, up to this day, has continued a kind and faithful friend to me. My heart was now again in a better state than it had been before the rupture of the blood-vessel, Thus the Lord, in the faithful love of His heart, seeing that I was in a backsliding state, chastised me for my profit; and the chastisement yielded, in a measure at least, the peaceable fruit of righteousness. Heb. xii. 10, 11.

Whilst I was staying in the country, I received a letter from the American Professor, who had in the meantime changed Halle for Berlin, and who wished me to come to Berlin, where, being near the Court, I should be more likely to obtain an exemption from my military duty; and he mentioned, at the same time, that all the expenses, connected with my staying in Berlin, would be fully covered by the remuneration I should receive for teaching German to himself and two of his friends, for a few hours every week. As I had no more connexion with the university at Halle, my course having been finished for more than six months past, and as I had the prospect of being spiritually benefited through my stay in Berlin, and there was no probability, if I remained at Halle, of obtaining the above-mentioned exemption, I came to the conclusion to go to Berlin.


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