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

So that unconditionally I could ask and look for an answer


February

18. This afternoon I broke a blood vessel in my stomach, and lost a considerable quantity of blood. I was very happy immediately afterwards. February 19. This morning, Lord's day, two brethren called on me, to ask me what arrangement there should be made today, as it regarded the four villages, where some of the brethren were in the habit of preaching, as, on account of my not being able to preach, one of the brethren would need to stay at home to take my place. I asked them, kindly to come again in about an hour, when I would give them an answer. After they were gone, the Lord gave me faith to rise. I dressed myself, and determined to go to the chapel. I was enabled to do so, though so weak when I went, that walking the short distance to the chapel was an exertion to me. I was enabled to preach this morning with as loud and strong a voice as usual, and for the usual length of time. After the morning meeting, a medical friend called on me, and entreated me not to preach again in the afternoon, as it might greatly injure me. I told him, that I should indeed consider it great presumption to do so, had the Lord not given me faith. I preached again in the afternoon, and this medical friend called again, and said the same concerning the evening meeting. Nevertheless, having faith, I preached again in the evening. After each meeting I became stronger, which was a plain proof that the hand of God was in the matter. After the third meeting I went immediately to bed, considering that it
would be presumption to try my strength needlessly.

February 20. The Lord enabled me to rise early in the morning, and to go to our usual prayer-meeting, where I read, spoke, and prayed. Afterwards I wrote four letters, expounded the scriptures at home, and attended the meeting again in the evening. February 21. I attended the two meetings as usual, preached in the evening, and did my other work besides. February 22. Today I attended the meeting in the morning, walked afterwards six miles with two brethren to Newton Bushel, and rode from thence to Plymouth: February 23. I am now as well as I was before I broke the blood vessel.--In relating the particulars of this circumstance I would earnestly warn every one who may read this, not to imitate me in such a thing if he has no faith; but if he has, it will, as good coin, most assuredly be honoured by God. I could not say, that, if such a thing should happen again, I would act in the same way; for when I have been not nearly so weak as when I had broken the blood-vessel, having no faith, I did not preach; yet if it were to please the Lord to give me faith, I might be able to do the same, though even still weaker than at the time just spoken of.

About this time I repeatedly prayed with sick believers till they were restored. Unconditionally I asked the Lord for the blessing of bodily health, (a thing which I could not do now), and almost always had the petition granted. In some instances, however, the prayer was not answered. In the same way, whilst in London, Nov. 1829, in answer to my prayers, I was immediately restored from a bodily infirmity under which I had been labouring for a long time, and which has never returned since. The way in which I now account for these facts is as follows. It pleased the Lord, I think, to give me in such cases something like the gift (not grace) of faith, so that unconditionally I could ask and look for an answer. The difference between the gift and the grace of faith seems to me this. According to the gift of faith I am able to do a thing, or believe that a thing will come to pass, the not doing of which, or the not believing of which would not be sin; according to the grace of faith I am able to do a thing, or believe that a thing will come to pass, respecting which I have the word of God as the ground to rest upon, and, therefore, the not doing it, or the not believing it would be sin. For instance, the gift of faith would be needed, to believe that a sick person should be restored again though there is no human probability: for there is no promise to that effect; the grace of faith is needed to believe that the Lord will give me the necessaries of life, if I first seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness: for there is a promise to that effect." Matt. vi.


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