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

Assembling at Gideon and Bethesda


5. I considered with brother Craik about going to Bagdad. We see nothing clearly. If the Lord will have me to go, here I am. January 7. I spent again some time in prayer, respecting our going to Bagdad, and examined more fully into it. January 8. I had from half-past five till eight this morning to myself in prayer and reading the Word. I prayed then, and repeatedly besides this day, respecting our going to Bagdad. I wrote also a letter to some believers at and near Barnstaple, to ask their prayers concerning this matter. I do not see more clearly than I did before. January 9. I again asked the Lord concerning Bagdad, but see nothing clearly respecting it. I told the Lord I should stay at my post, unless He Himself should most evidently take me away, and I did not feel afterwards my remaining here to be against His will. January 14. I feel more and more satisfied that it is not of the Lord that I should go to Bagdad. January 19. For some days past I have been reading brother Groves' journal of his residence at Bagdad, both for the sake of information respecting his position there, and also, if it please the Lord, that He may use this as a means to show me clearly wether I should go or stay. Blessed be His name that I have no desire of my own in this matter! [Forty-seven years have since passed away, and I think I may say this day still, according to the best of my knowledge, I had no desire of my own in this matter; but I never saw it to be the Lord's will to leave the work which
He Himself had so evidently given me.]

February 9. I read a part of Franke's life. The Lord graciously help me to follow him, as far as he followed Christ. The greater part of the Lord's people whom we know in Bristol are poor, and if the Lord were to give us grace to live more as this dear man of God did, we might draw much more than we have as yet done out of our Heavenly Father's bank, for our poor brethren and sisters.

May 27. Today the two churches, assembling at Gideon and Bethesda, met together at tea.--These meetings we have often repeated, and found them profitable on several accounts. 1. They give a testimony to the world of the love of the brethren, by rich and poor meeting thus together to partake of a meal. 2. Such meetings may be instrumental in uniting the saints more and more together. 3. They give us a sweet foretaste of our meeting together at the marriage supper of the Lamb.--At these meetings we pray and sing together, and any brother has an opportunity to speak what may tend to the edification of the rest.

May 28. This morning, whilst sitting in my room, the distress of several brethren and sisters was brought to my mind, and I said to myself, "Oh that it might please the Lord to give me means to help them!" About an hour afterwards I received L60. from a brother, whom up to this day I never saw, and who then lived, as he does still, at a distance of several thousand miles. This shows how the Lord can provide in any way for His people, and that He is not confined to places. Oh that my heart might overflow with gratitude to the Lord! [Since the first edition was printed, I have become personally acquainted with the donor.]

May 29. Review of the last twelve months, since we have been in Bristol, as it regards the fruits of our labours. 1. It has pleased the Lord to gather a church, through our instrumentality, at Bethesda, which is increased to 60 in number, and there have been added to Gideon church 49; therefore the total number of those added to us within the year, has been 109. 2. There have been converted through our instrumentality, so far as we have heard and can judge respecting the individuals, 65. 3. Many backsliders have been reclaimed, and many of the children of God have been encouraged and strengthened in the way of truth. What clear proofs that we were not suffered to be mistaken, as it regards our coming to Bristol.

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