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

When I saw these brethren last


When

I arrived at Aschersleben, to which place brother Stahlschmidt had conveyed me, I had but one station more to my father's house. On the way I asked the driver about a certain individual, with whom I studied at Halle, once a companion with me in open sin. I found that he is still in the same state. What a difference has grace made between him and me! Nothing, nothing but grace has made this difference! I, guilty sinner, might now be still on the same road, and he, in my room, might have been plucked as a brand out of the fire. But it is not so. May the Lord help me to love him much, very much, for His distinguishing grace!--Such feelings I had in particular this afternoon, when I saw the town before me in which my father lives, as there are but two in the whole place, as far as I can find out, who love the Lord. How different is everything with me now from what it was when, as a wicked youth, I used to go to this town, at the time of my vacation. How truly happy am I now! How is my heart now raised above all those things in which I sought, and also fancied I found happiness! Truly all these things are like bubbles to me now! My heart is not here; yea, my heart is not even in England. My heart is, at least in a measure, in heaven, though I am still nothing but a poor weak worm. I felt the solemnity and importance of having once more the privilege of seeing my aged father. I also felt the importance of being at the place, where I had spent much of my time in my youth, and where I
had been known as living in sin. My desire was, that I might be enabled to walk, the three days I intended to stay there, as it becomes a servant of Christ. For this I had been led to prayer before I left Bristol, and since I have been on the Continent. At last I arrived at my father's house. How affecting to meet him once more!

April 5. Heimersleben. This afternoon a friend of my father called-one who knows not the Lord. After a few minutes the Lord gave me an opportunity of setting before him the fundamental truths of the Gospel, and the joy and comfort they afford, and have afforded to me. Thus a way was opened to me of stating the truth more fully than ever I had been able to do before, by word of mouth, in the presence of my father and brother, without saying to them, "Thou art the man." I was assisted by the Lord. May He water the seed sown! This evening I went to the only two brethren in this little town, thus to own them as such. It has appeared well to me to call on none whom I know, else I should be expected to call on all; and as I see it right to spend but three days here, I consider that that little time should be wholly given to my father, as it may be the last time that I shall see him; yet, at the same time, I judged that it was well pleasing in the sight of the Lord, that I should call on these brethren to strengthen their hands.

When I saw these brethren last, in February, 1829, two or three more used to meet with them; but since then the reproach of the cross has driven the others back into the world. From that time, these brethren have scarcely seen a believer, and never hear the Gospel preached; it was therefore a great joy to them to see me. They told me that the Lord had blessed my last visit to them; and having been informed of my coming, they were prepared to ask me many questions. One of them, Knabe, about thirty years ago being possessed of property, was persuaded to lay it out in coal mines. He joined with two men who spent his property, and after some time they became bankrupts, so that there was not money enough to pay the workmen and some other creditors, even after all their goods had been sold. This evening brother Knabe asked me what he ought to do about the money which had been left unpaid three and twenty years; whether he was still under an obligation to pay it, if he could. My answer was at once that he was, being in the sight of the Lord still a debtor, though cleared by the laws of men. He then told me, that some years since some property was left to him, and that he also, in the years 1816, 1817, and 1818, when the corn prices were very high, had laid by some money, and that therefore he was fully able to pay the debt. He saw immediately that this was the right way, and said that he would act accordingly. He added that now he saw why he had made so little progress in divine things. I have learned that this brother has lately taken two destitute orphans into his house, whom he entirely supports by the labour of his hands (he earns his bread by thrashing corn), and that the people, though they consider him, on account of his love for the Lord, a weak and foolish person, yet look upon him with respect.


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