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

Went with my family to Portishead


15. Today dear brother Craik returned from Devonshire, much better in his general health, but not better as it regards his voice.--August 24. I feel very weak, and suffer more than before from the disease. I am in doubt whether to leave Bristol entirely for a time. I have no money to go away for a change of air. I have had an invitation to stay for a week with a sister in the country, and I think of accepting the invitation, and going tomorrow. August 26. Today I had 5l. given to me for the express purpose of using change of air. Aug. 29. Today I received another 5l. for the same purpose.

August 30. Today, for the first Lord's day since our arrival in Bristol, I have been kept from preaching through illness. How mercifully has the Lord dealt in giving me so much strength for these years! I had another 5l. sent, to aid me in procuring change of air. How kind is the Lord in thus providing me with the means of leaving Bristol! September 2. Went with my family to Portishead. September 3 to 5. I read the lives of the English martyrs at the time of the reformation. My spirit has been greatly refreshed. May the Lord help me to follow these holy men as far as they followed Christ! Of all reading, besides that of the Holy Scriptures, which should be always THE book, THE CHIEF book to us, not merely in theory, but also in practice, such like books seem to me the most useful for the growth of the inner man. Yet one has to be cautious in the choice, and

to guard against reading too much. At such a time as the present, when my mind and body are too weak for much exertion, as the study of the Word, conversation, writing letters, or walking, &c., I find it most refreshing to read a few pages of this kind, though these last six years I have not read the fifth part, perhaps not the tenth part as much of other books as of the Holy Scriptures.

September 14. We are still at Portishead. I am but little better. I am greatly bowed down today on account of my inward corruptions and carnality of heart. When will God deliver me from this state?! How I long to be more like Him! My present way of living is also a great trial to me. The caring so much about the body; the having for my chief employment eating and drinking, walking, bathing, and taking horse exercise; all this to which I have not been at all accustomed these six years, I find to be very trying. I would much rather be again in the midst of the work in Bristol, if my Lord will condescend to use His most unworthy servant.

September 15. As I clearly understood that the person, who lets me his horse, has no license, I saw, that being bound as a believer to act according to the laws of the country, I could use it no longer: and as horse exercise seems most important, humanly speaking, for my restoration, and as this is the only horse, which is to be had in the place, we came to the conclusion to leave Portishead tomorrow. Immediately after, I received a kind letter from a brother and two sisters in the Lord, who lived in the Isle of Wight, which contained a fourth invitation, more pressing than ever, to come and stay with them for some time. In addition to this, they wrote that they had repeatedly prayed about the matter, and were persuaded that I ought to come. This matter has been today a subject for prayer and consideration to us.

September 16. We came this morning to the conclusion to leave Portishead today, and that I should go to the Isle of Wight; but we saw not how my wife and child and our servant could accompany me, as we had not sufficient money for traveling expenses; and yet this seemed of importance, as otherwise my wife would be overburdened in my absence, and my mind would not be sufficiently free; and besides this, she also seems to need change of air. The Lord graciously removed the difficulty this evening; for we received most unexpectedly and unasked for 6l. 13s., which was owed to us, and, also, when we had already retired to rest, a letter was brought, containing a present of 2l. How very, very kind, and tender is the Lord!

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