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himself, the mighty are afraid; by reason of “ BREAKINGS,” (of the sword of reason) “ they purify themselves. The sWORD of him, that
layeth at him, cannot hold, the SPEAR, the “ DART, nor the HABERGEON. He maketh THE “ Deep to boil like a pot; He maketh THE SEA “ like a pot of ointment. He is a' KING over “all THE CHILDREN OF PRIDE."-Job, xli. See description of Leviathan.
I then became more fully persuaded of the presumptuous and impious tendency of the things that I was writing, and that they exposed me to the assaults of Satan: : I therefore again burnt the whole of what I had written, with a resolution never again to venture to speculate upon such high and deep subjects, which I found to be as it were guarded by cherubim with a flaming sword that turned every way, to keep me off from the tree of knowledge; which sometimes appearedi to me to be the tree of life, and sometimes of death, according to the strength or weakness of my faith.. sio
This was a very dangerous situation, and must have been fatal, the devił urging me' behind, had I not been protected and supported to the last by my most gracious Lord.
In the first place, what was I to do? The study of Scripture I could not pursue exclusively and perpetually; besides, it was too nearly connected with reason and nature, by
means of analogy, and therefore appeared to be to me a snare; and all profane books and studies seemed equally dangerous. Exhausted at last by fruitless conjectures, and search after something that I might venture to do without the fear of being damned, I began to lose all patience; my brain seemed to burn ; and my heart, rent with agony, wished for the asylum of death.
Downright necessity of self-preservation drove mne at length to do what I so much dreaded ; that is to say, to apply to be admitted into the general mess of the corps, from which I had hitherto kept myself separate. I was accordingly admitted with much kindness; for hopes were again formed of me, as of one returning again to common sense and to the world, from the temporary attractions and degrading shackles of a dismal and antisocial superstition.
To complete as soon as possible my deliverance from the horrors which had fastened on my mind, as the natural and judicial consequences of my faithless folly, I resolved to read some light, entertaining book, which might divert - my spirit; I therefore wisely took up the Arabian Nights Entertainments. But I here experienced a severe reproof and chastisement for my folly. The enemy was immediately permitted to suggest such tremendous, detestable, unutterable impieties and blasphemies to my imagination, that I suddenly started
up, and, throwing away the book, I ran out of my tent in a transport of horror, terror, and almost desperation. I then ran in again, not knowing how to escape from myself, and quite distracted for a time. Then, as the last resource, I betook myself to prayer; but the same horrors presenting themselves, even then, I was forced to stop short through fear, lest the wrath of heaven should strike me in an instant to hell, for daring to offer a sacrifice so full of pollution and abomination.
I was then quite confounded and at a loss what to do. I was driven, hunted by my enemy, and by my own folly, to the last extremity of the mazes of my absurdity, and must either perish in his nets, or break through them. I fell into a debate within myself whether I was a redeemed one, or not; and I began to think that it would be best to die at once, to prevent more horrible sin.
But here it suddenly and mercifully occurred to me, that I had already been preserved in a situation the most fearful, and seemingly perilous, that a human being could be placed in at Bangalore; and that, therefore, to despair after this, would be the height of folly and infidelity. I then instantly suspected that all these horrors must be mere tricks, snares of my enemy, to terrify and drive me either to despair and suicide, or to renounce a religion so full of vexations and torments to me.
In consequence of these reflections, I became more composed; and, justly believing that this discovery had been made to me by the mercy and compassion, in wisdom, of my Saviour, I was filled with gratitude, and returned sincere thanks for this gracious, though dear-bought experience.
By the help of the knowledge which I had thus gained of the devices of Satan, and the faith which it gave me, I combated these horrors of blasphemy day and night; (for they became incessant, and kept me awake and literally sweating with misery and horror, almost the whole nights through) and I learnt to make it a rule, whenever they assaulted me, to betake myself to prayer and praise, and to read, or repeat by heart, some of David's beautiful Psalms. My enemy, therefore, finding himself discovered, and that he only drove me to, instead of from my Saviour, by his fiery darts, and swords, or “ bitter words," desisted by degrees; and in the course of a month or two, they were (God be thanked!) quite overcome or discontinued.
All these fiery trials tended ultimately to increase and strengthen my faith, patience, and knowledge, very sensibly; so that I proved by my own experience the truth of the following Scriptures (Romans, v. and viii.).
I then (poor mutable worm!) began again to think, that it was by no means presumptuous in me to believe that the illuminations which had been made the instrument of converting me, and which I had experienced ever since that time, were divine gifts; for that He, who had given His only begotten Son for me amongst other sinners, might also confer these lesser favours on me.
I also perceived, that these things, though beautiful and true, were only means and not the end, but merely shadows of that end. I therefore resolved (a ridiculous word in my lips) no more to doubt their general truth, and divine derivation to me; yet, not rashly to venture to write any thing which I had not properly digested (which, I began to perceive, had been in great measure the cause of my failure); but to wait with patience and resignation, until the course of time, and the grace of God, should vouchsafe to unravel the intricate skein of my proper conduct.
[Five pages of the MS. are here omitted ; being the relation of a dream. ]
From combining and reflecting upon all the events that had happened to
to me, I became again fully persuaded that it was not only lawful, but in fact my duty, to receive with gratitude, and apply to the purposes of religious and moral edification, both to myself and to