12 mo. 22.—My poor mind has been so much enveloped in clouds of thick darkness for months past, that I have sometimes been ready to conclude I shall never live to see brighter days. Should even this be the case I humbly hope ever to be preserved from accusing the just Judge of the earth of having dealt hardly with me, but acknowledge to the last that he has in mercy favored me abundantly with a portion of that light which is said to shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.
We shall leave for the next chapter the relation of his first offerings in the ministry, and conclude this with a striking passage which we find in the Diary for this year.
John Yeardley was all his life very fond of the occupations of the garden. A small piece of ground was attached to his house at Barnsley, which he cultivated, and from which he was sometimes able to gather spiritual as well as natural fruit.
Under date of the 22nd of the Seventh Month, he writes:—
A very sublime idea came suddenly over my mind when in the garden this evening. It was introduced as I plucked a strawberry from a border on which I had bestowed much cultivation before it would produce anything; but now, thought I, this is a little like reaping the fruit of my labor. As I thus ruminated on the produce of the strawberry-bank, I was struck with the thought of endless felicity, and the sweet reward it would produce for all our toils here below. My mind was instantly opened to such a glorious scene of divine good that I felt a resignation of heart to give up all for the enjoyment of [such a foretaste] of endless felicity.