6 mo. 23.—Going last evening to Wenington, to repeat my French lesson, my friends there asked me to call with them on a sick person; feeling quite free to do so, I went with them. On sitting quietly by the bedside, a little matter came before me, which was communicated from these words: “Affliction cometh not forth of the dust.”
On my return home, I could not but reflect on the necessity of having our bow strung, and being always alive to the interest of souls, and endeavoring to imitate the example of our great Master, whose whole life was employed in continually going up and down doing good.
FROM HIS COMMISSION TO RESIDE ABROAD IN 1820 TO HIS REMOVAL TO GERMANY IN 1822.
In 1822 John Yeardley went to reside in Germany. As his residence abroad constituted one of the most remarkable turns in his life, and exercised a powerful influence on the rest of his career, we shall develop as fully as we are able the motives by which he was induced to leave his native country. By means of his Diary we can trace the early appearance and growth, if not the origin, of the strong Christian sympathy he ever afterwards manifested with seeking souls in the nations on the continent of Europe, and especially amongst the German people.
The first hint concerning his desire to go abroad is contained in the account of a dream, under date of the 2nd of the Ninth Month, 1818, regarding which he felt much disappointed, because he could not recollect the names of the places in Germany about which he had in his dream been interested. The next year (the 19th of the Fifth Month) he had a second dream on the same subject, in which he supposed his friend Joseph Wood was about to go on a religious mission to the Continent, and he brought out his Atlas to find the places for him. On being asked if he meant to accompany him, he said he “was not prepared to answer at present.” In the relation of a third dream, which he had the next year (the 25th of the Eighth Month, 1820), the locality to which his mind was attracted is first indicated. “Pyrmont and Minden,” he says, “rested very closely with me, and to them I felt bound.”
It might not have been worth while to have made allusion to these dreams, which ought perhaps to be rather as the continuation or echo of his thoughts than as their original source, but for the deep importance which John Yeardley himself attached to them. He considered that by them was first made known to him the divine will respecting his future course; and that his longing desire to recover the name of the forgotten locality of the first dream was answered in the last. It can admit of little doubt that the same conviction of their more than common significance, which led him to cherish as sacred the remembrance of these night-visions, helped to form and sustain his resolution in carrying out the project with which he connected them.