One afternoon I became unable to think, but a white mist settled down over hell. Even those contemptible devils were having their tongues cooled with blessed drops of water. The fires grew dim, and it seemed as if there was to be a rain of grace and mercy in that region of despair. Then I preferred my petition, that God would write his name upon my forehead, and give me that “new name” which should mark me as his; that he would bring William into the fold, and do with me as he would. I would be content to spend my whole life in any labor he should appoint, without a sign of the approval of God or man, if, in the end, I and mine should be found among those “who had washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
I fell asleep—slept hours—and when the sun was setting, woke in perfect peace. My proposition had been accepted, and wonderful grace, which had given what I had not dared to ask, assurance of present acceptance. I should have all the work and privation for which I had bargained—should be a thistle-digger in the vineyard; should be set to tasks from which other laborers shrank, but in no trial could I ever be alone, and should at last hear the welcome “well done.”
I arose as one from a grave to a joyous resurrection; but kept all these things in my heart. Personal experiences being altogether between God and the soul, were not considered fit subjects for conversation, and when I came before the session applying for church, membership, no mention was made of them, except as a general confession of faith.
Rev. Andrew Black addressed the table at which I sat in my first communion, and said:
“The Lord’s Supper has been named the Eucharist, after the oath taken by a Roman soldier, never to turn his back upon his leader. You, in partaking of these emblems, do solemnly vow that you will never turn your back upon Christ, but that you will follow him whithersoever he goeth. Let others do as they will, you are to follow the Lamb, through good and through evil report, to a palace or to a prison; follow him, even if he should lead you out of the church.”
This was in perfect harmony with my private agreement, and no other act of my life has been so solemn or far-reaching in its consequences, as that ratification of my vow, and it is one I have least cause to repent.