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She had long been infirm, and often had beeh exercised with great pain'; in 135
was quite willing either to live or die.—She was willing to be in pain...She was willing to be so always as she was then, if that was the will of God. She willed what God willed. They asked her whether she was willing to die that night? She answered, yes, if it be God's will; and seemed to speak all with that perfect composure of spirit
, and with such a cheerful and pleasant countenance, that it filled them with adiniration.
She was very weak a considerable time before she died, having pined away with famine and thirst, so that her flesh seemed to be dried upon her bones, and therefore could say but little, and manifested her mind very much by signs. She said she had matter enough to fill up all her time with talk, if she had but strength. A few days before her death, some asked her whether she held her integrity still? Whether she was not afraid of death ? She answered to this purpose, that she had not the least degree of fear of death. They asked her why she would be so confident ? She answered, if I should say otherwise, I should speak contrary to what I know; there is, says she, indeed a dark entry, that looks something dark, but on the other side there appears such a bright shining light, that I cannot be afraid ! She said, not long before she died, that she used to be afraid how she should grapple with death; but, says she, God has showed me that he can make it easy in great pain.
Several days before she died, she could scarcely say any thing but just yes and no, to questions that were asked her, for she seemed to be dying for three days together; but seemed to continue in an admirable sweet composure of soul, without any interruption, to the last, and died as a person that went to sleep, without any struggling about noon, on Friday, June 27 1735.
birthday but she died chiefly of famine. It was, doubtless, partly owing to her bodily weakness, that her nature was so often overcome, and ready to sink with gracious affection; but yet the truth was, that she had more grace, and greater disa coveries of God and Christ, than the present frail state did well consist with. She wanted to be where strong grace might have more liberty, and be without the clog of a weak body ; there she longed to be, and there she doubtless now is. She was looked upon amongst us as a very eminent instance of Christian experience; but this is but a very broken and imperfect account. I have given of her: her eminency would much more appear, if her experiences were fully related, as she was wont to express and manifest them while living. I once read this account to some of her pious neighbors, who were acquainted with her, who said to this purpose, that the picture fell much short of the life, and particularly that it much failed of duly representing her humility, and that admirable lowliness of heart, that all times appeared in her. But there are (blessed be God!) many living instances of much the like nature, and in some things no less extraordinary.
But I now proceed to the other instance that I would give an account of, which is of the little child forementioned. Her name is Phebe Bartlet, daughter of William Bartlet. I shall
give the account as I took it from the mouths of her parents, whose veracity, none that know them doubt of.
She was born in March, in the year 1731. About the latter end of April, or beginning of May, 1735, she was greatly affected by the talk of her brother, who had been hopefully converted a little before, at about eleven years of age, and then seriously talked to her about the great things of religion. Her parents did not know of it at that time, and were not wont, in the counsels they gave to their children, particularly to direct themselves to her, by reason of her being so young, and, as they supposed not capable of understanding, but after her Vol. III
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brother had talked to her, they observed her very earnestly to listen to the advice they gave to the other children, and she was observed very constantly to retire, several times in a day, as was concluded, for secret prayer, and grew more and more engaged in religion, and was more frequently in her closet, till at last she was wont to visit it five or six times in a day, and was so engaged in it, that nothing would, at any time divert her from her stated closet exercises. Her mother often observed and watched her, when such things occurred, as she thought most likely to divert her, either by putting it out of her thoughts, or otherwise engaging her inclinations, but never could observe her to fail. mentioned some very remarkable instances.
She once, of her own accord, spake of her unsuccessfulness, in that she could not find God, or to that purpose. But on Thursday, the last day of July, about the middle of the day, the child being in the closet, where it used to retire, its mother heard it speaking aloud, which was unusual, and never had been observed before ; and her voice seemed to be as of one exceeding importunate and engaged, but her mother could distinctly hear only these words (spoken in her childish manner, but seemed to be spoken with extraordinary earnestness, and out of distress of soul), Pray BESSED LORD give me salvation I PRAY, BEG pardon all my sins! When the child had done prayer, she came out of the closet, and came and sat down by her mother, and cried out aloud. Her mother very earnestly asked her several times, what the matter was, before she would make any answer, but she continued exceedingly crying, and wreathing her body to and fro, like one in anguish of spirit. Her mother then asked her whether she was afram that God would not give her salvation. She then answered yes, I am afraid I shall go to hell! Her mother then endeavored to quiet her, and told her she would not have her cry—she must be a good girl, and pray every day, and she hoped God would give her salvation. But this did not quiet her at all -- but she continued thus earnestly crying and taking on for some time, till at length she suddenly ceased crying and began to smile, and presently said with a smiling countenance-Mother, the kingdom of heaven is come to me! Her mother was surprised at the sudden alteration, and at the speech, and knew not what to make of it, but at first said nothing to her. The child presently spake again, and said, there
is another come to me, and there is another—there is three; and being asked what she meant, she answered—One is, thy will be done, and there is another---enjoy him forever ; by which it seems that when the child said, there is three come to me, she meant three passages of its catechism that came to her mind.
After the child had said this, she retired again into her closet; and her mother went over to her brother's, who was next neighbor; and when she came back, the child being come out of the closet, meets her mother with this cheerful speech I can find God now! Referring to what she had before complained of, that she could not find God. Then the child spoke again, and said I love God. Her mother asked her how well she loved God, whether she loved God better than her father and mother, she said yes. Then she asked her whether she loved God better than her little sister Rachel, she answered yes, better than any thing! Then her eldest sister, referring to her saying she could find God now, asked her where she could find God; she answered, in heaven. Why, said she, have you been in heaven? No, said the child. By this it seems not to have been any imagination of any thing seen with bodriy eyes that she called God, when she said I can find God now. Her mother asked her whether she was afraid of going to hell, and that had made her cry. She answered, yes, I was; but now I shall not. Her mother asked her whether she thought that God had given Ler salvation : she answered yes. Her mother asked her, when ; she
She seems to have very much of the fear of God before her eyes, and an extraordinary dread of sin against him ; of which her mother mentioned the following remarkable instance. Some time in August, the last year, she went with some bigger children, to get some plums, in a neighbor's lot, knowing nothing of any harm in what she did; but when she brought some of the plums into the house, her mother mildly reproved her, and told her that she must not get plums without leave, because it was sin : God had commanded her not to steal. The child seemed greatly surprised, and burst out into tears, and cried out, I will not have these plums! And turning to her sister Eunice, very earnestly said to her-- Why did you ask me to go to that plum tree? I should not have gone if you had not asked me. The other children did not seem to be much affected or concerned ; but there was no pacifying Phebe. Her mother told her she might go and ask leave, and then it would not be sin for her to eat ther, and sent one of the children to that end; and when she returned, her mother told her that the owner had given leave, now she might eat them, and it would not be stealing. This stilled her a little while, but presently she broke out again into an exceeding fit of crying: her mother asked her what made her cry again? Why she cried now, since they had asked leave? What it was that troubled her now? And asked her several times very earnestly, before she made any answer; but at last, said it was because—BECAUSE IT WAS SIN. She continued a considerable time crying; and said she would not go again if Eunice asked her a hundred times ; and she retained her aversion fo that fruit for a considerable time, under the remembrance of her former sin.
She, at some times, appears greatly affected and delighted with texts of Scripture that come to her mind. Particularly, about the beginning of November, the last year, that text came to her mind, Rev. ii. 20, Behold 1 stand at the door and knock ; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in, and sup with him and he with me. She spoke of it to those of the family, with a great appearance of joy, a siniling countenance, and elevation of voice, and afterwards she went into another room, where her mother overheard her talking very earnestly to the children about it, and particularly heard her say to them, three or four times over, with an air of exceeding joy and admirationWhy it is to SUP With Gon. At some time about the middle of winter, very late in the night, when all were in bed, her mother perceived that she was awake, and heard her as though she was weeping. She called to her, and asked her what was the matter. She answered with a low voice, so that her mother could not hear what she said ; but thinking it might be occasioned by some spiritual affection, said no more to her ; but perceived her to lie awake, and to continue in the same frame for a considerable time. The next morning she asked her whether she did not cry the last night: the child answered yes, I did cry a little, for I was thinking about God and Christ, and they loved me. Her mother asked her, whether to think of God and Christ's loving her made her cry: she answered yes, it does sometimes.
She has often manifested a great concern for the good of other souls, and has been wont many times affectionately to counsel the other children. Once
about the tatter end of September, the last year, when she and some others of the children were in a room by themselves a husking Indian corn, the child, after a while, came out and sat by the fire. Her mother took notice that she appeared with a more than ordinary serious and pensive countenance, but at last she broke silence, and said I have been talking to Nabby and Eunice. Her mother asked her what she had said to them. Why, said she, I told them they must pray, and prepare to die, that they had but a little while to live in this world, and they must be always ready. When Nabby came out, her mother
asked her whether ae had said that to them. Yes, said she, she said that and a great deat more. At other times the child took her opportunities to talk to the other children about the great concern of their souls; sometimes so as much to affect them, and set them into tears. She was once exceeding importunate with her mother to go with her sister
Naomi to pray: her mother endeavored to put her off, but she pulled her by the sleeve, and seemed as if she would by no means be denied. At last her mother told her, that Amy must go and pray herself; but, said the child, she will not go, and persisted earnestly to beg of her mother to go with her.
She has discovered an uncommon degree of a spirit of charity, particularly on the following occasion: a poor man that lives in the woods, had lately lost a cow that the family much depended on, and being at the house, he was relating his misfortune, and telling of the straits and difficulties they were reduced to by it. She took much notice of it, and it wrought exceedingly on her compassions; and after she had attentively heard him a while, she went away to her father, who was in the shop, and entreated him to give that man a cow; and told him that the poor man had no cow! That the hunters or something else had killed his cow! And entreated him to give him one of theirs. Her father told her that they could not spare one. Then she entreated him to let him and his family come and live at his house and bad much talk of the same nature, whereby she manifested bowels of compassion to the poor.br
She has manifested great love to her minister; particularly when I returned from my long journey for my health, last fall, when she heard of it, she appeared very joyful at the news, and told the children of it with an elevated voice, as the most joyful tidings, repeating it over and over, Mr. Edwards is come home! Mr. Edwards is come home! She still continues very constant in secret prayer, so far as can be observed (for she seems to have no desire that others should observe her when she retires, but seems to be a child of a reserved temper), and every night before she goes to bed will say her catechism, and will by no means miss of it: she never forgot it but once, and then after she was abed, thought of it and cried out in tears—I have not said my catechism! And would not be quieted till her mother asked her the catechism as she lay in bed. She sometimes appears to be in doubt about the condition of her soul, and when asked whether she thinks that she is prepared for death, speaks something doubtfully about it: at other times seems to have no doubt, but when asked, replies yes, without hesitation.
In the former part of this great work of God amongst us, till it got to its height, we seemed to be wonderfully smiled upon and blessed in all respects. Satan (as has been already observed) seemed to be unusually restrained; persons that before had been involved in melancholy, seemed to be as it were waked up out of it, and those that had been entangled with extraordinary temptations seemed wonderfully to be set at liberty, and not only so, but it was the most remarkable time of health that ever I knew since I have been in the town. We ordinarily have several bills put up, every Sabbath, for persons that are sick, but now we have not so much as one for many Sabbaths together. But after this it seemed to be otherwise, when this work of God appeared to be at its greatest height. A poor weak man that belongs to the town, being in great Spiritual trouble, was hurried with violent temptations to cut his own throat, and made an attempt, but did not do it effectually. He after this continued a considerable time exceedingly overwhelmed with melancholy but has now, of a long time, been very greatly delivered, by the light of God's countenance lifted up upon him, and has expressed a great sense of his sin in so far yielding to temp