Thur., January 5th, 1738. I made frequent visits this month to Blendon, and rejoiced over Mrs. Delamotte, now entirely cordial and friendly. We were joined by Mr. Piers, the Minister of Bexley, who delighted in every opportunity of conversing, singing, and praying with us.
Fri., February 3d. In the afternoon news was brought me at James Hutton's, that my brother was come from America. I could not believe, till at night I saw him. He comes, not driven away, but to tell the true state of the colony; which, according to his account, is truly deplorable.
Sat., February 4th. I informed Mr. Oglethorpe of his arrival. He was very inquisitive into the cause of his coming; said he ought not to have returned without the Trustees' leave. At ten, before the Council, I heard the fresh pleadings for Carolina.
Mon., February 6th. I waited on the good Archbishop, who received me with his usual kindness.
Wed., February 8th. I was with the Trustees, who were surprised by my brother's account of Georgia, the fewness of the people, &c.
Fri., February 10th. We dined at Mr. Vernon's, who accosted me, "Well, Sir, I hope you intend returning to Georgia." I answered, "That is my desire and design." I heard more of the great discouragements the poor people labour under.
Sat., February 11th. I heard Clerk plead for Georgia, before the Council, and Mr. Oglethorpe's speech.
Thur., February 16th. Mr. Oglethorpe told me, "Your brother must have a care. There is a very strong spirit raising against him. People say he is come over to do mischief to the colony. He will be called upon for his reasons, why he left the people." I answered, "Sir, he has been twice before at the Board for that purpose, but was not asked that question, and therefore had no opportunity to answer it. He will attend them again on Wednesday morning." I waited on his Lordship of London, and informed him of my brother's return. He spoke honourably of him; expressed a great desire to see him; asked many questions about Georgia, and the Trustees; forgot his usual reserved and dismissed me very kindly.
Fri., February 17th. I came in the Oxford coach to my old lodgings at Mr. Sarney's.
Sat., February 18th. I rode over to Stanton-Harcourt, to see John Gainbold and my sister. My brother met us. We prayed and sang together. In the evening I prayed at Mr. Sarney's, with some scholars, and a Moravian.
Sun., February 19th. I received the sacrament once more at Christchurch.
Mon., February 20th. I began teaching Peter Bohler English.
Tues., February 21st. In the afternoon I lay down, half distracted with the tooth-ache.
Wed., February 22d. I waked much better. At five I had some close conversation with Peter Bohler, who pressed upon our scholars the necessity of combining, and instanced in many awakened, but fallen asleep again, for want of it. He talked much of the necessity of prayer and faith.
Fri., February 24th. At six in the evening, an hour after I had taken my electuary, the tooth-ache returned more violently than ever. I smoked tobacco; which set me at vomiting, and took away my senses and pain together. At eleven I waked in extreme pain, which I thought would quickly separate soul and body. Soon after Peter Bohler came to my bedside. I asked him to pray for me. He seemed unwilling at first, but, beginning very faintly, he raised his voice by degrees, and prayed for my recovery with strange confidence. Then he took me by the hand, and calmly said, "You will not die now." I thought within myself," I cannot hold out in this pain till morning. If it abates before, I believe I may recover." He asked me, "Do you hope to be saved ]" "Yes." "For what reason do you hope it" "Because I have used my best endeavours to serve God." He shook his head, and said no more. I thought him very uncharitable, saying in my heart, "What, are not my endeavours a sufficient ground of hope Would he rob me of my endeavours I have nothing else to trust to."
By the morning my pain was moderated. Ted Bentham, calling, then persuaded me to be blooded. I continued in great pain. In the evening he brought Dr. Manatom.
On Saturday morning I was blooded again; and at night a third time.
Sun., February 26th. Mr. Wells brought my sister Kezzy. Dr. Fruin came. I dictated a letter to Dr. Cockburn, and James Hutton.
Mon., February 27th. The scale seemed to turn for life. I had prayed that my pains might not outlast this day; and was answered.
Tues., February 28th. My dear James Hutton came post from London, and brought me Dr. Cockburu's letter and directions. As soon as I was able, I sent my brother at Tiverton the following account :--
"Dear Brother,--I borrow another's hand, as I cannot use my own. You remember Dr. South's saying [I have been within the jaws of death, but he was not suffered to shut his mouth upon me]. I ought never to forget it. Dr. Manaton told me, he expected to have found me dead at his second visit. This several remarkable accidents concurred to hinder. I had kept in a week before the pleurisy came, and taken physic twice. At midnight it seized me so violently, that I never expected to see the morning. In the preceding afternoon I had taken Dr. Cockburn's electuary, and an hour after was visited by so outrageous a tooth-ache, that it forced me to the abominable remedy of a pipe. This quickly made me discharge my astringent, and, in all probability, saved my life; binding medicines being poison in a pleuritic fever. I took my illness for the flux, and so never thought of sending for a physician. T. Bentham fetched him against my will, and was probably the instrument of saving my life a second time. Dr. M. called in Dr. Fruin. They bled me three times, and poured down draughts, oils, and apozems without end. For four days the balance was even. Then, as Spenser says,
'I over-wrestled my strong enemy.'
Ever since I have been slowly gathering strength; and yesterday took my first journey to my sister's room, who has been with me from the beginning, and no small comfort to me.
"One consequence of my sickness you will not be sorry for,--its stopping my sudden return to Georgia. For the Doctor tells me, to undertake a voyage now would be certain death. Some reasons for his not going immediately my brother will mention to you in person.
"Before I was taken ill, my brother set out for Tiverton; but came back instead of proceeding on his journey; stayed a week with me; and then went with Mr. Kinchin to Manchester.
"For some days that I continued mending, I was greatly tormented with the tooth-ache. One day I prayed that the pain might be suspended; and it was for all that day.
"I had Dr. Fruin to my sister, taken ill. We communicated almost every day."
Tues., March 28th. I was greatly moved in reading the Life of Mr. Halyburton.
Mon., April 3d. By my brother's advice, I resolved to give up my Secretary's place; and to-day wrote my letter of resignation.
Sat., April 8th. I got abroad to the evening prayers at Christ-church; and received comfort from the lessons and anthem.
Wed., April 12th. I received Mr. Oglethorpe's answer to my letter of resignation; wherein he offered, if I would keep my place, to get it supplied in my absence by a deputy.
Sat., April 15th. Drs. Fruin and Mancron called, and forbade my voyage. Both as physicians and friends they advised me not to go, but stay at College, since I might, as senior Master, expect offices and preferment.
Wed., April 19th. I came up to town, to take my leave of Mr. Oglethorpe, who received me with his accustomed kindness. The next day I had the satisfaction of once more meeting that man of God, Peter Bohler.
Mon., April 24th. I took a ride to Blendon. In the afternoon we made Mr. Piers a visit; and, returning, found Mr. Broughton and my brother at Blendon.
Tues., April 25th. Soon after five, as we were met in our little chapel, Mrs. Delamotte came to us. We sang, and fell into a dispute whether conversion was gradual or instantaneous. My brother was very positive for the latter, and very shocking; mentioned some late instances of gross sinners believing in a moment. I was much offended at his worse than unedifying discourse. Mrs. Delamotte left us abruptly. I stayed, and insisted, a man need not know when first he had faith. His obstinacy in favouring the contrary opinion drove me at last out of the room. Mr. Broughton was only not so much scandalized as myself. After dinner, he and my brother returned to town. I stayed behind, and read them the Life of Mr. Halyburton: one instance, but only one, of instantaneous conversion.
Wed., April 26th. I passed the day at Mr. Piers's, in singing, and reading, and mutual encouragement. In the evening we finished Haiyburton. The meltingness it occasioned in me, (like those before,) soon passed away as a morning cloud. Next morning I returned to London.
Fri., April 28th. No sooner was I got to James Hutton's, having removed my things thither from his father's, than the pain in my side returned, and with that my fever. Having disappointed God in his last visitation, he has now again brought me to the bed of sickness. Towards told-night I received some relief by bleeding. In the morning Dr. Cockburn came to see me; and a better physician, Peter Bohler, whom God had detained in England for my good. He stood by my bedside, sad prayed over me, that now at least I might see the divine intention, in this and my late illness. I immediately thought it might he that I should again consider Bohler's doctrine of faith; examine myself whether I was in the faith; and if I was not, never cease seeking and longing after it, till I attained it.