Diary of Ralph Josselin (Private Collection)

30.1.1651, 11.2.1651, 13.2.1651, 23.2.1651 (Thursday 30 January 1651)

document 70005540

Feb: 23. This week past the Lord was good to us in our peace plenty, health, in all our outward mercies for which I bless his most holy name, his providence was sweet in the season, the weather dry and healthful, my family and scholars preserved from the smallpox which yet is in the town, the lords name be praise, and for being health to my navel, and freeing me from coughs and colds, but his sweetest mercy is his presence in my bosom sometimes to shake me, and sweeten my heart with his consolation and cause troubles to vanish, and to fly away,

he was good to me in the word, and in the meeting of both sacraments this day(,) which had not been celebrated for nearly 9 years. [Lords Supper,] The day after the humiliation at my house wherein gods presence was much, Mr Harlakenden propounded if christians would, we might proceed to administer the lords supper which I entertained with joy, and so did divers, it was propounded to divers christians about us, but we had no help nor joining from them but from Wm Cowell , but meeting privately about it, we were still letted, but god gave us a resolution to go on wherefore we desired Mole that hindered if he would not help to stand off and not hinter, who dissented, and reckoned no pastors now are in the earth as we could gather, disowned baptism; I declared if men did not in some measure own all ordinances, I could not own them in this: so now we resolved on the work, how few so ever would join and to trust god with the same, and to give public notice to prevent offence, and yet to admit none but such as in charity we reckon to be disciples. Jan: 30. we met at Priory , divers pressed that persons must make out a work of true grace on their hearts in order to fellowship and this ordinance, I was ill with the toothache, yet I could not but speak, and turned them to all places in the Acts and showed that believing admitted into Communion, and none rejected that professed faith, and then if their lives were not scandalous that we could not turn away from them in this ordinance; this gave good satisfaction to our company, we went on(,) appointed two meetings at my house to take names and admit by joint consent. Feb: 11. was the first, when divers came that we could not comfortably join with, my heart quaked and our company feared before I did anything, I sought god in private, and he sweetly answered me who are you that are afraid of a man, and fears not me, which came with life, and brought of my heart upon it, I spoke as god enabled me, that we should search peoples knowledge and admonish them in point of scandal, and Mr Harlakenden seconded me, then praying I dismissed the company, and gave a liberty to go forth, and bade our company give in their names, most went, a few gave in their names: Thursday came Feb: 13. went stranger faces appeared. I sought god, he answered not, I was resolved to rest on his former answer, I sought again, and he answered, I will never fail thee nor forsake thee, which word came with power, and commanded my heart. I admonished divers, admitted others with consent, divers christians hung back. we met. Feb. 20: in a day of humiliation at priory , and there god was on our hearts and our company there gave up themselves to this work about 34. after the ordinance was done, and the collection for the poor the rest withdrew we stayed, and proposed whether any had anything against another that we might join as one bread, we gathered for bread and wine, and proceeded, Feb.23. to celebrate the ordinance.

we all sat round and near the table, and bread was broken not cut in blessing it, the lord poured out a spirit of mourning over christ crucified on me and most of the company, and my soul eyed him more than ever, and god was sweet to me in the work, no vain thoughts but wholly intent on the work, no difficulty among ourselves, a savour on my spirit, but not that healing to my soul at present I desired, but I will wait on god in the way of his ordinances and bless his name and leave his manifestations to his own time, praising him that it was not empty to me

received an account from many of our society of the sweet and comfortable presence of god with them, the liveliness of the actions in breaking the bread, and in pouring out the wine, the lords name have the glory of all.