Elizabeth Saffery Diary: April 1798

Monday [2 April 1798]

Much affected with seeing one of our Relatives near death having no hope of her knowing any thing of divine things – Oh what an important matter is the things of Religion Lord sanctify this awful providence took my leave of many friends to day, enjoyd but little of God Oh for more Spirituality.

Tuesday [2 April 1798]

Rejoiced this morning when I awake that ye Lord has brought me thus far & enabled [me] to rise tho in much pain and weakness to take the journey to Romsey in my way home. Surely our God doth hear & answer prayer. I have been very anxious to see my dear friends once more this side Eternity hope I felt thankful.

Arrived at R about 5 oclock Blessed be God found my dear Partner & friends well was much affected with being so unexpectedly permited to see our dear friends. Nothing is too hard for our God to do he can cast down to grave & rise up again to his name be all ye Glory.

Wednesday [4 April 1798]

Blessed be God for enableing a poor worm to go with his dear Children to ye Sanctury meet to past 10 oclock. Mr Cole[1] preachd fm Corns 2 & 12 – in ye Afternoon dear Mr Steadman fm John 13 & 31 – in ye eveng my dear Father fm Joshua 18 & 3 How long are ye so slack &c hope it was a profitable day to many, may ye Lord own & bless the Labours of his dear servants for ye conversion of many souls in that poor Lifeless place.

In ye evening was every Ill Oblidged to retire to Rest fearing least a return of my complaint but blessed be God had a better Night then expected felt I hope happy being in ye hand of a gracious God.

Thursday [5 April 1798]

Bless the Lord O my soul & forget not all his benefits who forgiveth all thine iniquities who healeth all thy diseases. How good is ye Lord in permiting me to rise this morning to pursue my journey home the return of ye past & present day reminds me of ye care the Ld has taken of an unworthy worm, hitherto through this gloomy vail to his name be all ye prease 12 years ye Lord have spared my dearest & best of companions to me we have glory be to our God lived happy these years together & tho not exempt from trial & affliction yet I trust we have walkd together as heirs of ye grace of God that our prayers have not been hindred, if our lives are to continue may it be spent more to the glory of God, we have reason to be humbled we have been no more zealous for our God Lord forgive us all our help may come from Thee may my dear partner be made very useful in ye Vineyard of God & his very valueable Life spard to a very distant period.

Thursday noon [5 April 1798]

Oh for a heart to prease ye Lord once more brought to my home to my dear partner & friend here may I rase a fresh Ebenezer Oh may I never never forget the goodness of God he has done great things for me whereof I have reason to be glad I desire to give him all ye prease.

Friday [6 April 1798]

My dear beloved Father and Sister left us this morning, was affected at departing but trust by & by to meet in that world of Glory where parting will not be known. Oh for a strong & lasting faith my body appears decaying strength small but there we shall be like our God – may I live in a constant preparedness for ye Solemn Change.

Lords day [8 April 1798]

Very weak & poorly but enabled to arise this morning to go ye house of ye Lord & meet my beloved friends was much affected to see them once more & ye awfull news we heard just as we were going one of [our] near Relitives come into an eternal world we fear stranger to God. Oh how solemn the thought Lord sanctify this awful providence to her dear partner & Child & to us all – have not enjoyed much to day my mind confused Oh what a mercy to get above where Sin nor Sorrow can never enter.

Oh what reason to mourn the absence of God, have felt but little if any thing of ye life & power of Religion this past week deadness darkness & stupidity have pleased my soul. Where Oh where will these vile Affections rove, That let my saviour go Oh Lord have mercy on me is it not my desire that ye repeated strokes I feel may be Sanctifyed to ye purging away ye dross but how does it appear while I experance this.

I know not what I wish & desire if I long not for the return of ye light of thy own Countenance “Come holy spirit heavenly dove” with all thy Quickening powers.

My dear partner is gone to Bratton may ye Lord Bless his Labours to many precious Souls I want to feel more of a spirit of prayer for him.

O at what a poor dieing rate I live – Thanks to God I have not sind away my desires & I feel sin a burden. Nothing I trust will satisfy my Soul short of ye delightfull presence of our dear Redeemer. Mr Budden[2] of Downton preachd this morning from [entry unfinished]


Have to lament I have enjoyd but very little of ye presence of God in public or privet – how little real devotion is there when we profess to meet the Lord in his house. Oh Lord heal my backslidings & Love me freely.

Monday [9 April 1798]

Hope I have felt earnest desires to be made more Spiritual not to live at this sinful rate found my heart somewhat engagd in prayer today. Oh could I dwell more with God in sweet Contemplation on his Glory –

I want every trial & Affliction more Sanctifyd to ye purging away ye dross that still remain am prevented going to ye house of God this evening but trust I love ye Gates of Zion. Gracious Father make thy servants unexpected visit very useful that some poor Sinner may be pluckd from ye burning tonight – & let not thy poor worm lose a blessing thou hast blessed by thy name made this house a Bethel often, grant it again that my soul wh is shut up may come forth & rejoice in God as my Salvation – Evening very wandering in prayer when shall I with pleasure draw near to God thou hidest thy face & I am troubled.

Saterday [14 April 1798]

For some days past have again been excercised with violent pain in my head Oh Lord remove thy Rod from me or grant me more patience & submission to thy will. Prepare me for every future event, if my life is to be spent in weakness pain & affliction let me glorify thee in ye furnace hope I have still my hope fixt on ye Rock of Ages amidst all my unworthyness Jesus is ye same to him I desire to surrender myself my all & come to him as a poor needy sinner & blessed be his name he is able to save to the very uttermost.

Trust I have enjoyed some breathing heavenward this week but alas how faint & few are these seasons. Oh could I live more with God & that would fully make up ye want of health & vivacity I once enjoyd. In him my vast desires are filld, And All my powers rejoice.

Lordsday Afternoon [15 April 1798]

Was enabled to attend ye house of God this morning hope it was not altogether in vain my dear Partner preachd on Sanctification fm I Thessans 4 & part of 3d verse For this is ye will of God even your sanctification may I feel more of this Grace on my soul.

This afternoon at home but I need much of the presence of God Oh when shall I be more like our dear Redeemer how little Zeal do I feel for him When shall I at my heavenly home arrive when leave this world & when begin to Love.

In ye Evening heard my dear Mr S from Isaiah 40 & 19 & 20 verses trust it was a delightful season. O what a mercy to have a good hope through grace of entering into that State where it will be Eternal Day.

No gnawing greive No heart in pain

In that Bless’d country can Admission gain.

May I live more in the sweet employ of contemplating on its glorys, surely there is enough in Religion to engage all our thoughts & Affection were we not so earthly sensual & devilish.[3]


[1] Charles Cole (1733-1813), Baptist minister at Whitchurch, 1758-1813, and a hymnwriter.

[2] Most likely Saffery means John Bain, Baptist minister at Downton at that time.

[3] This was her final entry; Elizabeth Saffery died on 27 May 1798.