Title:1763 - 1764 SUPERB, ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARY OF HER LIFE AND JOURNAL OF HER RELIGIOUS TURMOIL AND DESPAIR HANDWRITTEN BY THE SOON TO BE WIFE OF A NOTED ENGLISH CLERGYMAN
Book Condition: Very Good
Size: 8vo - over 7¾
Publisher: BEDFORD ENGLAND  1763
Seller ID: 0002323
On offer is a sensational, original ancient 1763 through 1764 manuscript journal of thoughts, emotions, religious out pouring and continual internal dialogue threaded throughout diary entries of the author's daily life and family. The 144 page book was handwritten by Elizabeth Kingsley [later Symonds] when she married Reverend Joshua Symonds the noted clergyman who presided at the Bunyan Meeting Hall in Bedford and the man who took over after the death of the great John Bunyan author of "Pilgrims Progress." Dated October 20th, 1763 to June 30th, 1764 the 6 ¼" x 7 ½" book with a faded teal cover is marked No. 3, numbers, 1 and 2 lost to history, has another name; Elizabeth Emery, Bedford being her daughter, this manuscript relic offers a super insight into her life and times: her "attempts" to follow her teachings from the Bible and her teachers. She writes of the sermons of such preachers of the Evangelical Revival as Madan, Romaine, Venn, Brittain, Langford, Hogg, Brewer at Pinner's Hall and others. She writes of visits to "Wesley's" chapel and attending a Methodist meeting, though not a "follower". Descriptions of life include "The Lord Mayor's Parade", entries on their servants, including one who had died after leaving their service "a carnal woman", illness in the family and she is often "troubled with frightful dreams" and so much more. Here are some snippets of this intriguing diary: "I am at present slothful in religion, but I have no power to do anything; I can't help myself. My spiritual disease rages and gets head apace and at the same I fund my strength decay" and "A very stupid frame I have been in today; but O yet blessed be the Lord, he had not left me for some weeks past, to those great terrors which sometimes I have…"1763 "October 20th, But what can I hope for from the one who I have so often offended. I daily sin against my only remedy. The complicated woes that I feel, they are too great to be escaped. I am ready to give up all hope and lay down in perpetual sorrow. But then sometimes at the extremity, I cast my self before the only Savoir and pray that he will have mercy on me and pray that I may serve him, then my wounded conscience gets a little ease, and I think my conflicts are abated; but ah! Too soon they all return. Jesus, master, have mercy on me, O restore to me the joys of thy salvation. Do then heal all my diseases, take me as a poor lost sheep and carry me upon they shoulder, for I can't walk one step of the way to glory. I commit my soul to thee this night and will lay me down to rest, hoping for better times. Sleep begins to overpower me, praised be God that I have a comfortable bed to rest on. I have forfeited every mercy but yet he bestows many upon me." (She always talks about being "afflicted with drowsiness" and takes something for it.) "November 3rd, Yesterday there was a parting in the family. One went away who had been in the house near a year and half. I was sorry at first and retired as soon as I could and put up a few petitions for her and also for her that I expected to supply her place that her coming here might be for her good. But she never came and I have been all this day stirring about and had but little time for my soul, likewise have mist hearing Mr. Brittain. However in all things I say, thy will of the Lord be done. I would learn something from everything that happens; and from seeing how it is to be so full employed with worldly business, I would learn to be thankful that my dear friends are in such circumstances as to keep some body to do the work. Send us, O Lord, I pray thee, send a proper person if it be thy will, one that is of the household of faith….." "November 4th, Tis still bad as to the affairs of my soul. Have this day taken a stranger into the family. May I be interested in her behalf and endeavor to do her all the good that I possibly can; O help me Lord, to set a good example." "November 9th, This has been Lord Mayors day and a disagreeable day to me for I went to the show, to take my sisters who had never seen it before and were very desirous of it. I was but low in spirits yet that was much better than if I had been light and trifling. I thought what a deal of time there had been spent in preparation for a vain show and for the feasts and ball which was to be this evening. A friend of mine said how these people shame Christians, but that is for want of our having our end more in view. I desire to be very thankful that we are got safe home without the least accident, especially as we were in very imminent danger. We came out of the house too soon and just after there came such a violent crowd we could neither go on nor get back, and I really thought one of the children would have been killed. I don't know that when I was so frightened in my life; but yet not upon my own account, tho I was in danger, but I had two little ones to take care of and I thought they would either have been thrown down or trampled to death or have had their limbs broke. It was a great mercy they did not fall for if they had, there would have been no hope. My sprits were quite terrified, and it was not just a fright and then over but we stood for a long time in the street and I had my pocket pickt and lost six or seven shillings at least. The Lord did in my distress send me help and two men greatly defended me. May he reward them for it. One of them conducted me safe out of the crowd….." "November 18th, This morning when I wak'd I was much troubled; and wished to have returned to that state of insensibility that I had just left. I seem'd only to open my eyes to sorrow, and expected to have had a sad disconsolate day; but glory be to God he quickly gave me peace but I have not time to record particulars." "November 23rd, These words have often come into my mind lately, as applicable to me. Sensual, not having the spirit, and today I thought these words were very suitable. Malachi 1:10. I have no pleasure in you, with the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand. God seems to reject all that I do; and indeed very justly, for my hands are full of wickedness, thou Lord art holy, just and true. This I will, I must confess, tho I should be miserable forever. The Lord won't accept any offering that I bring but what is the reason, why I offer him a corrupt thing; but I have not a male in my flock, else would I offer it. I pray that his little spark may be blown into a flame." "November 26th, I walk at present by some very faint glimmerings of light." "December 1st, ……I am at present very slothful in religion, but I have no power to do anything. I can't help myself. My spiritual disease rages and gets head apace and at the same I find my strength decay." "December 5th, In the day time I am commonly pretty well in spirit because there is one thing, or other to divert my attention but of a night; when I retire to my closet, and to my bed; then my distress and fear visit me. However I don't desire peace till it is of the right sort. I want not to have my thoughts diverted, I desire no rest, but what flows from the knowledge of my reconciliation to God and to know that I would give ten thousand worlds were they at my disposal." "December 14th, There has been company here yesterday and today which has put me into a hurry of spirits and I have had but little time for retirement because they lay at the house. However I was pretty comfortable yesterday and had some sweet seasons in prayer and I found as I went backward and forward to fetch and carry things, that I could many times life up my heart to God. I had a mind last night to write a letter to an old acquaintance that I had not seen since my being changed. I bed the assistance of the Holy Spirit in it. That he would dictate to me and I only have to write the words, but I did not find it so. I was much left to myself. I staid up till this morning to finish it then went to bed and slept not 4 hours, was but poorly as to my body when I got up…." We note this is the era of John Howard, a wealthy landowner in Cardington who would soon be High Sheriff of the county and from his experience resolved to devote his life to prison reform. Overall G+. BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES: Elizabeth was born on July 16th, 1741 to the parents of Charles Kingsley and Elizabeth Kingsley. She married Reverend Joshua Symonds in 1767 and was the mother of Mary, Anna, Sarah, Esther, Elizabeth, Priscilla, John, Hannah, Thomas and more. In fact the couple had 12 children all together. She died on August 27th, 1792. So she was just 22 years old when writing in her diary. Elizabeth and her husband have some very historical and noteworthy backgrounds. [Two of Elizabeth Kingsley's closest friends were Hannah Wilberforce and Eliza Delafield. Hannah was married to the uncle of the future anti-slavery campaigner, William Wilberforce, and bought him up after the death of his father in 1768, when he was still a child. It was she who inculcated him with Evangelical views, much to the horror of his mother and grandfather who a few years later took him back into their care. She was also the Great Aunt of the novelist Charles Kingsley.] Her soon to be husband, Joshua Symonds, was the son of an apothecary in Kidderminster. In the magazine: "The Baptist Magazine dated 1823: "On the 3rd of November, 1767, Mr. Symonds was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Kingsley, daughter of an eminent druggist, who resided in Lime-street, London and who proved a most excellent Christian both in young and mature age; amiable, modest, benevolent, and heavenly minded, she was indeed the pastor's wife. Previously to her marriage much of her time had been spent with her friend, the late Mrs. Wilberforce, whose habitation was a heaven upon earth, and every day resembled a Sabbath. Here Mrs. Symonds no doubt in spiritual converse with her friend, acquired the habit of and delight in abstractedness from the world, and that deep toned piety which characterized the whole of her life."
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