I have some weeks past neglected to continue my diary and concluded to drop it thinking maybe I had done enough if not too much at it but upon trial feel not quite easy. Remember what first put me upon it was William Penn's advice to his children, which was to keep an account of every day, although a day required but a line; he said many advantages flowed from it, and further he advised them to keep a commonplace book and when they read the scriptures or any religious book if they met with passages that feelingly or livingly impressed their minds to make a note of it for he says these openings and impressions come not in the will of man no more than the Scriptures did to the inspired penmen and he says they may be lost through carelessness or overgrowing cares of the world. I believe it has been something like putting wood upon the altar to keep the fire burning as we read in Scripture for Solomon says where no vision is the people perish [Proverbs 29:18] so I begin again:
27 of the Fourth Month, 1823. First Day. At our meeting and I thought there was some evidence of the ownings of truth to my comfort and satisfaction.
29. George Hatton from Indiana (700 miles they say westward) appointed a meeting at our meeting house and he did preach I think more than one hour. He is an amiable able minster but in the midst of all our ministerial labors a spirit of ease settled on the leess which he mentioned on the lap of this world seems hard to reach and although they seemed to be attentive many were dull and heavy and it seemed like music to a sleepy man and but little animation: we read that 3000 were converted to the Christian faith at Peter's first sermon and it is said as many as made up 5000 at the next sermon: and that in George Fox's day many were convinced at one meeting but it would be a rare thing to hear of one or two being reached or tendered to tears as was frequent in them days when they say at some meetings there was few dry eyes but now it is a great rarity to see a tear: but them they say tears were frequently seen to run down their cheeks and they often tremble as they sat in their meetings and so they in scorn and derision gave them the name of Quakers and at some meetings the floor looked as if there had been a sprinkling of rain with their tears a broken heart and a contrite spirit the Lord will not despise but has promised to dwell with the humbled contrite that tremble at his word but alas how far is our state from such a state of humility and contrition as John Churchman says oh how is the ancient plainness and simplicity of truth departed and pomp and splendid appearaces taken their places.