Source archive: Bethlehem
Document reference: Memoirs Bethlehem 0164
The single Sister Martha Ashly. She wrote of herself as follows: I am born the 21st. Sept. 1736. at Stornhill near Wike. & brought up in the engl. Church. In my Childhood I heard the Brethren ; testifying the tender Love of our Saviour that I got a deep Impression therefrom in my Heart; but this, by ; my unsettled state of Mind, soon faded away. Till the Time when Br. & Sistr. Held a School for Girls ; erected, there our Savr. came so powerfully on my Heart, that I could from the Bottom of my Heart weep to him, to make me a happy Child. I never shall forget the blessed Time among us Children, ; especially what feelings
we had in our Meetings. A. 49 I came among the Girls, & there I had a particular School, till I turned
within all my spoiled Constitution towards my Savr. & so gave me anew to him as a poor reward for his Sufferings. In this Situation I remained as long as I was among the Girls & the feelings of our dear Saviours Love conducted me through all the following Occurrences. The 13 of August 1751. Was I received into the Congregation & after a long wishing & longing I was A. 55. the 27th. of Jan. admitted to the holy Sacrament. What I ; felt thereby is inexpressible for me. the 4th. of May a.e. I came among the single Sisters, by this Opportunity I ; deliverd myself so as I was, to the Property of my Lord & wished now to live in the Choir- House, My sickly Constitution was an Obstacle in my Wish however my DesireAo. 60. I obtained my Desire. Here now the holy Ghost begun to show to me my marred & in the Bottom spoiled Nature, this made in the Beginning many perplexed Hours to me & spoiled many a Happiness which I was to enjoy into our Choir-House; However about that to he comforted me in a very rich Measure, I acknowledged myself as a poor ; Sinner, so as I was & begun quite at a new with my Bridegroom. Now I perceive that our Saviour begins to hasten to finish my poor Soul & that is the Point of all my hearty Wishes”. So far She herself. Our dear Sister was sickly a long Time, but behaved herself very patient & complained about nothing, as when her Heart not according to her Wish was in Conversation wth. our Savr.
At last She begun to grow weary, then since the Time her Sickness begun, she saw 8 of her Choir-fellows going home & said to her Choir-Labourer: “Will my dear Saviour not soon come & take me along to him? I can’t tell ye how ; graciously he assisted me, as well in my ; bodily & Souls Occurrences; I’ll leave it over to him, when he the Moment thinks proper to take my poor Soul home. And in this happy Situation She expected from the pale Lips her last kiss; whom She received to Day in the 27th. Year of her Age.
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Stornhill near Wike