May 9th 1864
I intend to point my children and servants to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, it is my prayer that God would make me holy in heart and life.
I went to Union a few days ago to hear our dear Minister, brother Gannon, he is an able preacher. Oh how it grieves me that I cannot hear him, I am so deaf in one ear. I am the child of affliction. I have lately passed through a fiery trial, it was my constant prayer that God would give me grace to bear with meekness and patience all that he might see fit for me. I have been greatly tempted and cast down for many days, but ’tis all for the best. My Saviour designs to make me holy I give myself into his gracious hands, and pray that I may be able to do his blessed will.
I was 43 years old last Sunday, the Lord has spared my life, I hope for some good. Goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life, though I have had some fiery trials, and passed through deep waters, yet I have always found God’s grace sufficient for every extremity, he has always been with me, and comforted me in all my trials. I will praise him for his wonderful goodness to me, who am so unworthy. I was greatly blessed in my childhood, for I had a good pious Father who led me in the way to Heaven. I had the advantage of a good christian education, eternity will show the great blessing of a pious parents.
I was converted and joined the church when I was 16 years old. I have grown in grace, God has given me strong faith, he has answered my prayers. I thank and praise him. Hallelujah for the Lord will reign ’til all enemies are put under his feet.
May 9th 1864
We have received two letters from Willie since he left for the army, he was doing well. I received a letter from George who is at Johnson’s island, he was quite well. Mr. Williamson was well, thank the Lord for all his mercies.
Source: Mary Jeffreys Bethell Diary, 1853-1873. #1737-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/bethell/menu.html