Mon 2 Jan 1738: Being sorrowful and very heavy (though I could give no particular reason for it) and utterly unwilling to speak close to any of my little flock (about twenty persons), I was in doubt whether my neglect of them was not one cause of my own heaviness. In the evening, therefore, I began instructing the cabin-boy, after which I was much easier.
I went several times the following days with a design to speak to the sailors, but could not. I mean, I was quite averse from speaking—I could not see how to make an occasion, and it seemed quite absurd to speak without. Is not this what men commonly mean by, ‘I could not speak’? And is this a sufficient cause of silence, or no? Is it a prohibition from the good Spirit? Or a temptation from nature or the evil one?