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ing will see that such things do not sit easy upon us—that they are foreign to our character.”
“Those who devote themselves to mental pursuits should seek great variety of employment, for thus only can overtaxation of the brain be avoided. The amazing acquirements of some military and business men abundantly prove that if the bodily organs be vigorously exercised, the brain is capable of great efforts."
“The proportionate cultivation of our faculties is necessary to intellectual happiness. Much of the ill-nature and misery of studious men arises from straining some faculties and leaving others unemployed.”
“ He is a noble man who seeks
Mid the world's love, toil, and strife,-
Thought to thought, and life to life.
Beauty, grandeur, be descries,-
Or in winter's stormy skies.”
AT HOWDEN. Termination of his correspondence with Miss * *
-Consults a London physician respecting his health-On the range of pulpit-topics—His resignation to the Divine will — Southey's Life of Cowper-Foster's Essays-Bloomfield's Greek Testament-Difficulty of accurately judging the motives of others -Prayer an aid to study-Didactic and devotional aphorisms.
ALL the anxiety Mr. Hessel had felt, and which a young man of his powers and purposes could not but feel, from the dark shadow cast upon the future by his precarious state of health, was "a thing of nought " compared with what he was now called to experience. Enough of his correspondence with Miss * * has been published to show the strength as well as purity of that attachment. “I trust my dear " he had said, to give one quotation more, we shall have reason to bless God, both in time and eternity, that ever we became acquainted. Our connection has arisen purely out of esteem and affection ; it owes its origin to no extraneous influence. I feel that this gives a nobility to love. The interchange of good is equal. You have it in your power to make me happy by offering those sympathies of the heart which wealth cannot purchase, and which I greatly need ; and I hope to be able to extend over you my sheltering care. How wisely our Creator has constituted our nature, and what happiness may be realized when it is not perverted by sin !” Such had been his feelings. And now the connection was to terminate. Those tender bonds were to be severed. There was no rupture-no alienation of feeling on either side. It was his own deed ; done at the bidding of what he believed to be stern duty, and with the full approval, if not
at the recommendation, of his friends. It cost him, however, a struggle and a pang. On the 10th of April he writes, and the “hand” indicates the agitation of the heart : “This connection must be broken. Both her happiness and my own demand it. Yes—it must be—tho'it rend every fibre of my heart. O thou great Searcher of hearts, I appeal to thee! Thou knowest what have been my thoughts and feelings, and what are my motives in this determination.” The sudden annihilation of those bright pictures of domestic enjoyment fancy had often painted, was but a small part of this trial. His social nature found in that intimacy a stimulus and outlet highly beneficial.
He communicated the intelligence to me in a letter from Howden dated April 30th : “I fear you will think I have forgotten you, it is now so long since I wrote. I have been about to write several times but could not brace my mind to the effort. You will not be surprised when you have read this letter. I have passed through severe trials of late. I often wished to pour my sorrows into your friendly ear, but dreaded to harrow up my feelings afresh by a recital of them.
“My hopes of recovery, I now believe, have been unfounded. More decided symptoms of pulmonary disease have been manifested of late. You know there was one tie-one dear tender tie bound me to earth; that I have felt it my duty to sever. I will not attempt to tell you what the effort has cost. I found that my health materially affected hers, and I could not bear the idea of dragging her along with me to the grave. I saw it was best to part. Those of our friends who knew of the connection had long been of that opinion; and after many painful struggles the correspondence from which we both anticipated so much has been closed.
“I leave you to judge what I have suffered. I feel it my duty to watch over my feelings with sternness.
ÆTAT. 21] APPREHENSIONS RESPECTING HIS HEALTA.
an altered man. Sorrow has imparted a marble chillness to my soul; and yet I feel at times as if I should melt with tenderness. My general state is that of calm contented melancholy. My trials are mingled with mercies, and I have now the firmest persuasion that all these things will work together for good.
“ You will naturally inquire what I intend to do in future. Perhaps I ought not to use the word “do,' when I have so much reason to apprehend that it now only remains for me to suffer. I have given up all thoughts of returning to Airedale. A residence in the south seems desirable, but the expense would exceed my means.
I think I could perform the pulpit duties of a small place, and ministerial engagements would probably be beneficial. I may be deceiving myself as to my competency for preaching, but I should like to try. The idea of being silent is very painful. Some of the first physicians have recommended moderate exercise of the lungs in the first stages of consumption, and in some cases election to a professorship has been the means of effecting a cure. But I lie in the hands of God, and as I daily seek His direction, I may trust He will make needful provision for me.
Should He call me away soon I should not like to leave this place. You know there is much to attach me to Howden, and will not wonder at my wish to die here. I intend however to consult one of the London physicians, and should be happy if you could accompany me. We would go by steam and remain only a week. In the present state of my health and spirits I feel reluctant to go alone, and I need not say how delightful your company would be. Do make an effort.
May 5th. “I have been waiting to fix the time of my going to London, and have at last determined upon next Tuesday fortnight. I should like to see you here on Monday. I really do expect you. You must come. We shall stay as long or as short as you like.
“I feel surprised at the improvement in my strength and spirits since last Saturday. But I set small value on these changes, for one day I am on the summit of good health and the next feel ready for the grave. I have no doubt that tubercles are upon my lungs. I am often sanguine of recovery, and that I regard as no good symptom. I can now account for the mental excitement under which I have laboured. It has its origin in disease. I have a thousand things to tell you, but my tardy pen cannot give them utterance. I must reserve them till I see you."
The deeply painful emotions excited by this letter were augmented by the fact that circumstances debarred me from accompanying him to London.
On May 1st he writes in his Journal : “ Sabbath. Last night, in prayer, was very much affected with these words: that Christ may be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.' I felt complete resignation to God. If Christ be magnified in my death, I am not only willing but wishful to die. If the great end be attained it seems not only wrong but foolish to be concerned about my own trifling desires. I thought of my unexecuted plans, and felt I could freely give them up. This morning my soul is calmly stayed upon God. I have not much joy but a sweet peace. I fear that much is yet to be done before I am ready for heaven. I feel unfit to join its company ; but I have a humble confidence that God will prepare me. In examining my heart I think I can see the seeds of glory planted there. Low as my spiritual state is, I possess a something which belongs not to my depraved nature. And yet I sometimes doubt. In my gloomy moments I fear that imagination may have painted these splendid visions, and that I am living under an illusion. I then try to forget the past and come to God as if I had never come before. The sacrifice of the Redeemer is the only plea I urge ; and knowing its prevalency with God I venture my eternal interests upon it.