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however must not alter my resolve to wait upon God. Endeavour to keep the mind in the proper attitude, and it will not be long before a change takes place."
“I saw a great deal in London that pleased and interested me," he wrote to me after his return, June 2nd,“ but of all places I think I should most dislike to live there. Time might alter my sentiments perhaps, but certainly I have loved the country much more since I left the busy scenes of the metropolis. My stay however was so short that I am scarcely entitled to form an opinion on the subject.
“I saw Dr. Ramidge and learnt that my apprehensions were correct. There is a tuberculous cavity in each lung, which, if soine remedy be not applied, must terminate fatally, he says. He has put me on a course of inhalation which has already produced powerful effects. He has forbidden me to preach.
“ The stream of life flows on gently. I have much enjoyment, and but little annoyance. Through the Divine blessing on the means employed I have got my mind well disciplined. Intellectual and moral excellence I now see are not of mushroom growth—they are the slow production of years.
If I am destined for active life, God has shown me the necessity of preparation for it. I can wait. My acquiescence in His plans is complete. I know you will rejoice at this, and most sincerely do I thank you for your sympathy both in joy and sorrow.”—Though he is silent respecting it, this "acquiescence” must have cost an arduous struggle. Conquest involves conflict as certainly in spiritual as in carnal welfare. And the reader will believe that this was not a small conquest. Ambition was not likely to leave him unvisited. His love of literature was strong, and he could not doubt his power of one day augmenting its stores, and hoped, perhaps, to enrol his name among its illustrious sons. Heart-strings would be ÆTAT. 21] HIS RESIGNATION TO THE DIVINE WILL.
torn and bleed therefore, before he could be brought to say : “My acquiescence in His plans is complete.” But I believe this was fact. And though life was prolonged beyond what he then expected, and his health considerably invigorated, he appears to have maintained this feeling. I was in almost daily intercourse with him during the last eighteen months of his life, and I believe he could habitually say:
“ Heart be still !
Be thou still !
“Be thou still !
Be thou still !
“ Rest thou still !
Keep thou still !
“Lord my God!
Lord my God!
“Shepherd King !
Shepherd King!” He proceeds : “I am reading Southey's Life of Cowper. It is a great treat, although I meet with much that I cannot approve. Southey is an elegant writer, and the pleasantest biographer I have lately met with ; but he is utterly unqualified to delineate some parts of Cowper's character. I
may I be
cannot however join in the rant against him which has been raised by a certain party.
“I am going through Foster's Essays. John is a most original thinker. Sometimes, however, he ekes out his thoughts singularly. You know he has long been a favourite with me—that I would scarcely allow any one to find fault with him except myself. I am glad to say
admiration increases. I would put his books into the hands of every reflecting young person. I think he has got much from Pascal.
“Bloomfield's (Greek) Testament still pleases me. The text is beautiful, and the notes are judicious. I am reading the Gospel of John, and perhaps I need not tell you of the enjoyment I realize in tracing the various lineaments of the Redeemer of mankind, as they are pourtrayed by the disciple whom Jesus loved. I have much to regret, but I do hope that my views of 'God manifest in the flesh,' have lately become more clear and intense. There is a beauty and glory in this mystery which captivates my soul. It is this object which has filled my mind, and preserved its varied powers in their proper balance, or I am persuaded that long ere this I should have been—I will not say what. I think I am laid under peculiar obligations to recommend the Saviour."
4th. “We are very liable to err in estimating men's motives. The springs of human conduct are often so complicated that it is almost impossible to analyze them. If we examine our own motives, we shall often find it difficult to say what was the precise inducement to any given course. Our most selfish actions are seldom altogether selfish, nor our most benevolent deeds altogether disinterested. When the balance is at the equipoise a grain will give preponderance. So it is in those delicate causes which determine human conduct."
TAE DIVINE METHOD OF REWARD.
8th. “The superiority of character which a long and successful contest with difficulties and trials produces, is a reward for such conduct. And it is a reward of the very highest order. It far transcends every other gift which God confers in this world.”—The grand purpose contemplated by God toward man is to produce assimilation to Himself. There" are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine nature.” Religious ordinances benefit us only as they elevate our aims and purify our motives. How is it possible for anything really to benefit me further than as it exalts my character ? It is only thus the benefit can be permanent. If I am seeking any lower good than exaltation of views, purposes, and experiences, I am seeking that which is transient and unsatisfying. In the future world therefore, as well as in this, it will be found that the highest gifts God can impart are those which most ennoble our natures.
20th. “ To be content with vague ideas has a mischievous effect not only upon speaking and writing but also upon conduct. A wise and energetic course of action must proceed from an intellect firmly braced and vigorously exercised.”
“Some parts of Divine truth have far too feeble a hold upon my mind, especially those which relate to the punishment of the wicked.”
“If I seek to appear better than I am, I am a hypocrite. This is loving the praise of men more than that of God.”
“ There is a difference between taking up' and 'bearing' our cross ; between patiently bearing what is painful when we cannot avoid it, and voluntarily choosing it because it is the will of God.”
“ In nothing perhaps is the transcendent power of genius
more felt than in the ability to render common thoughts interesting—to cause that which has been heard a thousand times to possess the charm of novelty. This is a power requisite for the pulpit.”
24th. “Have lost much by not praying more of late. I am certain that by prayer the value of all my studies is much increased.”—The experience of every devout student confirms this statement. Many testimonies might be given illustrative of the truth of Luther's well-known aphorism, bene precasse bene studuisse. Doddridge frequently remarked “that he never advanced well in human learning without prayer, and that he always made the most proficiency in his studies when he prayed with the greatest fervency." Dr. Payson says: “Since I began to beg God's blessing on my studies, I have done more in one week than in a whole
“ The influence of habitual prayer upon his studies,” says his biographer, was so certain and so operative, that the strength of his devotion seems, for the most part, to have been the measure of his progress. By his very near approaches to the father of lights,' his mind received, as it were, the direct beams of the eternal fountain of illumination. In the light of these beams the truths of religion were distinctly perceived, and their relations readily traced. These irradiations from the throne of God not only contributed to the clearness of his perceptions, but imparted a kind of seraphic energy and quickness to his mental operations. From them he derived, not light only, but heat.” It must not be supposed, however, that the prayer which accomplishes such results is the mere utterance of words. It is the intimate and loving communion of the soul with God. It is the insatiable thirst to be like God-full of light and full of love. It is therefore the offspring of a heart earnestly bent on knowing and doing the will of God in all things.