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houses as the chapel was cold and uncomfortable. more to attend, but strange to say, some of the people object. Here is the very principle which has been the bane of the church in all ages-a preferring the mode to the essence-the means to the end.

"I have lately written but one sermon in the week, and I have some thoughts of abandoning the practice of preparing finished compositions for preaching. I am inclined to think them unsuitable. The design of preaching is not to exhibit minute delineations of thought, but grand truths. I shall not however dispense with writing entirely. I shall generally have a representation by a few apt and striking words of almost every idea I intend to utter. I wish to combine the advantages of previous preparation with freedom of speech in delivery."

It was a frequent practice with Mr. Hessel after having engaged in the discussion of some important topic, to write out the arguments employed by both parties, and arrange them in their natural order. By this means his views on the subject not only became more clear, but were either confirmed or modified. While at Northallerton he was in the habit of meeting with a sceptic, with whom he sometimes engaged in discussion. The following is an outline of the argument employed by him on one occasion: "You see much that is good-you know what to do-you see only a very small part of God's works. If you were really honest you would admire what is good; act up to what you know; and leave what is mysterious to be explained hereafter. This is plainly the safest and wisest course. You cannot deny that goodness and happiness are desirable. You cannot deny that the Bible makes many both good and happy. What it does for thousands it may do for all-for you. How can you excuse yourself for not seeking to be good and happy by the best means to be found? Should

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some sad consequences overtake you, you will have no reason to complain."-I never learnt that any good resulted from these discussions. Nor do I think such discussions desirable. Except in the case of earnest and youthful inquirers, scepticism has its seat in the heart. And when you have silenced the sceptic, as you easily may do by such a course of reasoning as is here sketched, what have you achieved? His mortification. Nothing more, save possibly your own elation.

"The path of life is straight and narrow. While we are upon it we can be in no doubt which way we are going, for its direction is easily seen."-Some God-fearing persons will feel they cannot accept this. With earnest desires for light they walk amid gloom, or, it may be, darkness. This is to be attributed however, either to bodily temperament or to defective views of Divine truth. Old Testament saints were invited to "walk in the light of the Lord." And Christ publicly proclaimed: "I am the light of the world : he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Assuredly it is the Christian's privilege to walk in light. "If thine eye be single thy whole body shall be full of light."

"I have lately been paying some attention to the theology of the Methodists," he writes to me on the 28th: "There is much in it which we should do well to make our own. In general we are too lax in urging holiness; there is not a sufficiently earnest desire after deliverance from sin. We want the spirit which animates some of Charles Wesley's hymns. I know nothing which would excite so much hostility in certain quarters as to advocate the doctrine of Christian perfection. Yet why should it? It is not difficult to divine the cause. Whatever may be attained in this life we should aim at, we should pray for nothing less than perfection-to be redeemed from all iniquity.

"I hope I am getting clearer views of divine truth, indeed of all truth. At the same time I may say without the least affectation that I never felt my own ignorance so much as now. How little our puny minds can grasp of what God has revealed! We have not yet fathomed the depth of this one proposition:-'God is love.' It is remarkable that it is never said God is justice. 'God is light'-'I am the truth'-' God is love!' When shall we understand these? All other studies are insignificant compared with the study of them."

29th. "Some persons appear to live for the special purpose of searching out difficulties. Their eyes have got a microscopic power, and can see mountains in molehills. When will the work of prejudice which the devil has reared, (for no doubt it is his doing,) be destroyed? Were it not that the spiritual interests of thousands are suffering it might be laughed at. But it is a serious evil. O that I had a voice of thunder to defend the cause of common sense! The world is dreaming of its wisdom, when, alas, it is but increasing its folly. The system of dividing what God has joined, and joining what God has divided—of going contrary to nature and the Bible, cannot end well."

April 4th. "Prayed that God would spare my life. I have asked largely that I might be the means of spreading the knowledge of His salvation to thousands. I hope I am willing to labour and even suffer for this end. I have no doubt He can cure my body. He can exert influence for this purpose upon my physical frame, or direct me to the use of those material agencies which will. He that is now causing the earth to bring forth and bud can heal my lungs. It grieves me to think that I have done so little for God; and if it be His blessed will, I would not leave this world until I have done the work for which my capacities fit me."

7th. "I never felt my need of more religion so much as



O for more light and love! I must practice more self-denial. It is often well to take the most rugged path merely on this account-it will strengthen the soul, and fit it for hardship and trial."

8th. "Strong desires this morning to be filled with the love of God. I must not rest satisfied until I am. God can do it. He has done it. What He has done for others He can do for me. Let me then wait every moment for this blessing."

"The business of preaching appears very different from what it formerly did. In order to attract a congregation, and move upon it with power and effect, one's resources must be very extensive-much more so than I have been wont to imagine. It is not the power of saying something good at the time that is needed, but the power of saying the most fitting thing."

"There is much in the manner of the Methodist preachers I should do well to copy; of course I speak of the best of them. Their diction is plain but energetic. They seem to understand the character of a sermon better than any class of men I have heard. There is a negligence of minor elegancies, and the attention is directed to the grand result.”

"I do not know that I have anything particular to write about," he says to his Uncle Campbell on April 10th, "although I have taken up my pen with the hope of finding something that may be either pleasant or profitable. Tomorrow, all being well, I shall leave for Kirkby-Stephen, in Westmoreland, to spend a few weeks with my friend Mr. Priestley. My health continues to improve, and will, I have reason to hope, be ultimately established. We ought not to forget however that all things are in the disposal of God. He can make one law of nature counteract another, and when our wisdom is baffled, His is often most signally

displayed. We too much forget these words-'He is not far from every one of us' 'In Him we live and move and have our being.' In seeking health we ought to connect prayer with the means we employ. Some may call this superstition, but they know not what they say.' I am persuaded that to accompany prayer with medicine is most rational. There is much practical atheism among those who profess belief in God.

"I am still bent on going to India. That, in all probability will be my destination if I am spared. The more I think upon the subject, the stronger do the reasons appear. It will be a work of trial and sacrifice, but what great or good thing can be done without these? If the missionary has peculiar trials he has also peculiar consolations. The religion which he preaches will prove his support, and the greater his self-denial the greater enjoyment will he realize. 'As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.' This is the secret which explains the conduct of a class of men whom the world has wondered at, and been unable to understand.

"I often revert to the time I spent under your roof with peculiar feelings. I am persuaded it will have a very important influence upon my character and destiny. It was one of the arrangements of an all-wise Providence for my good. It led me to think upon a class of subjects to which otherwise I should probably never have turned my attention. Men must think in order to speak and act worthily. It is most interesting to trace the influences by which our characters are formed. And how often do we find that what appeared to be most against us is that which we most needed.

"I hope that both you and my dear aunt are seeking to live in the enjoyment of true religion. One thing in my intercourse with you I deeply regret, it is that I did not lay the things which belong to your peace more plainly

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