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myself, in all my spiritual destitution, occurred some months after my conversion. For some time there had been a fearful conflict going on-desires to do the will of God, on the one part, and yet a total incapacity to make good my intentions. I perceived an increasing helplessness—a powerlessness and inability to maintain a single resolution. The family devotions I had instituted I felt absolutely inadequate to perform. My prayers were without fervency. I could scarce find language for the most ordinary sentiment, and I was utterly ashamed and confounded at myself. The profession of religion in such circumstances seemed impossible, and I was dispirited at the prospect of attending my class, where I could only expose the poverty and listlessness of my mind. I was ready to despair, and give up the whole. The secret of it all was not then known to me. I had yet to learn a most important lesson, which was, that I had been hitherto trusting to my own strength, and had not recollected how, without the aid of God's Holy Spirit, I could not perform one duty aright.
“For weeks-I may say for months—it continued thus. Various temptations came in my way, and I felt that I had repeatedly sinned against God. My soul became darker and darker, and in deep trouble I groaned and wept over my sad condition, Doubts assailed me as to the truth of all; but these I repelled with amazement and horror.
There was still an inward sincerity of heart in seeking after
God; and hour after hour, on my bended knees, did I seek his help, but without any perceptible progress in inward holiness or spiritual enlightenment.
6. The climax of this condition was attained on a Sunday night. I had spent part of the Sabbath carelessly, and my conscience was heavily laden with sin. My household had retired to rest, and I was left alone.
I was disposed to follow their example, but I was not prepared to commit myself in prayer to God. I felt no inclination for it; but to go to bed without prayer was impossible. I therefore sat down and tried to read. However, my thoughts would not permit me to go on with the book, and I was compelled to desist. I was now sitting in what I may term a sullen moodiness. There was a heavy weight on my heart, and a terrible darkness began to throw its shadows around
I began to be alarmed at my position; I was staggered at my callousness and insensibility. My convictions I retained in full force, but I felt that I was without religion. God seemed at an infinite distance. An abyss of darkness intervened between him and my soul. The thought that I was forsaken by the Spirit of God, and abandoned to a reprobate heart, took possession of my mind; and, looking to the future, I saw how different were now my hopes and prospects. I lay full length on the hearth-rug, in absolute despair. At length I tried to pray, but my lips refused their office : pray I could not. I
felt that I had now a real foretaste of hell, for I was without God and without hope. Hours rolled away, and I loathed myself, and abhorred the picture of my own heart which I now beheld. I made renewed efforts at prayer, and determined that, if I could express no more, I would repeat the publican's petition, 'God be merciful to me, a sinner.' I did so. Though it was the depth of winter, the morning's light broke in whilst I was still engaged in fervent supplication. I acknowledged my guilt ; I pleaded the blood of Christ shed for me; I sued for mercy; but no consolation was afforded, and, quite exhausted, I retired to bed. There I renewed my prayer, and while so doing I fell asleep. Shortly after, I awoke, and, kneeling by my bed-side, I besought the Lord for a ray of heavenly light. Still without a satisfactory sense of God's love, I rested again for a short time; and, on awaking, a flood of holy joy and peace burst in. God was present to my soul, and his love was manifest to a degree more rapturous than I had ever before experienced. I praised, I adored, I blessed my Redeemer. .
“ From this time I began to understand more fully, or rather it was now that I began to understand at all, the nature of the human heart in its unregenerate state, and what are the glorious changes to be expected from redeeming grace. I perceived what a vitally important part in the work of redemption pertains to the Holy Spirit, and that every change, and each step in the way of holiness,
is effected by his agency; and this, too, in compliance with an earnest desire, and in answer to fervent prayer. A most abhorrent picture of myself had been set before me, and I felt that it was just what I should be were the Spirit of God withdrawn. Hence there was nothing for self-righteousness to build upon, and all pride was utterly confounded. The glory of my salvation belonged only to the Redeemer-to God manifest in Christ Jesus; and every grace was furnished through him, and imparted by the Spirit of Grace.
To me nothing remained but humility, and prayer, and praise. Self was prostrate; Christ was magnified. Hitherto I had believed in Christ, but now I began to see what faith in Christ really meant. no longer the mere belief of assent, but the belief of trust; no longer a dead, but a living and working faith. I had now no remote nor indefinite object to attain, but an immediate advantage to pursue. Glorious as was the thought of an ultimate salvation, it could scarce afford an impulse so quickening as the conviction that holiness of heart and the peace of God might be obtained in this life, and an absolute change of being be even now effected. Here was scope enough for all diligence, and for the fervency of prayer.
“ For clearness I shall repeat the knowledge I Wow gained. I had fancied that in the change wrought upon me at my conversion, the vile condition of my heart would have been altogether
amended and rectified; and I anticipated nothing but purity of thought and conformity to God. Disappointed in this, I began to doubt if the change I had undergone were sufficient, and when I found that sin had still dominion over me, I was almost tempted to mistrust the power assigned to religion. But when I knew my heart better, I perceived that I had never been truly self-abased, nor brought into a subjection to God sufficiently lowly. But now that I knew that the very essence of my nature was sin in God's sight, in that very discovery there was laid the foundation for building a holy temple unto God. I now felt an enmity to the flesh which warred against the spirit, and I could now with delight and comfort seek the aid of God in the contest. The light of his countenance shone upon me; his Word grew precious to me; and with the knowledge that his Spirit helpeth our infirmities, I trust to set about the work of ordering all things rightly in his sight more seriously than ever."
The grace which he coveted was granted, and the career of Mr Williams was henceforth marked by warm and consistent piety. In his profession inore popular than ever, and, owing to his humane and disinterested exertions, in great request among the poor, he often seized the opportunity to urge on their attention the interests of their never-dying souls. His faithful counsels and exhortations were frequently crowned with success; and long before