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men should be saved. Lord Jesus, it is thy will these should behold a great light shining forth from thy presence in their darkness.
O let thy Spirit of grace go in advance of us, and dispose their hearts to receive thy truth !
“ Thursday, October 3.-Bless God! I feel the Lord is good and gracious to my soul. He is drawing me by the cords of his love. Jesus is becoming more and more precious; my heart feels more true interest and delight in him. I more clearly feel now, what, for a time, I failed to experience, that even when my heart would withdraw from the Lord, at a time when doubts and evil thoughts were suggested—that then, as at all other times, Jesus is waiting to hear our cry for help. When perplexed by a sense of the evil of my heart, struck with its hardness and insensibility, impressed with its base ingratitude and forgetfulness of God, and horrified with the vile thoughts injected into my mind,—how often have I kept my eye fixed on my condition, until I could scarce lift it up to God, and with a weak faith have hesitated to approach my beloved Lord! But now I happily know that,—feel what I may of the workings of evil within, however strong the evidence of my own baseness,--so far from keeping me from applying to Jesus, this is the greater reason for my instant looking up to him as “the Lord my righteousness. I bless God for a livelier trust in the atonement of the blood of Christ, and for a
Divine sanctifying agency; and they glow with
more assured trust in Jesus, as my ever-willing, ever-able, and ever-present Saviour. How does my heart cleave to thee, my Lord! Assuredly whilst I have hold upon thee, my ransom and plea, my surety and trust, my hope and my joy, my portion and my only love, all is, all will be well.
“ Wednesday, October 23.-Crossed the line at about three A.M.
Friday, 25.—Left off smoking and taking snuff. Gave my tobacco and meerschaum to Erwin, my canister of snuff to the captain.”
The foregoing extracts give a pleasing impression of the writer. They bring out his tender affection for his friends, the humanity and kindliness of his nature, and that delightful disposition which makes the most of the present and hopes the best for the future. They also evince his habitual watchfulness over himself, and his firm faith in a
that adoring affection to the Saviour which is the surest sign of piety, and the richest source of personal excellence. We think they can scarcely fail to edify the reader and endear the writer.
But amidst these records of Christian experience, some may regard the homely details of the following passage as a dreadful descent. We have no such feeling. It is in such contests that the reality of men's faith and the value of their “ frames” are tested. And the Christianity, however rapturous,
which has never renounced a besetting sin, nor conquered a bad habit, is too like the patriotism which is confined to toasts and national melodies, or the filial piety which, offering fond words and embraces in lieu of solid services, tries to be at once dutiful and self-indulgent. Mr Williams was honest. He believed that it was God's will that he should give up a certain gratification; and, though some would have tried to evade the sacrifice, though they would have offered confessions of their own weakness or high-flown protestations of their general devotedness, in lieu of this particular obedience, it was not thus deceitfully that he dealt with his Heavenly Father and with himself.
Nor should we be sorry if Mr Williams's example should find imitators amongst our readers. It is true that Dr Parr and Robert Hall were smokers. It is true that many good men are fond of the “naughty foreign weed,” and that Ralph Erskine "spiritualised” it. And it may be true that under its influence the spirits are serene, the temper mild, and the entire man in a state of comfortable self-complacency. But we prefer the temper which is independent of tobacco; and we fear that in its self-complacency there is something illusive. At least we have known friends who, under its influence, fancied themselves far up Parnassus, but when the fog cleared away it proved only a spur of the mountain : and although, among our college companions, we remem
ber clever men who smoked, whilst their duller neighbours studied; and although, in the mist of the meerschaum, they used to espy gigantic figures, which they hailed as their own glorious future; now that the “ morgana” has melted, there is a sad contrast betwixt the cloudy colossus and the slip-shod original from which it was projected, and into which the stern day-light has resolved it again.
At all events, a minister, and much more a missionary, should deem himself a soldier, and the less dependent he is on these time-wasting enjoyments, the more lightly will he march, and the more ready will he be for instant action. Besides, a soldier must endure hardness. It is good for a man’s Christianity to be the victor, even in such a contest as the battle with tobacco. Every success makes him a stronger and a happier man ;-yes, and a great deal richer. In this warfare there is always prize-money. And if the reader is a lover of books, or if, with a most benevolent heart, he is always lamenting his empty hand, let him attack and spoil this enemy. The cigar-case will soon fill a handsome book-case; and were the snuff-box of the British churches converted into a box of charity, it would maintain all our missionaries, and would soon pay the debts of our chapels and schools.*
* For smoking, chewing, and snuffing, Great Britain pays a yearly bill of seven millions. Does she spend as much on books or benevolence ?
Saturday, Oct. 26.-S. lat. 6° 34', long. 32° 14'. This has been a day ever to be remembered. The light of the Lord's countenance has broken upon me, after having severely felt that clouds of darkness were around me. For more than a month before leaving England I had given up the practice of smoking and taking snuff. The former habit I had practised for seven or eight years; the latter only occasionally. In fact, it was in consequence of leaving off smoking that I had recourse to a pinch as an occasional substitute. At various times I have been under strong impressions that I ought to leave it off, and have felt dissatisfied with myself for the self-indulgence. But the cravings after it were become so strong, and the will of the flesh so urgently demanded it, that it was no easy task to overcome the propensity. There is a charm in tobacco powerfully beguiling to the senses. Whether this arises from its soothing and sedative quality, or from its being generally associated with self-indulgence—serving as a plea for idleness, and for a general relaxation of the whole man, body and mind—certain it is, that tobacco has a power of enslaving its votaries to a remarkable degree. No one has ever been more enslaved than I have been; yet many times has my conscience smitten me, and frequently whilst in the act of smoking I have been obliged to lay the pipe aside. At times I thought I would leave it off altogether. Accordingly, I have given away or burnt the stock