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truth, how capable the heart of man is of resisting, even for many years, the influences of the Holy Spirit. Evidently, for a long season, whenever he felt these influences, he felt, only to resist, them. What can it countervail to say, as with him was the fact, that in all moral, intellectual, and amiable qualities, he excelled; when he himself owns, that he lived without the habit of prayer? Can stronger proof be given, that the carnal mind is enmity against God ?—that it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be ?
2. The narrative of that which may be called the turning point of his life and experience, forcibly illustrates the need of A SENSE OF MERCY THROUGH Christ to win back the soul, which was at enmity with God. At that moment, when the great truth was revealed to his forlorn heart, THERE IS MERCY YET! life seemed to enter into him. Like one raised from the dead, he began to breathe, and move, and act. There are on record many instances of sudden religious impressions that have been made, sometimes in an almost unaccountable manner, upon the minds of various individuals. - Perhaps the case of S. Augustine may be considered as not very dissimilar to this now under consideration. Yet, in the narrative given of himself by that venerable father of the early Church *, there is an intimation that he seemed distinctly to hear a miraculous, or remarkably providential voice, saying more than once, « Take
up and read;" which was the imme
* See Milner's Church History, vol. ii. p. 353.
diate occasion of his opening the volume of S. Paul's Epistles that lay before him, and glancing at once upon the passage so appropriate to his own state, in Romans xiii. 11–14. In the present instance there was, avowedly, no external sound or sign, but merely a strong and deep inward speaking to the heart. There is not in it the slightest mark of any thing visionary; and when I remember the clear and sound intellectual powers of
ny friend, I can believe him fully capable of discriminating in a case like this, even though himself were the party concerned. In fact, what he that moment felt—(felt, too, as powerfully as if a voice from heaven had spoken it)—was no new truth supposed to be revealed; it was the truth which first cheered the drooping spirits of our fallen parents, and which has continued to revive penitent mourners through all succeeding ages : that which was new to him was, the personal appropriation of this truth. The effects which followed were, also, such as are agreeable to the Scriptures of truth; nothing of self-confidence, or spiritual inflation ; no extravagant language or conduct; but a life characterized by scriptural piety; by the spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. From that period, therefore, he would probably have dated the surrender of his rebel heart to God ;-a heart, which would have neither dared nor willed to return, had not Mercy first spoken.
3. None could be more ready than he ever was, to acknowledge that it was THE FREE AND SOVEREIGN POWER OF God's Holy SPIRIT, AND THAT ALONE, which changed and daily renewed his heart. Like S. Paul, he could say, By the grace of God, I am what I am. From the same apostle he had learned, It is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Upon that good pleasure he had, from himself, no claim; just the contrary. In the work of regeneration, his energetic and highly-gifted mind did, in reality, contribute nothing : it was to be acted upon: it was in no sense the First Moving Cause; although, when once his heart was rightly moved, all the powers of reason, imagination, and feeling, were willingly brought into the holy service, aided with rich stores of religious education. But he knew to whom to attribute the first movement, and its continuance, in the regenerated soul. In his Letters and Sermons there is ample evidence of this : nor can it, perhaps, be better expressed than in the words of that valued friend, to whom he was under such great obligations at the commencement of his religious course. man, depicting, in a letter, the experience of Mr. Neale in the year that he died, says of him, “He is in a state of sickness and disorder, such as to leave very little hope of his recovery; but his mind is manfully struggling against every evil, with high and glorious aims, and a panting after a degree of spirituality and holy conformity to God's will, which are most animating. It is delightful, and highly encouraging, to see a mind so rich and so pre-eminently furnished with the stores of human knowledge, bowing, with the simplicity of a little child, to the cross ; to see him struggling with the same difficulties, thwarted
by the same evils, as minds less gifted in Christian experience; and entirely without any more resources in himself, than the merest ploughboy in my parish. He is obliged to go out of himself to Christ, for the least power to think a good thought : but so he does; and he finds the promise sure, My grace is sufficient for thee.”
4. THAT COMPLETE ALACRITY OF MIND, with which he was enabled to consecrate all his powers to God, is further to be noticed as characterizing his later days; honourable to that Saviour who thus inclined his heart, while it is consolatory and edifying to his surviving friends. Immediately he hastened to render the reasonable service of spirit, soul, and body, to be preserved blameless till the coming of his Master. To be devoted and blameless was now his high Christian aim. Devoted and blameless he had been, humanly speaking, in his academical career: but it was ambition that had then strung his mind and habits to regular discipline. Ambition had conducted him to the Senate-house ; there she quitted him. She might have conducted the steady and successful student, as an aspirant to some higher pinnacle of human honour; but he was reserved, in order to exhibit, after an inglorious interval, the same vigorous mental powers, actuated by a higher motive, and directed with constancy to the object of saving both himself and those who heard him. The preceding Memoir amply illustrates the greatness and completeness of the change. Yet, to my mind, some incidents, mentioned in a casual manner, convey-(when taken in connexion with the whole account)-a peculiarly vivid apprehension of that singleness of heart, with which he now devoted every faculty to God. His sisterin-law, remarking upon the visible alteration in his character, writes, “ Thus he, who had been negligent of all religion, became, in the course of a short time, a most strict disciplinarian. Never did he allow any thing to interfere with duty, at the time for teaching his children. He would teach them, however inconvenient to himself. I have frequently known him leave his friends, to hear the children their prayers. And with respect to his own times of devotion, he was most particular that nothing, if practicable, should interfere.” This brief extract exhibits him as the disciplinarian, not so much of others, as, first, of himself. So completely did he pass from the indulgence of desultory tastes to one decisive choice of life; and far eclipsed the proud energies of his best college-days by his strictness in the duties of the closet, the family, and the ministry.
Nor was it in the allotment of his time alone, but in the use of his money also, that he ceased to be desultory and negligent; now considering himself as a steward bound to render a faithful account. Formerly, though not inclining to wastefulness, yet he had spent his money carelessly. He kept no account how it came in, or how it went out; and as his pecuniary resources were not straitened, it was the more easy for him to live in this irresponsible manner.
But, upon his conversion, he commenced a very different course, keeping strictly-accurate accounts. This