Imágenes de páginas

tance, and in process of time with feelings of disgust It requires, then, much firmness of religious principle, and great self-watchfulness, to go through this early part of preparation with no diminution either of the piety of the student or his desire of intellectual im. provement.

Besides, a promiscuous school of twenty or thirty buys, lodging in the same or neighboring buildings, has a spirit generally unfavorable to religious improvement. Their petty jealousies, their occasional dissatisfactions, the general levity of boys, and a thousand things of this kind, operate injuriously. And it happens, sometimes at least, that a young man enters college with less of the spirit which becomes a minister of Christ, than he carried with him to the grainmar school.

If, then, an example can be shown of one who went through these dangers without injury; and if it can be shown by what means he grew in grace,

while others in similar circumstances often decline, this part of James B. Taylor's memoir may be useful to numbers, in whose high-toned and fervent piety the church and the world have a deep interest.

His first letter from Lawrenceville is addressed to his friend

CH- who was then preparing for college, at Bloomfield, N. J.

[ocr errors]

“I left New-York on Tuesday, and lodged in NewBrunswick. On the next day, at six P. M. I set out for Lawrenceville. After we had proceeded about eight miles, the horses suddenly started off, and before we had discovered that the driver was left behind, they were on the run. There were four passengers 'n the stage besides myself, who appeared to be much agitated ; nor did I wonder at it, for they were very irreligious persons, and there appeared to be no way of

escape. I did not know what the issue would be, but of this I was certain, that the Judge of all the earth would do right, and my mind was in a great degree composed. The suddenness of the affair caused a little anxiety at first. But I thought of the distinguishing mercy of my heavenly Father, who had been pleased to call me to trust in him; and I felt that it was a time to set a value on the religion of Jesus, and the hope which it imparts. O that I might value it more! The horses ran about two miles at full speed, and then turned into the yard where they are accustomed to stop, without any injury to the passengers or stage. I consider the escape as entirely providential, and feel that I am called on to praise the Lord for his goodness,' and say, 'hitherto hath he helped me.' My situation is pleasant. Religious privileges are better than I expected. We have family worship morning and evening, preaching every Sabbath, and prayermeetings on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.

“As yet I have made very little progress in my Latin. I find it pretty dry, and rather trying, for I go on more slowly than I expected. This has troubled me somewhat; but as it is the way to usefulness, I hope I shall not yield to such feelings. I think that we may be as happy now, as at any future period of life, if we only use our present privileges with a right spirit. Having been here but a short time, I have not yet adopted any particular plan for disposing of my time. I design before long to draw up such an one for

my guidance. The remarks of the great moralist, Johnson, on this subject I think are good. 'I believe, says he, it is best to throw life into a method, that every hour may bring its employment, and every employment have its hour. If every thing be kept in a certain place, when any thing is worn out or consumed, the vacuity which it leaves will show what is want. ing: so if every part of time has its appropriate duty, the hour will call into remembrance its engagement.' Should you have drawn up any scheme for the disposal of your time, I should like, if you have no objection, to see it, as it may be useful to me.

“During the course of our studies, may we have the smiles of our heavenly Father! The responsibi. lities resting on us are of no ordinary kind; let us, therefore, “be up and doing. As we advance in life, I hope that we shall grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; counting it more than our meat and drink to do the will of him who, of his mercy, hath called us into his service. It seems more and more necessary that we should be exemplary in our conduct, that we should be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.' That this may be the case; that we may be found faithful soldiers of the cross; the 'sons of God without rebuke,' and be finally received to mansions in the skies, is the prayer of your sincere friend,

J. B. T."

To two of his aunts, living in Tolland, (Conn.) he addressed a letter, dated January 23, 1820, in which occur the following passages :

“ The school which I attend consists of twenty-five

scholars, of whom five, including myself, are preparing for the ministry : the rest are wild, giddy-headed boys. I am pleasantly situated in an agreeable family, and have two room-mates, of whom one* is a pious, humble Christian, and I think as suitable a companion for me as could be found. He is about three weeks ahead of me in pursuit of the same object. In the summer season this will be a beautiful spot, having many pleasant walks and much fine scenery. Yesterday morning, early, I walked into the fields, and found a refreshing time for my soul. A view of the works of creation, and the echoes of various pleasant sounds, broke on the ear and warmed my heart. As I looked on the surrounding objects, I felt that 'my Father made them all.' How delightful is it to be calm and serene;' how sweet to repose with confidence on a covenant God, and to cast all our care on him, who careth fur us! The soul can then look down on the world with a holy indifference, knowing that it is not the believer's home.

"The older I grow, the more I feel the necessity of living nearer to the Lord. Do you not find it so with yourselves ? O for the power of quickening grace to animate us in our Christian life!

*Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly dove,
With all thy quick’ning powers;
Kindle a flame of sacred love
In these cold hearts of ours.'

“ Having embarked in the cause of Christ, I hope that my life may be one continued act of devotedness

* Rev. Mr. Gulick, since missionary to the Sandwich Islands,

to him. Having put my hand to the plough, I trust that I shall never look back: and I depend on him who raises up, qualifies, and thrusts laborers into his vineyard, for grace to strengthen me. In looking forward, I see that years will pass before I appear in public as. an ambassador for Christ. But this does not discourage me. I am sometimes anxious, lest, while occupied with my studies, I should lose my enjoyment of religion. Do you tell me draw nigh to the Lord, and he will draw nigh to you ? O for a closer walk with God; a continual hungering and thirsting for the water of life! Since my mind has been made up to devote myself to the service of Christ in the ministry, I feel more deeply my need of an interest in the prayers of my brethren and sisters in the Lord. I hope you will not think that I am placing dependence on man. The prayer of the righteous, you know, availeth much. As then you are acquainted with my situation, I earnestly beg to be remembered in your prayers. Make mention of me in all your supplications. Entreat our heavenly Father that I may be a pattern of piety; that I may manifest the reality and excellency of the religion which I profess, by walking worthy of my high calling in Christ Jesus; and that I may never bring reproach on that cause which I have espoused.

“ The Lord being near and around me, and the Holy Spirit abiding in my heart, unworthy as I am, during the part of my life devoted to preparatory studies, may I grow in grace, and in the knowledge of my Savior. It is my earnest desire that I may be prepared for my work, and in due time become a faithful minister of the New Testament."

« AnteriorContinuar »