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by many respecting the life of a minister. It has been supposed that it is easy. But the most arduoys 'abors of a clergyman are not visible to the world. They are performed in his study. Let people follow him to that place, and see him praying, reading, examining, composing—they will then have very different thoughts. But only they who have entered on this course know all the bitter and the sweet connected with it. The responsibility which presses on the mind of a truly conscientious minister is probably more trying than any other species of care and anxiety. Self-denial is also necessary in a minister, as indeed it is in all Christians. It is the very foundation of all active religion. Without it nothing can be done to purpose in the great work of reforming the world—this world that lieth in sin.
“Do you ask me whether I am willing to leave my present business? It would indeed be a cross to leave Mr. H-, for he is one of the best of men. Some may think, if they do not say, that I am a fool for wishing to give up my present employment, which bids fair to make me rich, and which is far more honorable in the sight of the world. To this I can reply, and I do think from the heart, that I am willing to give up my present situation, with all its prospects, for one in which I think that I can be more useful. As for the riches of this world, I do not expect to find happiness in them; and the more I think on the condition of the christian poor, who do not want,' the more I am convinced that they enjoy higher happiness than those who share largely in the good things of the present life.
The cottages of humble Christians are more honorable than the palaces of the rich, where there is no fear nor love of God The language of my heart is, Lord, whatever may be denied to me-health, friends, and comforts of this life-let me never be denied the light of thy coun tenance, and thy loving kindness.
6. The number of ministers necessary adequately to supply the United States, is estimated at more than 11,000. There is thought to be at present less than one-fourth of that number. What is wanting to encourage one to engage in this all-interesting service ? Why should not the call for more laborers be heard by me? Surely, if I have been called from 'darkness to light,' it should be my chief aim and desire to point out the way of salvation to others.
"But sometimes my heart shrinks when I think of entering on this service. I have so much to go through before I can appear in the pulpit; and then to come before the world—I am terrified by the anticipation.
“I have now stated my feelings, and submit the same for your consideration. I hope that they may meet your views, and receive your approbation. I doubt not that they will. My desire isto leave all, and become an ambassador for Christ. Of the difficulties in my way, the most prominent at present is the want of funds. I wish you to inform me whether you feel able and willing to support me through my course of study.
“ Should I enter on the work of the ministry, there are these promises to comfort and sustain me. Lukc, 12 : 42, 'Who is that faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their meat in due season? Ver. 43, ‘Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.'. Matt. 28 : 20, 'Teaching them to ob. serve all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.' Dan. 12: 3, 'And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever. Luke, 21 : 15, ‘I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay or resist.'
“I can say no more at present. My heart is open before the Lord, and I wait the direction of his providence. Please to give me an early reply, and state your views on the subject. There can be no objection on account of my age. Of my natural talents I wish you to be judge.
"Your affectionate son, JAMES."
After receiving an answer to this letter, he continued for some time in the employment of Mr. Hfaithfully discharging his duty as a clerk, and endeavoring in his place to do good.
During the summer of 1819, New-York was visited with the yellow fever. It was a time of great alarm. But this served only to show the strength and steadiness of his religious principles. While engaged in duty, he appeared to have no fears or anxieties for himself. To his parents he writes thus:
New-York, September 10, 1819. “ Probably you have by this time heard of the yel. low fever in New-York, and given yourselves some anxiety about your children here. The sever has not yet spread much, and it is remote from us. At present there is not much occasion to be alarmed,
“ You have this one thing, my dear parents, to comfort you.
Your children here have an interest in the Savior, at whose command are all the diseases to which we are subject. They can proceed as far as he wills, and no farther. How can we be thankful enough to him, who has called us to the knowledge of the truth! As the Lord has sustained us in times past, let us trust him for that which is to come. This seems to be my language :-'Lord, I would trust thee: I desire to be willing to submit to the ordering of thy providence, whether it send sickness or health, life or death; for I know that all things shall work together for my good."
Through the agency of his beloved pastor, the way was soon opened for him to enter on studies preparatory to the ministry in the academy at Lawrenceville, N. J., in view of which he thus gives utterance to his fuli heart in letters to his parents and friends :
“New-York, November 16, 1819. “My dearly beloved Father and Mother,
I begin my letter in the language of the Psalmist'Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. It may be truly said, that the ways of the Lord are not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts; and that his dealings with his children are often very different from their expectations. Thus my heavenly Father has dealt with me, his disobedient and ur worthy child, in opening the way that I may be prepared to preach the everlasting Gospel. Yes, my dear parents, I have concluded to leave my present employment, to prepare for the ministry. This
determination has met with the approbation of all my friends llere, as far as I have communicated it to them. Mr. H. my employer, on learning the circumstances of the case, and my wishes, instead of making a single objection, immediately said, go! and added, that he should rejoice in it, if I were called to that work. He also lamented that, in the present great want of faithful laborers in the vineyard of the Lord, so few young men were inclined to devote themselves to the service of Christ in the church. Was not this favorable ? My brother, (to whom I am under many obligations, and whom I love both as a brother in the flesh and in the Lord,) on hearing my statements, said that he saw no objections to my going, and that as to what I owed, it should raise no difficulty, for he would take care of that.
“In view of these circumstances, I am constrained to adore and praise a gracious Providence, and to ask, what is there now to hinder my going forward ? I can see nothing. I do not desire the office on account of worldly praise or honor, but, as I hope, for the glory of God, connected with the salvation of my fellow
“My heart at times rejoices in the prospect of being useful to my fellow-sinners, and at times it shrinks back from the many difficulties which rise to my view. The life of a faithful minister (and such may I be, if admitted to the office) appears to me to be more glorious than any other. He is prompted by true benevolence; he labors not to destroy men's souls, but to save them. He is engaged in a cause which must prosper, for Christ is the head. He shall receive a reward ac, cording to Christ's premise.