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“ The land is greatly destitute of devoted and able ministers. The harvest truly is great, and the laborers are few. My heart is turned towards this work; and one proof of my being called to it, as it seems to ne, is that I have lost that relish for my business which I once had, and am willing to be poor, if I only may be useful in my Master's cause. In entering on my course I have nothing to fear but the commission of sin ; but every thing to encourage me. The men of this world, after having accomplished their plans, are often at a loss to what they shall turn next, and are unhappy for want of something in which to employ themselves with interest. But it is not so with the devoted servant of Christ. The world is the field of his labors. He always has enough to do, and is assured that his labor shall not be in vain. It will be sweet and animating in his last hours to reflect that he has lived to some good purpose; that he has served the Lord by serving others. And if he can know that he has been instrumental in turning sinners from the error of their ways, and saving souls from death, it will be matter of everlasting thankfulness and praise. May this joy, my dear parents, be mine, to the glory of divine grace!
“In reflecting on this subject, I am led to ask, Can, CAN it be, that the Lord will raise me up to be one of his servants in the ministry—me! who am so ignorant, so helpless, so needy? But while I am ignorant, helpless, needy, I know that my Lord is wise, powerful, and possesseth all things. Him I love-him I would serve and obey.
“I shall probably take my departure from New-York for Lawrenceville, near Princeton, New Jersey. There I expect to spend two years in academical studies. After which I shall spend three years in some college; whence I shall repair to a theological seminary, and study probably three years more.
The time scems long: but this is the prescribed course.
“Now, taking things as they appear, does not the language of Providence seem to say, go? In doing this, I would be mindful that I must deny all ungod. liness, and every worldly lust, and live soberly, righteously, and godly. In pursuing this course, I must be holy in heart and in life. Humility becomes the followers of Jesus-I must possess much of this grace. As a minister of Christ, I must be willing to forsake all, and follow him. I know that there are many and awful responsibilities connected with this office ; such as do not rest on other Christians. The Lord knows this too, and imparts grace sufficient for them. But he who, whether minister or private Christian, has the glory of God singly in view, need not fear the world, the flesh, nor the devil, for he shall be brought off more than conqueror. "They who put their trust in him shall never be confounded.'
“ Trusting in the Lord for strength, and confiding in him alone for help, I will go forward, hoping that I shall be made a workman that need never be ashamed ; a faithful soldier of the cross, having always the glory of God and the good of my fellow-men at heart.
“My dear parents, I now see that the world has had too much of my time. The remainder, I trust, will be spent more in the service of my blessed Lord. And may you find increasing delight in 'serving without ceasing.' Our stay here is short. The time is not far distant when death will enter our family. And shall it be my father, my dear father, or my dear mother, a beloved brother or sister, who shall first be consigned 0. the tomb ? My father, mother, brothers and sisters, all be prepared ; being washed, being sanctified, being justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. “ Your affectionate son,
Under a subsequent date, he writes:
“ The time necessary for me to go through the course marked out, is eight years. I hope that in the discharge of my duty during this period I may be useful.
The Lord has laid me under great obligations to be thankful, by singling me out from the rest of the dear family for this service. And I hope that you, my beloved father and mother, cease not to thank and praise him, that he has condescended to confer this honor on me. Should I be found a faithful minister of the Gospel, and you, with me, be admitted into the upper sanctuary, this one thing will no doubt be a theme on which we shall dwell with everlasting plea
To his sister, in a letter of the same date, he thus expresses his views of the solemnity of the work in which he was about to engage:
“This age seems to require that a minister should be thoroughly furnished for his work. They who have the greatest store of knowledge, connected with true piety, have the best opportunities of doing good. But while I set so great a value on a good education, I would not be understood to say that education is a maiter of the highest importance. Pure and undefiled religion is the chief thing in the character of a minis. ter of the Gospel. Without it he cannot be useful. He who does not possess love to God; who has never been born of water and the Spirit ;' who does not feel the worth of immortal souls, and who does not preach as a dying and accountable man to perishing and accountable beings, is not worthy of the name of a minister of Jesus Christ. Feeling the awful responsibility which is to rest on me should I enter this office, as I hope in due time to do, I am ready to say, 'Who is sufficient for these things ?' The Lord alone can be my helper. Having him as 'my rock of defence,' I need fear nothing. I hope that the language of my heart is, 'none but Christ;' and that the tenor of my life will be in conformity to it. My dear sister, the Lord has been kind to us in days that are past. He has given us reason and made us capable of enjoying him.
He has brought us in early life to seek hiin, that we may be found in him:' let us then devote the remainder of life to his service. Let us not be content with barely getting to heaven ourselves; but in seeking our own salvation, let us also seek that of others. I have often thought that, should my life be spared to enter the ministry, and should the blessing of my Master enable me to do some little good in the world, the reflection would be sweet and cheering in a dying hour. And in the eternal world, how delightful must it be to find souls in the enjoyment of everlasting rest, who have been brought there through our instrumentality! Let us set out then with renewed diligence, and endeavor to do something for the glorv of our Redeemer and the salvation of sinners.?.
To another friend he urges the following request:
“As I have it now in prospect to enter the ministry let me solicit an interest in your prayers. Pray that I may, indeed, be willing to forsake all, and follow Christ; that I may be meek and lowly; a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, and giving to every one a portion in due season; that I may, as before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and dead at his appearing and his kingdom, preach the word; be instant in season and out of season ; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and doctrine ;' that I may be blameless, not a novice lifted up with pride; that I the mystery of faith in a pure conscience, and be holy in heart and in life, a child of God, without rebuke.''
To a young friend, who had entered on a preparatory course of study a little time before him, he unfolds himself with much freedom.
“You having entered on your studies for the ministry, and I having the same thing in prospect, we ought to unite in grateful acknowledgments to the Lord, that he has given us a desire for this service. We are told by an inspired apostle, that'he who desireth the office of a bishop, desireth a good work.' On asking myself what reason I have to believe that the Lord has called me to preach the Gospel, I reply: My desire has continued for a considerable time, and has been strong. My wish is to glorify God, and be useful to my fellow men. Providence has, in a clear manner, opened the way for me Far be it from me to take this holy office