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the praise of man, and may all my anxiety be directed to the praise of God and the interests of eternity. I disguised some things relative to the fate of my publication; and the only way in which I could pacify my conscience was by again bringing them forward. May I wrap myself in the armour of principle. "November 6th.-Left Wilton this morning in the Hawick stage, and got to Valleyfield (Pennycook) about six in the evening.
"November 7th.-Walked with Mrs. J. and her daughter to Sir George Clerk's. The former is unitarian in her principles; the latter is under doubt and anxiety. Let me maintain the high tone of principle, if consulted upon this subject. I was consulted, and said, that we perhaps might read the Bible with honesty, and not be convinced of the absolute divinity of our Saviour. I stood up, however, for His high pre-eminence, for unqualified submission to the authority of Scripture, and for the clear, undeniable revelation of an atoning sacrifice.
“November 23d.-Rode from St. Andrews to Cupar, and in the Union coach to Kilmany, when I entered my new manse for the first time. This may be considered as an epoch in the history of my life; and I pray heaven that from this epoch I may date new vigour to my principles, greater consistency in my conduct, more effort and more determination in my purposes of obedience.
"Sunday, December 9th.-This the day of my sacrament. Mr. Blair and others from Naughton heard me. I felt the restraint of their criticising tendencies; but let me maintain charity. In my pulpit exhibitions I am perhaps too anxious to communicate a full impression of what I say, and give an ardour and a rapidity to my utterance which defeats the purpose. I should confide a little more in the sympathy and intelligence of my hearers; and by a more distinct, and at the same time less fatiguing manner of enunciation, I both save
myself, and probably come nearer to the object of my anxiety. O God, may every approach to Thee leave improvement and growth in grace behind it.
"December 12th.-Confined to the house all day by snow and sleet. Spent the whole of it in subduing my confused books into arrangement.
"December 18th.-Walked this forenoon from Cupar to Anster. Refused Mr. Pearson's kind offer of a horse; and am happy to think that the expense of maintaining him was my chief reason. Let me make sacrifices to the grand object of economy, and feel how respectable an object it is, as it will be the means of releasing me from embarrassment, and preparing me for the freer exercise of justice and humanity. Reached Anster by four in the afternoon, and found Lucy fast hastening to her grave.
"December 22d.-Left Anstruther this morning in a chaise. Took what, in all probability, will be my final adieu of Lucy on this side of time. She was in great agony, and speechless. My aunt was holding her head; and the expression of her countenance, which spoke the strong conflict within her, has haunted me all day, and at this moment overpowers me with tenderness.*—O God, may I feel the importance of religion, and may I cherish and keep alive the salutary impressions of this affecting scene. O God, may I prize Thy religion as the only sure defence against the griefs and the dangers of this earthly pilgrimage.
"December 23d.-Went up to Logie and preached at the kirking of Mr. and Mrs. Melvil. At the first prayer Patrick made his appearance, from which I inferred Lucy's death.
* 66 Lucy died yesterday morning at five o'clock. It has long been looked for, and the family are bearing it with as much composure as can be expected. My father is almost blind. This decay in his sight came on pretty gradually at first, and has now arrived to such a degree that he can neither write, read, nor recognise any of the family."-Letter from Mr. Chalmers, of date 24th December 1810.
"December 24th.-Went off in a chaise this morning, and reached Anster after four. Have begun to read Wilberforce, and hope to be much the better of it.
"December 25th.-Spent this day in my room, and with my relations. I am making head against the soreness of my temperament to what is irksome, though still far and very far from perfection. O God, may I feel the authority of Thy law.-I am delighted with Wilberforce.
"December 31st.-Walked to Pittenweem with Misses Hall and Nairne. Returned and dined with Mr. Henderson. *
I pray God that I may contract no taint from my intercourse with the world. As years roll away may I gather wisdom, and learn that it is not on this side of time that my home and my inheritance lie."
That effort after a pure and heavenly morality which Mr. Chalmers had so long and so unfalteringly sustained, was now on the eve of a change, which was not only to alter, but to reverse in their relative positions its starting-post and its goal. All the natural elements at work throughout this struggle were elements of signal power. A vigorous and enlightened intelligence-a conscience strong but very tender-most delicately susceptible, yet devoid of all narrowness and weakness-a will of almost inflexible determination, become now a yielding servant to the high sense of duty,— these all exerting themselves under the profound impression, that God's eye was ever on them as they toiled, and that everlasting interests hung suspended on the issue, present to us such a full and attractive exhibition of mere natural character as might have invited analysis, or fixed for a season the eye of our admiration. But all lesser interest connected with this period loses itself in the light and meaning thrown upon it by its close. As the year expired, and for his evening readings.
at Anstruther while he remained there after his sister's death, Mr. Chalmers took up Wilberforce's "Practical View "-a work specially intended to expose the inadequate conceptions regarding the leading and peculiar doctrines of Christianity which characterized the religious system prevailing among professed Christians. "We are loudly called on," said Mr. Wilberforce," to examine well our foundations. If any thing be there unsound and hollow, the superstructure could not be safe though its exterior were less suspicious. Let the question, then, be asked, and let the answer be returned with all the consideration and solemnity which a question so important may justly demand, Whether in the grand concern of all-the means of a sinner's acceptance with God, there be not reason to apprehend that nominal Christians too generally entertain very superficial and confused, if not highly dangerous notions?" -(p. 101.) The summons came from one whose character was otherwise so enthusiastically admired, and it was so wisely and so winningly given, that it would have been listened to even had Mr. Chalmers not been subject at the time to that restless dissatisfaction with the fruits of all his own former efforts, which made him at this conjuncture peculiarly open to instruction. As in this favourable spirit he read this volume, he found his own individual case thus accurately delineated, and thus wisely prescribed for:—“ There are, it is to be apprehended, not a few who, having thought little or scarcely at all about religion, have become at length, in some degree, impressed with a sense of the infinite importance of religion. A fit of sickness, perhaps, or the loss of some friend or much loved relative, or some other stroke of adverse fortune, damps their spirits, awakens them to a practical conviction of the precariousness of all human things, and turns them to seek for some more stable foundation of happiness than this world can afford. Looking into themselves ever so little, they become sensible that they must
have offended God. They resolve accordingly to set about the work of reformation. * Again and again they resolve; again and again they break their resolutions. All their endeavours are foiled, and they become more and more convinced of their own moral weakness and of the strength of their inherent corruption. These men are pursuing the right object, but they mistake the path in which it is to be obtained. The path in which they are now treading is not that which the gospel has provided for conducting them to true holiness, nor will they find in it any solid peace. *** The Holy Scriptures call upon those who are in the circumstances now stated to lay afresh the whole foundation of their religion.* The nature of that holiness which the true Christian seeks to possess is no other than the restoration of the image of God to his soul; and as to the manner of acquiring it, disclaiming with indignation every idea of attaining it by his own strength, he rests altogether on the operation of God's Holy Spirit, which is promised to all who cordially embrace the gospel. He knows therefore that this holiness is not to PRECEDE his reconciliation with God and be its cause, but to follow it and be its effect; that, in short, it is by faith in Christ only that he is to be justified in the sight of God."-(Pp. 271-276, 11th edition.) The result of the perusal of the whole volume is best told by Mr. Chalmers himself in two letters, of a later date, addressed to his brother Alexander.+
· February 14, 1820. "MY DEAR ALEXANDER,-I stated to you that the effect of a very long confinement, about ten years ago, upon myself, was to inspire me with a set of very strenuous resolutions, under which I wrote a Journal, and made many a laborious effort to elevate my practice to the standard of the Divine re
* The Italics in all the passages quoted above are Mr. Wilberforce's.