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CHAPTER II

relation, suitable expressions of gratitude and praise.

"Few things in the history of religion," says a modern writer [Rev. William Orm]," are more interesting than the commencement and progress of Christianity, on a young, an ardent, and a highly cultivated mind. It cannot take hold on such a mind without producing the most marked and important results. Its adaptation at once to all the finest feelings of our nature, and to the most powerful of its intellectual faculties, makes it capable of producing all that is refined in moral sensibility, and all that is lofty in enterprise. It presents to such an individual a new world, teeming with objects of intense interest, and calling forth his deepest sympathy and his noblest ambition. It conducts into scenes of pure and ravishing sweetness, and diffuses over the spirit the peace of God, and the bliss of heaven. It presents a theatre, not for display, but for action and suffering, in the most glorious of all causes; the glory of God, and the salvation of men."

It has been said, that he commenced the study of law, with great ardour and untiring diligence, that he constantly read, and thought, and wrote, with a

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CHAPTER II

fixed and predominant regard to the honours of the world, for more than two years, or until, by his intense application, he was brought apparently upon the very verge of the grave. After his conversion, this profession, however captivating once, presented no allurements. It was divested of all its charms. He had no relish for it: not only so, he had a strong aversion to it, and finding the idea of pursuing it, as the business of his future life, painful to him, though he said nothing immediately upon the subject, to any of his friends, he determined to abandon it; at least, he felt a strong desire to turn his attention to some other, that would be more congenial with his present views and feelings. What to pursue in its place, he had not yet decided; and some little time elapsed, before he was relieved from the embarrassment, which, in the interesting state of his mind at this moment, was connected with a decision. He was led, at length, to think of devoting himself to the ministry of the Gospel; and "I began to feel," he says, "even greater ardour for the study of divinity, than I had before entertained for the law; yet here difficulties," he adds, "which seemed insuperable, immediately occurred. My health was still feeble; the pain in my breast was frequently severe; and I could scarcely hope that I should be even equal to the labours inseparable from the ministry of the Gospel."






        
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