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Single Page Chapter II

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CHAPTER II

bring sinners, by preaching the Gospel, to the obedience of faith. I was conscious that I did not "desire the office of a Bishop" to gratify pride, indolence, or ambition, nor to promote my own personal advantage and profit, for I knew it would be a sacrifice of my secular interests and prospects; but that in sincerity, and before God, it was to labour in his church; it was to advance the cause of truth and holiness, and in this service to express my gratitude for redeeming love."

"But such was my fear of rushing inconsiderately and impiously into this solemn work, that I several times repeated these devotional exercises, and again set apart days for that purpose; still under the impression of those awful words, Who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Nor did I dare to come to any conclusion, nor would I ever have commenced the study of theology, unless it had pleased the Lord to hear my poor prayers, and convince me it was consistent with his holy will, that I should devote myself to this arduous service.

"I did not expect or desire any immediate revelation, nor did I pray for any extraordinary manifestation. I only wished for a removal of my doubts and fears; for a confirmation of my motives and

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CHAPTER II

desires, and, in this way, to obtain a convincing and comfortable token of the divine approbation. Whenever I realized the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? the reply of my soul was: here am I, send me. Yet still I hesitated to conclude that he would send me, or expect he would honour me with his message. After some weeks spent in these exercises, the result was, that my doubts and fears were all entirely removed, and I began humbly to hope and be persuaded, that I not only might commence in the study, but actually must proceed. Every other door was shut against me, while a sincere desire for this work, from honest and sanctified principles, prevailed; and I could not avoid considering all this as a divine response as a gracious word of commission; and he said go, From that hour, I never doubted of my duty, but have had incontestable and continual proofs, that my Lord had called me to the ministry, and would in mercy employ me in his vineyard. My only remaining burthen now was, to obtain the spirit of that station; to be furnished with special talents; to be instructed in the truth; and to be rendered faithful."

There can be no question, when, as the effect of that regenerating grace, which he had so powerfully experienced in his soul but a little before, he






        
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