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Single Page Chapter V

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CHAPTER V

theoretical acquaintance with the system of Divine truth, he was not inattentive to the state of his heart: he was concerned to know, from his own happy experience, the practical and gracious influence of that truth. The doctrines he was taught, he brought to the touchstone of the inspired volume; for "I was determined," he says, "never to adopt any sentiment upon the authority of public profession, or the decision of any man, however dignified or imposing his name or influence might be, unless I was convinced it was founded upon the word of God." And, as they were severally and successively discussed in the course of the lectures, it was his custom not only to search the Bible to ascertain himself of their authority, but also to read the best treatises upon them he could find, in order that he might fully understand them, and, at the same time, to pray fervently that the Lord would instruct him, and enable him to realize his own interest in each of them. Such a method of prosecuting his favourite study could not fail to be profitable to both the head and the heart; and it may be confidently averred, that the student of theology who does not act upon the principle it involves that is does not seek to grow in grace, as well as in knowledge to unite the cultivation of the heart with the improvement of the mind, cannot estimate, as he ought, the holy work in which he proposes to engage, nor become

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thoroughly furnished for it, while he neglects the duty.

Prayer is essential to spiritual vitality. It is the Christian's breath: he can no more live without it, as a child of God, or in communion with God, than the natural man can live without air. Certainly then, he who studies the deep things of God, that he may be prepared to teach others to guide his sinful, perishing fellow-men to a Saviour and Heaven, ought to give himself habitually to prayer, and to the use of all other means calculated to promote his own personal religion.

Mr. Livingston was no stranger at the Throne of Grace. He loved to pray; and daily intercourse with a few eminently pious young friends of the University, contributed not a little to cherish in him a devotional spirit. Among those between whom and himself a most affectionate intimacy subsisted, he has particularly named Messrs. Van Vloten, I. L. Verster, A. Boelen, I. Kneppelhout, I. Prinse, W. C. Hoog, I. Verduin, I. Van De Kasteele, I. B. Hendricks, H. Van Alphen, C. Boers, S. Spiering, and A. Rutgers. With these individuals, who were respected for their literary attainments, but especially for their faith and godly zeal, he constantly associated. They aided him in his






        
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