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without fear of man, and with the love of God in my own heart.
“Oh, my God! guide, direct, sanctify and bless me, and all mine and all thine.
How weak, frail, and inconstant a creature is man; and of men, myself most deplorably so. Sometimes my desires and resolutions run mountains high ; and then I grow faint, and the stream of my affections is muddied and thick. Let me think of my children and my household, and of their spiritual welfare ; and not cleave in heart to any one temptation thrown in my way by the world.
“The organ proposal negatived. I feel the benefit of a momentary disappointment; it is physic to the soul. How every thing tends to convince me of the folly and wickedness of seeking comfort in the creature. O blessed Creator ! when shall I be thine in spirit and in truth? “ Feb. 17. Harassed with foolish thoughts. I
grow more and more ashamed of myself, that such things can lay hold of my heart, and that I should have such deadness towards heaven. • earth, earth, earth! hear the word of the Lord.'
“I have been to Bembridge, and read Burder's poetical abridgement of the Pilgrim's Progress, with profit and delight to us all. How much more am I in my element, among my little flock, than scheming in the world. Drank tea at John Wheler's; his cottage is God's palace.
Let me reflect on the fleetness of time, and on the uncertainty of my life. Drewitt was taken away just at my age—the hand of death may be close : oh, what folly to imagine it at a distance! May I then die daily.
“Received religious books to the value of 15l. from Mr. Thornton, to distribute in my parish. God be thanked for such friends to me and mine.
“Feb. 21. I have strangely neglected the review. I pray God to give me strength to go on with it, and to think and write to his glory. My inward and bosom sin preys sadly upon me. I beseech thee, O my God! to make me a new creature ; in that respect most especially, give me a new heart and a right spirit.
- 24. How soon the best plans degenerate into formality, and how often Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. What a fight, race, and struggle, the Christian warfare is! May I so fight, run, and strive, that I may obtain.
“ — 26. A serene fine morning is an emblem of rest—rest from storms and rain ; how ought I to seek an earnest within of that rest which remaineth for the people of God.' In all my
ministrations this day—in the sanctuary, the house, the closet, may all be to thee, and for thee, and by thee. I feel my own deficiencies daily more and more; O God! may I feel them till I lose them.
- 27. I every day feel more the truth of the doctrine, that the flesh and spirit strive contrarywise against each other. Excuses, apologies, procrastinations, delays, all proceed from this.
" — 29. I perceive too much compliance with worldly company and conversation; oh, my soul, if I give way to this, my usefulness will be much diminished. Let me often remember that I renounced the world at baptism. 6 March 4.
he sabbath is over. I preached on the strong man armed ; and from 1 Cor. i. 23, introducing a homily.
“I wish my children could sing the praises of God: may their learning music have this end and aim, both in themselves and me.
Like the Israelites of old, I find myself wandering in the wilderness of sin. Yet O my God! if thou art my guide and light, by day and night, all will be well.
-7. The beauty of such a morning as this should be an emblem of the life of God in my soul. What is mere animal life without this? Oh! break my rebellious spirit, and bring the inner man into true subjection to thee.
I am meditating a sermon, on drawing water from the wells of salvation. Let me ever keep it in faithful remembrance, that I preach to my own heart first, and then to my people's. I have been arranging the different texts which describe Gospel graces and promises, under the emblem of water. I must be more and more urgent in drawing from the fountain of God's word.
- 12. One day nearer death and eternity. Lift up my heart, O God! in earnest prayer for real blessings. Let me be more desirous of graces than gifts, and yet remember, both are from thee.
6 March 16. A thick fog this morning. Is this the only fog? On looking over my diary, I see much to lament. What a map of frailty! O, my Redeemer, how shall I estimate the infinite value of that blood of thine, which was shed for sin. What are my time, reading, learning, memory, situation, influence, authority, money, and other various abilities, of mind and body, but so many talents lent me by God, of which I must speedily render an account? Have I any talents for the minis
try? Do I use them as not abusing them? Are they with a single eye and heart consecrated to the honour of God ?
- 17. I plainly perceive that the Lord has permitted me to suffer a dereliction, as a just punishment for too much carelessness; but 0! my Lord Jesus, let me see the light of thy countenance. Fix my roving wishes, and nail them to thy cross; and oh! let me remember that no Anwer can blow in Paradise, which is not transplanted from Gethsemane ; no one can taste of the fruit of the tree of life, that has not tasted of the fruits of the tree of Calvary.
A day of rest. Rest thou, O my soul! from vanity and the world. Fix thyself on the cross, and there muse and contemplate, till thou art filled with the theme.
- 24. I purpose to preach five evening lectures next week, on the progress, nature, and extent of Christ's sufferings. May the subject animate my soul, and through grace give life to my weak faith.
“Lord — dead! and thus end all hopes of preferment (as it is called) from that quarter.
How absurd to build on man! Wherever the Lord designs me to do good, he will keep or place me; and in him all is right, and as it should be.
6 March 26. How many unforeseen events crowd upon my attention; what a strange busy scene is this, and how it strives to steal the heart froin God!
46 - 27. I feel much dissatisfied with myself. Lord, what am I, that thou shouldst so regard me? A worm, a vile worm of the dust. I am to preach to-night a lecture on Christ's sufferings. What do I suffer for him?
30. Good-Friday. I bless God that my first act has been weeping for thy sorrows,
It is impossible to peruse the foregoing extracts without a deep conviction of the sincerity and earnestness of the writer. The heart seems to be unfolded before us, stripped of the illusions of self-love, which are so apt to mingle in the estimate that we form of ourselves; and conscience is armed with all the authority of a judge and pronounces its impartial verdict.
We see in his internal conflicts the struggles between the two opposing principles, “the flesh and the spirit :” the strivings of inward corruption, and the aspirations of the soul towards God. The feelings of every renewed heart will harmonise with this description; though the accurate observer will not fail to remark, that the full triumphs of faith and hope were yet wanting, and that stability, which time and experience can alone bestow : for though the principle which renews the heart is marked throughout by circumstances which ascertain its reality, its effects and influences are always progressive. The reader who is less familiar with these things, may here learn a most instructive lesson. He may not comprehend the doctrine of conversionhe may know nothing of the conflicts of the soul-nothing of the two principles within, alternately striving for the masterynothing of that jealousy over the heart, and that deep conviction of its depravity, expressed in the Diary of Mr. Richmond. Let him then examine the fact here presented to his notice; he sees a man undergoing a visible and remarkable change in his views and conduct, and his principles and affections directed to high and holy objects,—the reality of the principle attested by the reality of its effects, and inward grace illustrated by outward holiness. Let him remember, that the conversion, so strikingly exhibited in the case of Mr. Richmond, is no less needed by himself-that it is indispensable to his admission into the abodes of
peace and glory; and that if heaven be a prepared place for a prepared people, and a fitness for its enjoyments be essential to their possession, there must be a knowledge of this principle, an inward cxperience of its power, and an outward evidence of its existence in the life, before he can have a well-grounded assurance of a happy immortality; for the spirit of heavenly inspiration has recorded, in characters never to be obliterated,
except ye be converted, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
CHAPTER V. Relation of circumstances occurring during the period of the
foregoing chapter. The plan of the preceding chapter having restricted us to the illustration of a particular principle and its effects, we now proceed to notice what occurred within the period that has just been detailed. We have already alluded to the sermon preached by Mr. Richmond at Bath, On cruelty to the brute creation,” and to the publication of that discourse, at the request of the congregation. As the attention of the legislature has of late
years been often directed to this subject, we think the following extract will not be deemed altogether without interest.
“ This dominion over the creatures was given to Adam, whilst the likeness of God shone forth in him; consequently it was a
merciful dominion. It was a sovereignty designed to be exercised with every possible kindness of treatment, which the grateful and benevolent temper of man, in his state of primitive righteousness, could suggest. Hence we are enabled to deduce the right of the inferior creatures to kindness of treatment, from a most satisfactory and unerring source of argument, no less than an explicit revelation of God's will, coeval with the foundation of the world itself. The merciful design of God in making man the lord of the creation, is mercifully manifest; for such was the holiness of man's heart, such the purity of his affections before the fall, that every creature subjected to his rule was assured of being happy. The intention of God, whose loving kindness is over all his works, was fully accomplished by appointing man, such as he was whilst in Paradise, to be the intermediate instrument of his goodness towards them. Made in the express image of an holy and merciful God, Adam, like his Maker, was holy and merciful too."
We might here have noticed another sermon, published by him two or three years prior to this period, entitled, “Reflections suggested by the close of the year,” which passed into a fourth edition. It abounds with impressive remarks, and strong appeals to the young and to the old, on the shortness and uncertainty of human life; but his religious views not having then attained the maturity and correctness by which they were afterwards characterized, we forbear making any extracts from it.
The religion of Mr. Richmond, though it engaged his most earnest and anxious thoughts, had no tinge of gloom or austerity. He was at all times cheerful; and the following letter, addressed toʻhis aunt about this period, inclosing his profile, is an instance of that playfulness of humour in which he was often accustomed to indulge.
Bruding, Feb. 10, 1803. My dearest Aunt,-Being unwilling to trust mere pen and paper to make excuse for my long silence, I have sent a representative to do it for me; humbly conceiving that a shadow of an apology would be best made by a shadow of a man. Now, my dear aunt, unsubstantial as a shadow is, it
may nevertheless be the means of creating a very solid idea of the thing signified. At all events, it is better than nothing; more especially as this shadow possesses (what other shadows do not) a stationary faculty; and I do'apprehend, that whether the sun shines or not, and whether a candle be or be not in the room, the said shadowy gentleman will not quit your fireside without leave, if you think him worthy of being once placed there. It is true, that from the very con