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* By means of a subscription, which a benevolent individual exerted himself in procuring, W. T. obtained a share in the Warrington li. brary, containing about 1800 volumes of miscellaneous literature; this ensured him a plentiful supply of books, and proved a source of great gratification.
With a few of his newly acquired friends he commenced a correspondence; to some of them, part of the subsequent letters are addressed.
To A. T. . .
“ Lowton, July, 1812. • “I cannot but request thy perusal of these two very interesting pieces,* in wbich I consider there is a great similarity; the purport of both being an elucidation of some things which the greatest part of the community are as yet but little informed upon; I mean, the probability of an universal diffusion of Christian knowledge in the world, and particularly in that immensely wide field of action, where operations seem åt présent to be vigorously carrying on, and irresistibly forcing their way into nations, to the very name of which, the European Christian was, till now, a stranger. Already do we see in many of these : nnexplored regions, the superiority of Christiainity manifest itself over the darkness of Pagan.
ism. Already is the standard of Divine Truth · lifted up, by the translation and propagation of · those sacred oracles, with which unthankful Europe has long been favoured, unconscious of her invaluable privilege. The time seems to be now arriving, when the oriental nations shall enjoy
* Some of Dr. Buchanan's writings.
the same privilege, the possession of the Scriptures in their respective languages and dialects : .this it appears from the reports in hand, is considered by the simple enquiring Hindoo as a most inestimable treasure, and is sought after by many with the utmost eagerness and enthusiasm. Whilst, in the western world, the soldier is seeking the vain applause of military honour; while the statesman is aspiring after that popularity which may transmit his name to future generations; while science and the investigation of nature are carried to such a pitch as it was supposed the human intellect was never capable of arriving *at; and the merchant is busy heaping up riches which he may perhaps never enjoy; the humble the indefatigable missionary is holding forth the glad tidings of the gospel of salvation, through faith in a crucified Saviour: and the records of „Divine Truth are received with open arms and enraptured hearts by the people of these unrefined and half-civilized nations, after a lapse of eighteen . centuries. And who can remain an unconcerned spectator of a sight so interesting, at a sight so full of matter for reflection as the christianizing of the Heathen world ? For my own part, I feel myself warmly interested in the cause, though constrained to remain useless.
“I have tasted of the power of true religion ; ·, and this leads me to appreciate its intrinsic value
so 'niuch, as earnestly to wish that others may : enjoy it, whether Jew, Greek, Barbarian, Scythi, an, or poor despised African. All have alike need of a Saviour, and for Christ to become to them, all in all. How glorious a theme is the universality of Divine Grace, which visits all, without distinction as to their rank, situation, or condition in life! Oh! my heart is made thankful when I take a retrospect of years that are past, and see the infinite condescension of God, who hath borne with me unto this hour. I can truly say, it is of his mercies that I am not consumed, and am penetrated with wonder, that in return for my disobedience, he should have enlightened my understanding, and disposed me to truth and rectitude of heart.
“Now, in order to obtain a right knowledge, in matters of so great importance, we must not · content ourselves with a mere superficial investigation; many, alas! too many, are content to be carried down the stream of life, without the knowledge of any destined port; and my heart is often affected when I see the gay, the volatile, and the sprightly youth living wholly unconcerned at the events of futurity. "
“Oh! that many might experimentally know · a work of holiness wrought in the heart; this can
alone enable us to endure with resignation, and : meet with fortitude, the complicated variety of ills with which life abounds; and when that awful crisis approachés, the hour of death, how peculiarly grateful is the consolatory influence it affords!
“ W. T.”
To G. C.
“ Lowton, 8th mo. 21, 1812. : “As thou hadst expressed a desire to meet me at Ashton meeting, it would have appeared more respectful if I had acceded to it; but thou -knowest, my friend, what is, or at least what ought to be, our intention when we go to meet
ings; it is not only to meet our terrestrial friends, we ought to go with our hearts solemnized with the humble hope of meeting with our Heavenly Father, who is our only, our true friend. This ought to be esteemed the first consideration. It is worth more than all other things, and therefore to it every thing else ought to be sacrificed: I felt on that day a strong desire to be at Warrington, 'a desire that I dared not to neglect. I acccordingly went thither, and I have not found any reason to repent it; it was a precious time to my soul, and will not be forgotten.
“What I chiefly designed to express * was, that we should love truth above all, and that the ornaments of language are of very minor importance. Almost every one will avow that this is true; but I am much afraid that our hearts are not sufficiently impressed with the full force of the sentiment: I often fear, that in seeking for the great and sublime, we follow after à deceitful shadow. We feel sometimes a species of enthusiasm animate our hearts, which is contrary to simplicity and truth. We read with pleasure the heroic adventures of the Heathens of antiquity, because they are mostly written in a lofty style; whilst the pure, true, sıriking, and majestic words of our Holy Redeemer are either entirely despised, or treated with the most perfect indif. ference. I have often wondered why it should be thus, and I have had lately some serious thoughts on the vanity of attending to the cadence of words, or the melodious harmony of sounds; it. is an important subject, but I fear that it but rarely commands sufficient attention.
* W. T."
* Alluding to a former letter.
To M. C. .
“ Lowton, 9th mo. 1812. “ If I have been led to admire virtue, it ought not to be attributed to any superior saga• city which I may possess; let the reason be assigned to its proper cause-her own superlative beauty; the lustre of which is so dazzling, that, did we not resolutely close our eyes, I believe We should be individually smitten with its excellency; if this were once the case, we should be willing to relinquish all trifling accomplishments, or at least to consider them as very inferior objects; and we should apply ourselves with unwearied assiduity, in search of the pearl of inestimable price, that treasure invaluable. ; “ Numerous and powerful are the attractions of creaturely enjoyments, which steal away our affections from their proper channel; even inany times, when the judgment is better informed, and a desire iş existing in the soul to resist every :thing contrary to truth; but alas! these desires are often too faint and ineffectual to enable us to become victorious in so mighty a warfare. For mighty indeed it is, and if we would be account.ed good soldiers ; if we would faithfully discharge our, part in the great conflict; if we would see's the subjugation of our passions, and evil propensities, and an entire conformity to the Divine will, we shall have more than a neutral part to act: we shall not be included in the number of idle spectators. . “ Impressed with the importance.of this cause, ought we not to apply ourselves with unremitting fervour to the prosecution of so glorious a work, the salvation of our imunortal souls? Oh! that