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you from dependence on Christ, or turn your eye from Him as all your desire and all your salvation? Go joyfully to God in His name; follow closely in the path of His example; feel your need of His Spirit in every enterprise; have no doubt of your forgiveness through the merits of His blood, coupling with faith in this one testimony the acceptance of every one saying about the necessity of holiness and self-denial, and the mortification of all that is sinful, and the adornment of the whole man with the graces of the Spirit, and the dedication of the whole life to the will of Him who poured out his soul unto the death for you.
My heart is greatly enlarged toward you, my dearest of all earthly acquaintances; and it is my prayer that God may more and more purify, and exalt, and Christianize that friendship which it has pleased Him to put into our bosoms.
No. X.-DR. CHALMERS TO MR. THOMAS SMITH. BLOCHAIRN, 29th December, 1815. MY DEAR SIR-When I can not be present with you in person, I find that it in some manner fills up the disappointment to sit down to an exercise in which I feel my heart to be altogether present with and alive about you.
I have been thinking more of your very valuable contribution to our scriptural conference of yesterday, and the use I make of it is to endear me the more to our plan, quite assured that much will result from it. Let it convince us more and more of the prodigious fertility of the Bible; how much lies hidden and unobserved, even after many perusals; and surely, if it be true that a man may read it a hundred times, and find something on his next reading which he missed on all his former ones, a joint reading bids fair for multiplying our lessons, and must give a double advantage to each of them who are embarked in it.
Do, my dear sir, feel how various and how animating a field lies before the man who has resolved on being the alto
gether Christian. He may look for indefinite attainments in knowledge, as well as for an ever-increasing lustre of accomplishments and of character; and my earnest, and fervent, and often-repeated prayer for you is, that, sanctified wholly by the truth as it is in Jesus, we may, after running our destined course as fellow-helpers on earth, mingle with the pure families of heaven, and be found faultless together in the presence of God with exceeding glory.
My heart is greatly enlarged toward you, and I entreat that you will put up with all my warnings, and all my anxieties, and all my devoted earnestness in behalf of your best interests. For myself, I have great need of your prayers. May they ascend often, and with affectionate earnestness, to the throne of grace. Be assured that I approve much of your prudence and reserve in the matter of your acquaintances. I trust that the conversation of yesterday will not lead to any precipitate measures on your part. And, on the other hand, that a growing experience as to the best way of walking to those who are without, and a growing strength and intrepidity of character, and last, though not least, a growing affection for others in the Christian and spiritual sense of the term, will at length enable you to be of use to some of those deluded, unhappy young men, each of whom, let it never be forgotten, has a soul as unperishable as ours, and none of whom are beyond the reach of that grace which teaches and enables us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in the world. My kindest affection to you, my very dear sir, THOMAS CHALMERS.
No. XI.-MR. THOMAS SMITH TO DR. CHALMERS.
GLASGOW, 2d January, 1816. MY DEAR SIR-When we are separated it is my most agreeable employment to write to you, and were I once fairly embarked in the business, I know you would have occasion rather to complain of the frequency of my letters than the want of them.
I pursued our yesterday's topic of consideration for a part of the day with some success, but during the greater part of the evening I was employed in a manner contrary to the disposition in which we should be employed at the beginning of a new period of time, and I was thus unfitted for continuing my beneficial train of thought. At this season of the year I have been always inclining to the desponding tone when I think of the small progress I have made in the different studies in which I am engaged. But I never, till this time, felt the disappointment at the past and anxiety for the future, in regard to my religious improvement, so strong as at present. I have, indeed, felt something of the kind formerly, and have formed resolutions of a good tendency, but this feeling was never very strong, of course it was not permanent; and the resolutions, I am ashamed to say, were formed chiefly in a dependence on myself to execute them, and thus made, you well know, only to be broken.
It is not so with me now, I hope; my resolutions, founded on the experience of the fate of the past, are not so extravagant as not to admit of the probability of these being executed. This is well; but I have learned also from what I have already attempted, that in my own strength I can not accomplish my desires; that the more my dependence is upon myself, the greater the certainty of my failure; and the more my hope rests on the assistance promised me from a quarter where there is no deceit or weakness to perform, the more the certainty is of my success. It is on this foundation that I now look forward with joy to the progress of my Christian career, and firmly trust to attain that standard of obedience and high tone of moral sentiment, with the description of which you have often delighted me.
Yours very affectionately,
No. XII.-DR. CHALMERS TO MR. THOMAS SMITH.
KILMARDINNY, 3d January, 1816.
MY DEAR SIR-You have not yet arrived at an adequate
estimate of the interest I take in you, if you think either write me too frequently or at too great length.
You speak of uncongenial business or society in the evening, which broke up in some measure the religious frame of your mind on the preceding part of the day. Now, mark well that there will be no such interruptions in the Millennium; there are none such in a Moravian village at this moment; and there would be much fewer than there are in Glasgow had we a more extensive Christian community. The direct road to this is just to make as many Christian individuals and Christian families as we can; and in the exact proportion of our success shall we be rewarded by a freedom from all these temptations which the deadening and secularizing influence of the great majority of companies brings along with it. Let us ever keep by this object, then, as our great aim and purpose of our lives here below, combining, at the same time, all that discretion and skill which are necessary in the important work. Let us pray for that most desirable wisdom, the wisdom of winning souls-not forgetting that He who says, Keep thyself pure, also says, Lay hands on no man suddenly; and taking care, at the same time, never to convert the latter direction into a shelter for cowardice, or a plea for denying Christ before men. Oh, my dear sir, you are right to feel your shortcomings, and it is at the same time right to strike the high aim of being perfect, even as God is perfect. It is only wrong to conceive such a purpose in a dependence on ourselves; but who shall limit the power of His Spirit? Who shall question the provisions of the Gospel for the accomplishment of its own avowed object, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to form us again after the image of Him who created us? Do turn from the contemplation of your own worthlessness to Him for whose sake God will cover, as with a cloud, all your past sins, and make no more mention of them; and by whose power resting upon you He will enable you to wing your ascending way through the career of practical Christianity-He will send a purifying influence
into all the services of the inner man-He will bless your solitude with a sense of His holy but reconciled presenceHe will adorn your walk in society with all that is graceful and honorable-He will keep you in thought, as well as in conduct, undefiled by the sickening profligacies of this world -He will work you up to a meetness for the inheritance hereafter, and give you a foretaste of its enjoyment even here, by mingling with all your struggles, and temptations, and difficulties the smile of an approving God-the radiance of an anticipated heaven. Believe me to be, my dear sir, yours most affectionately, THOMAS CHALMERS.
No. XIII.-MR. THOMAS SMITH TO DR. CHALMERS.
GLASGOW, 3d January, 1816.
MY DEAR SIR-In my note to you of yesterday I mentioned something of my forming resolutions. I have to-day been thinking that it is a dangerous matter to form resolutions unless there is a pretty certain prospect of the person who forms being able to accomplish them. The consequence of such resolutions as are made without consideration, and soon trespassed against, is to leave the mind impressed with the facility of destroying its best intentions, and in a state to overleap its most serious projects. I wish you would say something on this subject when you are at leisure. Foster, in his essay on Decision of Character," seems to have neglected this means of destroying the quality he so strongly recommends. With much esteem and regard, I am, my dear sir, yours, &c., THOMAS SMITH.
No. XIV. DR. CHALMERS TO MR. THOMAS SMITH. KILMARDINNY, 4th January, 1816. letter of yesyour
MY DEAR SIR-I feel much interested in
terday's date, as it touches on a truly important subject—that of resolutions. If you simply mean by a resolution a purpose, it should be your purpose at this moment to forsake all sin and to attain all righteousness-a purpose which can only