himself, and to take positive steps in religious advancement. The following extracts from a letter written to his sister, who was away from home, indicated this.
The following is from a fragmentary diary, about this time:October, 1856.I have thought lately a great deal about joining the church. I am reading a book called “ Ware on the Formation of the Christian Character,” and I am very much interested in it. The author says, “He who believes and is resolved to live and die in his belief, has a right to this ordinance (the Lord's Supper); and it is the duty of every one who believes to offer himself for this celebration.” I am resolved, if I do believe, to live and die in the belief; but I am so indifferent, I surprise myself. I cannot be so wicked and foolish as to doubt God's power to help, but I have too great an opinion of my own strength; yet I hope, with God's help, and through Christ who strengtheneth, to overcome my pride and selfishness and fear. Write a long letter soon. O that Christ would take possession of my heart and make me his! Your most affectionate and devoted brother,
January 1, 1857.To-day commences another year. As trying to improve our natures, and fit ourselves for usefulness in this world and happiness hereafter, we should commence the year with new resolutions and holy purposes to live more according to the will and commands of God, as expressed in his holy Word. Therefore I hereby resolve, with the help of God, to live a more righteous and sober life, and more as one who has given himself up to God, and who has determined to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, should live, than I have hitherto; and I hope that by daily prayer, and by trust in God and his promises, and by reading his Word, I may soon be cleansed of all my sins and become a true Christian, and finally be led to heaven, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Feeling deeply sensible of human weakness and liability to fall into sin, and that we can do nothing of ourselves except God be with us, I humbly trust and pray that he will assist and bless all my efforts to become a true child of God.