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in Christ, and personal dedication to the service of Christ. Reader ! are these the springs of your happiness and conduct? Is your aim and effort to win souls? Let this example encourage your faith and stimulate your zeal.
“ Give me the priest who at judicious age,
And duly called, in priesthood shall engage;
Give me the priest these graces shall possess :
Give me the priest, a light upon a hili,
IR JOHN STODDART makes the following
remarks in his admirable “Introduction to
Universal History:"_“If the attention of mankind is strongly drawn to the contemplation of great actions, it is perhaps still more forcibly attracted to that of remarkable persons. There is no object so interesting to man as man. There is no glass in which we can so well dress our moral nature. There is nothing that so fully enables us to obey the famous oracle, 'Know thyself.' There are no such effectual means to stir up our latent powers; to kindle passions unknown even to ourselves; and to impel us to act by showing us that we possess the means of action. If Cæsar wept before the statue of Alexander; if Burns felt the enthusiasm of a patriot possess his whole soul in perusing the valiant deeds of William Wallace; if the benevolence of the Roman Catholic has been kindled by the example of St. Vincent de Paul; if the British sailor will for ages to come feel his heart beat at the name of Nelson,—all this, and a thousand times more, is owing to that most fascinating species of history which is called Biography.”. How much minis
terial devotedness may be traced to similar influences ! The study of the life of a man of God has led many invested with the sacred office to emulate the virtues and to imitate the labours of the holy and useful ministers of Christ. More perhaps has this been the case from the biographies of the good than of the great, of the earnest evangelist rather than of the profound divine. The means of doing good which such possessed are more within the range of other men than are the lofty powers of thought which belong to the great, and which place them on a pinnacle of eminence too high for ordinary men to attain. JOHN ANGELL JAMES was one of these earnest and eminently useful men. Without learning or philosophy, with modest pretensions and ordinary powers, he attained an eminence and a ministerial success such as few in the ministry reach. His life, therefore, has a surpassing interest. “I set out in my ministry, even when a stu-. dent,” he said, “with the idea of usefulness so deeply imprinted on my heart, and so constantly present to my thoughts, that I could never lose sight of it long together; and I mean usefulness of one kind—that is, the direct conversion of souls." It pleased God to fulfil in a large measure this idea of his life and labour.
He was born at Blandford Forum, Dorsetshire, on 6th June, 1785, of humble but respectable parents. Like most men who have been eminent and honoured in the Church of Christ, he had a godly mother, who was wont to take her children to her chamber, and, with each separately, to pray for the salvation of their souls. This exercise, while fulfilling her own responsibility, was moulding the character of her children, and most, if not all, of them
When did such means
rose up to call her blessed. ever fail ?
Another circumstance tended to his Christian decision. When apprenticed to a linen draper at Poole young James discontinued his daily prayers, from a sense of shame. But a new apprentice who had lately joined the establishment, and who occupied the same room with him and the other apprentices, knelt down in his presence to seek his father's God. This faithfulness reproved the transgressor, and from that night he recommenced the practice which his mother taught him. He never left it off again. Conscience was henceforth at work, and filial piety passed into personal religion. In this transition the youth was aided by an aged shoemaker in the town, whose soul yearned after the young. John Angell James became a visitor at the old disciple's, and ere long his voice occasionally led the supplications of the little company in that good man's house. The circumstances connected with his first effort Mr. James mentions in his autobiographic sketch : “In order to take off all fear from my mind, he requested me, the first time I prayed, to go and stand in a place that was boarded off, in which coals and other matters were kept. Here, in this dark corner, I stood to pour out an audible prayer for the first time with a fellowcreature." His religious impressions were greatly deepened at this time by a sermon preached by the Rev. Mr. Sibree of Frome, from these words, “Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you” (Isa. xxx. 18). Good books and good company aided the growing piety of the young apprentice, and he was induced to take a part in Sabbath-school teaching-a means of usefulness which has often reacted upon the religious convic
tions of youthful converts. While engaged in this work a desire arose in his mind to become a minister of Christ.
When his mother discovered his serious impressions by observing a pocket Bible in his coat, her heart was overjoyed. It was to his sister, however, that he most freely communicated his religious thoughts. His letters home now became Christian. The new individuality impressed itself on paper, and his sister who corresponded with him had the joy of recognizing a brother in Christ in her brother by blood. She showed some of his letters to the Rev. Mr. Bennett, then of Romsey, where she was on a visit to a friend. Impressed by their evidences of ability and zeal, he suggested that the writer might be useful in the ministry of the gospel. To this the young apprentice responded, and, when the objections of his father were overruled, he became a pupil in the academy of Dr. Bogue of Gosport, in the end of the year
1802. Dr. Bogue was chiefly occupied with the preparation of young men for the missionary work abroad. He had been the principal originator of the Missionary Society to which the name “ London” was afterwards prefixed. Mr. Robert Haldane, whose name is inseparably associated with the revival of the work of the Lord in the beginning of this century, gave a hundred pounds a year towards the maintenance of ten young men at Dr. Bogue's academy. This sum was supplemented by two hundred more, by the liberality of Christian gentlemen in Hampshire. Mr. James was received as one of the scholars on this foundation. He had several missionary candidates as his fellow-students, among whom we may name Dr. Morrison, afterwards of China. The course of