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to be a universal basis and law for all the different operations of matter and spirit, because I thought it was absolute truth, or the law of God.
Hence I became more firmly persuaded continually, that all visible and invisible things bad their parallels, or at the least their near resemblances, in the opposite scale; perhaps perfect, but at all events much more so than was in general supposed; for the above mathematical law of truth and proportion, or in other words of rational intellect, pointed out that things which were similarly measured by one and the same thing must of necessity be very similar inter se.
This persuasion so stimulated my desires to discover the first general principles of truth in all things, whether visible or invisible, that I resolved to pursue my mathematical researches much further than I had at first thought of, and to qualify myself for a familiarity with all the grand discoveries of Newton and other philosophers.
Such was my situation, and such were my views, in the pursuit of which I expected to enjoy the truest happiness that this world could afford; for they appeared to be highly rational in themselves, and also highly conducive to the purity of my heart, the illumination of my mind, and the peace of my whole soul. I was
by this time fully convinced, both from reason and sentiment, from theory and the most ample experience, that there could be no true felicity independent of virtue; and I conceived that my studies tended highly to strengthen all the virtues, by discovering not only their positive beauty and excellence, but also the meanness and vileness of their opposite vices.
With respect to the defilements and horrors of my evil conscience, which still at times tormented me like a never-dying worm; finding that I could only prevail to mitigate them, but that they were absolutely unconquerable; that they were not to be expelled by any human power*, so I regarded them as a just and divine punishment for my manifold wickedness; and expecting no less than to suffer them during life, I endeavoured to submit with humility and patience to the justice of the all-seeing judge; hoping that the torments which I was thus destined to endure in this world, would be deemed sufficient to expiate my offences, and that the
* I felt this by my own experience ; but I was unable of myself to discover the only true remedy, the true Balm of Gilead, as it is figuratively called; that is to say, the blood of Christ sprinkled by faith upon the guilty conscience. Neither did my infidel ignorance and blindness then permit me to know that all the torments I could suffer, and all the efforts which I could make in my own strength, in the course of ten thousand years, would be unavailing to wash away even one of my sins. For every sin is a mortal wound: Cure one, and you may cure all !
continual efforts which I was resolved to make to purify my heart and mind, would, from the great mercy of God, be accepted by him, and introduce me to happiness pure and eternal after death.
Such being my fixed, and as I thought un-, alterable plan, I determined, in consequence, to quit as much as possible a vain, blind, and deluded world, and to devote the remainder of my life to those scientific, and equally to me moral pursuits, which alone appeared to promise me any solid rational hopes of happiness. But the very wonderful mercy and infinite goodness of God my Saviour, whom I had hitherto denied and blasphemed, had prepared a better portion for me, even in this life; which I shall describe, as far as I am able, in a separate part, or division.
PART THE THIRD.
“ I waited patiently for the LORD, and HE inclined
“ unto me and heard my cry. He brought me up “ also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, " and set my feet upon a rock, and established my "goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth, “even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and “ fear, and shall trust in the Lord.-Psalm xl.
My reader has seen how, by the infinite and undeserved grace and mercy of God, I was drawn up from the depths of the pit of my own heart's pollutions, snatched like an balf-consumed brand out of the fire of hell, and enabled to retrace, step by step, the path of destruction. He has also seen, that in proportion as I ascended to revisit the air and light of heaven, my deeply-rooted corruptions and foul stains were purged off by proportionate rays of celestial light and heat, and by the balmy zephyrs of divine grace, which were operating, unknown to myself, in my heart and mind. I indeed thought, that the blessed, though gradual change which was going on in me, was the mere natural and necessary result of my own efforts; but still I was thankful to heaven for that knowledge and experience, which had roused and forced ine to make them ; and I fully resolved that they never should cease during my life.
In consequence of this resolution I was diligently employed, according to the plan wbich I have related in the foregoing part, when my peaceful studies were interrupted, and all my schemes of knowledge and retirement overturned, by the breaking out of the late war with Tippoo Sultan, A. D. 1790.
This important event roused more completely the spirit of military ambition, which, as before observed, was only dormant, but not extinct, under the load of sensuality and vanity, which had been gradually reduced to ashes in the furnace of affliction. This ambition was of a more modest and humble degree than it had formerly been; for I did not now swell with the vain hope and desire of becoming a hero, a model of military perfection, but only proposed to perform a duty. Yet I resolved, before I would either indulge or repress the rising ardour of my heart, to consider the matter coolly in the balance of reason and conscience."
In the first place, I was persuaded that as a soldier, it was my duty to neglect no opportunity of acquiring such professional experience, as might eventually render me useful to my country; and I therefore considered it to be