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my duty to endeavour to be present in this war, so very likely to afford me ample experience and instruction, although I was not immediately called to it by the voice of external authority. I felt indeed very considerable regret at the idea of quitting those studies which afforded me so much pleasure and information; but I was conscious that mere speculation without practice was of little use, and that if peace was the time for study, war was equally the season for exercise. I therefore considered, that the period was arrived, to reap the fruits of my mental application, and perfect my newly-acquired theory by actual experience. There only remained therefore one point to be examined ; which was, the justice of the war in which we were engaged.
Had I been called in tour of duty to bear my part in this expedition, there would have been no room for hesitation; obedience being the first duty of a soldier, where it does not evidently and clearly militate against his undoubted duty to God: but as my action was to be voluntary, it also behoved me to see that it was just. When I had, therefore, satisfied myself by inquiry and reflection that our cause was a good one, I resolved to embark in it; and I in consequence made application to Lord Cornwallis, through the military secretary Colonel Ross, by my friends, to that end. After making strenuous efforts, I had the mortification to be refused to go even as a volunteer; and had given up all hopes of success, when a vacancy happening in one of the corps, I was appointed to fill it, and thus got removed to the detachment which marched to the Carnatic under Lieutenant-Colonel Cockerell.
Upon receiving this intelligence, I left all my effects in the hands of a friend, to be sold by auction ; and being already prepared for such an event, I set off with all possible expedition from Benares, to overtake the detachment which had already marched from Tamlook and was near to Midnapoor. I went down in a small boat to Calcutta, tracing the route of the detachment, in a manner conformable to the ardour of my desires, having neither tent nor horse but a palqui, wbich served me only as a bed, and house; for the bearers, taking advantage of my situation, would not entertain with me, except under the express stipulation, that I was not to ride in the palqui, except in case of dangerous sickness. To this hard bargain I was forced to submit; and, as the detachment had got so great a start of me, was obliged to make very long and fatiguing marches of often thirty miles a day, sometimes without any halts, in order to overtake it in convenient time.
The good providence of God, in which I indistinctly trusted, though not through Jesus Christ, was graciously pleased to carry me safe through all dangers and difficulties; and I overtook the detachment, near to the temple of Jaggrenaut, without any other disagreeable experience than that of burning heat, and excessive fatigue, which had reduced me almost to a skeleton.
I had taken care to bring with me a treatise of algebra, and my Euclid's Elements, which I used sometimes to call my bible, meaning by that expression, a system of pure and undoubted truth; but without clearly knowing that it was a true type of the law of spiritual truth, as far as Moses can take us without the Gospel ; and in the study of these, and some other mathematical and military books, I passed my solitary hours, which were rendered still more heavy by my sore reflections on my own depravity, and that of society in general.
But the active scenes which soon took place, served to divert my anxious thouglıts, and to relieve those painful feelings, which otherwise would have pressed too hard upon me, considering that I had relinquished that course in which I expected to receive the truest satisfaction. Yet I found so much spare time, that I was enabled to go through quadratic equations, and enter upon cubics in my algebra. I also gained a peculiar, and so far as I know an unique sight of the nature and spirit, or meaning of algebraic operations, which was very useful to me afterwards, in a degree which I did not altogether anticipate at the time.
In reflecting on what passed all around me, with a view to my spiritual, or moral and intellectual researches, I still perceived as formerly the partiality and iniquity of human nature, its predominant selfishness, and its quicksightedness to the faults of others. I saw that the natural consequence of all this, was a continual increase of selfishness and misanthropy; in short, of all the misery, error, and wickedness, with which mankind were overwhelmed. Finally, I saw that the great, deep, and horrible foundation of the whole system of evil, was the infidelity of the HEART, and of the HEAD, with respect to God and goodness; the aberrations of the latter, proceeding chiefly from the aversion of the former. My own life was to me a wonderful proof of this proposition, most clearly and practically demonstrated; and every thing that I experienced, was a fresh confirmation of the same truths.
I was then persuaded, that I had at last solved the riddle which had formerly puzzled me so much; and as I was convinced that if I could but explain and demonstrate it, and its consequences to the world, as clearly as I saw and felt it myself, I should, perhaps, be the means of happiness to thousands, I was inspired with an ardent and vehement desire to sit down seriously and regularly, to this great and, as I supposed, most beneficial undertaking.
I had an imperfect yet strong conception, that all moral and religious subjects might be discussed, illustrated, and even demonstrated in the same way, and with as much clearness, as mathematical truths; and that the laws of geometry, or natural truth, bore a very close resemblance to the laws of reason and moral truth. For both the natural and moral worlds were the work of one author; and both were, or must be, measured by one and the same rule of right reason and proportion. Truth must be the one law of both, though in a manner conformable to their different natures; but its operations in both must have the same character, the same tendency to constitute and build up. I had also an embrio conception, that the wonderful science of algebra had a peculiar, and even a more distinct, and if possible, more striking reference to the same things; and that it would, upon more particular consideration and comparison, afford nie an excellent assistance in my arduous undertaking. Concluding, therefore, that if I could establish true religion * and
* By this time, I had advanced so far, that I supposed true religion to consist in the belief of one God,
supreme and omnipotent, who loved virtue and benevolence, and