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to pray over and forgive them. The glance of his piercing eye caused no man to dread him as an enemy, while it awed into a fear of doing wrong. He prayed for "a charitable temper, to endure with meekness" the outrages of the violent, "the prejudiced mistakings" of the ignorant, and the calumnies of the slanderers. "O my God," was his fervent petition, "give me all needful direction, that I may speak boldly and prudently among them, without pride or resentment"-a desire worthy indeed of one whose conversation was in heaven. He seemed to
discern the spirits of all who approached him-the hypocrite and the open foe were equally unconcealed from him. Yet he could kneel before the throne of grace and pray over them all with hope, pity, and endurance, only desiring that the same grace which had infused into him this heavenly forbearance and loving kindness, might also be communicated to their souls. There is no finer evidence of the power of religion, than a sagacious perception of what is in man, qualified by pure benevolence.
Mr. Walker was eminently vigilant over the tone of his conversation. Once he says, when on a visit, I resolved to be silent in the company I was to meet, if I might not be serviceable, and have found this evening the need and difficulty of being so." He was, however, careful that this reserve should not arise from a proud or morose spirit, or from the too common desire of many good men, to be idolized by and to awe those with whom they associate. This is evident from his adding to the last sentence, "God, grant me the spirit of meekness and charity." When the
conversation took a pious turn, he also marked its real tendency, and found it sometimes "rather about religion than religious ;" and he well described those discussions which frequently take place between serious people, as "love destroying debates." His sensitive mind, when once unstrung, was not easily attuned again. He describes himself on addressing his people, as "carried away from his attempts to say much to the purpose, by the insignificance of conversation," and even after talking about non-important things with his sister, he found it to be injurious to his spirituality. It is clearly impossible to prescribe any positive rule for the conversation of ministers, inasmuch as what is only cheerfulness in one, would become frivolity in another; and that deportment which would have an appearance of vanity, display, levity, domineering, or moroseness in some, would, in differently constituted individuals, be received as charming communicativeness, delightful animation, powerful talent, and admirable self-possession. The chief thing is always to aim at doing good, and to examine carefully, in retirement, the motives, character, and effects, upon our own experience, of our mixture with society.
The great labours of Mr. Walker brought on a nervousness of temperament which occasionally destroyed his comfort, but over which he was very watchful, although probably ignorant of its real cause. guarded against the peevishness and impatience it engendered, with the most exemplary care; and whenever he had given way to a hasty feeling or expression, he mourned over it in secret, and prayed for grace to conquer the propensity. When about to collect his
offerings from house to house, the custom of Truro in those days, he asked himself—" am I prepared for a repulse? I should be careful neither to indulge anger or disdain." When preparing to meet the vestry, he inquires, "when shall I be able to look the world in the face? Surely, while possessed of such animal fears, I am in perpetual danger of disgracing my profession." When those who came to him occupied an unreasonable portion of his time, he was grieved at being impatient-" my heart was rising to impatience when I was kept longer than I expected; it seemed to humble me." His struggles for self-command were not unsuccessful, as is plain from the brief but important remark, "was opposed, and I was not uneasy”—a frame of mind to be attained only by the means he daily used. Few persons can pray as he did―—“ Lord turn the fear of men's faces into a love of their souls." From the high degree of self-knowledge he acquired, by his unceasing search into the inmost depths of his own bosom, he was enabled to estimate every grace, attainment, and experience, at its proper value, and never, to use his own idea, put them in the place of Christ. He rested not his hopes upon the sense of his own condition, when his frame was satisfactory, nor suffered a conviction of his unworthiness to obscure his faith in the atonement; "to be humble," he observes, “in the sense of my vileness, and to believe the sufficiency of Christ, I find the two hardest things I have to attain." Again he says, "God has removed some trials I have been under, yet I would remember that Christ is our peace;" and he rejoiced that "his salvation depended not on himself but Christ, the
same yesterday, to day, and for ever, though he was so changeable." Here we have a forcible example of the true end of watchfulness over the state of our minds-acquaintance with self leading to a more accurate view of the all-sufficiency of our Redeemer, and bringing faith into its most powerful exercise. Much fruit is the true evidence of abiding in Christ, the vine, and not our own notion of the languid or free circulation of the vital sap, over which we are too apt to rejoice or mourn, in a manner that impairs our entire dependence on a union with him through his Spirit, both for living principle and abundant produce. All Christian experiences, like the changes of nature, are useful if they lead to fruitfulness and faith; but whatever destroys our activity, leads us to forget the sufficiency of a crucified and risen Saviour, or removes us from a humble posture at the foot of his cross, is detrimental to the soul. Hence the whole character of Mr. Walker's private communion with his own heart, invariably terminating in a removal of his thoughts from himself to Christ, is a most important lesson, to those who desire to possess the only satisfactory proof of the genuine work of divine grace in their souls. We are apt either to over-value, or not to rate at their true worth, the frames of a renewed spirit; and each of these habits is fraught with equal danger, the first leading to legality, the second to carelessness. The happy medium was attained by the wise and spiritual subject of these pages, who tried by every available test the reality of his Christian character, but never permitted either a sense of deficiency on the one hand, or a pleasurable experience
of consistency on the other, to remove his eye of faith from the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of a guilty world. Whether his bark was tossed upon the furious waves of life's agitated ocean, or sailed in peace upon its tranquil bosom when the storm had passed away, his trust was in one pilot, one star, one helm, one anchor, one rock, and one builder and preserver of the work of his own hands. The pages of his diary were not swelled with the nauseous symptoms of religious hypochondriacism, and the fancies of a fitful temperament, but contained accurate and careful notes of the changes in Christian experience, in order to check an enthusiastic, and stimulate a languid state. He however applied no human sedative, used no temporal excitements, but went directly to Christ, and sought his happiness and strength in him alone. The assurance of his humble faith, the emotions of his love, the shadows of doubt, the wrong workings of perverted reason, the pride of his heart in preaching, conversation, or exercise of influence, the character of his private devotions, were all tried by the standard of divine truth, and were cherished or corrected according as they appeared satisfactory or injurious. His grateful soul was not a desert that drunk of the dews of heaven and produced no verdure in return, but every cloud seemed to drop upon it fatness and fertility, so that each season of spiritual enjoyment was followed by some instance of zeal for the glory of his Redeemer. His piety was such, that like the rose, he breathed forth sweetness of his very nature, and that not the sickliness of fulsome profession, but the healthy perfume of a tree the Lord had planted, and was nurturing to his own glory.