Letter to Grace (2)

"Edinburgh January 20, 1842.
I am exceedingly struck, on the comparison of your state with mine, at the variety of human states and experiences. I have no difficulty in filling up every hour with business, and business, too, which stands related to duty and good objects, and be interested all the while in the performance. But I do feel a great difficulty in upholding conversation with God directly and devotionally; or in the immediate exercise of spiritual contemplation for any length of time, now your case seems to he the reverse of this. I have heard you complain that you could not feel an interest in the routine, of outward duties, while, at the same time, for hours together you could engage in prayer and meditation. For myself, I feel the utmost desirousness after such a habit and capacity as this, conscious as I am how very greatly I am deficient therein; and when reading such lives as those of Brainerd and Doddridge have often stood amazed, I could almost say envious, of their power to sustain a real and spiritual intercourse with Heaven for large portions of a whole day. At the same time, it is worthy of remark that even Brainerd testified to the great importance of a right and systematic distribution of time, and filling up each section of it with its own proper work, even for a healthful re1igious state of the soul.

"Both are best; and of the cultivation of both we have "the best and highest examples". What a man both of performance and prayers was the apostle Paul; but, greatest of all, can aught be more instructive than the mingled life of our Saviour whom it is so often recorded that, after a day spent in them and labours of love, He retired from the world, and spent nights in prayer to His Father, the doing of whose will was meat and drink to Him. Let us grow more and in conformity to His blessed image.
My dearest Grace, truly,

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