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TaDDan Presbgteflan flssoGlatlon 



a 1 
■ /Presented hy HON. D. BETHUNE DUFFIELD. 3 J. 

From Library of Rev. Geo. Duffield, D.D. 3 

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• ':> / '• -^ LETTERS-MEMOHIAL 

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■ 6 OF TffK LAVa 




or BATH, U3.C.S. ' 




tS&it^ an fiifttotrtutf on, 



Author of " Christ on the Cross." 







It was only in April last year that this little Tolume 
^ first appeared. Already eight thousand copies have 

A been sold. Many most interesting proo& of its use- 

^ fulness have reached the ears, and gladdened the heart, 

b« of the author. And although the price is so small, 

^ the great extent <^ the sale has secured a considerable 

^ pecuniary benefit to Mrs. Howell and her children. 

^ The objects for wfailsh the publioation was underta- 

ken haye thus, by the ))lessing of God, been accom- 
plished with a rapidity, and to an amount of success, 
far surpassing the most sanguine anticipations. 

In Issuing a new edition, tl^ author feels himself 
under a strong and pleasing obligation, to express his 
deep gratitude, not only to the many kind friends in 
different parts of the country who have interested 
themselves in promoting the circulation of the book, 
but especially to Him who overrules all events for His 
own glory, and who has so strikingly, in this case, 



given testimony to the faithfulness of His word : " The 
Lord preserveth the stranger ; He relieyeth the fa- 
therless and widow." (Psalm cxlvi. 9.) 

Attempts are at present being made to select and 
arrange such portions of the valuable documents Mr. 
Howell left behind him, as may seem best adapted for 
general reading. And it is hoped that many of those 
who have perused with pleasure or profit the ^* Letters- 
Memorial " or his premature but peaceful death, will 
gladly hail the announcement of a yolume of his lite- 
rary and scientific remains. 

Torquay, April, 1845. 




Every living man is interested in the ex- 
perience of the dying. It is the last school, 
of wisdom to which the children of men can 
be advanced. Some, indeed, may question 
what concern they have with every sable 
narrative, and it is true they may not now 
feel that they are affected by it. Neverthe- 
less here lies their interest : Are they not 
travellers upon the same road 7 Is not the 
velocity of time hurrying them onward to 
the same terminus 7 And shall we shut our 
eyes upon the experience of others, and bar 
the inlet of wisdom till we be ourselves de- 
stroyed ? The reckless navigator may deem 
his own sagacity a safer guide than all the 
charts of older mariners, and with unfurled 


sail he may explore the half-known coasts 
of distant lands, but it may only be to make 
a first and last discovery of his own folly 
upon the rock which they would have tatight 
him to avoid. 

"Nil humanum a me alienumputo," was 
the noble sentiment of a heathen philoso- 
pher. The lover of wisdom puts nothing 
from him that concerns his kind. He feels 
himself linked to ev^ry form of man by the 
tie of a common nature, and he treasures up 
the lessons of their experience as sources of 
instruction to direct his own. This is but 
common prudence. We all act upon it for 
life, and why not also for death ? It is wis- 
dom for a man's self Who is there that 
does not practise it in his own department ? 

The Merchant fails not to inquire in what 
quarter of the globe men make their great- 
est gains, nor is he slow to mark that spe- 
cies of merchandise which has proved most 
lucrative. The Lawyer studies every case 
that bears analogy to that of his client, and 
makes himself familiar with the long list of 
precedents. The evidence which they fur- 
nish he will canvass, and avail himself of 
the successful pleas which they have urged. 
So likewise the Physician, the Statesman, 
the Leaders of armies or of navies, are all 
wise in their generation. They allow no 


thing to pass unnoticed which can contribute 
fo their private good or the general benefit. 
It would be their folly if they did. The 
temple of wisdom is supported by the pillars 
of experience. Every discovery in science, 
every new specimen of art, every fresh ad- 
vance in knowledge, is of importance to the 
inhabitants of the globe. 

Of all the objects of interest which this 
attractive world presents, none can equal 
fliat of a peaceful death-bed. An eclipse of 
the solar orb attracts the attention of all who 
are dependent on its light. The birth of an 
infant awakens emotions in the breast of 
every one that is connected with its family. 
But — the departure of a man — the eclipse 
of a fellow-mortal — the labour of his birth 
into eternity, should exceed them all in its 
thrilling interest to his fellows. No man 
ought to be insensible to its appeal. We 
know that we must follow him. We see 
ourselves, as it were, represented in him. 
His very sickness may be ours. The pein 
he feels, or the comforts he enjoys, may be 
ours also. We long, therefore, to know 
what are the feelings .which his situation 
awakens. If calm and peaceful, we wish 
to ascertain by what means they became so ; 
and we see it to be our wisdom, our duty, and 
our happiness, so to adopt the same means, 


that when we reach the same verge we may 
enjoy the same consolation. 

To meet this wish is the design of the ex- 
cellent author of the following letters. To 
prepare the living for death*, by these details 
of the experience of the dying, is the object 
of their publication. It is a spiritual study 
which is here set before us. The rise and 
progress of a soul heavenward is here de- 
scribed. In the brief space of a few weeks, 
a "pilgrim's progress" from the city of 
destruction to the Zion of God is strikingly 
delineated. An experienced minister of 
Christ is here perceived guiding an immor- 
tal spirit on the way to everlasting happi- 
ness. It is a deeply interesting sight. The 
spiritual physician is called in to administer 
the medicine of eternal health. Stretched 
on his dying bed, lies a healer of the body ; 
himself past healing ; and the only inquiry 
that bursts from bis lips is this, '^ What shall 
I do to be saved?" 

Of all death-beds, that of the medical man 
is one of the most painfully interesting. He 
who has grappled with the king of terrors 
to rescue his fellow-men, he who has been 

7 4 

used by Providence to deliver others, is now 
seized himself. His very profession teaches 
him at once to recognise the grasp of Death. 
He knows the ten thousand turnings of dis- 


case. He feels not only what it is, but what 
it will be. He can foresee its course, the 
stages of its progress, and the symptoms of 
its advance. He can calculate the various 
vibrations of the pulse, and fix his eye on 
the diseased mechanism within. The ul- 
cerated lung, the ossifying heart, the inter- 
nal cancer, are all as palpably before his 
mental vision as are the bleeding wound 
and the fractured limb to the eye of the com- 
mon observer. He understands alike the 
power and the impotence of medicines. 
Surely, if a case could be where ignorance 
were bliss, it must be to know nothing of 
anatomy on a sick-bed, and to be then un- 
read in the great pharmacopoeia of unavail- 
able medicines. To have long prescribed 
for others, and at last to find nothing to pre- 
scribe for one's self, is a position of peculiar 
trial, demanding the strongest sympathy. 

Such was the situation of the subject of 
the ensuing memorial. Mr. Howell was a 
rising man in the medical profession, — ^a 
profession requiring no little share of native 
talent, and of laborious research. In each 
of these he excelled. He is described by 
competent judges as a man of no ordinary 
stamp. His intellectual powers were of the 
highest order, and he had long been distin- 
guished for the most patient, persevering 


Study. These studies and powers had been 
directed to a profession which required him 
to be scrupulously exact in every thing that 
aflFecte4 the well-being of man. He was 
accusMx)med to deal with reahties. He could 
discriminate between the real and the appa- 
rent properties of things ; and was not like- 
ly, therefore, to be easily deceived, or misled 
by false premises or specious arguments. 
The quality of his mind was "reflective, 
not demonstrative ;" we may be therefore 
sure that every statement made to him, 
every truth propounded, would be maturely 
weighed and fully tested, ere utterance would 
be given to his accordance with it. 

Besides, Mr. Howell is declared to be a 
man of such integrity and truthfulness, that 
the fullest confidence might be reposed in 
the sincerity of every statement which he 
made. The truth of this abundantly ap- 
pears in the following Memorial. 

The contemplation, then, of the spiritual 
experience of such a character is highly sa- 
tisfactory ; and, were it at all needful, a sim- 
ilar testimony might be bortte to the Chris- 
tian fidelity of the narrator, by whom, we 
know, that the exactest shade and colouring 
would be given to every interview which 
words are capable of imparting. 

Ixi the opening letter, Mr. Howell is pre- 



sentcd before us as "peculiarly standing in 
need of spiritual counsel and encourage- 
ment" But what occasion was there? 
His age and prospects fair, his wife ai^d 
family presented stroog arguments, indeed, 
for love to life. But it wa« not to love life that 
he sought encouragement, — ^it was express- 
ly to meet with death. And why a man, so 
free from vice, so virtuous and amiable, who 
had spent his time so honourably to himself 
and so usefully toothers, should shrink more 
than our nature doth at the approach of 
death, the world can see no reason ! Were 
he wanting in common fortitude, or did 
some secret sin against a: fellow-creature lie 
heavy on his conscience, the fact would be 
explained. But these existed not. So far 
as man c^,n judge, Mr. Howell possessed in- 
vincible fortitude, and a reputation unblem- 
ished and unimpeachable. What, then, 
occasioned his depression ? It was this : 
— ^Mr. Howell had begun to reckon, that 
though he had not sinned in the sight of 
men, he had sinned before God. He felt 
that he had neither loved nor served his 
Maker as he ought; and therefore the pros- 
pect of soon being ushered into his holy pre- 
sence filled him with dismay. 

Like most other men, Mr. Howell, in the 
days of healthy had chiefly looked to one side 


of his account, and was ^* well satisfied with 
himself '' when he thought he had discnarg- 
ed the duties which he owed to his fellow- 
men. But what does it avail the prisoner^ 
when tried on two indictments, to plead al- 
ways his innocency as to the second, and pay 
no regard to the accufiVtion of the first? 
Now man is such a prisoner, against whom 
a double indictment is made out; and, either 
in this world or in the next, he must give in 
his pleading to them both. "Thou hast 
sinned against thy God," and "Thou hast 
sinned against thy neighbour," is the two- 
fold charge which the Scriptures record 
against every human being. To the due 
consideration of the first charge, men seldom 
or never apply themselves. In general, it is 
deemed quite enough to show that they have 
not flagrantly violated the second. How 
awfully startled, then, must such persons be 
when death approaches, when conscience 
awakens, when the guflt of having forgotten 
God flashes upon their minds, and when the 
voice of the unerring Judge seems already 
to condemn them. 

Happy, thrice happy, surely, are those 
who are taught by the Spirit of God to con- 
sider the charge in its twofold character, and 
to seek for an advocate before it be too late. 
Of this class was Mr. Howell. He was no 


longer deceiving himself. • He had begun 
honestly to consider the twofold charge 
which lay against him : he felt that he was 
guilty, and he knew not how to escape. 

To a man in such circumstances, how joy- 
ful is the message of the minister of Christ ! — 
"An advocate is already appointed for you. 
Trust in him, and he will bring your case to 
a favourable termination." "But what," 
may the ^desponding prisoner answer, — 
"what can he do for me? what can he say 
on my behalf, for I am indeed guilty?" 
**This advocate,'' the messenger of God can 
reply, "has shed his blood to take away 
your guilt, and he has lived a perfectly 
righteous life towards God and man. Of 
this blood and of this righteousness he can 
plead, as your surety, that you may enjoy 
the benefit. Do you, then, place yourself in 
his hands?" "Who is he that I may do 
so?" "He is Jesus Christ the righteous, 
whose name is Immanuel, God with us. He 
is the fellow of the Most High God, and yet he 
is your brother, having assumed your nature, 
and bec<nne bone of your bone. Love to 
man brought him from the realms of glory, ' 
and now he is ascended up on high to plead 
for every one that belie veth in him." 

Imagine such a communication on un- 
doubted authority to be made to a prisoner 



on the eve of trial. Is it not enough to trans- 
port him with joy? Such was the effect of 
the Gospel, simply and energetically stated, 
upon Mr. Howell. The glad tidings swal- 
lowed up every other feeling. "Grace and 
peace were multiplied unto him through the 
knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ his 
Lord." (2 Pet. i. 2.) And so long as his at- 
tention remained fixed on the love of God in 
Christ towards him, he continued to experi- 
ence the same exuberant joy. But, after- 
wards, when time for thought elapsed, this 
very natural consideration arose within his 
mind, **But I am altogether unworthy of 
such a friend as this, and of such a happi- 
ness as I now enjoy." We say this was a 
natural reflection, because, as we estimate 
men and things by their intrinsic value, we 
naturally conclude that God judges by the 
same rule. Though we rejoice, therefore, 
when we consider the free and blessed de- 
clarations of the Gospel of Christ, yet, when 
we begin to contemplate our own un worthi- 
ness, our joy is turned into mourning. This 
arises from three causes. First, imagining 
that God will estimate us by our own inhe- 
rent value ; second, hoping to acquire that 
value in his sight ; and third, inadequately ap- 
prehending the nature of that Gospel which 
has made us glad. To remedy these errors, 


we need to be convinced by the Wond and 
Spirit of God, that he does not, and will not, 
estimate man by his personal valup, or wor- 
thiness, because he hai^ already pronounced 
that he possesses none. This judgment of 
God must be so inwrought into our judg- 
ment as to destroy the hope of our ever being 
able to possess any merit in his sight, and 
th^n, from this utter prostration ofrour hopes 
and of our own righteousness, we must flee 
to Him, whom God has graciously provided 
to be the Saviour of our souls. We must see 
that when God could not accept us in our 
own name, or for our own sake, he will re- 
ceive us, and pardon us, and sanctify us, in 
the name and for th^ sake of his own Son. 
We must be brought to believe that the blood 
of Jesus expiates our sins before God, which 
even our own blood could not have done; 
and also to believe that the righteousness of 
Christ is as freely offered to us and is as fully 
available for us, as if we ourselves had lived 
his righteous life. 

Such glad tidingsj however, as the Gospel 
brings, appear at times to be too good to be 
true. We feel as though we could not be- 
lieve them for joy ! ^*Can such a creature 
as I am hope mr heaven 7 Is the love of 
God so great and so gratuitous that it can 
reach to me? Is it really true that the Son 



of the Most High God died upon a cross to 
save my soul from helH" Such are the 
thoughts that rise upon the mind. They are 
the natural cogitations of the heart It does 
not surprise us, then, to hear a similar senti- 
ment from the mouth of Mr. Howell. On 
the contrary, we regard it as another evi- 
dence of that scrupulous sincerity with which 
he watched over each successive step of his 
spiritual progress. There was no eager, un- 
scrutinising, haste; not a single point was 
ever taken for granted. At oyie interview 
we observe that the bliss of heaven formed 
the captivating subject of conversation. The 
heart of the instructor was enraptured by it. 
An enthusiastic hearer would have appeared 
to reciprocate the feeling of exultation ; but 
not so the subject of this narrative. *'Mr. 
Howell looked grave. At last he remarked 
lliat he admitted the truth of all that had 
been advanced, but added, after some hesi- 
tation, *It is indeed delightful to hear about 
the bliss of heaven ; and my own reflections 
suggested by this tract, and by your conver- 
sations, have been most soothing and eleva- 
ting. At the same time, I cannot subdue a 
continually rising idea that it is premature 
in a person like me to entertain the hope of 
this bliss. All my former pursuits have been 
so exclusively of ^ a worldly character, and 


my whole life has been marked by such for- 
getfulness of God, and indiflFerence to the 
salvatmn which is by our Lord Jesus Christ, 
that I wish for your opinion whether I am 
not deceiving myself in this matter.' " 

Whence did this new feeling originate? 
Mr. Howell informs us. *'I thought," he 
added, "that your theory of salvation was 
too simple. It seems too easy a way of get- 
ting to heaven. He thought the Gospel too 
good to be true. Its very freeness tempted 
him to disbelieve it. The frankness and the 
generosity of the love of God, exhibited in 
Christ, are so beyond the thoughts and ways 
of man (Is. Iv. 8,) that even after our minds 
have received the idea, we find it difficult to 
retain it. Our sins appear to be too great to 
be so easily passed by. Oh, unworthy 
thought I Easily passed by ! Look to Cal- 
vary ! See the beloved Son of God, bleed- 
ing, dying on the cross ! Say, hadst thou 
been nailed therefor thine own sins, wouldest 
thou still believe that they were easily passed 
by 1 Ah, no ! And if a friend will give his 
body to be pierced instead of thine, are thy 
sins easily passed by? Yea, if God himself 
come down, and suffer in thy room, wilt thou 
still say that thy sins are easily passed by? 
Nay, rather let us more exquisitely fee] for 
the sufferings of our Friend than we would do 



for our own. And let his wounds indelibly 
impress two grand ideas upon our hearts — ^the 
greatness of our guilt and* the vastncss of his 
love. To keep these two continually in 
mind is the duty of every Christian. Yet 
w;e cannot, without an effort, keep them 
both equally before us. Like Peter, who 
had looked simply to his Lord, and thus had 
walked firmly upon the water, the Christian, 
after a time, looks to himself and to the bilr 
lows that surround him, and he begins to 
sink. In thinking of himself and of his own 
weakness, Peter forgot his Master, and his 
mighty power. So did Mr. Howell in the 
case before us ; and so do all Christians in the 
days of their despondency. They think of 
sin till they lose sight of that atonement 
which has be^n made for it. They think of 
their own unrighteousness till they forget 
that Christ is of God made righteousness 
unto thena (1 Cor. i. 30.) The true position 
of every disciple is this, so to see the deep 
that is beneath him as to lose all confidence 
in himself, and so to see the Saviour that is 
near him as to lose all terror of the billows. 
Christ Jesus has freely made himself our 
great deliverer. And shall we complain that 
his work is too gratuitous, and that his deli- 
verance is too complete ? What should we 
feel to hear the soldiers of Prussia say, in re- 


ferenee to Waterloo, "It was too easy a vic- 
tory?" Would we not indignantly reply, 
"So, indeed, it was to you I Our general 
bore the heat and burden of the day. He 
gained a hard-fought victory, and gave you 
a retreating and conquered enemy to pur- 
sue?'' Thid reply presents us with an il- 
lustration of the Christianas position. Je«us, 
the Captain of our salvation, has conquered 
sin, and death, and Satan. He triumphed 
over them on his cross (Col. ii. 15,) and calls 
upon us to pursue the conquered foe. The 
duty of Christians is'to follow in the wake of 
victory. The whole hosts of hell are on the 
retreat. But never let us forget that, though 
vanquished, they are not yet destroyed. 
The retreating enemy, in a rev^igeful spi- 
rit, will turn on every opportunity, and take 
quick advantage of the incautious zeal or 
weak timidity of their pursuers. The fear-* 
ful they will assail ; before the bold and the 
courageous they will retire. "Resist the 
devil, and he will flee from you."' (Jamas, 
iy. 7.) He flees, not simply because we re- 
sist, but because he feels he has been already 
conquered by our Lord. To say, then, that 
our way to heaven is too easy, is to speak 
with selfish reference to ourselves, overlook- 
ing the travail, and the agony, and the blood 
of Him who made it easy for us. 


Yet we Ought not to forget that this wrong 
conclusion originated in Mr. Howell from a 
right feeling. He was a man of an honour- 
able mind. He knew that he had wronged 
his Maker, and he felt that he ought to make 
satisfaction, — ^nay more, he wished to make 
it. He could not allow himself to be happy 
till this was accomplished. This is a most 
important point. Many honourable men of 
the world feel utterly at a loss how to solve 
this difficulty. They find it to be an efiec- 
tual barrier to their progress; they feel as 
though it would not be honourable to accept 
such a free invitation to heaven, until they 
have made a full reparation. Now here the 
Gospel meets them. It declares, "You can- 
not make this reparation yourselves; but 
Christ has put himself in your place, and has 
made it for you. He has made full satisfac- 
tion to God for your offences: yea, he has 
'magnified the law,' which you have dis- 
honoured, and 'made it honourable' (Isaiah, 
xl^i. 21.) 'Your invitation, to heaven, then, 
is made to you on the very ground on which 
you desire to accept it. 'A full, perfect, and 
sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction,' 
has been made for sin; so that God may be 
just, and yet the justifier of him who be- 
lieves." (Rom. iii. 36.) 

Here, then, is something to lay hold of. 


The justice of God is satisfied. We feel that 
wc now tread on solid ground. We see that 
the Gospel is no sitperficial thing, but a sub- 
stantial reality. We learn that our case has 
been fully dealt with. We no longer hesi- 
tate. We accept the work of our Surety, 
and we rejoice. This became Mr. HowelFs 
feeling; he understood the Gospel. ''I see, 
then," he said, "that in order tp be justi- 
fied, our faith must embrace the blood of 
Christ for the pardon of our innumerable of- 
fences, and the perfect righteousness of Christ 
as a substitute for our want of righteousness.'' 
From this moment his peace and his pro- 
gress were like a noble river in its flow. 
The spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the 
knowledge of Christ had been given to him 
(Eph. i. 17.) the eyes of his understanding 
were enlightened, he now knew that the hope 
of his calling was based on a solid and im- 
movable foundation; and the afiections of his 
heart became captivated by the love of 
Christ. The immediate effect was an ardent 
desire after holiness. It is deeply interest- 
ing to observe this. How delightful, how 
instructive is it to watch the progress of a 
soul ! The love of Christ, like fire, con- 
sumes our dross, and assimilates us to him- 
self No sooner did Mr. Howell understand 
the love of a crucified Saviour than he in- 


quired, ''But is there not provision in the 
Gospel scheme for our deliverance from the 
power of sin ? God's people surely should 
be holy. They for whom the Son of God 
died should themselves die unto sin !" 

The soul has attained an elevated positioa 
when it can utter this sentiment. It pants 
after holiness. The noblest ambition that 
can inspire a created being has now taken 
possession of the Christian's breast — ^he long3 
to be restored to the image of God ! His at- 
tention^ therefore, is again directed to the 
Gospel, and he finds it to be pre-eminently a 
provision for holiness. He finds therein not 
only a willing Saviour, but also a sanctify- 
ing Spirit. He learns that it was by the se- 
cret drawings of this Spirit that his thoughts 
and desires were first turned to the truths of 
God's word. He perceives that his under- 
standing was enlightened, his conscience 
awakened, and his affections captivated, by 
the operation of this Spirit. He now knows 
that the outward voice of the minister is but 
the instrument, and that the inward voice of 
the Spirit is the power that worketh in him; 
and he feels that, under the quickening of 
this Spirit, his love to prayer is strengthen- 
ing, that his delight in God's word is increas- 
ing, and that his hatred to sin, and his de- 



sires after purity in every thought and feel- 
ing, are burning with an intenser glow. 

Thus the dying Christian is made meet 
for thp inheritance of the saints in light. 
He does not now estimate himself only by 
the external act, but by the inward motive. 
He is no longer well satisfied with himself. 
He no longer flatters himself that he has dis- 
charged his duties to his neighbours. He 
feels that he owed to their soul a debt of 
love, and of sympathy, and of spiritual kind- 
ness, which he had never taken account of. 
He weeps at the thought of his previous 
blindnesis and self-righteousness; and, while 
he casts all the past upon the atoning blood 
of his Redeemer, he will be enabled, in all 
honesty, to say, by the sanctifying grace of 
the Holy Spirit, " Henceforth it is my whole 
delight to love the Lord my God, with all 
my heart, and with all my soul, and with 
all my strength, and with all my mind : and, 
I do desire to love mji^ neighbour as I love 

What a change has here taken pjacfe! 
The twofold law of condemnation has given 
way to the twofold law of love ! The man 
has grown up into Christ. (Eph. iv. IS.') 
Such was at last the case with Mr. HowelL 
He had put on the new man which after God 
is created in righteousness and true holiness 


(Eph. iv. 24.) And so sincerely and fully 
had he put off the old man with his deeds 
(Col. iii. 9,^ that even the reflection of sin in 
a dream oi the night filled him with self-ab- 
horrence ! 

Behold the workmanship of God ! "Who 
can bring a clean thingout of an unclean?" 
The Lord alone ! Behold, then, and admire 
the power of God ! Go forward, reader, to 
the perusal of these letters. May these ex- 
cellent instructions, by which Mr. Howell 
was conducted from darkness to light, from 
perplexity to peace, be equally blessed to 
thee ! Learn, that no natural amiability of 
heart. Ho gigantic powers of intellect, noth- 
ing but the Gospel of Christ, can secure 
{)eace to a troubled conscience. See how 
brmer worldjiness, and forgetfulness of God, 
and indifferency to Christ's religion, come 
back with a heavy weight upon the soul : 
what thorns to the dying pillow, what hin- 
derers of spiritual pit)gress, those things be- 
come, of which in health, but small account 
is made. Pray then, earnestly, for thine own 
soul, that the Spirit of the living God may 
make thee wise unto salvation. From the" 
sublime and solemn spectacle of a fellow- 
creature calmly composing himself to his 
last sleep, retire with this resolution indeli- 
bly imprinted on thy heart, "To me to 


live" shall be "Christ'^ (Phil. i.21.) Thou 
shalt thus eiqperience the same marvellous 
transformation with the subject of this in- 
teresting narrative. The medicine of the 
Gospel will produce in thee also the true 
symptoms of everlasting health. In the ten- 
derness of his love the Great Physician will 
watch over the progress of thy soul's conva- 
lescence. By the greatness of his skill he 
will insure the restoration of thy moral 
strength. In the fulness of his power he will 
raise up the new man within thee in the holy 
bloom of spiritual health, and, no longer re- 
quiring to rletiiin thee in the sick chamber of 
this world, he will bid thee also to go to that 
genial clime, where no danger of a relapse 
can reach thee, where the noxious vapours 
of sin and of temptation cannot enter, and 
where, amongst the spirits of the just, thou 
shalt be made perfect in holiness for ever. 

J. S. 

Cury Vicarage, HeUton, Comwalh 
fnth January, 1844. 




&C. &C. 


In the Bath and Cheltenham Gazette^ of Ja- 
nuary 10th, 1844, there appeared the following 
dbituarj :— 

" At Torquay, on the 4th instant, aged 33, 
John Warren Howell, Esq., Surgeon, of Axford 
Buildings, in this city. 

*' We have a melancholy duty in recording the 
death of our esteemed friend, the late John War- 
ren Howell, M.R.C.S., late Honorary Secretary 
of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Insti- 
tution, and Corresponding Member of the Lon- 
don Botanical, and other learned societies. His 
professional life was marked by firmness, ability, 
and humanity. Of a powerful, energetic, and 
original mind, his whole life was devoted to the 
acquisition of knowledge, and promoting the in- 
tellectual attainments of mankind. As a lecturer 
he was eminently distinguished. Many of the 
articles on botany, astronomy, &c., which have 


appeared in this jourDal, and which have been 
honoured bj the learned with public eulogiums, 
were communicated by Mr. ^owe]I. During a 
long period of suffering from pulmonary consump- 
tion, the mind of Mr. Howell was exclusively de- 
voted to the truths of revelation — a subject, the 
deep importance of which he had contemplated 
from his earliest youth, but the full enjoyment of 
which he nev^ realized, until, by conversation 
with Christian friends at Torquay, and a prayerful 
searching of the Scriptures, his faith became 
steadfast. His confidence in the all-sufficiency 
of his Redeemer's ransom was to the last moment 
of his life spoken of with humility, gratitude, and 
joy. Beloved by all who bad the ^licity of his 
confidence, for his unselfish character, his since- 
rity, and his unblemished virtue, his memory will 
be long cherished, and his example reverenced. 
He has lefi: a widow and three infant children to 
deplore his loss ; for whom, during his short ca- 
reer as a general practitioner in this city, and sub- 
sequent long declining state, it was impossible for 
him to make any provision.*' 

The information contained in the foregoing ex- 
tract produces the conviction, that, in point of ta- 
lent and attainment, Mr. Howell was elevated far 
above the average of mankind, and awakens a 
desire to know something more concerning his 
active life, and his peaceful death. A Memoir of 
his literary and scientific life would be acceptable 
to his personal friends, and of advantage to the 
interests of science. But unhappily the present 


hinderances to the accomplishment of this desira- 
ble object appear to be insurmountable. 

Besides a large eollection of most beautiful 
drawings on animal and vesretable anatomy, and 
very numerous diagrams, illustrative of an im- 
mense variety of topics in the different depart- 
ments of natural history, Mr. Howell has left a 
multiplicity of notes and memoranda which would 
have assisted himself in prosecuting a work he 
contemplated on "The Unity op Nature." 
But these materials are considered to be too dis- 
connected and fragmental for publication, unless 
they were worked into shape and form by some 
person of a similar turn of mind, and who was 
thoroughly acquainted with Mr. Howell's parti- 
cular views and opinions: and such a person can- 
not be found. One of his literary friends in Bath 
writes to me :-»-" For the last ten years I have 
seen Mr. Howell almost daily, and, having his 
entire confidence, perfectly understood his beau- 
tiful character. Of his attainments and mental 
powers I dare not trust myself to Write, and feel 
conscious — sadly conscious, that, amongst those 
who loved him, and delighted in his company, 
there is not one who can do justice to his memo- 
ry. He soared high above us all — above all I 
ever knew ; but it is impossible to make this evi- 
dent to the world." 

In the absence of a Memoir, the reader will be 
better prepared for understanding and appreci- 
ating the nature of that peace, into the enjoyment 


of whiclk Mr« Howell was so mercifully brouglit 
in his latter days, hj a 

of his professional career, of his scientific and 
literary occupations, and of his general character 
and dispositions^ 

John Warren Howell was born in Bath, on 
the 21st day of December, 1810. In that city 
he received his rudimental education, which was 
defective rather than liberal, so that in ailer-life 
he was wont to speak with r^gr^t of what he called 
•* the waste of his early years.*' To a great ex- 
tent, it may be said that he was self-taught. The 
innate vigour of his intdlect, and his insatiable 
thirst for knowledge, in no small degree compen- 
sated For the disadvantages under which he la- 
boured ; and, while yet a- youth, it was remark- 
ed, that his attainments were beyond his years. 

At the age of fifteen he was articled to a me- 
dical practitioner in Bath ; and, during the Jive 
years of his apprenticeship, he not only applied 
himself with all diligence to the more immediate 
studies of his profession, bufr eagerly seized on 
all opportunities of acquiring information on every 
subject, and especially on subjects connected with 
natural history, for which he manifested an early 

When his apprenticeship expired in the year 


1830, he was receiycd as a dresser into the Bath 
Casualty Hospital, where he passed twelve months 
and then matriculated as medical student in Trin- 
ity College, Dublin. There he enjoyed the pub- 
lic instructions of the late Dr. Macartney, and 
other eminent professional men, with whom he 
bad also occasionally the benefit of holding pri- 
vate intercourse. As a student he gained consi- 
derable distinction; and, even at this period, his 
proficiency in science enabled him, in 1832, to 
deliver a course of lectures on Medical Botany, 
in the theatre of the King WilUam Street School 
of Medicine, which were recognized by the Royal 
College of Surgeons, and by the Apothecaries* 
Company, London. This was certainly a very 
gratifying compliment to so young a man. 

Having completed his curriculum of medical 
education, he returned to England in 1833, bring- 
ing with him an increased and ardent love for the 
profession he had chosen, a large accumulation 
of professional and general knowledge, and the 
highest testimonials of industry, ability, and cha- 

Mr. Howell lost no time in offeripg himself to 
the Royal College of Surgeons, London, as a 
candidate for a diploma. He has himself pre- 
served an interesting memorandum of his exami- 
nations. In answering the first question pro- 
pounded to him, he had entered so readily, so 
fiilly, and so intelligently, into an explanation of 
Uie subject, that he was dismissed in ten minutes. 
He expected a lengthened detention, and, as he 


walked towards the door, uncertain as to the cause 
of his speedy dismissal, it is probable that his 
expressive countenance betrayed his inward feel-> 
ings ; for one of the examinators recalled him, 
and said, " You are accepted, sir ; and we thank 
you for the gratification and pleasure you have 
afforded us." The porter, surprised at the can* 
didate's premature return, concluded he must 
haye been rejected, and addressed him in a kind 
and doleful tone, ^^ I'm sorry for you, young 
man." But Mr. Howell's bright smile, as he ut- 
tered, " All 's right,*^ changed his condolence in- 
to congratulation. 

In July of the same year, he commenced prac- 
tice in his native city, and soon felt the want of 
that congenial society he had enjoyed during the 
prosecution of his studies in Dublin. There, be- 
sides the kindred spirits among the students with 
whom he associated, he had been favoured with 
occasional interviews with men of the highest 
consideration for talent and acquirements — men 
fix)m whose matured experience he gathered use- 
ful information, which acted both as a stimulus, 
and as a guide to his own inquiries. In Bath 
there were also many eminent literary and pro- 
fessional men. But it was not the privilege of 
Mr. Howell to have gained access to their socie- 
ty. He was young, and unknown, and, as yet, 
moving in a sphere of comparative obscurity* 
He endeavoured, however, to remedy this misfor 
tune* by cultivating the acquaintance of youn^r 
men who gave indication of genius and of entei 



prise : and, as a point of concentration, as ipell 
as a means of mutual improyement, at the sug- 
gestion of Mr. Howell, and chiefly through his 
instrumentality, the Bath Literary and Scientific 
Association was organized in 1837. Mr. How- 
ell was nominated to the office of honorary secre- 
tary. In connexion with this Society he first ap- 
peared hefore the Bath public as a lecturer. The 
subject announced was, *^ The Unity of Nature." 
A copy of the programme of this lecture now lies 
before me, and decidedly proves how compre* 
hensiye were his views of tUs sublime subject at 
that early stage of his professional life. 

Mr. Howell^s public lectures were well attend- 
ed; and, among other beneficial effects, they in- 
creased the number of the members of the Asso^ 
dation, — many of whom, now pursuing with sue* 
cess the path of industry and of knowledge, into 
which their zealous founder directed them, will 
remember with grateful pleasure the able and 
beautifiil papers which Mr. Howell read at their 
weekly meetings, on Astronomy, Optics, Chem- 
istry, Botany, Geology, Mineralogy, &c. But 
this Association had a short-lived existence, in 
feet, its prosperity, in a great measure, depended 
on Mr. Howell's resources and exertions, and 
drew more largely on his time than was conve- 
nient For this, and other reasons, which need 
not be detailed, its dissolution became inevitable. 

Subsequently, Mr. Howell delivered public lec- 
tures, and courses of lectures, on a variety of 
scientific subjects. And in Januaiy 1842 he at- 


tevipted to exhibit, in ten lectures, " The propri- 
ety and usefulness of Anatomy and Physiology 
as a branch of general education/' 

These lectures were delivered in the Hall of the 
. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 
of which Mr. Howell had, come time previously, 
and in a very gratifying manner, been appointed 
the honorary secretary. They attracted crowd- 
ed audiences, and were illustrated by anatomical 
preparations, and by numerous large drawings 
executed by Mrs. Howell, under the superin- 
tendence of her husband. • 

In the spring of the following year, a corre- 
spondence took place with the Liverpool Me- 
chanics* Institution, which resulted in the con- 
sent of Mr. Howell to give a course of lectures 
in Liverpool " On the Brain and Nervous Sys- 
tem." But his preparations for this undertaking 
were checked by the progress of the disease, 
which ultimately proved fatal. 

All Mr. Howell's lectures displayed a deep and 
accurate knowledge of the many different topics 
of which they treated. They were specimens of 
the versatility of his genius, as well as of the ex« 
tent of his researches. They were distinguished 
by great originahty of thought, and by profound 
logical acumen. And, from his command of 
matter, they were generally prolonged to double 
the length of time that is usual ; but the atten- 
tion of his audiences was sustained thl'oughout 
by the continual flow of new and interesting ideas, 
and by his elegant and engaging manner of de- 



liyery. Mr. Howell was pre-eminent as a lec- 
turer ; and it is much to be regretted that none 
of his very instructive lectures were fully written 
out. He was gifted with an uncommon facility 
of expressing his sentiments in the most perspi- 
cuous and appropriate language ; and, on this 
account, he was in the habit of speaking from 
short notes. Sometimes, indeed, he spoke with 
the greatest fluency for two hours, and altogether 

* Since this sketch was completed I have seen letters 
from two of Mr. HoweU's scientific companions. One of 
them who is at present resident in Bath, says, in refer- 
ence to the year 1842 and the early part of 1843, — "A 
week seldom passed during which 1 had not, on diJSerent 
days, spent much of my time in his company. Daring 
my intimacy with him, which was the intimacy of brothers, 
I could not fail being struck with his originality of thought, 
with his acuteness in analysis, and with his patient perse- 
verance in research. And I may say that scientific in- 
quiries, to be at all worthy of regard, require no small de» 
gree of these qualifications.'^ « His mode of' lecturing 
was clear and decisive, generally quiet, although the in- 
terest of the subject not unfrequently led the lecturer to 
continue speaking much beyond the usual time allotted, 
and thus to exert himself beyond his strength. It was the 
opinion that there was matter enough in one lecture to 
have made two very good ones." 

The other gentleman, resident in London, thus writes 
respecting Mr. Howell, — " As a philosopher, he was dili- 
gent in the pursuit of science, treading her mazy and dif- 
ficult paths with confidence, perseverance, and success.^' 
" His reasoning was generally characterised by original- 
ity of thought, and his ideas expressed in language ap- 
propriate, firm, and unequivocal.'* " His genius soared 



On the subject of botany, however, which was 
one of Mr. Howell's principal favourites, two 
separate series of articles were inserted in the 
Bath and Cheltenham Gazette^ to which allu- 
sion is made in the obituary. These articles were 
entitled, " Walks in the Botanic Garden," and 
amounted in number to no less than forty. Other 
articles of a scientific nature, from the same fruit- 
ful pen, appeared at different times in the same 
respectable journal. One of them, " On the 
Structure of the Capsule of PAPAVERACEiE," and 
" On the Nature of the Stigmata of Ceuciferje,** 
was afterwards inserted in No. 65 of the Annals 
and Magazine &f Natural History. It arrested 
the attention of scientific men, and a continuance 
of Mr. Howell's communications was requested 
for that very able periodical. 

Perhaps it may be deemed advisable to gather 
into a small volume all the articles on botany, 
astronomy, and other scientific topics, which Mr. 
Howell himself had thought worthy of submitting 
to the public, and which, in their detached forms, 

finto heaveiit and told the stars ; descended into the sea, 
and explored the deep; expanded over the earth, and 
•comprehended the three kingdoms in its grasp.*' << Al- 
though universality of acqnirements is generally acknow- 
ledge to be incompatible with the deep, reflective mind, 
<yet there are so many instances on record of men whose 
intellects were so strong as to enable them to pierce the 
very penetralia of wisdom, that I do not hesitate to apply 
the epithet universal genius to Howell, or to class him 
among their number. His acquirements were as sterling 
<a8 his talents were varied. 


hare already been marked bj the approval of 
competent judges. Although they are only iso- 
lated parts, or small fragments, of large and com- 
prehensive subjects, still they bear upou them the 
stamp of an original and reflective mind ; for, 
however much Mr. Howell consulted the works 
of authors of established reputation, he subjected 
the truth of all their statements to the test of strict 
investigation, or of analytical experiment. He 
made observations for himself, and exercised care- 
ful and profound reflection on every subject that 
engaged his attention. He tied himself down to 
no systems. He called no man master. Truth, - 
wherever he could find it, and from whomsoever 
he could learn it, was the grand object of which 
he never lost sight. As an intelhgent, and un- 
prejudiced, and persevering student of the arcana 
of Nature, it is known to his intimate friends that 
he was continually making discoveries in some 
one or other of the departments of science ; and 
had he lived to prosecute and arrange, and pub- 
lish his valuable researches, there is good ground 
for believing that he would have earned for him- 
self a high and deserved rank amongst the dis- 
tinguished few whose learning and whose labours 
have rendered their names illustrious in the an- 
nals of philosophy and science. 

Of Mr. Howell's general character and dispo- 
sitions it would be presumptuous in me, on so 
short an acquaintance, to attempt a full and regu- 
lar delineation. But I feel justified in mention 


ing some points that prominently appeared in the 
intercourse with him which I was privileged to 
enjoy during the latter part of his life. 

The first thing that struck me as unusual was 
the entire exclusion from his conversation of all 
mere commonplace remarks. As a stranger in 
the place, as an invalid whose comfortable sen- 
sations were very dependent on heat and sun- 
shine, and as an intelligent and social member of 
society, interested in the welfare of his country 
andf^of mankind, it would have been allowable — 
it would have been natural, to have asked of a 
visitor what was the news of the day, who had 
arrived and who departed, or what was the state 
of the weather. I do not, however, recollect of 
Mr. Howell ever saying one word to me on 
either of these never-ending topics of talk with 
ordinary people. On every occasion of my visit- 
ing him, he had scarcely answered my inquiries 
about his health, when he plunged at once 
into some subject of importance. He did this 
the very first day I sat at his bedside ; and he 
did so constantly. 

In connexion with this extraordinary absence 
of trifling remarks, I must notice the uncommon 
activity of his mind^ which never was overcome, 
excepting by the power of opiates, or by occasion- 
al fits of exhaustion. Even whilst lying on bed 
80 long, notwithstanding the general debility ^to 
which he was reduced, and his incapacity for 
continuous reading, he was never found in a 
listless or dreamy mood. His mind was not 


only actively employed, but his whole mental 
energies were intently fixed on some one particu- 
lar subject. This great power of abstraction, or 
concentrativencHS, forced itself on my attention 
as a peculiarity. In his circumstances, it might 
have been expected that the activity of his mind 
would have manifested itself in restlessness, — in 
the ungovernable roving of his thoughts amidst 
the immensity of subjects with which he was 
familiar, and affecting even his bodily frame 
with continual tossings to and fro. But the very 
reverse of this was manifested. His thoughts 
were under complete control. They ran all in 
the direction of some one truth that bad been 
submitted to his consideration ; and they never 
were diverted from it till he had sifted it to his 
satisfaction. In calling on him any day, I found 
him still occupied with what had been the theme 
of the former conversation. 

And then there was a calmness and composure 
of demeanour such as are rarely met with. In 
the midst of much bodily uneasiness, I have fre- 
quently seen him remain still as a rock for the 
whole period of my visit. The body was as 
quiescent as the mind was active. Religion, no 
doubt, latterly exercised a mighty and a blissful 
influence over him, in the patience, and resigna- 
tion, and peace which it supplied; but, inde- 
pendent of all that was superinduced by religious 
principle, there was evidently a magnanimity in 
his constitutional temperament, which raised 
him superior to the pains and the annoyances 
4* ' 



which would have caused irritation to most meiK 
And, besides, I believe that he had tutored hiai- 
self into a kind of philosophic dignity of conduct, 
which was equally removed fi*om sinful pride, 
and from stoical indifference. His judgment 
always maintained the mastery over his feelings. 
He endured what he could not remove. He 
knew the folly of making worse what was be- 
yond his power to mend. He, therefore, endea- 
voured to make the best of things as they were.* 
Another characteristic feature that attracted 
xolJ notice was a combination of opposite quali- 
ties, acting like antagonist forces, and imparting 
to his mind a peculiar and beautiful equipoise. 
Confidence in his own capabilities, — ^in his re- 
sources, and motives, and intentions, — was min- 
gled with diffidence in subjecting himself to the 

* The following anecdote is a striking instance of his 
self-command and composure under circumstances of 
trial: — One day, when a lecture "On the Eye and 
Vision " had been advertised, before he went out in the 
morning, he gave directions about the proper placing on 
the wall of the room of a number of diagrams, which 
were necessary for illustration. He did not return from 
seeing his patients till the company had assembled. But, 
on entering the room, he discovered, on a glance, that the 
diagrams were entirely misplaced. To have put them 
right would have caused both delay and confusion. Mr. 
Howell betrayed neither displeasure nor disappointment. 
He commenced a lecture on an entirely different subject; 
and, at the conclusion, he explained to the audience what 
had happened, and intimated the day on which he would 
deliver the lecture he had prepared. Not one man in a 
thousand could have acted as he did. 


judgment of other persons, and with great mo- 
desty in stating his own opinions. Candour and 
sincerity in acknowledging ignorance or error, 
were accompanied with a kind of reservation, as 
if he were afraid of committing himself too far. 
An apparent frankness and suavity of manners 
was hlended with an indescribable something 
that forbade familiarity. And, with a very re- 
markable talent for communicating instruction to 
others, he himself was largely possessed of the 
spirit of docility, and was ever ready and eager 
to be taught. As the result of all these conflict- 
ing sentiments and feelings, his character was 
adorned by constant watchfiilness over himself, 
and by much prudence and discretion in his 
dealings with mankind.- • He was a cautious man. 
The mind of Mr. Howell had, indeed, been 
cast in a noble mould. He was richly endowed 
with those high mental qualifications which 
constitute the true philosopher. But, in addition 
to so much that was purely intellectual, there 
was about him a moral loveliness that greatly 
elevates our conceptions of his general character. 
His conduct was very blameless in the sight of 
man. He did not degrade himself, as many do, 
by sensual and vicious indulgences. The pru- 
dence and self-respect whicb guided him in other 
things exerted their benign influence to uphold 
him in the path of virtue. The refinement of his 
mind, too, and his extreme delicacy of feeling, 
made vice odious to him. Thus he avoided many 
of the evil practices into which young m^ are 


'^ often so easily ensnared. And, by the con- 
current testimony of those who knew him best, 
he was a highly honourable, upright, and amia« 
ble man. But this must not be mistaken for 
scriptural and spiritual religion. He certain- 
ly had at heart an abiding theoretic reverence 
for the Divine Being ; and he conscientiously 
professed belief in Divine Revelation. He con- 
stantly and openly repudiated the sceptical opi- 
nions so prevalent in the French schools of me- 
dicine and of science. In his own study of the 
manifold works of God, he took pleasure in dis- 
covering the wonderful traces of divine wisdom, 
and of almighty power, whether in the magnifi- 
cence of the starry heavens, or in the anatomy 
of the minutest plants. And in his public lec- 
tures he appears to have delighted in exhibiting 
and explaining to his fellow-creatures, and espe- 
cially to the young, whatever was calculated to 
exalt their conceptions of the great Creator. 
The Divine Being whom he so habitually revered 

* was the God of Nature. But it is, nevertheless, 
a painful truth, which must not be concealed, 
that, in the midst of all his studies, Mr. Howell 
practically forgot the God who is revealed to us 
only in the Holy Scriptures ; and forgot his obli- 
gations to obey those Scriptures, whose divine 
inspiration he acknowledged. The fear of God 
was not before his eyes; the love of God was 
not in his heart ; the glory of God was not the 
object he had in view, nor the end at which he 
aimed ; the day of holy rest which God has set 


apart for his own special service, was desecrated 
hy secular occupations ; the public worship of 
God was seldom attended, and famiiy worship 
was not thought of; the welfare of his immor- 
tal soul was overlooked ; the great concerns of 
the eternal world were neglected. This is no 
exaggeration. It is the substance of liis own 
heartfelt regrets, — of his own tearful confessions, 
on a dying bed. 

It is willingly admitted that the pursuits in 
which Mr. Howell had employed his noble ta- 
lents, and spent his time, often by night, as well 
as by day, and prematurely wasted his strength, 
were not in themselves sinful, and that they had 
yielded him a large amount of intellectual and 
rational gratification. So likewise, it is no more 
than justice to record how kind and dutiful he 
was in all the varied relations of life. He was 
decidedly a social and domestic man. Sd long 
as he remained under the parental roof, he was 
far from despising parental authority. And when 
he married he gave to the object of his choice 
that faithful devotedness of affection which he 
claimed and received in return. The endear- 
ments of wedded life made him indifferent to the 
pleasures of public amusements and of private 
parties. With his wife and children^ and wi^ 
the quiet companionship of a few scientrac 
friends, he found a perpetual source of social and 
domestic happiness. But he was brought to see 
and acknowledge that he had sinned in giving to 
creature objects that ardent regard and exclusive 


affection to which they were not entitled. And 
he was made to feel that God himself, as recon- 
ciled to us in Jesus Christ, is the only source of 
pure, and satisfying, and lasting enjoyment. 

When divine grace taught him that he was a 
sinner standing in need of salvation, and that he 
was a dying man unprepared for the eternity to 
which he was approaching, then he experienced 
the utter inefficiency of all his former pursuits, 
and of all his acquired knowledge, and of all his 
moral excellencies, and of all his social and do- 
mestic enjoyments, to quiet his fears, or to in* 
spire a cheering hope. And so soon as his heart 
was opened to receive " the grace, mercy, and 
peace,^' which are multiplied towards us through 
the knowledge and faith of our God and Saviour 
Jesus Christ, then he would have said to his 
learned and scientific associates as he did actu- 
ally say to his wife, " We have indeed lived very 
happily together, but we have missed muck hap' 
pmess; we have been strangers to true happi- 
ness ; and, were we to live our lives over again, 
we should be infinitely more happy in loving and 
serving God than ever we have been before." 

Mr. Howell did not rank himself amongst the 
pious and the devout, nor was he in the habit of 
^sociating with them. He was too honest to 
profess what he did not sincerely feel and con- 
scientiously practise. In fact, the inconsisten- 
cies which he observed in persons who did make 
high religious professions had been a stumbling- 
block to him from his youth upwards. At the 


same time, it would be a perversion of truth to 
say, or to give reason to suppose, that he ever 
was regardless of religion. He was as far re- 
moved as possible from scepticism, and the frame 
of his mind was too serious to allow him to scoff 
at what was sacred. His desire to obtain know- 
ledge of all kinds prompted him to make a study 
of what is called natural theology. He also 
carefully examined the evidences of the inspira- 
tion of the Bible, and he spoke to me of his 
fi^ndness for controversial divinity. Such sub* 
jects afforded scope for intellectual prowess,—- 
fi>r reflection, and for argument Besides, his 
constitutional love of truth, — his love of finding 
out where truth lay,-— worked together with his 
natural inquisitiveness in renewing his religious 
inquiries from time to time. Neither was he 
speculatively ignorant of the peculiar and essen- 
tml doctrines of Christianity. These, as well as 
less important and more curious matters, receiv- 
ed a share of his all-grasping consideration. 
With his professional friend, Dr. Morgan, he 
used to cnnverse freely on religious topics. From 
this gentleman he obtained much information ou 
the errors of Popery, and likewise on the Unita- 
rian heresy. And latterly, when the appearance 
of consumptive symptoms led him to think of 
their probable termination, he was thankful for 
*' the words in season" which the doctor occa- 
sionally dropped while in professional attend- 
ance upon Mr. Howell previous to bis leaving 


Having thus briefly sketched the character of 
TMr. Howell, and adverted to his literary and 
scientific attainments, the duty which now de- 
volves on me is to furnish the reader with 

of the gracious dealings of God with this highly 
gifted man, and particularly of what fell under 
my own observation during the latter part of his 
fatal illness. This duty is as free froi^ difficulty 
as it is full of dehght. 

In the arrangements of Providence, it not un- 
frequently happens that the loss of bodily health 
and temporal advantages is made subservient to 
the acquisition of spiritual and eternal life. It 
was so with Mr. Howell. His illness set a limit 
to the extent of his exertions ; it interrupted the 
constancy of his persevering application; it 
checked the ardour of his pursuit after increas- 
ing knowledge; it put the stamp of "van- 
ity and vexation of spirit" on his ambitious de- 
sires to gain some notoriety in the world of let- 
ters ; and thus a new direction was given to his 
thoughts and his inquiries. In fact, it constituted 
the commencement of a new era in his^ history, 
for fi'om this time he began to regard religion as 
something practical and personal ; and yet the 
change was slow and gentle, rather than sudden 
and decided. 

When first he came to Torquay, in May last 
year, his disease had not made great progress, 


and he was alone. His wife and family were 
left behind, as his stay was not intended to be 
for any length of time. His physical strength 
was not as yet so much impaired as to incapaci- 
tate him for out-of-doors exercise and enjoyment ; 
and to him it was a real and a great enjoyment 
to saunter in the Devonshire lanes, where the 
luxuriant hedges afforded him the richest fields 
for botanising. Still more peculiar and enthu- 
siastic was his delight in strolling along the 
shores of Torbay, and in examining the varie- 
ties of matine plants and animals with which the 
locahty abounds ; for he had been in the habit, 
now and then, of having a box of the nett-refuse 
sent to him at Bath from the very place where 
he now resided. It was quite a pleasure to find 
himself at the sea-side ; and here he had the 
additional pleasure of meeting with different 
individuals of similar tastes with himself, with 
whom he could converse on his favourite topics, 
and who were quaUfied to appreciate his attain- 

It was on the occasion of his first visit to Tor- 
quay that he made the acquaintance of Dr. Tet- 
ley, who soon became his attached friend as well 
as his skilfiil physician. He was a daily visitor 
at the house of the Rev. S. F. Statham ; and by 
degrees his friends and acquaintances increased, 
all of whom, as far as I have heard, were led to 
feel an unusual interest in Mr. Howell; and 
some of them, under the constraining influence 
of Christian love, yearned over him as a hopeful 


young man who was not far from the kingdom 
of heaven. He was frequently drawn into im- 
portant conversation on the fundamental truths 
of the Gospel by individuals who longed to see 
him partaking of those consolations which nothing 
earthly can administer to the.sick and dying, and 
of that hope which is full of immortality. A 
young clergyman &om Suffolk, who was also at 
Torquay as an invalid, took a pecutiar interest in 
Mr. Howell. He frequently accompanied him 
in his botanising excursions, and was sedulous in 
his endeavours to bring him to the simple faith of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. But God*s time of mer* 
cy was not yet come. Mr. Howell Ustened with 
patient attention to every statement of divine truth 
that was submitted to him, and where there was 
room for it he entered eagerly into the argument. 
But, as he afterwards acknowledged, it was no^ 
thing more than the play of the understanding. 
In the letters which he every day wrote home, 
there were continual and interesting notices of 
the places he had visited, and of the natural ob- 
jects he had examined, and of the benefit which 
his health was deriving from the genial climate ; 
but he said little on that one subject which he af- 
terwards felt to be the " one thing needftil." He 
did not write as a man who had been convinced 
of his guilt and danger. His letters breathed no 
anxious concern about spiritual health, no urgent 
desires after everlasting salvation : the compara- 
tively unimportant researches into the beautiful and 
wonderful mechanism and properties of the works 


of God Still maintained a disproportionate share 
of his mental energies. He was not jet brought 
to feel that the greatest and most important of all 
studies is, the knowledge of God himself as he is 
revealed to his sinful creatures in the Holy Scrip 

Mr. Howell improved in health and strength 
very steadily ; and in the beginning of July he 
left Torquay, under the impression that every un 
favourable symptom had been subdued, and that 
he was able to resume his usual occupations at 
Bath. In this, however, he was sadly mistaken. 
The warning he had had of consumptive tendencies 
was unhappily and unaccountably lost upon him. 
Misled by the delusive character of the disease, 
and flushed with the speedy renovation of his 
health, he devoted himself with too much eager- 
ness to his professional practice, and to his scien- 
tific pursuits. In a few weeks he became worse 
than ever. A consultation was held, and his 
medical advisers judged it necessary that heshoiild 
instantly again leave Bath. They were also of 
opinion, that the only probability of his ultimate 
recovery depended on a residence for a term of 
years in a soft and genial climate. Mr. Howell 
was therefore obliged, in a hurried manner, to 
break up his establishment, and abandon his prac- 
tice ; and he resolved on returning to the place 
where he had formerly been benefitted. 

But he was thrown into a state of great alarm 
by the decidedly unfavourable view which had 
been taken of his case, and by the subsequent ar- 


rangements ; and, when he came the second time 
into Devonshire, early in August, there was a veiy 
manifest alteration on him in respect both of body 
and of mind. His strength was prostrated. His 
nervous system had sustained a dreadful shock. 
He was depressed in spirits, and greatly agitated. 
A lodging had been taken for him in the village 
of Torre, adjoining to Torquay ; and, on his ar- 
rival, although he had spent a night on the road, 
he suffered under such extreme exhaustion, that 
the people of the house feared he might have 

It was deemed advisable, not only that Mr. 
Howell should leave Bath without delay, but that 
he should avoid the bustle and disagreeableness 
of a family movement under such tryiug circum- 
stances. Matters of indispensable business were 
devolved on Mrs. Howell, who was detained for 
several days ; and, when she arrived at Torre, 
she found her husband in a state of great uneasi- 
ness, from the apprehension that his death was 
certain, and that it might be sudden. 

That evening, after his wife had read a por- 
tion of Scripture to soothe and comfort him, he 
asked her to pray with him. This request took 
her by surprise,- it was something quite new. 
She was unaccustomed to pray aloud, and felt 
obliged to decUne. '' Then I must do it myself," 
said Howell ; and he did pray with her, which he 
had never done before. He was in distress, and 
felt that God was his only refuge. He felt that 
prayer was more than a duty — ^it was a pri- 


vilege ; and from this time they had always pray- 
er together, morning and evening, although a 
book of prayers was commonly used. 

On Sunday morning, Mrs. Howell went to 
Torre Church. At the commencement of the 
Litany, it startled her to hear the name of her 
husband read out as a sick person desiring the 
prayers of the Church ; and, on inquiry after- 
wards, she found this had been done at his own 
solicitation. He had written a note to the Rev. 
J. Blackmore, the officiating curate, in which he 
requested to be publicly prayed for, and, at the 
same time, hoped Mr. Blackmore would visit 

Every thing now indicated that Mr. Howell 
was in earnest. He read the Bible diligently, 
with a wish to understand it. His correspond- 
ence with his friends at Bath did not entirely 
omit the mention of literary and scientific sub- 
jects ; but it was characterised by this new fea- 
ture, that he intimated, without disguise or re- 
serve, the dangerous condition to which he was 
reduced, and his desire to seek for consolation in 
reUgton. As he himself confessed on a dying 
bed, the first chastisement laid upon him by his 
heavenly Father was not severe enough. He was 
not sufficiently humbled ; nor had he been brought 
to any real and permanent contrition. But now 
he was sorely chastened ; and it was the chasten- 
ing of a loving Father, who designed to bless, and 
not to curse—- to pardon, and not to punish ; and 
who, by means of chastisement, was about to 


impart to this wanderer the spirit of adoption, and 
to prepare him for enjoying the privileges of the 
heavenly family. Whilst God laid him low 
under the rod of disease, he seemed to be address- 
ing him in the very words of remonstrance, 
which of old he put into the mouth of his pro- 
phet, " Wherefore do ye spend money for that 
which is not bread 1 and your labour for that 
which satisfieth noti Hearken diligently unto 
me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your 
soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, 
and come unto me : hear, and your soul shall 
live." God had purposes of mercy towards him, 
and was softening his heart under this remon- 
strance, and opening his ear to welcome the gra- 
cious invitation, "Ho, everyone that thirsteth, 
come ye to the waters ; and he that hath no mo- 
ney, come ye, buy and eat ; yea, come, buy wine 
and milk, without money, and without price." 
Isaiah, Iv. 1, 2. 

Dr. Tetley renewed his professional attendance 
on Mr. Howell. He found that the insidious dis- 
ease which preyed on him had made rapid pro- 
gress ; but, on the other hand, there was a cheer- 
ing earnestness for instruction in divine things, 
and for the experience of their power on his own 
heart, such as had not been manifested at any 
period of his former visit to Torquay. The doc- 
tor saw him daily, and was encouraged by his 
subdued and teachable spirit, to hope that a time 
of blessing was at hand. Mr. Blackmore also 
visited him frequently ; and he has told me he 

'*^. rj**'n"* 


took great pleasure in conversing with Mr. How- 
ell Although his spiritual progress was not as 
jret Terj marked, still he alwajs found in him a 
singularly interesting and hopeful inquirer after 
the way of life which the Gospel reveals. The 
suhjects on which they chiefly conversed were 
the amazing love of God to sinners, displayed in 
the gift of his Son for our salvation, and the 
atonement for sin which was effected by the Sa- 
viour's humiliation and death on our account. 
These were the grand consoling truths that now 
supremely engaged his thoughts, and the contem- 
plation of which tended to tranquillise his agitated 
mind. But as yet he had not obtained a spiri- 
tual discernment of them, nor had his faith so 
embraced them as to give him a peaceful and sa- 
tisfying hope of his own forgiveness and accept- 
ance with God. 

After a few weeks he considerably recovered 
in health and in spirits. He got out in a bath- 
chair to enjoy the open air, and the lovely land- 
scapes that met the eye at every turn. He even 
gained strength sufficient to walk short distances; 
and he greatly rejoiced in being able to go to 
Torre Church, where he gave public thanks to 
God for what he had experienced of his goodness. 
But, as the season advanced, he again relapsed. 
After his removal to Torquay for the winter, he 
only once attended divine service, although his 
residence was close to Trinity Church. He now 
declined rapidly; and he was entirely confined to 


bed towards the end of November, when my ac- 
quaintance with him commenced. 

At this important crisis, the loss of the strength 
which he had recently regained, and the appear- 
ance of fresh symptoms which marked the pro- 
gress his disease was making, again disappointed 
his hopes of recovery, and depnved him of the 
comparative tranquillity he had been enjoying. 
His inward distress became great ; and so did his 
anxiety for relief. All human refuges were una- 
vailing. But he was looking to God, and crjring 
for mercy ; and he neither looked nor cried in 

As a minister of the Gospel of Christ, I was 
asked to visit Mr. Howell, in consequence of the 
absence of other clergymen who were wont to 
see him ; and I was urged to go, because he was 
a dying man who truly needed, and who greatly 
desired, spiritual consolation. 

Although I hcul not hitherto happened to meet 
Mr. Howell, nor ever heard one word of his 
splendid talents and high acquirements, the first 
sight of him convinced me that he was a supe- 
rior man ; and, in our first conversation, there 
was something so unusually interesting as to 
make me resolve to keep some record of his case* 

In the following 



iberi^s of betters, 

there is preserved a simple and faithful statement 
of those divine truths which w^ re successively 
submitted to his consideration, and likewise of 
the impressions which their reception made upon 
his mind ; of his deliverance out of spiritual dark- 
ness and distress, and of his entrance into the en- 
joyment of that " peace with God through our 
Lord Jesus Christ," which is the accompaniment 
of a heaven-taught faith. 

It ought to be mentioned that the letters are 
genuine, and that they were not originally intend- 
ed for publication ; but, to the much- valued friend 
and brother to whom they were addressed, the 
work of grace in Mr. Howell appeared so pecu- 
liarly instructive, that he hoped it might prove a 
blessing to many. And I could not gainsay the 
assertion, that the unconstrained communications 
of one friend to another concerning any recent 
event, have a freshness and naturalness about 
them that never can be imparted to a more for- 
mal narrative drawn up at a subsequent period. 
For this reason I have consented to the insertion 
of the letters in this place, although it may sub- 
ject me to the charge of bringing myself too pro- 
minently into view. And it is my earnest request 
that the reader may fix his mind on the dying 
man, and on the great truths which were the sub- 
ject of conversation, without giving a thought of 
any kind to the writer of the letters. 


To the Rev. John Stevenson, Cary Vicarage. 

Torquay, November 28tb, 1843. 

Mt beloved Friend 

You are not unacquainted with the peculi- 
arities of this place. The natural beauties of the 
locality have feasted your taste for fine scenery ; 
the kindness of Christian friends has oft refreshed 
your spirit; and the poor invahds, who make up 
so large a portion of its winter inhabitants, have 
called forth your warmest sympathies. 

During your own occasional sojournings here 
you heard of many cases of most affecting inte- 
rest, and not a few passed under your immediate 
personal observation. In the midst of your own 
suspension from active duty, I am well aware 
how much of a painful pleasure you felt in visit- 
ing the chambers of sickness and of death, and 
in administering the consolations of the Gospel of 
Christ to your fellow-sufferers ; and you know 
that, during those welcome respites from severe 


illness with whidi God is pleased to favour mj- 
self, I, also, according to mj ability, willingly 
take a part in the work of comforting the sick, 
the dying, and the bereaved. 

Since I first came to Torquay, there have oc- 
curred many events which produced a very deep 
and solemn interest, but of which I now regret 
having preserved no record. Memory is often 
treacherous; and, by permitting such occur* 
rences to sink into the grave of oblivion, we de* 
prive ourselves and others of the profitable les- 
sons they are calculated to impart. It is good 
not only to notice at the time, but afterwards to 
meditate upon, the wonderful workings of Pro* 
▼idence. The Psalmist says, ^' Whoso is wise, 
and will observe these things, even they shall 
understand the loving-kindness of the Lord.** 
(Psalm cviL v. 43^. And oh, how blessed it is 
to possess this understanding! — ^to understand 
that there is loving»kindness in all the doings of 
the Lord, and especially in His afflictive dispen- 
sations! And this blessedness comes from a 
wise observation of passing events. 

I have been led to these reflections in conse- 
quence of being called to the bedside of a gentle- 
man on whose constitution pulmonary disease 
has already made great encroachments; and 
whose case, so far as it is yet developed, appears 
to me to merit something more particular and 
more permanent than a few ephemeral expres- 
sions of hope or of thankfulness. And I write 
to you on the subject, because the love which 


dwells in your heart to the souls of poor sinneri?, 
and to their Saviour, gives me the assurance of 
awakening your Christian sympathies in behalf 
of Mr. Howell, and of securing your prayers, 
that God may more and more prosper our inter- 

Mr. Howell has been at Torre with his family 
since the autumn. It is only within the last few 
weeks that he removed down to Torquay for 

§*eater warmth, and he took the house called 
eulah, next to Trinity Church, in the hope of 
Mrs. Howell getting some pupils. I had heard 
a good deal said among my friends about thia 
femily, as their circumstances excited commise- 
ration ; but I had not met with them, nor had I 
intended calling, as my circle of acquaintance is 
already sufficiently large. Our excellent friend 
Dr. Tetley, however, came in to see me one 
evening last week, and made so earnest a re- 
quest, that I could not refuse promising to visit 
Mr. Howell. The doctor said his patient was now 
confined to his bed, and he feared was rapidly 
sinking. Mr. Blackmore had seen him fre- 
quently, so long as he remained at Torre ; and 
Mr. Fayle has called several times since he 
came to Beulah. But now Mr. Fayle's time 
and attention were absorbed in the dangerous 
illness of his wife, and Mr. Blackmore was from 
home on business. This was a plea for my try- 
ing to supply their place. Moreover, the doctor 
represented the sick man's state of mind as pe- 


culialy standing in need of spiritual counsel and 
encouragement. He knew the dangerous nature 
of his maladj ; and he was alive to the impor- 
tance of salvation. But he did not seem to 
have an experimental knowledge of that one 
way of a sinner's acceptance with God which the 
Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ reveals. The 
clergymen who had visited him faithfully directed 
him to the Saviour, and urged him to rest his hopes 
on Christ alone. This he complained he could 
not do. He confessed it was what was right, 
and what, indeed, he desired ; but he could not 
believe, and he felt himself without comfort, be- 
cause he was without hope. It was manifest, 
however, that he was an earnest and anxious in- 
quirer after Gospel truth, from many circum- 
stances, and, amongst others, from the effect 
produced upon him by the doctor's repeating 
some little remark he had heard from my lips, 
on one occasion last winter, in a time of serious 
illness. This was the connecting link between 
Mr. Howell and me. His desire was to see me, 
and now my desire was to see him. 

I had called at the door both on Friday and 
Saturday; but on Sunday, after the morning 
service, I was for the first time admitted. Mr. 
Howell was in bed. I had never happened to 
see him until now, and assuredly the first im- 
pression made upon me will not soon be effaced. 
There was the stamp of superior intelligence on 
his countenance ; there was more than that ; — 
there was dignity of character, combined with 


great benignitj : whilst his hazel eyes, and long 
dark eyelashes ; — his capacious brow, crowned 
with a profusion of jet black locks; and the 
scarlet scarf that was loosely twisted round his 
neck, gave me the idea of what is generally de- 
signated genius, I had been told he was a clever 
and very accomplished man, and now I could 
not doubt it ; and the miniature picture I have 
sketched will help your conception of his appear- 
ance, and perhaps increase your interest in him. 
We entered at once into important conversa- 
tion ; and I spent at his bedside as interesting an 
hour as you and I once did with a poor man in 
the garden of Cury Vicarage. We seemed to 
know each other, and this inspired that kind of 
mutual confidence which is requisite for free 
and profitable intercourse. He showed no taste 
for idle words. .The public worship of God, in 
which I had been privileged to engage, and 
firom which he had been detained, fiirnished a 
natural topic to begin with. The sermon I had 
heard preached brought us more directly to his 
own views and prospects; and we were now 
eagerly occupied with the fundamental truths of 
the iGrospel. Howell spoke with great kindness 
of' tK^ Christian friends who had so assiduously 
Tisited and instructed him. He confessed that 
his understanding went along with their state- 
ments, but that his heart remained untouched. 
There was something very touching to me in 
this confession, and I felt that it lay with the 
Holy Spirit to work upon his heart. At the A» 

• # 


same time, as the Spirit works bj means of the 
revealed word, the duty which devolved on me 
was, with the utmost simplicity, to unfold to him 
'* the truth as it is in Jesus,'' secretly praying 
that the Spirit of Truth might take of the things 
of Jesus, and apply them with power to the heart 
of this earnest inquirer. 

Now, my dear brother, I must mention it as a 
singular coincidence, that in . the prosecution of 
my work on Doubts, I had been meditating 
much for the previous fortnight on imperfect and 
inaceuraU views of the Person of Christy as one 
of the causes out of which doubts arise, and had 
just completed a letter on the subject. My mind 
was strongly impressed with the conviction, that 
many people who are anxious for salvation are 
kept in a state of anxiety, without experiencing 
peace or joy in believing, because they look to 
the work which Christ has accomplished, with- 
out duly considering the peculiar and wonderful 
constitution of His Person as Emmanuel, *'6od 
with us," which alone fitted him for the work 
which he undertook as our Deliverer from sin^ 
and death, and helL And, therefore by way of 
laying a good and solid foundation, I deemed it 
advisable fully to explain the doctrine of the in- 
carnation of the Son of God. 

You can imagine the ground over which we 
travelled together, and the various texts of Scrip- 
ture to which reference was made.* It would 

* Mrs. Howell has informed me that her husband con- 
stantly referred to this conversation on the humanity of 


fill several pages, were I to attempt an outline of 
what passed. But it was extj^eniety gratifying to 
observe how completely the subject arrested his 
attention, and with what quickness he seized on 
the true humanity of our Lord, as connecting 
him with us, and securing his sympathy, and 
altogether qualifying him to act as our surety. 
The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah satisfied him 
that the sufferings of the Saviour were both sacri- 
ficial and substitutionary. Jehovah laid the ini- 
quity of us all on his righteous servant ; and on 
that account he was wounded, and bruised, and 
poured out his soul unto death. And now Mr. 
Howell saw, in a light he had never done before, 
how this wonderful punishment of sin in the 
person of Christ depended on his taking upon 
him our nature ; and, again, that our deliverance 
fi'om the punishment to which, as sinners, we 
are exposed, depends upon what the incarnate 
Son of God has done in our stead. Of course 
we conversed about the divinity of our Lord also, 

our Saviour with peculiar satisfaction. He always said 
it was the opening up of this subject that led him, by 
God's blessing, to a distinct knowledge of the Gospel. 
She has expressed a wish that the conversation had been 
more fully preserved in the letter. A clerical friend, also, 
to whom the MS. was shown, and whose judgment is en- 
titled to the highest respect, thought it might have been 
useful to others had the subject been expanded, and some 
of the principal texts submitted to the consideration of the 
reader. For these reasons a few additional particulars 
will be found in an Appendix, as they are too long for a 

• # 


and the union of the two distinct natures in his 
one person, without which he cou]d not have 
been the Mediator between God and man, nor 
could the shedding of his blood have been ef- 
fectual for the remission of sins. But on the 
divinity of the Saviour I found him well establish- 
ed. The reality, and the importance, and the 
necessity of his humanity, had burst upon him 
with all the power and freshness of a new subject. 
He said it had never before been so fully and 
plainly opened up to him ; and the satis&ction it 
afforded him was still more manifestly displayed 
in the expression of his countenance than in the 
language he employed. It was truly delightful 
to mark the avidity with which he drank in the 
truth, as I was enabled to state it, and how the 
truth commended itself to his conscience. His 
teachableness struck me very particularly. There 
was no disposition to start objections, nor any of 
that captiousness which one has so often to encoun- 
ter in dealing with men of talent ; on the con- 
trary, he rejoiced at God's word "as one that 
findeth great spoil." 

It is a sure step in advance towards the attain* 
ment of Christian peace, hope, and joy, when a 
person, under the consciousness of guilt, and 
with enlightened views of the holiness of the 
divine character and of the Gospel scheme of sal« 
vation, makes the discovery how sin is effectuaUy 
punished, and yet the sinner himself is eternally 
saved. It removes difficulties which appear "to 
him to have been insurmountable, and imparts a 


satisfying blessedness to his soul, when he beholds 
how "God is just," and at the same time the " justi- 
fierof him who belie Teth in Jesus." And I thank- 
fully cherished the persuasion, that these were the 
circumstances into which Howell was brought 
" The wind bloweth where it listeth ;" and the 
Spirit of God worketh when, and where, and how 
be please th. 

Our conversation had ranged over a variety of 
topics; all of them aided in pointing out in what 
the Gospel salvation consisted, and how it has 
been freely procured for us, and the means by 
which its inestimable blessings become ours. 
But the one centre from whence all these topics 
emanated, and into which they all again converg- 
ed, was " God manifested in tkejlesh,^^ This is 
declared by the inspired apostle to be " the great 
mystery of godUness," because it explains how 
infinitely God hates sin, and how marvellously 
be has loved his sinful creatures. And it seemed 
to me that HoweU understood this mystery, and 
believed it, and felt its life-giving power. 

You will not accuse me either of presumption 
or enthusiasm when I express my conviction, 
that the Holy Spirit had equally guided me^in 
speaking and him in hearing, and that there was 
and would be a blessing. We did not separate 
without kneehng at the footstool of the throne of 
grace, and asking from the God of all grace, in 
the name of our glorified High-Priest, that 
measure of blessing which should redound to his 
own glory. 


I did not find it conrenient to call yesterday, 
nor did it seem to be necessary ; but in the even- 
ing, about nine o'clock, just as I had concluded 
family worship with the friends who lodge in the 
same house with me, the door-bell rang, and Mrs. 
Howell was ushered in. She had come at the 
soUcitations of her husband, who had been labour- 
ing for some hours under deep distress of mind» 
and wished particularly to see me. The call of 
duty was imperative. I instantly accompanied 
her. On entering his bedchamber, Howell flung 
out his arms across the bed, and grasped my 
hand with a cordiality and firmness that spoke 
more powerfully than words how thankful he 
was to see me. But he could not speak, and his 
fine countenance was expressive of inward agony : 
it was quite an appalling spectacle. I silently 
gazed upon him for a minute or two, and then 
said, '^ God is our refuge in every time of distress 
and trouble. Before we attempt to converse with 
each other, we had best cast ourselves upon Grod. 
If you please, we will pray for his presence with 
us, for his guidance, his deliverance, and for his 
blessing.'' The distressed man signified h^ 
approval. During the prayer, which had special 
reference to his case, it was very afi^ecting to be 
continually interrupted with his whispered " Yes, 
yes!" ** Amen, amen !" joined with the sobs and 
responses of his wife. We were very earnest in 
our supplications ; and while we were yet speak- 
ing, it happened to us, as to Daniel of old, that 
God heard, and answered. Indeed, I never waa 


80 sensible of an immediate answer to prayer. 
On rising from mj knees, and opening my eyes 
on Howell, I found him greatly soothed. His 
countenance had regained its usual placidity; 
and from a low and feeble voice, in which at first 
he spoke, by degrees he gathered strength and 
animation. He mentioned how great his enjoy- 
ment of spiritual comfort bad been after my visit 
on Sunday. He acknowledged that he never in 
all his life had experienced such pure happiness; 
it was like an anticipation of the joys of heaven. 
This elevated state of religious feeling continued 
uninterrupted the whole of Sunday afternoon and 
evening, during the midnight hours, and through- 
out the forenoon of Monday. The excitement 
connected with this great and joyful change had 
borne hard on his debilitated frame. As the day 
advanced, he sank into great exhaustion ; and, 
amidst this weakness of body, what he described 
as " a cloud of horrible darkness'* enveloped his 
mind. He could not believe anything. The 
truths which had been the joy and rejoicing of 
his heart vanished from his hold like unsubstan* 
tial shadows. All his hopes and consolations 
had suddenly fled. And so terrible was the in- 
ward conflict to which he had been subjected, 
that he used the liberty of sending for me. 

I listened to this narrative with intense interest. 
It taught me that a real work and a great work was 

fsing forward in this sick man's soul. The good 
pirit had sown and watered the good seed, which 
had abeady sprung up, and was bringing forth the 


holy fruits of love, and joy, and peace: and the 
wicked one had been attempting, not merely to 
blight and blast, but to uproot and destroy. I could 
regard the " cloud of horrible darkness " in no 
other hght than that of Satanic temptation. How- 
ell's experience enabled him to say with the 
Psalmist, " The entrance of thy words giveth 
light." His inquisitive and highly cultivated 
mind had just been gratified by a wonderful ac- 
cession of knowledge, and of that kind of know- 
ledge which was far more precious than rubies to 
a dying man. This cast a bright gleam of sun- 
shine around his path and bis prospects, and 
made him happy ; but " the Prince of Darkness" 
used his crafts and assaults to extinguish the 
heavenly light, and to counteract the good work 
of the Holy Spirit. For a time, it would appear, 
he had succeeded; but the *Herrible conflict" 
which agonised the mind of Howell was a very 
satisfactory proof how highly he prized that hght 
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face 
of Jesus Christ, with which God had shone upon 
him, and how ardently he desired its continuance, 
and how intensely he was affected by its tempo- 
rary withdrawal. This, I doubt not, will appear 
to you, as it did to me, to evidence his sincerity 
in seeking after Gospel truth, and the unspeaka- 
ble value he attached to its possession. And, 
painful as this conflict was, I believe it was a 
wisely permitted stroke of discipUne to remind 
my new friend that as it was not by dint of his 
own application, nor in the. exercise of his own 


natural abilities, that he had acquired the know- 
ledge of salyation, so neither could he of himself 
retaiu what God ia sovereign mercy had im- 
parted. This was a most useful lesson to him at 
the commencement of his new career as a be- 
liever in the Lord Jesus Christ.* 

* Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Howell has ex- 
plained to me, that the distress into which he sank on 
this occasion, and the darkness which overspread his 
mind, was connected with deep conviction of sin. As 
she sat by him, endeavouring to administer comfort, he 
complained that he could not remember what had been 
said to him the day before : he could not keep hold of it. 
And, suddenly throwing both his hands upon his head, he 
exclaimed, " Oh ! I have been a great Hrmer !'* and the 
tears rolled down his cheeks. Under this overwhelming 
sense of sin, he lost hctoe, and became disconsolate. 
Mrs. Howell was overwhelmed too. She felt there was 
something beyond her power to mitigate or remove ; and 
in these painful circumstances they both thought of ap- 
plying to me. 

I am still of opinion thatHowelFs spiritual darkness and 
distress were the work of our <' adversary, the devil, who, 
as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may 
devour." The conviction of sin is the province and the 
prerogative of God's own Spirit, who is called " the Com- 
forter," and whose special work it is to lighten our dark- 
ness. And that Howell's convictions should have been so 
deep and so overwhelming is peculiarly satisfactory. It 
is strictly consistent with his high conscientiousness, and 
his strong love of truth. Whenever he saw sin to be sin- 
ful, he utterly loathed it ; and when he felt himself to be a 
sinner, he sank into the very depths of sorrow and self- 
abasement. He was tempted to look away from Christ at 
the time he moat needed him, and hence his distress. But 
he was a man of the greatest natural amiability, am} his 


I sat beside him till half- past ten oVIock. It 
is vain to argue with people who are in the dis- 
tressing condition in which I found Howell. I 
briefly stated to him what I have just stated to 
you, as my opinion of the origin and design of 
the dark cloud which had frowned upon him. I 
thankfully observed that its blackness was al- 
ready somewhat brightened; and instead of 
making his own distress the subject of conversa- 
tion, I asked for a Bible, and read a portion of 
the sixth chapter of St. John. The introduction 
of light is the only way to dispel darkness. The 
word of God is the sword of the Spirit, and that 
is the weapon wherewith we shall most surely 
scare away all spiritual enemies. We spoke of 
the Son of God as the alone food of an immortal 
soul — the bread of life — of which, if a man eat, 
he shall never hunger. This supplied sublime 
materials for thought, and placed before him the 
true object of that faith which sanctifies and 
saves. We spoke also with considerable large- 
ness on the repeated declarations of our Lord re- 
moral character was unblemished in the sight of men. 
This was a snare out of which he must be brought. It 
was necessary that he should see his own sinfulness in the 
sight of God ; and I doubt not that his experience that eve 
ning prepared the way for his more thoroughly apprecia- 
ting *' the great salvation." 

This fact, which Mrs. Howell has communicated, adds 
interest to the narrative, and furnishes another evidence 
of the reality of that '^ repentance toward God and faith 
in the Lord Jesus Christ,'' which her husband experienced 
and exhibited. 


specting the " will of the Father,*'— see verses 
37 — 40. To do that toUl the Son became incar- 
nate ; and in the accomplishment of that will 
pinners become the heirs of eternal life. This 
led us to the fountain-head of God's love. Here 
was a theme of fathomless depth and of immeas- 
urable height. Salvation was wholly to be as- 
cribed to sovereign grace, a doctrine most hum- 
bling to the proud, the self-conceited, and 'the 
self-righteous ; but, at the same time, most en- 
couraging to the anxious inquirer and to the 
humble penitent. " Whosoever cometh unto me 
I will in no wise cast out." 

Thus we talked on and on, and the disconso- 
late man forgot his sorrows. We talked of 
Christ, and '^ the light of life " began to shine 
upon him ; we still talked of Christ, and he 
found him to be his nourishment and strength, his 
balm and consolation. 

When I lefl Howell his mind was as tranquil 
and peaceful as could be desired. I retired 
praising God for his goodness. This morning I 
have not seen him, but the answer returned to a 
message of inquiry was that he had had some re- 
freshing sleep, and felt comfortable. He request- 
ed me not to call till the afternoon, as that is the 
time of day he is apt to sink, and it is the time 
when his wife is obliged to leave him. 

I feel pretty confident that the perusal of this 
letter will not exhaust your patience, and that so 
far from complaining of its great len^h, you will 
desire the receipt of another. You may expect 


to hear again in a few days ; meantime let me 
entreat jou to pray for dear Huwell, that he may 
grow in grace and in the knowledge of our God 
and Saviour Jesus Christ. Pray also for me, 
that I may be divinely guided in all my inter- 
course with this interesting and hopeful invalid, 
so as to be, in the hand of God, an instrument of 
good to his precious soul. 

And now adieu. May the light of God*8 
countenance ever cheer you onward amidst all 
present ailments and all ministerial obstacles. 
Believe me most affectionately, &c, 

P. S. I should be sorry if I have expressed 
myself so as to impress you with the idea that the 
happy effect produced on HowelPs mind was at- 
tributable to my having stated truths with which 
he was previously altogether unacquainted. We 
know very well that before the natural man can 
really understand the Scriptures, his understand- 
ing must be opened. This is the work of the 
Holy Spirit, and I believe the Spirit did work 
with Howell during my conversation with him, 
and by means of those particular truths on which 
we conversed. I beheve the Spirit worked on 
these occasions with a power which this earnest 
inquirer had not before experienced. Thus it 
was that he no longer tomplained of inability to 
believe. His understanding was opened; and 
because he understood the truth, he believed it ; 
and because he believed it, he was made a par- 
taker of its divine consolations. 


To tlie Rev. John Stetenson, Cnry Vicange. 

Torquay, December 2, 1843. 

Mt yert Deae Friend, t 


I know that mj letter of last Tuesday will hare 
awakened your interest in Bfr. Howell, and that 
you will be pleased to have some further details 
of his case. 

On Tuesday, after dinner, I sat at his bedside 
for an hour and a half We were entirely alone, 
as Mrs. Howell is engaged in teaching in the af- 
ternoon. I found him beautifully composed. He 
had had no return of spiritual darkness or dis- 
tress. He had been occupied with much reflep- 
tion on the truths which were stated to him on 
the previous day ; and I could easily perceive 
how great had been his progress in the compre- 
hension of divine things under the teaching of the 
Holy Spirit. I ought to inform you that natural- 
ly he is of a very reflective turn of mind ; he is a 
deep thinker on every subject that catches his at- 


tention ; and at present he certainly manifests an 
extraordinary degree of inquisitiveness and docili- 
ty in regard to the truths of the Grospel. 

Of his own accord, and almost immediately on 
my being seated, he referred to our Lord's con- 
Tersation with Nicodemus, as recorded in St. John, 
chap, iii., and expressed his conviction that the 
being '* born again," which our Lord declares to 
be indispensable to admission into the kingdom 
of heaven, must mean some thorough and radical 
change in a man's views and character. " But,'* 
he added, ** when such a change is effected, don't 
you think there will be the consciousness of it 1'* 
I saw that in propounding this question he had 
himself in view ; and, therefore, with the desire 
of satisfying his mind on this very practical point, 
I explained our natural condition as alienated 
from God and from holiness, having neither un- 
derstanding of divine things nor relish for them ; 
and as there were at least some people to be 
found in every place who now delighted in God 
and in his service, and who did have a know- 
ledge both of the evil nature of sin and of the 
salvation which is by Jesus Christ our Lord, it 
was obvious that a great change had passed on 
them. I spoke of what is called conversion as 
a reality, which is only scorned or laughed at by 
those who are strangers to it ; and I mentioned 
that there were still such things as sudden con- 
versions, although, in general, the work went on 
gradually, as from the morning dawn to the per- 
fect day. I dwelt on the case of Saul of Tarsus 


at some length, and the whole circumstances 
rivetefl his attention. I then said, *' In reference 
to yourself, it appears to me that, although the 
work has not been so instantaneous or complete, 
nor accompanied with any miraculous lights or 
sounds, yet you have, nevertheless undergone a 
change similar in its object and tendency to that 
which made the blasphemer of the name of Jesus, 
and the cruel murderer of his saints, one of his 
most faithful and devoted servants. You now 
know and acknowledge that Jesus is your Lord 
and your God, and from the desire to serve him 
your language is much the same as that of the 
newly-converted sinner, ' Lord ! what wilt thou 
have me to do 1* '* To this discourse and its ap- 
plication to himself he listened with unbroken si- 
lence. His expressive countenance indicated 
how carefully he was pondering every sentence. 
At last he said, " I do feel that a great change 
has taken place.'* It seemed an effort to make 
this acknowledgment, but from the moment it was 
made he has continued to bless God for his won- 
drous mercy and forbearance towards him. 

I cannot tell you how great was my happiness 
when the poor dying man ceased to complain of 
/ inability to believe that Christ had died for him, 
and of doubt respecting his own salvation. It 
was a release from captivity, and brought him 
■ into the enjoyment of *' the glorious liberty of the 
sons of God," when he confessed himself to be a 
partaker of the grace that is in Christ Jesus; — 
when he openly acknowledged that there was 


such a change in his own religious views, r and 
feetings, and desires, as testified the truth of his 
having been " born from above." This was a 
mightj step . in advance ; for, so soon as he felt 
the quickening power of Christian principles, and 
professed faith in Jesus Christ as his own Sa- 
viour, his heart became warm with love to that 
Saviour who had first loved him, and so loved 
him. And as it is true that *' out of the abunr 
dance of the heart the mouth speaketh," so the 
lips of Howell were opened to " show forth the 
praises of Him who had called him out of dark- 
ness into his marvellous^ hght." (I Pet. ii. 9.) 

He now began to give a sketch of his former 
life. From a child, he said, he had felt an inor- 
dinate thirst for knowledge of all kinds. Of 
course he had studied hard in the way of his pro- 
fession, and even after he was established in prac- 
tice, his ardour in the prosecution of literature 
and science was unabated. He rose earlj and 
sat up late ; and, with shame and sorrow, he 
confessed that the Sunday had been too oflea 
spent in his laboratory, making experiments ia 
chemistry. Sometimes he went to church, but 
he did not go as a humble and devout worship- 
per ; the object in view was generally to hear 
some celebrated preacher. He also read books 
of theology, and had a particular liking for con- 
troversial divinity ; but it was merely to enlarge 
his stock of knowledge. All this time he lived 
free from those gross vices in which he saw others 
around him indulging. He was opposed to seep- 


tiuvDi t*> materialism, to Unitaiianism. In the 
applicatioD of bis iotellectual powers lo philoBo- 

Ehical and scientific pursuits he thought he was 
ring a rational life, and he was very welt pleased 
with himself. About a jear ago, from overwork* 
ing both mind and body, he began to break down ; 
there were symptoms of tenderness in the chest.. 
He took the advice of Dr. Morgan, in Bath, who 
was a pious man, and with whom be had been 
accustomed to converse on religious subjects. 
Howell went on to say, " The doctor used al- 
ways to be dropping some little word of instruc- 
tion or warning, and it bad all the more weight 
with me as I knew him to be & sincere and con- 
sistent character. At the aatne time, nothing he 
said made any deep or lastinff impression on me. 
Hy mind was still engrossed with toy favourite 
studies, and towards the latter end of Hay I came 
to Torquay for change of climate. There, in the 
liouse of the Rev. Mr. Stathan, with whom I had 
some acquaintance through ihe introduction of a 
fiiend, I met with Mr. Tedey, and in this way I 
was induced to oak his professional advice. I 
found him just such a man as Dr. Morgan. He 
■howed me great kindness and took every oppor- 
tunity of directing me to the Snvionr. And now 
I can see how much there was of the goodness of 
" ' ' casdng me into the hands of these pious 
ins. Surely it was God's own doing." 
all remained at Torquay, and recovered 
th amazingly. He returned to Bath to 
bis practice. He found a great arrear of 


work. He devoted himself too intensely to his 
multifarious pursuits; and he had not been home 
more than five or six weeks when his health was 
again very seriously impaired.. As the result of 
a consultation, he was now ordered to break up 
his establishment entirely, and retire for three 
years to a genial climate. Torquay bad done so 
much for him before, that he came back in Au- 
gust, bringing his family with him ; but, instead 
of recovering as formerly, he has gradually been 
losing ground. 

Poor fellow! at the conclusion of this little 
history, he honestly admitted that the first chas- 
tisement of his heavenly Father had not been se- 
vere enoughs Had he been able to prosecute 
his medicA profession, he felt assured that the 
warning he had received would have been lost 
upon him ; that he would have forgotten God, and 
continued to neglect his salvation. Now he 
blesses God for withdrawing him from the snarea 
of science and of human knowledge ; remarking, 
however, and very justly, that the pursuit of 
knowledge is in itself laudable ; but in his case 
it had been carried to an eiftent which he now 
saw to have been sinful, inasmuch as it excluded 
higher objects from that attention they deserve. 
The knowledge of the only true God, and of Je- 
sus Christ, whom he hath sent, is forced upon 
him as of paramount importance. And now this 
is the department of knowledge which engages 
his uncommonly active and intelligent mind. 

That afternoon, Instead of spending time in 


further explanation of what the Grospel is (which 
I had largely done on Sunday and Monday,) I 
spoke of its effects : of the peace of i^ind and 
peace with God which it yields ; of the holy joy, 
and animating hopes, with which it fills the 
soul ; of its power to purify the heart from the love 
of sin, to strengthen us for duty, to support us 
under trial, and to administer abundant consola- 
tion amidst all the afflictions of life. In short, I 
showed how it brings us into feUowship with God, 
and both disposes and enables us to live to his 
glory, as reasonable, and responsible, and im- 
mortal^ and redeemed creatures. It would have 
rejoiced your heart to see how readily and cheer- 
fully he responded to all that was said. He had 
the happy consciousness that these were in some 
measure the effects which the belief of the Gos- 
pel was producing on himself. You will recol- 
lect what St. Paul says in writing to the Colos- 
sians, of their faith in Jesus Christ bringing forth 
fi'uit, since the day they heard and knew the 
grace of God in truth (Col. i. 3-6.) The fruit 
begins immediately with the faith. Thus it was 
with Howell and he felt himself as in a new 
world. We had much elevated and interesting 
conversation on the mysteries of grace, and on 
the wonders of redeeming love ; and, when we 
addressed the God of salvation in prayer, there 
was a great call for thanksgiving in connexion 
with our supplications. I lefi him all animation, 
and very happy. 

On Wednesday afternoon I again sat with him 


for upwards of an hour and a half. His pro- 
gress in the divine life was still more marked : 
his observations were deeply experimental, and 
his whole temper and spirit were heavenly in a 
high degree. During the preceding part of the 
day he had suffered much bodily distress, but his 
mind was perfectly tranquil. I had recommend- 
ed the first chapter of the Epistle to the Colos- 
sians to his serious perusal, as expressing very 
sublime views of the Saviour, and of all God's 
.works as centering in him. He thanked me re- 
peatedly for directing him to this portion of Holy 
Scripture* He said it had given rise to the loft- 
iest thoughts that had ever passed through his 
mind, and had filled him with wonder. During 
my lengthened visit he never once complained of 
uneasiness or discomfort, although fomentations 
were being applied all the time. The high and 
holy exercise of his noble faculties, on the no- 
blest of all themes, seemed to drown or to drive 
away pain; and, when I made a movement for 
departure, he took me by the hand and said he 
never could thank me enough, et ccBtera. Be- 
fore engaging in prayer, he requested me to make 
it one petition to God, that the work begun in him 
might go on. He desired its continuity above all 
things, and solemnly avowed his purpose, should 
his life be spared, to Hve only to God. We 
spoke of his wife, who, to his unspieakable com- 
fort, evinces fellowship with him in his present 
feelings and experience ; and also of his three 
babes, whom he would earnestly instruct in the 


ways of Crod ; and of manj other things, which 
were all proofs and specimens of that '* newness 
of life" into which he had entered. Oh ! my 
dear brother, this was a sweet season, when both 
of us experienced something of that burning of 
the heart which the two disciples felt when Jesus 
walked with tibem on the way to Emmaus, and 
while he opened to them the prophetic Scriptures 
concerning his sufferings and his glory. 

On Thursday the continued happiness he in- 
wardly enjoyed caused him to feel better, as it 
respected his bodily ailments. I believe it was 
more a matter of feeling than any real amend- 
ment But in him there was at this time a literal 
fulfilment of the scriptural declaration, " The 
joy of the Lord is your strength." (Nehemiah, 
viii. 10.) 

I spent part of the afternoon with him as usual. 
He had been reading the Epistle to the Ephe- 
sians with great delight His wife and he both 
remarked that they saw much in it that they had 
never seen before; indeed, it was like something 
altogether new to them. I had mentioned this 
epistle on a previous day as well fitted to engage 
and gratify the reflective mind of Howell, and to 
lead him into the very heighths and depths of 
man's redemption. I read and commented on 
the remarkable prayer offered up by St. Paul for 
his Ephesian converts, and which is recorded in 
chap. iii. 14-21. 

This day Howell had been so full of holy joy, 
that he regretted his inability to sing; but, at his 


own request, his wife had read to him the thirty- 
fourth Psaim as a song of praise. Even in heahh 
he never could sing; but it was singularly pleas- 
mg to learn that he considered the singing of 
psalms as the natural expression of religious joy, 
(James v. 13.) 

Testerday (Friday) the dear invalid suffered 
great hodily discomfort, and laboured under much 
exhaustion. This unfavourable change did not 
surprise ipe, seeing his mind had been so much 
exercised, and somewhat under excitement, for 
several days; but he had neither clouds nor doubts 
to disturb his peace, or to obscure his prospects. 
He complainedt however, of confusion and stu-^ 
pidity, resulting from the amount of opiate to 
which he had necessarily been subjected. He 
told me he had had *' a glorious night*' His 
sleep had .been very refreshing to him, and dur- 
ing the intervals, when awake, his meditations 
had been sweet 

When I went to see him about four oVlockt 
(my customary hour,) I found Mrs. Howell home, 
in coDsequence of his requiring more than usual 
nursing. She was administering some nourish- 
ment He was extremely languid, but by de- 
grees, revived a little. I read various short por- 
tions of Scripture, and made observations on 
them, and rather discouraged his attempts to en- 
ter into conversation. But God's truth commend- 
ed itself to his heart and conscience ; he felt its 
power and its comfort I have never witnessed 
greater desire to hear, or more delight in hearing, 


or such a quick perception of divioe realities. 
There were no cavils, no objections, no difficulties. 
Although in one sense he was but a*' babe in 
Christ," jet he seems all at once to have reached 
a spiritual manhood. Many of his remarks were 
such as could only have been expected from a 
Christian of established character and ripened ex- 
perience. With the utmost propriety he might 
adopt the prophet's language addressed to bis 
God, *^ Thy word was found of me, and I did 
eat it and it was the joy and rejoicing of my 
heart.*' (Jer. xv. 16.) Texts were occasionally 
brought to his remembrance, which he had read 
or heard in the days of his ignorance of their 
meaning, and many times he has expressed great 
satisfaction to find me uttering exactly the same 
things as his kind friend. Dr. Morgan, at Bath 
had done. This he considered as a proof that 
the same Spirit taught the same truths to all the 
children of God. In listening to his remarks, so 
spiritual and experimental, and in looking on his 
countenance so brightened with the gladness 
which pervaded his inner man, I was induced to 
compare the blessed alteration in his religious 
state to that of the grovelling grUb which has be- 
come a winged insect. Re had burst the shell, 
and escaped from a chrysalis condition : his soul, 
now emancipated from the dark prison-house of 
ignorance and unbelief, was Soaring above sub- 
lunary things on the newly expanded wings of 
fkith and hope, and basking in the beams of the 
Sun of Righteousness. This idea charmed him 


• • 

exceedinglj, from his peculiar fondness for natu- 
ral science. He said it was a beautiful idea ; 
and he rocked his head on the pillow, and al- 
most wept with delight. He acknowledged that 
for some time previous to this recent change he 
had spiritual life, but it was in a manner dormant^ 

This has been a memorable week in Howell's 
history. I remained nearlj two hours with him ; 
but so intensely was he interested in divine things, 
that he could hot suppose it possible my visit had 
be^n half so long. He was now elevated in 
spirit, and his mode of address had become very 
animated, and yet he was quite patient and sub- 
missive to the wiU of God. Before kneeling for a 
parting prayer, he desired me to thank God for 
the present revival, — he meant the relief he ex- 
perienced at that moment from the languor and 
uneasiness of the foiimer part of the day, and the 
spiritual refreshment and happiness he w«s en- 

This day (Saturday) I have not as yet seen him, 
but am informed he has passed a quiet and com- 
fortable night. Mrs. Howell has been taken ill. 
She has had a great deal of anxiety, nor has she 
been wholly exempt from excitement. Dr. Tet- 
ley, however, thinks she will soon be well again, 
and that her husband, to all human appearance, 
may survive for eight or ten days. Until this 
day I have never happened to meet the doctor 
since he asked me to call on Howell. He is 
much engaged, and has b^en frequently out of 
the town to see country patients. He had no 


leuure to talk about Howell^s case ; Init, on men- 
tioniog to him that I was writing to jou on the 
subject, he sends Christian love, and suggests that 
it might be well t^ preserve this letter, and the 
former one, as there is no other record of God's 
gracious dealings with this dying man. 

I am sorry to understand that the fiunRy is in 
Tery straitened circumstances. Mrs. HowcJl does 
sometimes advert to this, and, having been ao- 
customed to tuition before her marriage, is now 
desirous of getting pupils. But Howeu himself 
has never touched that subject with me. He has 
got possession of ^* the true riches,'* and with that 
duraUe treasure he is satisfied. 

I shall write again ere long ; meantime befieve 
me, in the love of the Spirit, 



To the Rev. lomx Stktenson. 

Torquay, December 15, 1843. , 

Mt beloved Friend, 

• ••••• 

• • • • • • • 

With respect to Mr. Howell, he, too, is still 
aliye, and he lives to God. I may say he livdb 
with God; for all his thoughts are directed to 
divine subjects, and on them alone he delights to 

Last week, however, was a kind of blank in 
his spiritual history. I visited him daily, but, 
owing to the causes mentioned in my last hur- 
ried note to you, we had little intercommunion. 
The diarrhoea was very severe. He suffered 
much from exhaustion, and the necessary opiates 
stupified him. Although unable for long visits, 
he was glad to have prayer made for him, and 
generally expressed something or another, either 


to be asked of God, or to be acknowledged with 

I reallj thought he was eoteriog into the dark 
valley of the shadow of death, and despaired of 
renewing the sweet and interesting intercourse 
we had had. together. In these apprehensions, 
however, I was mistaken : Mr. Howell has- en- 
joyed sopoe respite from bodilj distress; and, 
although I cannot say that the progress of bis 
disease has been arrested, or that there is the 
least hope of recovery, still he feeU himself 
better, and once more his intelligent mind is aD 

One afternoon (I think it was on Tuesday), 
on inquiring how he felt himself he said, *' C^ 
thank Grod ! I am veiy comfortable. I have 
had a glorious night, and I have also had a glo- 
rious day. During the night I had severed 
hours of the sweetest sleep that could be ; and, 
during the day, I have been reflecting on the 
subject to which you directed my attention last 
evening.' I see that there is a reality, and an 
assurance, and an cictuality in Grod's word of 
promise, which invites roe to rest upon it; and 
this inspires me with hope." This prologue 
was followed by much important conversation. 
The subject to which I had directed his attention 
on the previous evening was Heb. vi. 16-20, — 
" For men verily swear by the greater, and an 
oath for confirmation is to them an end of all 
strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly 
to show unto the heirs of promise the immutabi- 


litj of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath ; 
That, bj two immutable things, in which it was 
impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong 
consolation, who have fled for refuge, to lay hold 
upon the hope set before us : Which hope we 
have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and 
steadfast, and which entereth into that within the 
vail ; Whither the Forerunner is for us entered, 
even Jesus, made an high-priest for ever, after 
the order- of Melchisedec." This passage I had 
read and commented on. It was exactly one of 
those passages likely to give his mind some em- 
ployment^ and to strengthen his faith ; and re- 
collecting the use I had made of it when writing 
**On the Pernicious Influence of Doubts in 
checking and blighting our Hopes for Eternity,** 
I carried the MS. to him, and read a few pages 
of it. He listened with interest. He said it 
cheered him, and desired me to leave it. At the 
same time I left with him a beautiful tract, enti- 
tled " The Bliss of Heaven," which I had that 
day received from Major Hall. I think he 
stated it had been recommended to him by Arch- 
deacon Hare. 

The next time I saw Howell, a new symptom 
of disease had manifested itself. He complained 
of a sore throat, and was just preparing to apply 
a blister. I had not seen him for a day or two, 
and observed that there was now an air of great 
thoughtftilness about him. I could read in his 
expressive countenance that something pressed 
upon his mind which was impairing his wonted 


peace and joj. I inqiiired if he had been able 
to look at the MS. He replied that he had pe- 
rnsed th^ first half of it with great care and plea- 
sure, and he felt oon?inced of the sinfulness of 
doubts, as throwing discredit on the word and 
promise of Grod. He- added, ** I know, also, 
from what I experience, that doubts will spring 
up unbidden, even when I am endeayouring to 
repress them ; and thej always haye a darken- 
ing and deadening effect. I suppose they may 
be ascribed, in some measure to the weakness 
under which I am labouring; and, perhaps, 
there is something of temptation in them." Re- 
marks like these show bow much his mind is 
exercised, and how personal his religion is, and 
how yery correctly he judges of things which are 
entirely new to him. 

Tou can imagine in what way I attempted to 
restore the stability of his faith, which I perceiy- 
ed had been a little shaken. He then alluded 
to the tract : Mrs. Howell had read it to him on 
the eyening after my departure. He spoke of it 
with rapture. He had since read it himself 
when alone. It had supplied him with heayenly 
meditations by night and by day. In speaking 
of it he said, ** I see that to be with Christ, or to 
haye Christ with us, is lieayen. The place 
where is of inferior moment. There may be 
heayen on earth." This obseryation struck me 
forcibly. How true ! and what a delightful 
truth ! and how seldom realised ! It furnished 
me witli a fine text, on which I expatiated for 


some time. But Howell was not elevated by the 
subject; he looked grave. At last, afler some 
besitation, he remarked, " I admit the truth of 
all jou have advanced ; there must be bliss in 
lieaven, and it is delightful to hear about it. I 
see, also^ that there is neither heaven nor bliss 
for us without Christ; and tny own reflections, 
suggested by this little tract, and by jour con- 
teersations, have been most soothing, and, at 
times, most elevating to me. But, admitting all 
this, I cannot subdue a continually rising idea, 
that it is premature in a person like me to enter^ 
tain the hope of this bliss. All my former pur- 
suits have been so exclusively of a worldly cha* 
racter, and' my whole life has been marked *by 
such forgetfulness. of God, and indifference to the 
salvation which is by our Lord Jesus Christ, that 
I wish for your opinion whether I am not de* 
ceiving myself in this matter." 

To this humble and conscientious statement I 
listened with the deepest interest. ' It was /evident- 
ly uttered with reluctance, and yet the uttering 
of it wais a relief to him. You will regard it as 
a fine example of that honesty and truthful- 
ness, of which there is so large a preponder- 
ance in his natural character, and which 
affords such excellent materials for ** the Spirit 
of truth " to work withaL I looked at him with 
earnestness,, and, instead of entering upon any 
discussion, simply put the question, *' Do you, as 
a poor, perishing sinner, really, from the heart, 
believe in the Lord Jesus Christ 1" *' Oh, yes !" 


he replied, and looked somewhat surprised at mjr 
patting such a question to him. ** Are you sure 
jou are not deceiving yourself in this 1 Have 
you the consciousness (k believing in him, and 
trusting on him, as the Son of God, and the 
Saviour of sinners 1'* ** I am perfectly conscioug 
of doing so. / am as conscious of believing in 
Christ as I am of being aliveJ*^ " Well, then, 
my dear friend, it is your faith in Christ, which 
the grace of God enables you to exercise, that 
gives you a relish for the bliss of heaven ; and 
this relish is a preparation for it. You never 
cotdd prepare yourself, even by a long life of re- 
pentance and prayer^ and sucli other services as 
are in your power to render. It is of importance 
to keep full in view that Christ is your Saviour, 
and not your helper. Your admission into 
heavenly Miss, depends not on a joint work to be 
performed by him and by you. Remember the 
words of St. Paul, — 'By grace are ye saved 
through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the 
gift of God : not of works, lest any man should 
boast,* (Eph. ii. 8, 9.^ Salvation is wholly of 
God's own free grace. It is all his gift; even 
the faith in us, through which we come to the 
enjoyment of it. Whenever he gives us grace to 
believe, it cannot be premature to hope for what 
is promised and provided. And there must he a 
turning point in the history of every man, who is 
brought out of the darkness of his natural con- 
dition into the marvellous light of the Gospel. I 
believe you have passed that poinW** Here he 


Interrupted me, and said with eagerness, **I see it, 
I see it. I am sensible that the whole state of my 
▼iews and feelings, in regard to religion, has ^un- 
dergone a great change; but i only feared I 
might be indulging a false hope." 

To find him maintaining such a watchfulness 
o?er himself filled me witli secret joy, and made 
me the more anxious clearly to explain his war- 
rant to participate in all the blessings of the Gos* 
pel salvation at once, and without delay. I quoted 
the words of our Lord, — " He that believeth on 
the Son hath everlasting life^ and he that believ- 
eth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath 
of God abideth on him :" also, " He that heareth 
my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath 
everlasting life^ and shall not come into con* 
demnation, but is passed from death unto life^* 
(St. John, iii. 36 ; v. 24) These pr^ious say- 
ings set the whole Gospel ^before him, under the ^ 
one term, life ; and it was deserving of special 
notice, that this life is enjoyed in immediate and 
present connexion with faith. He that believeth 
hath life ; the life which is everlasting begins now ; 
it begins the moment we believe in Christ ; this 
life is in fiim, and received from him ; he him- 
self is our life. " And you,*' I added, " who late- 
ly were ' dead in trespasses and sins,' as you read 
in the Epistle to the Ephesians, have been quick* 
ened together with Christ, and raised up to *new- 
iness of life.' The work is done ; your very faith, 
of which you are conscious, is a proof of it. It 
is, in fact, the effect of this new and everlasting 


life having been imparted to joa* Your faith, 
therefore, ought to keep jou in possession of life, 
and to give you the enjojment of it ; and I would 
not have jou, on any account, to doubt the reali- 
ty of the work which Gpd has been so graciously 
carrying on." " No," he answered, " I ought 
not to doubt,— «nd, indeed, I cannot doubt it ; 
but, if you will forgive me using the expression, I 
thought that your theory of salvation was too sim- 
ple— -i^ seems too easy a way of getting to kea^ 

Thus we got upon new ground, and I was 
drawn into a new discourse. I spoke of the sim- 
plicity which distingubhes all the works of God| 
as contrasted with the complexity of human con- 
trivances, and, as an eminent naturalist, he caught 
the spirit of this remark, and felt its weight On 
every priqpiple of analogy, the simplicity of the 
Gospel plan of salvation. So far from constituting 
an objection against it, is an evidence in favour 
of its divine origin. What creature ever could 
have contrived it ? " Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and thou shalt be saved." What work so 
great, so difficult, as the salvation of sinners, and 
y^t what inimitable simplicity in the me'ans of at- 
taining il ! But then we must not think only of 
the simple faith which is required of us : we must 
think who is the person on whom we believe. 
We must think on an incarnate God, — and, 
oh ! what a thought is that ! We must think on 
all that the Lord Jesus Christ has done and suf- 
fered to procure the remisuon of our sins, and the 


itoctificadon of our hearts, and, in one word, the 
enjoyment of what the Bible so emphatically calls 
i«iFE. Such thoughts teach us that the effect pro- 
duced, however great it is, h)as an adequate cause. 
And, besides, I urged him never to forget, that 
our salvation is not in our faith, but in the Sa- 
viour in whom we believe. Simple faith on our 
part is what God h^ prescribed as the one means 
or medium through which we come to enjoy the 
freely provided salvation. This is fitted to hum- 
ble our proud and self-righteous hearts : it conti* 
nually reminds us, that we have done, and can 
do, nothing to deliver our own souls from the 
guilt we have contracted, pmd from the punish- 
ment we deserve : it keeps us sensible of our infi- 
nite obligations to sovereign mercy, and gives all 
the glory to God^ dec. ^c '> Thus jrou see," I 
continued, " that there is no defect in what you 
designate ' the theory of salvation.* It bears' up- 
on aB its parts the impress of diviaa skill, as well 
as of divine love. And may I not refer to your- 
self as an iUustration of its practical working t 
You tell me every day how peaceM and com- 
posed your mind is. You feel relieved from the 
load of anxiety, respecting the paidon of sin, 
which pressed so heavily •» your spirits ; aq4 you 
acknowledge that, of late, you have experienced 
a happiness to wldoh you had all your life befiue 
been a stranger." ** True, very true," lie ex* 
daimed, ** All this," I resumed, *' is the natu- 
ral result of that faiUi in the Saviour which you 
ore conscious of exercisiiig. It is the actings of 


the new lifis which has heen bestowed on jou ; it 
is the commencings of that salvation which is to 
be eternaV^ " Yes," he replied, " 1 see what 
you mean ; and, certainly, I do feel as if I were 
just beginning to live.** 

Some of Mr. Howell's admirable little sayings 
I have recorded verbatim. I know you will op* 
preciate their power* And the substance of what 
passed between us, at this interview, has been 
sketched with sufficient minuteness to enable yoii 
to fill up the details in your own mind. The sub* 
jects handled were very important ; but t should 
Bot omit tp mention that I adopted, the method of 
confirming every doctrinal assertion by Scripture 
examples. Thus, for instance, in obviating his 
mistaken conceptions of the simplicity of the Gob* 
pel salvation, I referred him to the case of Naa- 
man, the Syrian, who came to Elisha to be healed 
of his leprosy. That diseased heathen expected 
some mighty and extraordinary work to be per* 
formed by the prophet : and when merely ordered 
to go and wash seven times in the river Jordani 
he was staggered and offended by the very sim- 
plicity of the means proposed for his recovery. 
But he was brought to know that the healing vir 
tu^ lay not in the waters of Jordan, or in any 
waters, but in the power of the God of Israel, and 
in obedience to what he prescribed by the mouth 
of his servant So, likewise, in removing the idea 
of prematurity in a newly converted man's en** 
joying Gospel happiness, or indulging the hope 
of heavoB, I quoted the cases of the gaoler at 


Philippi, and of the Ethiopiaa eunuch, both of 
whom rejoiced in the experience of Gospel bless* 
ings, from Me very moment of their believing the 
truths that were preached to them, 1/V^e find it 
written that the same thing happened at Samaria 
on a htrge scale. Very many people believed in 
Christ through the preaching of Pliilip ; and we 
read that ** there was much joy in that ct/y.**-— 
And it was manifest that these references to pri- 
mitiye Christianitj bh>ught home tlie conviction 
to his own mind, that he was himself experien- 
cing nothing niore than other men had expert* 
enced under similar circumstances. 

You, my dear brx>ther, speak of Hpwell as '* a 
fresh jewel added to the Redeemer's crown;" 
arid, from what I have written at this time, 70a 
will judge that he shines with an increasing bril- 
liancy. Notwithstanding his high talents, and 
great proficiency in professional and scientific 
knowledge, he talks with me in a most childlike 
manner on the things that concern his peace ; in- 
deed, he evinces as humble and teachable a spi- 
rit as I have ever met with. This, combined 
with his extreme desir« for information, and his 
remarkable acuteness and penetration, invests 
with uncommon interest the intercourse I am pri- 
vileged to hold with him. His mind is always 
occupied with something of importance — he never 
trifles; nor does he now show any desire for con- 
troversy or disputation. His aim is to acquire 
the knowledge of those truths on which his pre- 
sent peace and everlasting safety are suspended. 


He wants not onlj knowledge to satisfy the craT* 
ings of his intellect, hot, abore all, he wants £m>cI 
for his immortal souL And you can easilj sap- 
pose how much pleasore there is in dispensing to 
him the ** Bread of Life/'— expounding the 
troths of **the glorious Giospel of the mssed 
€rod/' according to the ability given to me. 

I cannot withheld from jou some account of a 
subsequent conversation I have had with Howell, 
which still farther developes the state of his mind. 
Tou may, therefore, expect to hear again from 
me soon* 


To the Rev. J. Stvtknson. 

Torqaay, Deoenaber 25, 184S. . 

Mt test dear Friend, 

My letter of the 15th and 16th contained a 
pretty full account of a conyersation I had with 
Mr. Howell some days before. I thought it suf-^ 
ficiently interesting to 6onimunicate to you ; and 
on the second day afterwards our conversation 
was no less interesting. So soon as he had re- 
plied to my inquiries respecting hid health, he 
said, ** I recollect your once saying something 
about the power of sin being removed, and that 
this was one of the blessings which the Gospel of 
our Lord find Saviour brings to us. I should 
like to hear something more on this, subject." 

It instantly occurred to me that this request in- 
dicated a peculiar state of mind. The topics 
which he had started at the previous interview, 
and the ways in which he expressed himself, led 
me to think that he was beginning to look in- 


wards, and that the discQverj of much that was 
sinful in his own heart had made him fearful of 
entertaining the hope of heaven. The informa- 
tion which he now requested intimated, although 
he did not say so, that some ** root of bitterness** 
was already springing up within him which he 
had not expected, and which caused him disap- 
pointment) and perhaps some measure of doubt, 
also, as to the sincerity or stability of bis faith ; 
at all events, this was the> impression made on 
my own mind, and it influenced the particular 
turn that was given to our conversation. 

I stated, generally, that the salvation "which is 
by the faith of Jesus Christ is of a threefold cha- 
racter : we are delivered from the guilt pf sin, 
from the power of siuj and &om the punishment 
which sin deserves. This opened the way for a 
discourse on justification and on sanctification,— > 
on the distinction between the one and the other, 
and on their connexion the one with the other. . I 
explained how it was necessary, from the holiness 
of God^s character, and for the honour of his holy 
law, that the pardon of sin should be accompa- 
nied with a declaration of righteousness. In or- 
der to our acceptance with God and restoration to 
his favour, we must stand acquitted of the guilt 
with which we were charged. A simple pardon 
would never meet the necessities of our casie, and 
hence the value and the meaning of those nume- 
rous passages which speak of the righteousness 
of Christ as the ground of our justification in the 
sight of God. ^* He hath made him to be sin for 


U8 who knew no sin, that we might be made the 
^ righteousness of God in him," (2 Cor. v. 21. See 
also, Rom. iii. 21-26, and Philip, iii. 8, 9.) As 
there is nothing in us to merit the forgiveness 
which we need, so it is only through the righteous- 
ness of Jesus Christ, the righteous One, imputed 
to us, that we appear as righteous before God. 
This is what is called our justification. It is on 
the part of God iEi sovereign act, which, once 
passed, is neither to be recalled nor repeated ; 
and, on our part, the active and passive obedience 
q£ the Saviour, — that is, his life of perfect holi- 
ness, and his sacrificial death, are accounted ours 
when the Holy Spirit works faith in us. ** Andy 
therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace 
with God through our Lord Jesu? Christ.*' 

I was anxious to fix his mind on the finished 
and accepted work of the*Lord our righteousness, 
and plainly to point out how that wondrous work 
was all undertaken and accomplished for us men, 
and for our salvation ; and to urge him to the ex- 
ercise of a continued faith in the Saviour, and in 
what he has done for us, as the only method by 
which the delightful peace he had been enjoying 
xould remain undisturbed. He was profoundly 
attentive, and never once interrupted me. " I 
see," be then said, " that in order to be justified^ 
our faith must embrace the blood of Christ for the 
pardon of our innumerable offences, and the per- 
fect righteousness of Christ as a substitute for our 
want of righteousness." " Yes," I answered : 
** were it not so we could not be saved at ail. 


And it is fh>in overiooking this grand truth, 
which you have so well expressed, that many 
Christian people are deprived of the peace and 
joy which ought to be their ^possession. They 
&ncy, that whilst they look to the Saviour for 
pardon,' they ought to look to themselves for 
righteousness.*' "Ah!*' said Howell, "that is 
important, y^rj important. But is there not pro- 
vision in the Gospel scheme for a deliverance 
from the power of sin ? God's people, surely, 
should be holy : they for whom the €on of God 
died should themselves die unto sin." This ob- 
servation led me to speak of Gospel holiness. I 
mentioned the operative nature of faith. IVhat- 
ever we befieve has an e^ct upon us ; and thai 
effect is regulated by what we believe, and by the 
liveliness of our belief. To this he cordially as- 
sented. "Now, then," •! continued, "whenever 
a oonvinced sinner believes that Jesus Christ died 
for him on the accursed tree, and that nothing 
short of the blood of God's incarnate Son could 
wash away his guilt, and deliver him from the 
wrath to come, he is at once constrained to hate 
sin as hi|^ greatest enemy, and to love his Saviour 
as his best friend. Here is provision for his sub- 
sequent holiness. He is sanctified by the belief 
of the truth as it is in Jesus, and also by the in- 
dwelling of the Spirit of Jesus, which is promised 
to believers." I asked if he had not often no- 
ticed, in his intercourse with mankind, that a cer- 
tain class of people are much freer than others 
from the follies and immoralities that every wherge 


abound. This he acknowJedged. '^ And do joa 
not feel in yourself," I added, ** that now you 
liove a delight in thinking of God, and a desire to 
serve hin;i, which you never felt before V^ *^ Bless^ 
ed be God! "he replied; ^'blessed be God! I 
can say that is true." ** Well, then, my dear 
friend, how is it so 1 Is it hot your faith in Christ 
as your Saviour that fills your heart with the Jove 
of God, and holy Jove prompts you to all holy 
obedience! But it is as a sinner you believe ia 
Christ Were you not a sinner you would not 
need a Saviour ; and, were he not a complete Sa- 
viour, you could not confide in him, nor rejoice 
in his work." He admitted the justice of aH 
this. *' 1. therefore expect you will perceive that 
justification and sanctification are two distinct 
tilings which must not be confounded^ The Gos^ 
pel, which provides for our dehverance from the 
guilt we have cdready contracted, provides, also, 
* that from the moment of our believing in the Lord 
Jesus Christ, we shall follow after holiness, with* 
out which no man can see the Lord. But the 
work of Christ for «5, and which alone is effec- 
tual for our justification, is quite different ffom 
the work of Christ in us, by which we are sanc- 
tified. The work of Christ, in our nature, and in 
our stead, is complete ; and, therefore, St. Paul 
says of believers, * Ye are complete in hinu^ In 
ourselves the principle of faith is seldom strong, 
and often is not in exercise at all. We do not 
>t^V . realise Christ's presence with us and in us; we do 
' i'liot sufficiently feel the intensity of our obliga- 


tiOQs to his lore, and hence the imperfection of 
our holiness. Our hoHiiess, besides its incom- 
pleteness, at the best fluctuates ; it ebbs and flows 
like the tide, although not with the same fre* 
quencj or regularity. But I meptipn this merely 
to warn you against the danger of resting on your 
own attiainmentd for peace of mind, or for hope 
towards God. Christ must be your confidence 
from first to last: and every feeling of remaining 
sinfulness about you ought to make you cling to 
him with greater thankfulness, rather than to drive 
you away from him into the dark and cloudy re- 
gions of doubt." 

This is the substance of my remarks ; and, in 
conclusion, I earnestly urged upon him the ne- 
cessity of abandoning all self-righteous depend- 
ence, if he really desired either personal holihess 
or spiritual comfort. " The more steadfastly we 
rely," I said, '* on the Lord Jesus Christ for jus^ 
tifying righteousness, the more successfully shall 
we resist the enticements of sin and the tempta- 
tions of Satan ; the more constantly we look to 
the Saviour, and leaii on him alone for every spi- 
ritual blessing, the. more uniform and satisfying 
will be our experience of the jOys of his salvation.'* 

Whilst I continued speaking, Howell gazed 
on me with an eager eye, and appeared to be si- 
lently scrutinising the import of every sentiment 
and sentence I uttered. I asked whether what 
had been «aid satisfied him that the Gospel 
scheme of salvation had a direct tendency to sub- 
due the power of sin 1 With great decision and 


•mphasis he replied, '* Your statements are irre- 
sistible ; thej are unanswerable.*' Of course I 
was de]ig;hted that he expressed his satisfaction so 
ftlrongij. I then requested him to observe that it | 
was a ver/ common mistake to speak of salvatioaj 
as^^i^re, — as something which awaits believers* 
in the eternal world. But he would understand 
that the faith o^ Christ puts us in possession of a 
present salvation, although the fulness of it will 
not be enjojed until the bodj is redeemed from 
the grave ; yet even now eveiy believer is really a 
redeemed man, redeemed from the cruel bond* 
age of sin and Satan, and brought into the* glo- 
rious liberty of the children of God. "Ah I yes«" 
he hastily exclaimed ; '* I see it,-— I feel it !'* 
^* Then, my friend, let us not close our «ye8 on 
the bright and certain prospects of a glory which 
is yet to be revealed in us,-^f a resurrection life 
when we shall be with Christ, and when we shall 
be hke him. But let us ever with adoring grati- 
tude remember, that by divine grace we are even 
neiw the sons of God»^^ He took my hand and 
thanked me most affectionately. On prayer 
being proposed, he desired me to pray ^* that he 
might have still more light, and an abiding com- 
fint in his Saviour." 

I saw him on the following afternoon : the visit 
was short He was labouring under much ex- 
haustion, and I had a headach ; neither of us 
was disposed or fit for a lengthened conversation. 
But I felt anxious to ascertain how he was affect- 
ed by the truths which had been so fully submit- 


ted to his coQsidenition at the.two'jH^cediog in- 
terriewB. He said he was enjojring great peaoe^ 
although his miod was somewhat confused by- 
opiates. I also thought proper to mention what 
had been my svspicions in . regard to the causes 
of those states of feeling which had induced hint 
to introduce the particular subjects on which we 
, conversed ; and he frankly owned that I was quite 
correct in supposing that, after the joyful sur- 
prise and delight occasioned by the first gush of 
80 much divine light into his previously darkened 
understanding had somewhat subsided, he had 
been tempted to harbour the question, whether 
all this wonderful change that had passed upoa 
him were a delusion or a reality. This was the 
origin of his doubt whether a person like him was 
warranted to entertain the hope of heavenly bUss. 
He confessed farther, that when looking into him- 
self, and examining the state of his heart, he still 
found many evil thoughts spontaneously arising 
which he considered to be inconsistent with the 
holiness of a true Christian ; and this made him 
anxious to know how the power of sin was to be 
removed. All this was exceedingly natural ; and 
to me it was interesting in a high degree, as con- 
firmatory of much that you have read in my MS. 
letters on the subject of Doubts. It was truly 
pleasing to hear Mr. Howell say, his own short 
experience taught him that his hours of purest 
happiness were those which had been spent in the 
contemplation of Christ. This reminded me of 


hb own beautiful sajing, ^* to he wU Christ is 

On Tuesday last I found him yery weak. He 
spoke in a whisper. In answer to inquiries he 
toM me that his mind was vary composed, and he 
had had a heavenly night '' My dreams^'* he 
said, '* were full of religion ; my mind was occu- 
pied with God, and I had a sweet night. It was 
heavenly; but,^' he continued, "the night before 
it was quite otherwise with me ; my dreams, were 
lull of sin.'* As he thus spoke, he became agi- 
tated;^ his countenanpe assumed an ezpressioii 
of indignant distress and repulsion ; he withdrew 
<me of his hands from under the bed clothes, and 
moving it rapidly backwards and forwards, as if 
driving from him some hated object, he added, 
** My dreams were of things that are utterly ab- 
horrent to my waking desires.*' Then, calming 
himself, he said, '* I wish you to tell me if I am 
jvsponuble ibr these dreams ; if I am to be con- 
sidered as the perpetrator of such wickedness.'* 
Of course, I had no hesitation in relievinj^ his 
anxiety on this point. At the same time, I could 
not avoid stating how inveterate is the sinfulness 
of our nature ; and how exceedingly thankful we 
should be for '* the great salvation " which the 
jrospel reveals ; and how thankful he himself es- 
pecially should be, that now sin, even in ^ mid- 
night dream, appeared, to him so very sinful as to 
excite his utmost dread and detestation of it 
This view of the subject had not occurred to him. 
It called forth expressions of devout and lively 


grethade to the God of aJl grace ; and he re- 
quested me to praj ^that this blessed grace 
might be cootiDtied and increased.** 

1 called at Beiilah next morning, and was in* 
formed that Mr. Howell was a little revived again. 
I did not go up stairs to see him. 

Thvrsdaj, the 21st, was his birth-daj. He 
entered on his thirtj^fonrth year. I intended giv- 
ing him a long visit in the afternoon ; but in the 
early part of the day 1 heard through a friend, 
Aat Dr. Tetley thoosht him fiwt sinking. I call- 
^ about my usual hour ; Mrs. Howell was at 
home — she had got a hdiday. In general, she 
goes to Torre in the aftemomi, to teach Mr. Black'- 
more*s children. She accompanied me to the 
ehamber where her dear, dying husband lay. He 
looked very languid and emaciated : it was evi- 
dendy an effnt for him to speak, even iu a sub- 
dued whisper. As we shook hands, I expressed 
a hope that, in the midst of so much bodily frailty, 
he had peace of mind. He answered, ** Perfect 
peace,** and, after breathing, he repeated with 
emphasis, *^pei^e^jMaee.*' His motionless pos* 
tore, and the placidity of his countenance, were 
to me like two witnesses attesting the truth of his 
declaration ; and truly, under such circumstan- 
ces, such a testimony was invaluable. He was 
experiencing in his own soul, and manifesting 
unto others, the fulfilment of what is written by 
the prophet Isaiah, ** Thou wilt keep him in per- 
fect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because 
be trusieth in thee,*' (chap. zzvi. 3.) I quoteii 


this text, and he liiade some remarkson the con- 
nexion between our exercise of trust in God and 
our enjoyment of inward peace. 

Mrs. Howell went out of the room to fetch 
some refreshment that was being made ready for 
her enfeebled ^husband. As soon as we were 
left alone, he muttered, with great composure, 
" The flesh is fading." This little unlooked-for 
speech produced a conflict of feelings in my own 
bosom : it was the plainest, and the first direct 
intimation he had eVer given me that he thought 
himself .dying ; and death is always a sad and 
solemn thing when it is brought near to us. My 
mourning was, nevertheless, mingled with joy^ 
on this occasion. I was really glad to find the 
dying man sensible of his situation, and still more 
60 to see that his ^' perfect peace" was nowise 
disturbed or diminished by the supposed near- 
ness of ** the king of terrors." I looked at him, 
and listened to him in silence. He presently 
added, *' I feel niyself sinking, and I only wish 
that God may grant me the use of my facultieg 
unto the end, that I may enjoy the consolations 
of prayer." 1 said, *' God will do what is best. 
Is your dependence still on Christ 1" He shook 
his head, and he tried to smile as he repliedi 
** Oh, yes, on him aloney 

Mrs. Howell returned, ft was obvious he had 
desired to spare her feelings ; and, therefore, no 
allusion was made to her of what had passed 
during her absence. Howell partook of a little 
gruel. I begged perniission to hold the cup to 


his head, and was faappj of the opportuoitj to 
render him that little service, which might pro- 
hahiy be the last ever afforded me. I spoke of 
** the better countiy,*' which is our destination, 
and of the glory that awaits us at the coming of 
our Lord, irhen we shall be " clothed upon with 
our house which is from heaven.^* I described 
this hope— this glorious hope, not as a thing un-' 
eertain and precarious, but as ** sure and stead- 
&st*' — a linng reality. As such, I urged him to 
hold it fiist ; for, just as he fixedly believed in 
the Saviour, he would have *V Christ in him, the 
hope of glory." He distinctly said, ** God had 
promised it*^ — ^meaning to express hb own con- 
Yictimi of the firmness of the foundation on which 
the Christian's hope is based ; and here our con- 
versation abruptly terminated. It was necessary 
for me to leave the room ; and as he was so 
weak, and, at the same tinie, so free fit)m men- 
tal disquietude, J judged it wisest not to return. 

On Friday, immediately afler breakfast, I 
went to the house, fully prepared to hear that 
Howell was dead. Inside the garden gate I met 
the two eldest of his infant children playing; 
and this dissipated my doleful forebodings. At 
the door, the servant told me that her master 
was rather better ; and, on being ushered into 
his apartment, I had the unexpected pleasure to 
observe an appearance of liveliness about his 
eye, that told how much he had revived firom the 
preceding afternoon. 

He was all alone. Mrs. Howell was engaged 


with her pupQs. There lay on his bed a pocket 
Bible, and a copj of " Jameses Anxious In- 
quirer,** of which he had just been reading a 
chapter. He observed that he had met in it 
with views of justification and sanctification verj 
similar to those I had ali^^adj explained to him a 
few days before. This little volume had been 
given to him en his leaving Bath, by. a pious 
lady, who was one of his patients. He valued it 
on her account, and often had it beside him, 
although he had never yet read the whole of it. 
In fact, he was able for very licUe reading, and 
latterly he spent what strength he, had almost 
wholly on the Bible. But he felt that he now 
understood this excellent little treatise better 
than he had done formerly. I could not help re- 
marking, that the time was when he himself had 
been an rnquirtr after salvation, as well as after 
other branches of knowledge, without his having 
any anxiety on the subject. The time too was^ 
and that not long since, when he felt the impor- 
tance of personal salvation so deeply as to make 
him a very anxious inquirer how he might be 
saved. But, by the grace of God, and through 
the teachings of his Holy Spirit, he had now 
found Him, of whom Moses and the prophets 
wrote, even Jesus « the Christ. Instead of 
being merely an inquirer after it, he was a par- 
taker of salvation ; and his anxiety had given 
place to gratitude and praise, A holy smile 
played on his wasted face as he said, ** Yes, in- 
deed, but still I have much to learn.'* 


He toU me that his peace of mind eontiDoed, 
and be spoke more freelj as a dying man than 
he did the daj befoni. I thought he was quite 
inclined for conversation^ had not the tenderness 
of his throat prevented him; at all events, he 
was intent on something that might prove to 
edification. He put tne Bible into mj hand, 
and requeued me to expound. I read some 
verses in the beginning of the first chapter of 1 
Peter. The subject is very animating and pe- 
culiarly calcuIatcMi to support the tried, and to 
cheer the dying. Christian. My own soul had a 
benefit in dwelling on *' the resurrection of our 
Lord from the dead ;*' and on the ** lively hope** 
with which his resurrectiim inspires his befieving 
people, that they too shall rise ; and, on ^* the 
inheritance'' which is reserved £iir them ; and on 
the power of God, by which "they are kept 
through faith'' until they are put into possession 
of their glorious and complete salvation " in the 
last time." These truths greatly comforted the 
dear dying man. We spoke, too, of the mi^ty 
power of Gospel faith and hope to bear us up 
under present and even under '^ manifold tempta- 
tions ;" and of that unquenchable love to an un- 
seen Saviour, which has carried many delicate 
females, as well as healthy men, to the gibbet 
and to the stake ; and of that insatiable desire, 
and holy assurance, of seeing Him whom our 
souls love, which gives rise to a '* joy that is un- 
speakable and full of glory." In such converse 
we mutually enjoyed a sweet and solemn season 

\, M r~^n-""^nr'~~i 

I ^f* ^^^<^* 


of spiritual refreshment. He asked me to p^ay, 
and renewed his request of the former afternoon. 
He particularly wished, if it pleased God, that 
his mental faculties might not be impaired, and 
that he might be able to enjoy the advantages of 
prayer unto the end. This led' to some interest- 
ing talk about a variety of other blessings, which 
it would be our privilege to implore, as pecu- 
liarly needed at the time ; and it was suggested 
that we ought also to offer up special thanksgiv- 
ing for blessings already so freely conferred on 
him. With this previous arrangement, we ap- 
proached the throne of grace, and poured out 
our hearts before the Hearer and Answerer of 
prayer. It was, indeed, an affecting service — 
necessarily embracing the past, the present, and 
the future; and comprehending not only the 
case of dear Howell individually, and our recent 
intercourse, and our anticipated separation ; but, 
on such an occasion, we could not omit the case 
of his wife and children, so soon to become a 
widow and fatherless. AH this was very trying 
to the fading flesh ; but when the prayer was 
concluded with his own audible '* Amen, and 
Amen," I found the dying man neither bathed 
in tears, nor manifesting any agitation whatever. 
His *' perfect peace" had not forsaken him. He 
rested firmly and securely on the Rock of Ages. 
There was no shrinking from an encounter with 
the last enemy; there were no regrets at the 
prospect of leaving the world ; no repinings at 
the overthrow of all his plans and projects for 



the attainment of professional distinction ; no 
murmurings against Providence for cutting him 
down in the very prime of life, and thus eadj 
breaking asunder the conjugal and parental tiesi 
to which his amiable dispositions imparted both 
strength and tenderness. Neither was there an j 
approach to excitement: his composure was 
something quite remar|iable. I am sure that God 
was the strength of his heart. . I am equally sure 
that great was his inward happiness ; but it was 
chastened and kept under subjection, from a 
continued fear of prematurity or presumption. 
And by this time he had been brought to those 
enlarged views of the Divine character, and to 
that simple reliance on His word, which enabled 
bim to cast upon God the burden of bis cares ; 
and meekly, nnd patiently, and contentedly, to 
resign himself, and all that was dearest to him 
on earth, to the disposal of Unerring Wisdom 
and Love. 

I have never attended a death-bed where there 
was so little of gloom : I never beheld a nobler 
exhibition of Christian calmness under troublct 
and of that heavenly serenity, amidst the length- 
ening shadows of this life's closing hours, which 
remind one of the soilness and stillness of a sum- 
mer evening, when the noise and the toils of 
human labours have ceased^ — ^when the very ele- 
inents of nature appear to be indulging in twilight 
repose ; and when the anticipations of midnight 
blackness are brightened with the assurance, that 
the sun which has set beneath the horizon will 



rise again in the morning, to cheer man onward 
in the. path of Hfe, and to clothe the earth with a 
fresh mantle of gladness and of glory.- 

It was not without reluctance that we parted. 
Neither of us dare say so ; but both of us evident- 
ly had the impression that we should not meet 
again in this world. Our hands remained locked 
in each other^s for a considerable length of time. 
I cannot repeat the words of kindness with which 
he expressed his sense of obligation for my visit ; 
nor need I repeat nqy own expressions of grateful 
delight, in having been privileged to act as a 
minister of Christ, in explaining to him the Sa- 
viour's character and work, and to spend so 
many pleasant hours with him in mutual Chris- 
tian fellowship, and in united communion with 
€rod. At last we did exchange farewells; but 
neither of us was aware of what awaited us. 
Howell, I doubt not, was in the expectation of 
a speedy release from his diseased and wasted 
body, and that his immortal spirit would soon 
depart from this scene of sin, and suffering, 
and sorrow, to be for ever with the^Lord. — 
And I, although far from being well at the 
time, certainly did not entertdin any apprehen- 
sion of being laid by. But, in the wise provi- 
dence of God, it has been so ordered that the 
dying man still lingers on, hanging by a slender 
thread, whilst I have been confined to the house 
ever since I saw him on Friday morning. I can- 
not think of asking his afflicted and much-occu- 
pied wife to take the trouble of writing to me, and 


verbal messages fiimish me with no particulars 
about her husband. I learn ohlj in a general 
way that he is verj ill, and at the same time very 

Should I afterwards hear anj thing interesting 
respecting either his life or his death, I shall not 
fail to apprise jou. In the meantime, this letter 
has swelled out to an immoderate lenjB^h. It is 
concluded and dated on Christmas-day, but In 
reality it has been written at intervals during the 
posl week. It has been the pleasant occupation 
of mj leisure hours from day to day. Let me 
hear it reaches you in safety, as also whether you 

received its predecessor. 

* ^ tt * * * 

Wishing you many returns of the season, witb 
much of the presence and blessing of Him who 
at this season came in the name of the Lor4l to 
save us, 

I remain. 
Your very affectionate friend 

and brother in Christ Jesus, 



To the Rer. John Stevenson. 

Torquay, January 13, 1844. 

My very Dear Friend, 

Since Christmas-day, the date of mj last long 
letter, a variety of circumstances has hindered 
me from continuing the narrative of Mr. HowelPs 
dying experience ; but from my short notes to 
your wife, and also to your curate at different 
times, you have already learned that he is both 
dead and buried. 

** Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord," 
and this is his blessedness. The spirit has return- 
ed to God who gave it. It has gone to Christ 
who redeemed it, and now mingles with the glo- 
rious company of *^ the spirits of th^ just made 
perfect" Now he knows in reality that to be 
present with his Lord and Saviour is heaven. On 
earth he saw, through the measure of light that 
was* imparted to him, that in the incarnate God 
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are 


hid ; but he had little time to search into these 
treasures. What surprising discoveries he would 
makfe in entering upon the world of spirits ! and 
how Inust he now, with ineffable wonder and de- 
Jig^t, contemplate his narrow escape from perdi- 
tion, and his safe entrance into that abode where 
Satan cannot follow him, and where he shall 
never feel the power of sin ! It is indeed a bless- 
edness beyond our utmost conception to be for, 
ever separated from sjn, and to be for ever with 
the Lord. And of this celestial blessedness I 
feel assured that our dear brother Howell is now 
a partaker. 

As a man he is dead : it is only his spirit that 
lives and is blessed. But the mortal body which 
has been committed to the grave in corruption 
and dishonour, to mingle with its kindred dust« 
shall also, ere long, participate in the blessedness; 
It shall be raised in honour, in incorruption, and 
in immortality : it only waits the **' voice of the 
archangel and the trump of God," which are to 
announce the descent of the Lord himself from 
heaven with a shout, when, *^ the dead in Christ 
shall rise first, and when all the living saints on 
earth shall be changed. I often marvel that our 
thoughts are so seldom and so feebly directed to 
the subject of the resurrection. Oh ! what a day 
of joy, of glory, of astonishment, that will be, 
when the whole church of the first-born, gathered 
into one, out of all tribes and kindreds of man- 
kind, and from all climes and countries on the 
fyce of this globe,— adorned with their spiritual 


bodies, fad^ioned like uoto the glorified bodj of 
their Lord, — shall live arid reign with him, and 
enjoy the eompleteness of the great redemption ! 

But I must leave you to pursue this train of 
animating thoughts at your oivn leisure. You 
desire to hear something more of Howell, and 
*^ trust that such a testimony may be given in the 
last moments as may redound to the glory of 
€rod." I think it is in mj power tp gratify your 
desire, and ta put fresh songs of praise into your 
lips for the abundance of grace vouchsafed to the 
dying man. 

You will recollect that when I left him on the 
morning of the 22d of December, after a very 
affecting interview, we took a kind of formal fare- 
well Each of us had the impression that we should 
not meet again, and so it has happened, although 
in a way very opposite to our calculations. I con- 
sidered Howell was on. the very brink of the eter- 
nal world, and from his conversation that day he 
evidently thought so himself; whereas the flick- 
ering lamp of life did not expire till the' 4th of 
January. But it never entered into my thoughts 
that the slight indisposition under which I Wfis 
then labouring might probably increase. Yet 
this was what Providence had appointed. I re- 
turned home from this visit, and was not able 
again to leave the house till the day he died. Dr. 
Madden had been at Beulah early that morning 
along with Dr. Battersby. He gave me permis- 
sion to go out, and said if I wished to see my 
friend once more I must go immediately. I was 


too late. I saw onty a breathless corpse ; but 
still it was beautiful, — so beautiful that it might 
have served any sculptor as a model for a repre- 
sentation of mental peace and corporeal tranquil* 

After the few first days of my confinement, I 
could not be satisfied with verbal messages. I 
ventured to intrude on Mrs. Howell with little 
notes of inquiry and of comfort, and in her replies 
the uniform assurance was given me that her hus- 
band enjoyed " perfect peace." Whatever were 
the changes and fluctuations in the syfiaptoms of 
his disease, or in his sensations of bodily comfort 
or discomfort, his spiritual experience at this so- 
lemn crisis underwient so little variation, that the 
nameof Howell has, in my mind, become asso- 
ciated with these sweet words — ^** perfect peace.*' 
The association is so pleasing and so warranta- 
ble, that should your {proposal of giving his reli- 
gious erperience to the public be carried out, I 
cannot think of any title so appropriate as that 
of Perfect Peace, exemplified in the dying days 
of John Warren Howell. 

Mrs. Howell has favoured me with some re- 
miniscences of his last' days. She says : — 

** It was his frequent request that I should pray 
with him, and I often made the effort ; but, be- 
ing ill, and unused to oral prayer, I found' much 
difficulty. He encouraged me with great tender^ 
ness, and expressed an almost celestial satisfac- 
tion when he found that I had prayed by his side 
while he slept. His daily request was that I 



sfaould make earnest petitions for the presenrar 
tion of his intellect, thut he might depart with 
the voice of prayer in his ear. 

'* A new symptom appearing, he said, — 

" * Ah ! , my love, these are so many steps to- 
wards the last bourn.* 

" I replied, * Yoa do not fear 1 V 

*• * No,' he .answered ; * blessed be God, all 
dread is taken away : I rely wholly on the merits 
of my Saviour.' 

" ' Can you say my Saviour ? ' 

*• * Yes ; my Saviour.' 

*' Every new pain he called a gracious token 
sent to warn him that death, and not restoration, 
was God's intention towards him. Sometimes, 
indeed, our wishes would get the better of oar 
judgment, and we would lay too niuch stress on 
any little amendment. * Notwithstanding mj 
present uneasiness,' he Would say, ' I am certain- 
ly better ; many of the most urgent symptoms are 
giving way.' Alas ! he did not discern God's 
gracious mercy in thus gently preparing him for 
die )ast hour, but took it for an earnest that his 
life was to be prolonged. 

*' When 1 congratulated bins on the opening 
of the new year, he said, * It will be a happy 
new year if begun in glory.' On the evening of 
that day he asked me to come and read the 
Bible, and talk with him. I read the first two 
chapters of the Epistle to the Hebrews. He 
called them * noble chapters,' and said they were 
a complete refutation of the Unitarian doethne* 


I asked faim that night if he felt himself accept* 
ed 1 He said, * I am afraid to speak so decided- 
ly. I have no doubts, no fears ; and, perhaps, 
mj natural temperament interferes to modify 
both my feelings and expressions. You know, 
lore, that I am reflective, not demonstrative. 1 
am afraid Mr. Pitcairn is not satisfied with me 
on that point, but you must explain to him mj 
peculiar character.'' 

And this remark of the dying man affords me 
a fitting opportunity to say how pleased I felt 
with his modest diffidence all along. When the 
truth of the Gospel scheme first broke in upon 
his mind, and he was made to know experi* 
mentally that Christ crucified is the power of 
God, and the wisdom of God unto salvation, joy 
was the ruling emotion of his heart. Then it 
Was he regretted his inability to sing: and had 
he not felt and expressed this joy, there would 
have been no proof either to himself or to others, 
of his having believed the glad tidings of salva- 
tion. But his joy, even when at its height, was 
still o£ a niost subdued description. In this his 
natural temperament was manifested, and very 
soon the calmer emotion of peace entirely sup- 
planted joy. 

From the moment that he began to reflect on 
his past manner of life, and to watch the state of 
his heart, he ceased to be joyful. This loss of 
Joy was the less to be regretted, so long as he 
kept fi*ee from spiritual distress ; and there was 
^e greatest cause fer satisfiiction, when his 


abiding peace was not marred by anj tendency 
to despond. I did urge upon him to resist the 
intrusion of doubts, and to rest on the truth of 
€rod*s word with a steadfast faith; but on the 
subject of his personal assurance I never remem- 
ber to have questioned him. Nor did I think it 
at all necessary, inasmuch as he was so sweetly 
enjoying and exemplifying the holy fruits of 

Mrs. Howell says, ** The last Scriptural sub- 
ject on which we conversed was that of the 
Ron^an centurion. He had forgotten the exact 
words of the narrative^ and he asked me how 
the centurion's refusal to permit the Saviour to 
come into his house could be accounted for. 
While I was speaking of this true believer's 
faith and humility. Dr. Tetley came in, and mj 
dear husband was much pleased and satisfied 
that the doctor should give the same explanation 
as I had done. I afterwards read to him St. 
Matthew's account of that instructive and inter- 
esting narrative." (See chap. viii. 5-13). 

His love for the Holy Scriptures became great : 
their sublime truths absorbed his attention, to 
the exclusion of chemistry and botany, which 
were very favourite subjects of experiment and 
investigation. But his mind was too active ever 
to be without A subject. A small Bible latterly 
was his constant companion on the bed. He could 
read very little at a time ; a very few verses, how- 
ever, supplied materials for deep and long-conti- 
nued reflection. I remember his once saying to 



me that be wished to reserve all his 8treng[th for 
the pure Word of God. The only other book 
he hked to have beside him was " The Anxious 
Inquirer," where he found much precious truth 
in a small space, and much that was particular- 
ly suited to his own circumstances. But were 
his life spared, he said, he would give himself 
up to the study of the Bible ; and as it was onlj 
small portions of it he could at present read, he 
asked me to recommend what might be most 
profitable to him. 

Here it is proper to mention that, on the 
second Sunday after I began to visit him, a 
hymn had been sung in Trinity Church, which 
I thought calculated to speak comfort to his 
heart ; so 1 put the hymn-book into my pocket, 
and went to see him after service. You have a 
copy of the same collection. The hymn I read 
is the i75th, beginning, — 

" My God, my Father, blissful name ! 

Oh, may I call thee mine ! 
May I, with sweet assurance, claim 

A portion so divine !" 

He was delighted with these sentiments, and 
this hymn continued to be one of three favourites 
which . his wife was often requested to read, and 
occasionally to sing, in his hearing. Another is 
the 248th :— 

** Stricken, smitten, and afflicted^ 

See him dying on the tree i 
'Tis the Chiist by man rejected ; 

Yes, my soul, tis be, 'tis he !" 


And the last that he listened to was the 

^ Jesust thy blood and rig^hteousnesi 
My beauty are, my glorious dress ; 
Midst flaming worlds, in these array M, 
With joy shall I lift up ray head.'^ 

These hymns having been chosen in prefer- 
ence to manj others, give a pleasing indication 
of the current of Mr. Howell's thoughts, and of 
the frame of his own mind. Christ, his blood 
and righteousness, was all his dependence, all 
Ihs hope, alJ his salvation; and in recognising 
God's fatherly care and love, he no doubt had 
respect to his wife and children, as well as to 
himself. His affections were very tender^ — his 
sensitiveness was extreme, and, therefore, the 
bare idea of separation from the beloved wife of 
his bosom, who had never heard an angry word 
from his lips, nor seen a frown on his face, and 
from their three helpless babes^ must have cost 
him many a pang. But these overwhelming 
sorrows he obviously kept as secret as he could : 
he did not wish to distress otliers with them. 
To me he rarely broached the subject, and never 
in presence of Mrs. Howell. To herself, she 
telk me, he spoke unreservedly, and with as- 
tonishing self-possession. He talked over freely 
with her the state of his worldly affairs, which 
are the very reverse of being prosperous; and he 
gave her a number of directions how she ought 
to act, so as not to inyolve herself in unnecessary 



troubles. He spoke also of his funeral, and or- ^ 
dered it to be conducted in the plainest and least 
expensive manner. He expressed his confidence 
that God would provide for the widow and the 
fatherless. Amidst these most painful and na- 
turally agitating comibunings with her whom he 
was about to leave a *' widow and desolate," he 
maintained the utmost composure. His faith 
upheld him. Even whilst he was undergoing 
these trials, Mrs. Howell could write to me, that 
her husband continued in '* perfect peace." 
The Christian understands how this should be ; 
the man of the lyorld must wonder. 

On Wednesday the 3d instant, he sunk into 
stupor : he could scarcely articulate, and was al- 
most insensible. His wife tried to converse with 
him, but he could not attend to her; she offered 
to read the Bible, but he was incapable of listen- 
ing : he complained that he had not been able to 
think of God. In the course of the evening, Dr. 
Battersby and Dr. Madden were both with him, 
and saw that he could not long survive. Dr. 
Madden asked him how all was within. Howell 
did not understand him at first; he seemed to 
imagine that the question was professional, and 
referred to the state of his body ; but when Mad- 
den explained that he was inquiring about the 
state of his mind, he replied in a whisper so faint 
as only to be heard by the application of the ear 
to his face, " Oh ! there has been a wonderful 
change ! — wonderful — wonderful !" and as if lost 
in the contemplation of what be was experiencing, 


and of what he was expecting^ of God's love to 
him, he went oirt repeating the word " wonderful'* 
for about the space of a minute. He attempted 
to say something more. Dr. Madden thinks he 
eaught the word ^^ peace ;" but he could not be 
sure, as the voice was so feeble. He never spoke 
again ! Thus, with his latest breath, he testified, 
in the most solemn and emphatic manner, to the 
wonderful work which the power of divine grace 
had wrought upon him. I know of no dying 
words that could have been more appropriate or 
more inapressive. 

He passed thie night in great tranquillity : he 
slept almost without interruption, l^arly on 
Thursday morning warm cloths were applied to 
his hmbs ; but it would appear he was himself 
conscious that the coldness of death was creep- 
ing over him. Of his own accord he turned 
round from the' side on which he had been lying, 
and, placing himself flat on his back, he first 
stretched out his limbs, he then closed his own 
eyes, and compressed his mouth, and folded his 
left hand across his breast.. The right hand he 
placed just outside the bedclothes, as if for a part- 
ing shake with those around him ; and, in this 
attitude, the last breath gently escaped from the 
chest at ten o'clock, without one feature of the 
face being distorted, or one muscle of his body 

Dr. Battersby had kindly been in attendance 
from an early hour, and remained until Dr. Tet- 
ley's arrival, about half-past nine o'clock. His 


presence at this solemn moment was an unspeak' 
able comfort to Mrs. Howell, and painfully gra^ 
tifyiug to himself. He once more prayed with 
and for his d3ring friend, and Mrs. Howell writes, 
''Notwithstanding the dimness of his failing 
senses, I think sufficient consciousness appeared 
to render it probable that he recognised the words 
of life poured out at his bedside by Dr. Tetley, 
whom he loved as a brother ;*' and she adds, '' I 
feel assured that all was peace, and hope, and 
joy with him» It was seen in the expression of 
his closing eyes, and in that calm and holy ' fall- 
ing asleep,* which those who witnessed it neyer 
can forget. Here is my consolation, nay my re- 
joicing. I have given him back to the Lord, 
blessing and praising His holy name, that he 
gave me such an example, companion, and friend, 
though only for so short a time«" 

And now, my dear friend and brother, after 
perusing this simple and faithful record of the 
closing scene, surely you will acknowledge that 
dear Howell in his last moments, did give forth a 
testimony which hath redounded, and will yet 
redound, to the glory of God* 

The funeral did not take place till the 11th. 
The delay, in some measure, arose from an ex- 
jiectation that Mr. Enapson of Bath might come 
to Torquay, and assist in the last sad service; 
and, as he has acted the part of an attached and 
most devoted friend to Howell for a long period, 
Mrs. Howell naturally desired his presence ; but 


I observed from the first that she had set her heart 
on that particular day, because it was the seventh 
anniversary of her first meeting with him, to 
whom she was married about two years after- 
wards, and whose premature loss she now so 
justly and deeply mourns. 

He died in a place where he was a stranger, 
'and he was attended to the grave by persons 
whose acquaintance had been made only within 
the last few weeks or months. But still they 
were his true friends, — ^they were loving brothers 
in the Lord, — and this must have been a, swe^t 
solace to the poor widow amidst the desolateness 
€i her situation and her circumstances. 

The whole of this interesting case is now be- 
fore you. I shall be anxious to hear your candid 
opinion of it. Death-bed repentances, in gene- 
ral, are not very satisfactory. "We are naturally 
suspicious 'of them: and all the more so, as we 
see many instances of people making great pro- 
fessions of amendment in the time of sickness, 
who, with returning health, return to the ways of 
folly and of sim But, with regard to Howell, 
there was such earnestness and ingenuousness 
about him, that a suspicion ot his sincerity never 
once crossed my mind. I have since heard that 
his general character was pre-eminently distin- 
guished by honesty and truthfulness. For my- 
self, I am constrained to say, that during upwards 
of thirty years of Christian observation and expe- 


rience, I have never met with clearer and more 
decisiFe evidences of a work of God*s Spirit on 
anj of the sons of men. And Dr. Tetlej tells me 
he has been present at manj deaths, peaceful and 
happy deaths, but any thing resembling the dig- 
nified composure with which Howell died he 
never befi>re had witnessed. 

I consider it quite a privilege to have made his 
acquaintance, and to have enjoyed his society, 
even in his dying hours. During one month I 
saw him almost daily. Our lengthened inter- 
views, our interesting conversations, are now past 
and gone ; but they have left a sweet fragrance 
behind them, — ^they can never be forgotten while 
my memoiy retains its power. And I trust the 
recollection ci his anxious search after truth,-— > 
his diligent and persevering use of means,— Us 
humble and teachable spirit, notwithstanding his 
great literary and scientific attainments, — and his 
astonishing progress heavenwcu'ds, after he re-^ 
ceived grace to believe in Christ to the saving of 
his soul, — may ever stimulate myself to '* press 
towards the mark for the prize of the high ccilling 
of God in Christ Jesus,'' (Philip, iii. 14 ;) and 
prompt me to ** give thanks mto the Father, 
who hath made us meet to be partakers of the in- 
heritance of the saints in light; and who hath de- 
livered us fi*om the power of darkness, and who 
hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear 
son," (Col. i. 12, 13.) 

The salvation of sinners is God's own work. 
May we not say, it is his greatest work ? It is 


that in which he will he chieflj glorified through- 
out the endless ages of eternitj. Let us give him 
glory now, for what he has graciously done in 
plucking dear Howell ^as a brand from the 
burning." And let us ever glorify him for the 
measure of grace he has bestowed upoa our- 
selves ! It is altogether of his own free and sav- 
ing grace that our <;old hearts have been wanned 
with the love of God, and with love to each other, 
and with love to the soub of our perishing fellow- 
creatures. May Grod grant a continuance and an 
increase of grace, that our faith in Christ Jesus 
may be strengthened, and that our love may 
abound more and more ! 

Believe me to remain. 

Tour affectionate friend and brother 
in the bonds of the Gk>spel, 




i>^^<^^^<»^<»<M»^»^^^»^^»««»»» V 

The b^ored friend to whom the foregoing let- 
lers were addressed had an unhesitating reliance 
^ on the accuracjr of all my statements respecting 
Mr. Howell. It would be unreasonable, how- 
ever^ to expect that other persons to whom I' am 
unknown should rest with the same degree . of 
confidence on mj solitary testimony ; and yet, it 
is highly desirable to inspire universal confidence : 
for, if any reader should question the truth of the 
narrative which is presented to him in these tet- 
ters, he is placed in a most unfavourable position 
for receiving that edification which is designed 
and desired by the publication of this little volume. 
I feel, therefore, a peculiar satisfaction in being 
able to bring forward two very conipetent witness- 
es, whose declarations cannot faiito remove doubts 
and suspicions where they may exist, and to es- 
tablish everyone in the. conviction that Mr. How- 
ell was the subject of a great and decided work 


of the Holy Spirit before he died ; ai^d that the 
** Perfect peace," which he enjoyed and exempli- 
fied in his dying days, was the legitimate result of 
those views of Scripture truths, and of that stead** 
&st faith in the Saviour of sinners, to which 
through grace he had attained. 

Mrs* Howell is the most important witness. 
She was quite ignorant of my correspondence 
with Mr. Stevenson about her husband, until she 
was a widow. But, so soon as she did know of 
it, her desire to see the letters was not more strong 
than it was natural. They were according^ 
written for : and after she had perused them she 
sent me the following note ;-*- 

Dear Sir, 

I return your lettersi-^those precious me- 
morials of my beloved husband ! 

Surely it was a gracious thing that the Lord 
should have put it into your mind to preserve 
these memoranda. They are balm to me, and I 
trust may be conducive to the spiritual instnic- 
tion and comfort of others. 

I recognize the subjects of these conversations 
which took place, even when I was absent, — al- 
most to the very wordd ; for it was my dear has- 
band^s custom to recapitulate these conversations 
in the evening, as I sat by his bedside ; and often 
with a minuteness, energy, and animation, that 
made me weep for my own inability to fi>llow 

I must take the liberty of adding, that the sim- 


plicity and truthfulness of your narrative are pe- 
ealiarlj satis&ctory to me, as beinff in harmony 
with the character, and with the love of truth, 
which distinguished^ in so remarkable a manner, 
the dear saint whom it concerns. 

Continue to remember me in your prayers ; and 
believe mc, 

With deep feelings of gratitude, 

Augusta Howell. 

Beulah, Saturday Evening, Jan. 86, 1844. . 

The other witness is the physician who was in 
regular attendance on Mr. Howell. 

With Dr. Tetley I am in habits of Christian 
intimacy, and it was through him that my ac- 
quaintance with Howell first commenced. I often 
longed to meet with him, that we might talk to- 
gether, and compare notes as to the progress of 
the good work that was going on in the heart of 
the dying man. But the Doctor was particular- 
ly busy about that time, and often called into the 
country ; besides, his visits to Howell were al- 
ways in the morning ; mine were in the after- 
noon. And thus, from one cause and another, I 
had seen Dr. Tetley only once, and on that occa- 
sion only for a few minutes, from the evening 
when be called, and requested me to visit his pa- 
tient, until after HowelPs death. His testimony, 
then, may be received as distinct from mine, and 
independent of it. 

Even now the Doctor has not read one of my 


letjters to Mr. Stevensoh ;' but, at mj request, he 
has committed to paper his owu observations and 
impressions iu regard to Mr. Howell's state of 
mind. And I do think every impartial reader 
must admit, that what the Doctor states briefly, 
and in the general, corresponds exactly with what 
I have narrated at greater length and with more 
of detail. 


To. the Rev. Davip Pitcairn. 

Torre, Jon. 26, 1844. 

My dear Friend, 

* In attempting to give you an outline of 
niy intercourse with Mr. Howell, I feel the want 
of memoranda, which, had they been made at the 
time, would have afforded many interesting indi- 
cations of his spiritual progress. I hope, how- 
ever, I may be enabled to give a faithful transcript 
of the impression lefl on my mind, desiring to 
write in prayerful dependence on His help, ^ho 
can, even by the feeblest instrumentality, accom- 
plish " the good pleasure of His will." 

Mr. Howell consulted me soon after his arrival 
in Torquay, in the early part of last year ; and 
from that time till the time of his death we had 
free and frequent communication with each other. 
He evidently possessed talents and acquirements 
of a superior order; and I do not remember to 
have spent an hour with him without advantage. 
His information on all subjects was profound and 


accurate, and his facility of communicating it exr 

The subject of religion was soon introduced t 
and 1 was delighted to find that he took it up 
with much interest. He appeared, however, to 
have studied this all-important and first busiQess 
of hfe much in the same way as he had studied 
the sciences, bringing religion to reason ; and 
consequently his mind was beset with difficuUiesi 
proving that the world by wisdom knows not God« 
Still there was about him a straightforward since- 
rity and seriousness which gave promise of the 
approach of a better state. 

After a few weeks he led Torquay, improved 
in health, and fully expecting to renew his pro' 
fessional occupations. I felt some degree of dis- 
appointment, as we had never got beyond a 
certain point ; and he appeared to guard so cau* 
tiously against eveiy attempt to draw the affec- 
tions of the heart, as well as the powers qf the 
understanding, into exercise, in contemplating 
•* the Gospel of the glory of the blessed God." 

In a short time he returned to Torre. His 
health was much broken, and every hope of re- 
suming the practice of his profession altogether 
abandoned. He had a correct estimate of his 
state and prospects, and sometimes spoke of 
death as not far distant. There was now a 
humble spirit, and a growing desire to appre- 
hend the truth as it is in Jesus. He felt that if 
there was any thing valuable in religion, it was 
something beyond what he had as yet attained ; 


and, IB the spirit of one eonscioos of i^oranee 
and insafficiencj, he now sought Jfrsf the king'- 
dom of God and his rigfateoasneas, exhibiting' 
the disposition c^ a little child, withoat which 
there is no entrance into the kingdom of Heaven. 
He continoed to studj religion as he had studied 
the various sciences, in which he had made such 
remarkable proficiency ; but eyery effort of the 
understanding, and eyerj obstacle to the recep- 
tion of its sacred truths, were now lost in the all- 
absorbing debire to know what he must do to be 
sayed. He began to feel the importance of 
prajer, and frequently asked me to join him in 
seeking mercy. At length his earnest longing 
for rest in Christ could only be described in the 
words of our Saviour's command, ** Agonise to 
enter into the strait gate." And his deepen- 
ing humility and growing earnestness gave no 
uncertain indication that the darkness would 
soon pass away, and the Son of Righteousness 
arise with healing in his wings. 

At this time he had frequent interviews with 
Mr. Blackmore, and often mentioned most grate- 
fully his deep obligation to him for the pains he 
took in meeting his difficulties, and instructing 
his ignorance. Soon afterwards he removed to 
Beulah House, and his loss of strength became 
daily more apparent I was sitting by his bed- 
side one evening, endeavouring to set before him 
the suitableness and sufficiency of the Gospel of 
Christ ; and with the view of encouraging him 
to cast his burden altogether on the Lord, I 


« » 

mentioned your ^x:perience in a time of severe 
ilfness ; when, unable even to retain a few ffordff 
of Scripture in the mind for a moment, you w^re^ 
kept in perfect peace, because you felt you were 
on "<Ae RockJ*^ On hearing this, he clasped 
his emaciated hands, and, lifting up his eyes to 
heaven, elclaimed, ** God grant that this may be 
my lot !^' I went from his* room to yours, and 
asked your prayerful interest and assistance. 
Like Peter going to Cornelius, you did w^ that 
you went without delay ; for he was prepared to' 
hear all things that were commanded you of 
God. The powef of the Holy iSpirit appeared 
to attend your message from your first interview. 
Peace and joy in believing took possession of his 
soul, and with only occasional interniptk>ns« con* 
tiiiued and increased to the last. 

I remember he told me that Mrs. Howell had 
sent for you one evening in consequence of his 
being for a time in a state of aimost *' black des- 
pair ;" as if the enemy here determined to do his 
worst, knowing that his time was short. I saw 
him early the following morning. The tempta^ 
tion had passed away, and tranquillity was fully 

His disease now made rapid progress, and he 
was conscious that the closing scene could not 
be far distant, although with a characteristic 
fluctuation of feeling he occasionally spoke of 
rallying again. But the peace of God rose supe- 
rior to every other feeHhg of nature ; and, while 



he coald only refer to himself with distrust and 
dissatisfiu^tion, he spoke of the Saviour with evi- 
dent dehght^ and was ever readj to hear of his 
character and work. Thus did he *Mook to 
Him and was lightened, and his &ce was not 

At length the appointed hour of departure ar- 
rived, and it was a scene never to be forgotten. 
He knew that he was dying, and had deliberate- 
Ij laid himself on his back, and carefully adjust* 
ed the bed-clothes. Every feature spoke compo- 
sure, and every limb repose/ Thus did this 
child of God &11 asleep, resting securely on tfie 
bosom of everlasting Love, without a strug'gle, a 
sigh, or a groan. We knelt around his bed, 
and committed his passing spirit to '' the Shep- 
herd of Israel," who had already given such 
cheering evidence of his saving power and gra- 
cious presence. Nothing I ever witnessed has 
made me more sensible of the completeness of 
the salvation of Christ. The suffering and worn- 
out body was now at rest ; and the calm, con- 
templative' countenance and attitude of repose 
reminded me of Dr. Watts' beautiful lines :— 

<< By strict experience I have known 

Thy sovereign power to save ; 
At thy command I ventore 4ow]i 

Securely to the grave.' 

*' Thanks be to Grod who giveth us the victorv, 
through Jesus Christ our I^rd." Nothing could 


be plainer than that in this case death was a con- 
quered enemj. But who conquered him t Cer- 
talhlj not that«wreck of his former self who lay 
before us. Mind' mid memory had fl^d; and 
had there been no *' stronger man" there, the 
departing spirit would have been an easy prey to 
the adversary, who had already given an earnest 
of what he would do, if permitted to take his 
own unrestrained course. But He was there of 
whom it is written, *' Forasmuch, then, as the 
children are partakers of flesh and blood. He 
also, himself, likewise took part of the same ; 
that through death He might destroy him that 
had the power of death, that is the devil; and 
deliver them who, through fear of death, were all 
their lifetime subject to bondage." Thus was 
the enemy of souls defeated with his own wea- 
pon — death; and the happy spirit entered into 
the presence of that friend, who, when on earth, 
was so wont to say, ** It is I ; be not afraid." 
Ever, my dear friend. 

Yours affectionately, 

James Tetlet. 

P. S. I find I have omitted to mention two 
circumstances forming important features in Mr. 
Howell's history. 1 never heard any thing ap- 
proaching to a murmur, fi-om first to last. And 
I observed, after his return to Torre, a growing 
love for the study of the ScHptures. I ought also 
to have said that he expressed the deepest obliga- 


tions to jou for the kind interest jou had taken 
in his spiritual welfare, and spoke of a MS. 70a 
had lent him, as affording much relief and oom- 
fiut to his agitated mind. 



The word of God declares, *' It is appointed 
unto men once to die, and after this the judg- 
ment,'' (Heb. iz. 27.) Sooner or later this is th^ 
doom of every man ; and surelj it is unwise in 
any one to neglect preparation for that solemn 
event, from which he cannot escape, and the 
nearness or remoteness of which he can neither 
calculate nor control. 

To a large class of persons, who find their plea- 
sure exclusively in the bunness or in the amuse- 
ments of this world, the subject of death is always 
unwelcome, and they adopt all expedients to ba- 
nish it, not onlyirom their conversation, but fix>m 
their thoughts. This is a common and a fearful . 
specimen of that infatuation and insensibility 
which sin engenders. To those inconsiderate in- 
dividuals who thus shrink even from the contem- 
plation of death, and who,^ nevertheless, know 
that some day or other die they must, there is the 
tniesC kindness in suboditting a question, whidi 


Hannah More* has clothed in very forcible Ian- 
I guage, ''If you cannot face the image, how will 
' jou encounter the reality V^ We could wish an 
answer to this' question. The image of death 
may be shunned and avoided ; but death is a re* 
ality, and it must be met. How 1 and what is to 
follow 'i Reader, pause, and consider. 

Mr. Howell had tried eYery way. For years 
he lived as entirely engrossed with the concerns 
of this present world as if he were never to die. 
He was of a peculiarly reflective habit : he 
thought much, and his thoughts ranged over a . 
. vast variety of objects ; but he thought not ab9Ut 
death, nor of that eternal world into which death 
is the. door of entrance ; although what he was 
. daily witnessing, as a medical practitioner,, was 
well fitted to force this grave and important sub- 
ject on his attention. In this respect he was un- 
wise, notwithstanding his high character for what 
passes among men under the name of wisdom. 
But the loss of health reminded him of his folly, 
. and the progress of disease warned him of fh^ 
approach of death. In these circumstances he 
, acted like a. wise man. Finding that he could 
. not face the image of this terrible enemy without 
. having all his fears awakened, he felt it was full 
time to consider in what way he should be able, 
without fear, to encounter the reality. He> ceased 
to shut his eyes on the danger of his situation, 
and now he applied himself with all diligence, to 
^< seek fpr the removal o(. sin v^hich, gives to d<§.ath 
its condemning sting. He sought relief in the 


Gospel of the grace of God ; and in the faith of 
Him *^ who hath abolished death/' the terrors of 
conscious guilt were subdued ;■ — in the faith of 
Him who is "the resurrection and the life," his 
hopes of immortality became bright. Thus, as 
his appointed time drew near, he could think of 
death without dismay, — he could talk of death 
with calm delight : and at last, in the hour of dis- 
solution, he neither shrunk from the cdntest, nor 
dreaded the consequences ; but, with the most as- 
tonishing moral courage, he arranged the very 
posture of his own body; and when the spirit fled, 
the lifeless countenance still retained the expres- 
sion of that heavenly peace and placidity which 
death itself had not disturbed. Who can read of 
his unruffled composure, and of his perfect peacet 
without the secret prayer, or the expressed desire, 
*' Let me •die the death of tjie righteous, and let 
my last end be like his !'' 

Ignorant as we are of the plans and purpoises 
of God, it appears to us a dark and unaccount- 
able dispensation that a man like Mr. Howell/ 
should be taken out of the world just at the time 
when he hud become most fitted for usefulness 
amongst his fellow-creatures, and when he had 
been prepared and disposed for dedicating all his 
talents, and all his attainments, to the advance- 
ment of the glory of God. We have, indeed, 
many philosophers and men of science ; but we 
have few Christian philosophers: we have few 
examples of eminence in human knowledge com- 


bined with derotedness to the service of God. 
We have not many men of distinguished ability 
and learning, who consider '* the knowledge of 
the glory of God, as it chines in the face of Jesus 
Christ/' as the summit of all knowledge. We 
have not many, excepting among professed theo- 
logians, who examine the word of God with that 
minute and intense application which they give 
to the works of God, and who study the character 
of God the Saviour with a deeper and holier in- 
terest than that wherewith they contemplate the 
wondrous attributes of the great Creator^ 

After his mind had been enlightened in the 
knowledge of salvation by Jesus Christ our Lord, 
Mr. Howell himself remarked, that '^ he felt as 
if he were only beginning to live." This was. a 
memorable saying ; and its meaning is definite 
and intelligible. He felt that his past Hie had 
been misspent — he felt, that now he was in pos- 
session of new principles of action ; and that in 
prosecuting even the same pursuits as formerly, 
he would be influenced by new motives. And 
had he been permitted to resume his elaborate 
researches into the numerous departments of na- 
tural science, and to transfuse into all of them 
the true spirit of Christianity, he might have 
shone before men as a Christian philosopher with 
a bright and attracting lustre, and, according to 
our judgment, been the honoured instrument of 
leading many up ** from nature, and from nature's 
God/' to. the still more sublime and precious, and 


satisfying knowledge of redemption, and of the 
great Redeemer. 

But it sometimes happens in the spiritual, as it 
does in the natural world, that the commencement 
and the close of earthly existence are almost sim- 
ultaneous. In the inscrutable arrangements of 
Providence, it is not unfrequentlj the case that; 
children are born only to die. Their connexion 
with this material world has justJbeen recognised, 
when it is again dissolved. They have scarcely, 
breathed the breath of life, and opened their eyes 
on visible objects, when death terminates their 
brief sojourn in the land of living men, and hur- 
ries them into the world of spirits. It need not, 
therefore, be a matter of * surprise, that, among 
those who are bom again — who are born of the 
Spirit, and become new creatures in Christ Jesus, 
some should be taken away in the very infancy 
of their spiritual existence. No doubt it is true 
that most of those who experience the new birth 
are spared to pass onwards, from being at first 
mere babes in Christ, to reach the vigour of 
youth, or the prime of manhood, or the maturity 
of old age; and, were it not so, the Church of 
Christ on earth would become extinct, just as 
the human race would soon disappear were all 
children to die in infancy. But it is possible that 
the number of those who are removed from earth 
to heaven, in the earlier stages of their new and 
better being, is far larger than generally sup- 
posed or allowed. Nothing like encouragement 
must be held out to postpone the great concerns 


of salvation till a time of sickness and danger ; 
nor dare we flatter anj with the assurance of a 
death-bed repentance. Still it is a blessed truth 
that the mercy of God is rich towards all who call 
on him with sincerity and earnestness, even at 
the eleventh hour. And it is pleasing to hope, 
that, in the exercise of sovereign grace, not a 
few who have wasted life and health in the neg- 
lect of the Saviour are, in their dying hours, con- 
strained to seek, and privileged to find, a refuge 
from the wrath to come in his meHtorious right- 
eousness and all-atoning blood. 

Let it be admitted, however, that the number 
is not great, we may affirm with certainty that 
there are, at least, some' who have barely begun 
to " live by the-faith of the Son of God," and to 
behold with enlightened eyes the wondrous truths 
which his Gospel unfolds, when death mars bur 
anticipations of delightful intercourse and fel- 
lowship with them as Christian friends and 
brethren. But when we are called to mourn for 
their departure from the church below, we ought 
to rejoice, on account of their speedy admission 
to the church above. Let such be our feelings 
in regard to Mr. Howell. We are not forbidden 
to mourn over his removal from a world where 
we think his sanctified talents and activities pro- 
mised fair to have been a blessing to other pro- 
fessional and literary men ; but we bow submis- 
sive to the will and to the wisdom of God, who 
is never at a loss for instruments to accomplish 
his own designs, and we may rest assured, that 


had the services of Mr. Howell been needed here, 
thej would have been secured. God has culled 
him hence, and for his own sake we ought to 
rejoice and give thanks. If his Christian pil- 
grimage was of short duration, it was distinctly 
marked by divine guidance, and by divine sup- 
port. If the bud began at length to open which 
had been slowly forming during the several pre- 
vious months, its rapid expansion into a flower 
of the loveliest hues and fragrance explicitly be- 
spoke its heavenly culture. In his case there 
was no dubiety. We could not err in estimating 
the origin and the character of that , change 
which his whole inner man underwent. It was 
none, other than the Spirit of the living and the 
holy God who raised him up from the death of 
trespasses and sins unto newness of life. No 
other agency could have effected such deep con- 
viction of gujlt ; such comprehensive knowledge 
of salvation ; such humble, holy, and loving re- 
liance on the Saviour of sinners ; such patience, 
and resignation, and fortitude under bodily dis- 
tress; and such mellowed ripeness for **the 
inheritance of the saints in light.^' On his ac- 
count it would be wrong not to rejoice. Even 
the angels in heaven rejoice over every sinner 
who is brought to repentance, because his deli- 
verance from sin and from Satan adds a fresh 
jewel to the Redeemer's, crown, and opens up a 
new and everlasting source of glory to the God 
of all grace. Surely then, we, who are men 
upon earth, ought with still greater alacrity and 


ardoar to swell the anthem of praise to redeem- 
ing love, and to rejoice over this our brother, 
who was lost and is found, who was dead and is 
alive; and who,, though so soon removed from 
us, after having " passed from death unto life," 
has only left the imperfections of earth to enter 
into the jojs of heaven. 

Blessed be God ! cases of conversion are not 
rare things. Under the preaching of the Gospel, 
they arc continually occurring in our own coun- 
try and in other lands, among all ranks and 
conditions of people, — chiefly, however, among 
the poorer classes. — comparatively seldom among 
the rich and the noble. And, beyond the circle 
of his own immediate friends and acquaintances, 
no notice would hare been taken of the case of 
Mr. Howell, had there not appeared something 
unusual both in his own character, and in the 
gracious dealings of God with him. 

It must have struck every reader of this little 
volume that before Mr. Howell arrived at that 
state of peace, in the enjoyment of which his 
earthly existence so gloriously terminated, he 
had previously undergone a diligent, and aiix- 
ious, and even distressful inquiry after rest for 
his soul. From the beginning of August, when 
he left Bath, up to the latter end of November, a 
period of nearly four months, the principal occu- 
pation of his acute, and thoughtful, and logical 
mind, was to discover in the religion of Christ 
that solid foundation of truth on which, as a sin- 


fill and immortal creature, he might build a sure 
and certain hope of pardon and of life everlast- 
ing» Nothing short of certainty on a point of 
such momentous importance could satisfy a mind 
like his. Arid as he laboured hard, and waited 
long ere he attained the object of his ferirent de- 
sire, it may prove useful to others to examine 
the causes in which his mental anxieties origin- 
ated, and the purposes of God in permitting 
their lengthened continuance. 

In the first place, then, it may be observed, 
that from the time the physicians pronounced a 
hopeless opinion of Mr. Howell's disease^ the 
idea of dying, and of entering into an untried 
and nei^er-ending state of existence, produced in' 
him great agitation and alarm. 

So long as health permitted the undisturbed 
ardour of his professional and literary pursuits, 
he found therein a never-failing source of present 
satisfaction ; so long as he gave no thought to 
the requirements of that holy and immutable law 
of God against which he was a daily offender, 
he had no influential apprehension of any im- 
pending punishment ; and so long as he under- 
valued and neglected the free grace of God, pro- 
claimed in the Gospel of his Son, from ignorance 
of his own guilty and helpless condition, he did 
not smart under the lashings of an upbraiding 
conscience. Like multitudes around him, he 
was conversant only with men, and with the 
material world. Practically considered, his con- 


dition resembled that of the heathen Ephesians, 
previous to their reception of Christianity, of 
whom ' St. Paul writes, ** At that time ye were 
without Christ, being aliens from the commour 
wealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants 
of promise, having no hope, and without God in 
the world." (Eph. ii. 1%) But this actual and 
deplorable destitution of spiritual blessings was 
not felt^ and therefore caused no distress. Th6 
calmness and serenity of mind which he general- 
ly enjoyed was not at all of a religious character. 
His peace and self-satis&ctipn arose entirely 
from spiritual indifference ; and from sinful inat- 
tention to the just claims of God on the affections 
and services of his rational creatures ; and from 
utter forgetfulness of the great day of reckoning, 
which cannot be evaded. Out of this false secu- 
rity he was roused by the announcement that 
disease had attacked the vital (xrgans of his body. 
He knew that a death-blow was given to all his 
fondly cherished schemes and projects for scien- 
tific discoveries and professional distinction. A 
sense of danger withdrew his thoughts from an 
exclusive attention to '* the things thisit are seen, 
and temporal ;" and he could not contemplate 
^* the things that are unseen and eternal," with- 
out terror and dismay. 

drhe state of great alarm into which Mr. How- 
ell was thrown by the near prospect of death was 
the preQursor of a state of pure peace and of great 
blessedness. It was the method which God, in 
the exercise of his sovereign grace, was pleased 


to employ with this gifted individual, to break the 
fascinating spell with which the study of anima- 
ted and inanimated nature had monopolized his 
intellectual powers ; and to awaken him to a feel- 
ing of personal concern with that spiritual world 
of wonders revealed to us in the great salvation 
which is by Jesus Christ our Lord. But the pe- 
culiar structure of his mind tended for a time to 
aggravate his alarm : and this is the more deserv- 
ing of notice, because many persons of weaker in- 
tellect, and ^ of inferior moral character, when in- 
fi>rmed of their dying circumstances, betray com- 
paratively little fear of death ; or, at all events, 
they succeed in quieting their fears by one expe- 
dient OF another. 

One reason for Mr. HowelPs extreme uneasi- 
ness under deadly disease we shall find in that 
resolute uprightness, that high conscientiousness, 
that unswerving love of truth, which were govern- 
ing principles in all his conduct. In ordinary 
cases, such high moral qualities act as a quietus 
to the natural conscience ; and might have done 
so with him aldo had not the Holy Spirit made use 
of them as instruments for the destruction of all 
false peace. His love of truth had a certain mea- 
sure of divine illumination to guide it. Thus he 
did not attempt to deceive himself as to his real 
situation ; nor ' did he wish to be deceived by 
others. He was dying, and he was not prepared 
to die. This was his honest convicticm. Not- 
withstanding the amiability of his dispositions, and 
his strict regard to morality, he never sought a 



mtfkable fact, and goes far to explain the pecu* 
liar character of his early convictions, and of his 
subsequent peace and composure. Long before 
he had anj spiritual discernment of the holiness 
of 6od*s law, and of the exceeding sinfulness of 
na, be never attempted to deny or to extenuate 
his manifold short-comings. He laid no claims 
to a piety which he did not possess ; he was in 
nowise tinctured with formalism ; he attached no 
worth to the outward observance of religious du- 
ties in which the heart was not engaged; he 
knew how far. removed he was from moral per- 
fection. He was well aware that he had neither 
feared, nor loved, nor obeyed Grod as he ought to 
have done ; and, with all these convictions and 
impressions, his conscientiousness, which had 
formerly administered peace and comfort to his 
mind in his intercourse with mankind, became a 
humbling reprover to him, and a ceaseless tor- 
menter, when he found that he had to deal with 
his Maker. 

There was safety amidst this distress to which 
Mr. Howell was subjected. Had his mind been 
differently constituted, unless proportionately am- 
ple supplies of grace had been vouchsafed, he 
might have been tempted to indulge a delusive 
satisfaction with the inoffensiveneSs of his studies 
and avocations, or with the conscious integrity of 
his conduct, or with the estimation in which he 
was held by his friends and associates. In this 
snare multitudes are caught who gladly suffer 


themselves to be deluded, and who thus descend 
to the grave with a lie in their right hand. Most 
men are prone to overvalue their own paltry and 
imperfect performances, and to overlook the strict 
demands of the divine law. But it was otherwise 
with Mr. Howell. He saw nothing in himself re- 
sembling that holiness which God iiequires of all 
who would approach unto him, neither could he 
rest contented with those vague expectations of 
dwine mercy and forbearance^ which quiet the 
fears of manj djing sinners. He did think of 
God ; but he thought candidly of his justice as 
well as of his mercy ; of his faithfulness as well 
as of his forbearance : and such thoughts trou- 
bled him, because he felt that he could not stand 
the scrutiny of a just and faithful God. He was 
also necessitated to think of death, judgment, and 
eternity ; and in the consideration of these sut>- 
jects he was overwhelmed. Hence it is obvious 
that the honesty and candour which he brought 
to the examiination of his own state and prospects 
operated very powerfully in causing and increas- 
ing his mental distress. But the anguish and 
alarm under which he suffered were amply com- 
pensated by his freedom from a self-righteous spi- 
rit, which, in general, is the greatest obstacle to 
the reception of a gratuitous salvation ; and by 
his possession of that humility and self-abase- 
ment, which dispose a man to Iqpk for relief out 
of himsel£ 

Some persons niay imagine that Mr. Howell's 


high intellectual faculties miglit have raised l)im 
out of the uneasiness and fears, to which the de- 
licacy of his moral sense subjected him. This, 
howe?er, is quite a mistake. On the contniiy, 
the ptfculiar character of his mind explains the 
reason why he could not shake off his agitating 
apprehensions. We have seen that he was dis- 
tinguished by an excessive inquisitiveness, by 
profound reflection, by unwavering truthfulness, 
by energetic perseverance, and by great logical 
acumen. These mental properties, in their united 
activity, had often secured his success in the in- 
vestigation of scientific subjects. But, so far 
from facilitating his attainment of that good hope 
for, another world, which, as a dying man, was 
indispensable to his peace, they were the very 
cause of a continual succession of difficulties and 
hinderances; for, the more he inquired into the 
moral character of God, and the deeper he re- 
flected on the principles of rectitude, which must 
regulate' his moral government of his creatures, 
the distance betiareen God and himself seemed 
to increase. The more he pondered over his 
own diseased and dying condition, proofs of his 
sinfulness multiplied upon him; and, the more he 
impartially considered the justice of God's threat- 
ened punishment of sin, the difficulty of being 
saved appeared the greater. The more he tried 
to grasp the immensity of an eternal existence, 
and the more intensely he felt the paramount im- 
portance of personal salvation, the insignificance 

eoNCLVsioN. l&T 

vad insufficiency of all human means of deliver- 
ance became painfully manifest to him. 

But his attention had been directed, even be- 
fore his illness, to the Gospel of our Lord. Jesus 
Christ,*— that only true foundation of a sinner's 
hope towards God, — ^the only fountain that sends 
forth a pure and enduring blessing. to the dis- 
tressed. And it is true that, after his arrival at 
Torre, his mind was often soothed when hearing 
of the love of God to his guilty creatures, in send- 
ing his well-beloved Son as their Saviour. Yes; 
it did soothe him to hear of an atonement for hu- 
man transgressions, whereby the justice of God is 
satis^ed ; and of a perfect righteousness wrought 
out in their behalf, wherdn even the chief of 
sinners may find acceptance with God. These 
wondrous truths excited his interest and his grati- 
tude; but still they fiiiied to yield him the satis- 
&ction he required, because, however vigorously 
he applied his understanding to their compre- 
hension, they produced no moral influence upon 
his affections. His heart, as he afterwards con- 
fessed, remained untouched. His natural incre- 
dulity and demand for proof was a barrier in the 
way of his realising the love of God so marvel- 
lously exhibited. He did not feel himself to be 
the object of this love. He could not appropri- 
ate the atoning sacrifice and meritorious right- 
eousness of Christ as the ground of his own jus- 
tification. He could not believe in Christ as a 
Saviour to himself. Thus, at that, initiatory pe- 
riod of bis spiritual histoiy, because of his inm- 


biKty to belieye it, that Gospel which is the power 
of Grod, and the wbdom of God unto salvation, 
was nothing better in his experience than a 
{^easing but profitless speculation. His heart 
was not jet opened to receive it It did not pa- 
cify his conscience-— it gave him no assurance of 
being forgiven — ^it did not secure him of admission 
into a world of happiness and life, when he 
should leave this world of sin and death. He 
flaw that other people with whom he had inter- 
course did believe this Gospel, and that they had 
" joj and peace in believing.*' But this rather 
augmented than diminished the uneasiness with 
wluch he was oppressed ; and thus the fitutless 
efforts of his own extraordinary intellect were 
well calculated to teach himself a most instruct- 
ive lesson, which, it is to be hoped may not be lost 
on others. For, whether he fixed his attention 
on the want of righteousness in himself, or on the 
all-perfect righteousness which is in Christ Jesus, 
as the sinner's surety, instead of obtaining the 
satisfaction which he so eagerly and so honestly 
(desired, he suffered a greater degree of mental 
disquietude than is usual with other inquirers, 
whose conscientiousness is less active, or who 
think less profoundly, or whose reason 3rields 
more easily to argument. 

We know there are people in the world whose 
mental obtuseness is so decided, or whose moral 
sensibility is so deficient, that the prospect of death 
neither intimidates nor appab them. Certainly 


Mr. Howell did not belong to that pitiable class 
of human beings. But, although it has been 
shown that the peculiar construction of his noble 
mind increased, and could not remove the alarm 
into which the knowledge of his dangerous situ- 
ation had thrown him, yet we ought to believe 
it was the grace of God that awakened him to 
that sense of his sinfulness which made the thought 
of death so terrible. Thus his alarm, however 
trying and painful, was the commencement of 
blessing to his soul; and, no doubt, had it pleas- 
ed God to bestow it, a larger measure of grace 
at first would not only have convinced him of his 
sins, and of t(ie danger to which they exposed 
him, but speedily conducted him to that know- 
ledge, and faith, and love of the Saviour, which 
is the peaceful haven of safety for tempest-tossed 
and afflicted sinners. That haven he was des- 
tined to reach ; and there^ at length, when he 
had escaped from the inward storm, he did enjoy 
*' a great calm." But the purposes of God, in 
Inference to this talented and interesting man, 
while they were fraught with the richest mercies 
for time and for eternity, were slowly developed, as 
if with the avowed design of setting forth in a con- 
spicuous way the foolishness of human wisdom, 
and the impotency of even the highest intellectual 
powers, to silence the condemning voice of a 
guilty conscience, or to irradiate the gloom of • 
death with the gladdening hope of a new, and a 
better, and an endless life. 
It was good for Mr. Howell himself Jlo learn 


how little his own unaided abilities and accom- 
plishments could forward or secure bis everlasting 
salvation. It was necessary for him to know 
experimentaHj that *' the natural man receiveth 
not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are 
foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, 
because they are spiritually discerned,^' (1 Cor. 
ii. 14.) This humbling lesson prepared the way 
for another still more humbling to the proud 
heart of an unrenewed man. But let us mark 
how wise it was in God to teach him» in the 
manner best suited to his natural genius, and to 
his . studious habits, those doctrines of salvation 
by free and unmerited grace, which are the very 
glory of the Gospel dbpensation. He was left 
for a time — ^fer a long time, to exercise his 
inquisitiveness, his reflectiveness, his patient rea- 
soning, his persevering research, on the all- 
important topic of hqw a sinner is to be pardoned 
and reconciled unto God consistently with his 
holiness and justice, and how he himself miglit 
be delivered from the bondage of the fear of death. 
During all this time of inquiry he was diligently 
using the proper means of grace. But his 
prayefs were not answered as he expected; and 
his Scripture readings and religious conversations 
did not bring him. the relief he needed. Still, 
though he might be unconscious of it, a great 
work was going on. He w^s growing in humil- 
ity, in teachableness, in earnestness, and in 
dependence upon God. This was the training to 
which h%wa8 so wisely subjected, and now the 


abundance of grace was vouchsafed unto him* 
He no longer had to complain that his heart 
remained untouched. The fire of divine love 
had touched it ; and its blindness was enlightened, 
its obduracy was softened, its emnitj was sub- 
dued. * The pride of intellect was cast at the foot 
of the cross of Christ The teaching of the Holy 
Spirit brought him at once to understand, and 
appreciate, and believe those doctrines of the 
cross which gave to his mind that rest, and 
satisfaction, and comfort, for which, in the 
strength of his own intellectual faculties, he had 
laboured so long in vain. " The truth as it is in 
Jesus'' commended itself to his judgment, and to 
his conscience. He received it without hesi- 
tation, and with all thankfulness; and» as has 
been well illustrated in the Introduction, it was 
just as natural, after he experienced spiritual 
illumination, that he should have entered so 
readily and so fully into the enjoyment of " perfect 
peace,'' as it was that, without it, he should have 
continued in a state of spiritual darkness and 
distress. Such was the constitution, or tempera- 
ment of his mind, that he had no rest until the 
Spirit of God discovered to him the tiiuth he 
was in pursuit of to rest upon. But having once 
found the truth, he held it fast, and in its posses- 
sion he enjoyed the fulness of its blessings. 

The Letters addressed to Mr. Stevenson 
contain the record only of what may be termed 
the Christian experience of Mr. Howell. They 


exhibit the commencement, the pro^ss, and the 
close of his bright career as a Christian man; and 
it was inconsistent with the plan of The Bio- 
graphical Sketch which is pre6zed to the 
Letters to do more than briefly state the fact, 
that he contmued for some months, after his 
return to Devonshire, to suffer more or less of 
mental agitation or anxiety. It appeared, there- 
fore, to be essentia] to a correct understanding 
of his case, that, in winding up the narrative, 
there should be presented to the consideration of 
the reader some specific details of that intellectual 
and spiritual discipline which he underwent, be- 
fore he was enabled calmly to repoise on the bosom 
of God*s forgiving love, and to descend into the 
corruption of the grave *4n sure and certain hope 
of the resurrection to eternal life, through our 
Lord Jesus Christ." 

And now it is most fervently desired that every 
reader, and especially ewery man of like mind and 
similar pursuits, may profit by the lessons which 
the experience of Mr. Howell so plainly enforces. 

1. How utterly important in the matter of 
salvation are the noblest intellectual powers, the 
most extensive attainments in secular or scientific 
pursuits, the most blameless moral behaviour, or 
the highest place in the estimation of friends and 
acquaintances ! These are valuable possessions 
in respect of " the Ufe that now is :*' and, so far 
as they can enrich, Mr. Howell was rich indeed. 
But in reference to "the life which is to come," — 
that awfiil hereafter, to the brink of which disease 


had brought him, he found them to be entirely 
worthless ; and so will every one ^ho, with equal 
honesty and earnestness, thinks of God, and of 
death, and of eternity. It is, indeed, a hard and 
humiliating lesson ; but it is needful to all raen^ 
whether rich or poor, whether learned or unlearn- 
ed ; for there is no safety, no peace, no hope for 
any awakened sinner, until he feels ftnd confesses 
that in regard to his deliverance from guilt and 
its consequences, *4t is not of him that wiUeth, 
nor of him that runneth, but of God that showcth 
mercy,** (Rom. ix. 16.j 

2. And how omnipotent is that grace of God 
which brings to As salvation ! So soon as it pleas* 
ed God to work effectually by his Spirit on the un- 
derstanding, and on the will, and on the affections 
of Mr. Howell, a great and happy change took 
place. Every barrier was broken down ; every 
obstacle was removed ; every difficulty vanished. 
The way of a sinner*s return to God stood wide 
open before him. He saw that Christ himself was 
the way ; he felt the Holy Spirit was his guide ; 
and now he wte no longer faithless, but believing. 
Here is another humbling lesson to man, — he 
must submit to receive salvation wholly as a free 
gift. But, oh ! how thankful should a sinner be 
to be saved on any terms ! how thankful should 
a sinner be that salvation is the work of God! 
Nothing short of that Almighty power, which at 
first created man in the image of his Maker, can 
renew what sin has defaced. Nothing less. pow- 
erful than that omnipotent word which called the 


material aniverse into being can transform tbe 
fidlen sons of Adam into ''new creatures in Christ 
Jesus.*' Hence we read that ''the Gospel of 
Christ** is " the power of God unto saltation', 
unto every one that believeth,'* (Horn. i. 16.) 
Again, " the preaching of the Cross** is " thk 
POWER OF God,** (1 Cor. L 18.) And in exact' 
barmonj with these doctrinal statements, St. Paul 
prays for the Ephesians, that they might know 


POWER to us-ward who believe, according to tbe 
working of HIS mighty power, which he wrought 
in Christ when he raised him from the dead,** 
&c (Eph. i. 18—22.) Truly tMs is a very re- 
markable and most emphatic passage of Scrip- 
ture ! It sets before us this wondrousf truth, that 
every sinner who believes in Christ for salvation 
has been made to experience, not merely " the 
power of God,** nor yet " the greatness of his pow- 
er,** but " the exceeding greatness of his power ; 
and, oh ! how important it is to "know** that un- 
til Wte do experience the omnipotence of divine 
grace, we never shall believe in the Saviour Whom 
God hath sent to bless us. 

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the 
grand remedial scheme for man *s moral and spirit- 
ual maladies, is, " the power of God.** How en- 
couraging is this ! the belief of it will inspire a 
feeling of security. " If God be for us, who can 
be against us 1 ** (Rom. viii. 31.) But let it be 
remembered that the same omnipotence which has 
provided t)^a remedy must also applif it. The 




grace of God, which brings salvation to. tis,. must 
likewise work faith in us. " For by grace are ye 
saved through faith j and that not of yourselves, 
IT IS THE GIFT OF 6oD ; not of works, lest any 
man should boast,*' (Eph. ii. 8, 9.) And then 
'^ the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and 
the haughtiness of men shaJl be made low, and 
THE Lord alone shall be exalted,*' ('Isaiah 
ii. 17.) 


See page 64. 

The incaniation of the Son of God is a subject as 
important as it is wonderful. It is a subject also 
of great magnitude in a theological point of view ; 
but the one point claiming further elucidation at 
present is, not that the &n of God became man, 
which might have been accomplished by a direct 
act of CREATION, as in the case of Adam ; but 
that, by means of generation, he connected him- 
self with humanity as it exists since the fall, 
while he himself '< knew no sin," and *^ did no 
sin.'/ (2 Cor. v. 21 ; 1 Pet. u. 22.) It is to tins 
that St. Paul refers, when he says, ^' And, with- 
out controversy, great is the mystery of godli- 
ness." (1 Tim. iii. 16.) The greatness of the 
mystery lies not so much in the mamfestation of 
God, in visible form as a man, as in his being 
^ manifested in ^ flesh" This expression, <' the 
flesh," is of very frequent occurrence in Scrip- 
ture, and has many various significatioiiB } but, 



when applied to human heings, it always denotes 
a state of physical or moral existence affected by 
sin. ''So then they that are in the flesh cannot 
please God." But here is the mystery. — God 
sent forth his Son ^'in the likeness of sinful flesh," 
subject to all the infirmities and distresses that are 
incident to the sinful nature of man, subject even 
to death itself, and still throughout his whole 
earthly existence he continued to be " the Holy 
One and the Just." He took the nature that had 
sinned, but he himself was altogether " without 
sin." These two things, apparently incompatible, 
the connexion of God's incarnate Son with us sin- 
Bars, and his own spotless holiness, were abso- 
lutely necessary ; the one to insure his sympathy 
with us, and the other to insure our salvation Y^ 
idm. May we not here exclaim, in the language 
eo^>loyed by the apostle on another occasion, 
^ O tlHS depth of the. riches both of the wisdom and 
knowledge of God !" 

The doctrine of our Lord's true humanity is 
distinctly acknowledged in the Articles and Con- 
fessions of all the Protestant churches. The 
statements of the Athanasian Creed are specially 
explicit on his manhood as well as his godhead. 
But our proo& must primarily be taken £com 

The very first intimation of a Saviour is re- 
markable. After the disobedience of Adam and 
Eve, their hope of pardon and deliverance from 
the tempter was directed to " The Seed of the 
wmuoh" (Gen. ill. 15.) The Gxeat Deliverer was 



subsequently promised as " The Seed of AbrO' 
"ham^^ (Gen. xxii. 18.) " In thy seed shall all the 
nations of the earth be blessed." And t)f this 
promise St. Paul has given us an inspired inter- 
pretation: "Now to Abraham and to his Seed 
were the promises made. He saith not, and to 
seeds, as of many ; but as of one, and to thy Seed, 
which is Christ," (Gal. iii. 16.) In the opening 
of his Epistle to the Romans, the apostle speaks 
of himself as " separated unto the Gospel of God," 
—"concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, 
which was made of the Seed of Damd according' 
to the flesh,'* (Rom. i. 5.) So it had been pre- 
dicted by Isaiah : " And there shall come forth a 
rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall 
grow out of his roots," (xi. 1.) And also by 
M icha : " And thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though 
thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet 
out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to 
be Ruler in Israel," &c. (v. 2-4.) With these 
predictions the Jewish people were familiar ; and 
hence, when there was a division among them 
concerning our Lord, some said, " Hath' not the 
Scripture said, that Christ cometh of the seed 
of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where 
David was ?" (John vii. 42.) The reader will 
do well to peruse the discourse of St. Peter on the 
day of Pentecost, where particular reference is 
made to our Lord's connexion with David, (Acts 
ii. 25-36.) In complete harmony with Old Tes- 
tament prophecies, the commencement of the New 
Testament Scriptures is called, " The book of 


iRB GsHSKATioir of Jtmu Ckrisij ihe Son ofDa^ 
pid, the San of' Ahrakam,'' (Matt. i. 1.) And, m 
the. sane chapter^ we read that the angel of the 
Lord appeared unto Joseph in a dream, sayings 
'' Thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee 
Mary thy wife ; for that which is conceived in 
her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall hrmg 
forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus," 
^. This, too, is in fiilfilment of prophecy: 
"Hear ye now, O house of David; is it a small 
thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary 
God also ? Therefore the Lord himself shall give 
you a sign ; Behold a viigin shall omceive, and bear 
a son, and shall call his name Immanuel," (Is. vii. 
13, 14») << For unto us a child is honh untp us a 
Son is given ; and the government shall be upon his 
shoulder ; and his name shall be called Wonderful| 
Counsellor, the Mi^ty God, the Everlasting Fa- 
ther, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his 
government and peace there shall be no end, upon 
the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, &c. 
(Is. ix. 6, 7.) Thus we read, in St. Luke's Gospel, 
that the angel Gabriel was sent from God, " to a 
virgin espoused to a man whose name was Jo- 
seph, of the house of David; and the virgin's 
name was Mary." And the angel said unto her, 
« Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and 
bring forth a son, and shall call his name Jesus. 
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of 
the Highest ; and the Lord God shall give unto 
him the throne of his Father David," &c. (i. 26- 
82.) Again, in the second chapter, it is recorded 


that Joseph went up from Galilee, out of the city of 
Nazareth, into J udtea., unto the city of David, which 
is called Bethlehem, (because he was* of the house 
and lineage of David,) &c. There Mary' "brought 
forth her first-bom Son ;" and there the angel of the 
Lord announced the wondrous e?ent. to the shep- 
herds of Bethlehem, " Behold, I bring you good ti- 
dings of great joy, which shall be* to all people. 
For unto you is born this day, in the City of David^ 
JL Saviour which is Cheist the Lord." All these 
quotations from the prophets, and evangelists, and 
apostles, when grouped together, and arranged in 
juxtaposition^ present an interesting mass of «lri. 
dance. And their united testimony most incon- 
trovertibly establishes the fact, that our Almighty 
Saviour was ** of the seed of David according 
TO THE Flesh," — that he was a true man, and n 
man truly connected with the existing race of 
mankind : — "the seed of the woman/' through the 
line of Abraham and of David. 

It is likewise deserving of very particular no- 
tice, that, during the brief period of his intercourse 
with men on earth, our Lord so very frequently 
speaks of himself as " the Son of Man," and of 
men as his brethren. By such modes of ex- 

tression he evinced his anxiety to strengthen our 
elief in his true humanity, and in his connexion 
with ourselves. 

The apostles have been led by the Holy Spirit 
to the use of a similar style of language, %nd, no 
doubt,* for the same object. 

St. John, in the commencement of his Gospel 

172 ' APPENDIX. 

history, first itwitions the second peiBon in the 
adoraiWe Trinity as the Word, who was with 
God in the beginning, and who was Grod ; and 
then, after this unequivocal assertion of his essen- 
tial divinity, we find it written, " Aj«fD the Word 
t^o^md^e^e^^ and dwelt among us," (John i. 14.) 

St. JPeter, in his memorable disconrse on the 
day of Pentecost, to which allusion lias already 
been made, has these words, — ^* Jesus of Nazar* 
eihf A MAN approved of God among you by mira- 
cles, and wonders," &c. ; '^ ye have taken, and 
by wicked hands have crucified and slain ;" " thU 
Jems hath God raised up ;" ^' therefore, let all the 
bouse of Israel know assuredly, that Grod hath 
made that same Jes'ws, whom ye have crucified, 
both Lord and Christ," (Acts ii. 22-96.) 

St. Paul, in the synagogue at Antioch, goes 
over much of the same ground, in regard to the 
death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth ; and 
then draws this practical conclusion, *'Be' it 
known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that 
through THIS MAN is preached unto you the for- 
giveness of sins," dec. (Acts xiii. 88.) And at 
Athens he finished his powerful address with these 
words, — " Because he (God) hath appointed a day 
in which he will judge the world in righteousness 
by THAT MAN whom he hath ordained ; whereof 
he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he 
bath raised him from the dead," (Acts zvii. 81.) 

Tdi^ only other passage to which it seems ne- 
cessary to refer is in the First Epistle to Timothy, 
— « For there is one Grod, and one Mediator be- 

»• w 



tween God and mao, ths man ChrIst Jesus; wl\cr 

fave himself a ranisom for all, to be testified in . 
ue time," (ii, 5, 6.) 
Ill the immediately preceding verses the apostle 
had spokeii of oar Saviour as God, who will have 
all men to be saved, and to come unto the know- 
ledge of the truth. Here be speaks of the sinner's 
way of approach to God, and of that inestimable 
" ransom," through which alone there is salvation 
for any. And, therefore, as an encouiagement to 
our confidence in Him, the living Mediator, who 
interposes between a holy God and -his guilty 
creatures, is designated " the man Christ Jestt^," ' 
. because it was his humanity that enabled him, as 
mr substitute f to give himself, to shed bis own most 
precious. blood, as the ransom-price of our deliver- 
ance. Thus how real and how great is our en- * 
csouragement to ©ling to the God-man Mediator, 
with loving and thajikful hearts! "For verily 
he took not on him the nature of angels, but He 
took on him the seed of Abraham ;" and, forasmuch 
as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, 
he also himself likewise took part of the same" 
(Heb. ii. 14^16.) 

** The Man " who is the Mediator, is substan- 
tially allied .by a common humanity to " themen " 
for whom he n»diates. But the difference between 
iiim and us lies, not only in his being " without 
sin,'' but especially in this, that he is more tbai$ 
MAN. In his one person the divine nature is mys* 
terioUsly but indissolubly united wi^ the human. 
He wl)o was bom of t&e Vir^ Mary is at the