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A Narrative of Some of the Lord's Dealings with Ge

Tholuck daily expected a letter from London


commentaries I have found to store the head with many notions, and often also with the truth of God; but when the Spirit teaches, through the instrumentality of prayer and meditation, the heart is affected. The former kind of knowledge generally puffs up, and is often renounced, when another commentary gives a different opinion, and often also is found good for nothing, when it is to be carried out into practice. The latter kind of knowledge generally humbles, gives joy, leads us nearer to God, and is not easily reasoned away; and having been obtained from God, and thus having entered into the heart, and become our own, is also generally carried out. If the inquirer after truth does not understand the Hebrew and Greek languages, so as to be able to compare the common translation with the original, he may, concerning several passages, get light by an improved rendering, provided he can be sure that the translator was a truly spiritual person.

The last and most important means of, grace, namely, prayer, was comparatively but little improved by me. I prayed, and I prayed often. I also prayed, in general, by the grace of God, with sincerity; but had I been more earnestly praying, or even only as much, as I have prayed of late years, I should have made much more rapid progress.

In August, 1827, I heard that the Continental Society in England intended to send a minister to Bucharest, the residence of many nominal

German Christians, to help an aged brother in the work of the Lord; the two other German Protestant ministers in that place being, the one a Socinian, and the other an unenlightened orthodox preacher. After consideration and prayer I offered myself for this work to professor Tholuck, who was requested to look out for a suitable individual; for with all my weakness I had a great desire to live wholly for God. Most unexpectedly my father gave his consent, though Bucharest was above a thousand miles from my home, and as completely a missionary station as any other. I considered this a remarkable providence; though I see now, that a servant of Christ has to act for his Master, whether it be according to the will of his earthly father or not. I then went home to, spend a short time with my father. In the town where he lived, containing about 3000 inhabitants, I could not hear of a single believer, though I made many inquiries. The time I stayed with my father was more profitably spent than it had formerly been. I was enabled more than ever before to realize my high calling. I had by the grace of God power over sin; at least much more than at any former period of my life.

I returned to Halle, and now prepared with earnestness for the work of the Lord. I set before me the sufferings which might await me. I counted the cost. And he, who once so fully-served Satan, was now willing, constrained by the love of Christ, rather to suffer affliction for the sake of Jesus, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. I also prayed with, a degree of earnestness concerning my future work.

One day, at the end of October, the above-mentioned brother, Hermann Ball, missionary to the Jews, attended the Lord's day evening meeting in my room, on his way through Halle, and stated that he feared, on account of his health, his should be obliged to give up labouring among the Jews. When I heard this, I felt a peculiar desire to fill up his place. About this very time also I became exceedingly fond of the Hebrew language, which I had cared about very little up to that time, and which I had merely studied now and then, from a sense of duty. But now I studied it, for many weeks, with the greatest eagerness and delight. Whilst I thus from time to time felt a desire to fill up Brother Ball's place as a missionary to the Jews, (about which, however, I did not seriously think, because Dr. Tholuck daily expected a letter from London, finally to settle the particulars respecting my going to Bucharest); and whilst I thus greatly delighted in the study of Hebrew: I called in the evening of Nov. 17th on Dr. Tholuck. In the course of conversation he asked me, whether I had ever had a desire to be a missionary to the Jews, as I might be connected with the London Missionary Society, for promoting Christianity among them, for which he was an agent. I was struck with the question, and told him what had passed in my mind, but added that it was not proper to think anything about that, as I was going to Bucharest: to which he agreed.

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