William Lewis (1753 - 1816) was convinced of the truth as a young man, and made a sincere resolution to follow Christ in a self-denying life. But when the light that had previously visited him with sweet drawings, later allured him into the wilderness and showed him the desert land of his own heart, “the painful conviction quickly ensued,” he relates, “of being in reality wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” And because the Seed of life was not yet sufficiently rooted in his heart so as to enable him to patiently endure tribulation, he sadly drew back, fell into great despondency, and for some years sought comfort and distraction in lying vanities. But when at thirty-six years of age he was visited with a severe illness, and left to his own thoughts and reflections on his past course, he was mercifully convinced that there was no hope of finding the path of peace except by turning with full purpose of heart unto Him from whom he had so deeply revolted.
Nothing can preserve you but a single eye to the glory of God in all your thoughts, desires and purposes, and an entire dependance upon the quickening, cleansing and illuminating grace which is in Christ Jesus. Without this grace, we can do nothing that can kindle or keep alive one spark of heavenly life, or wash the stain of sin from our immortal souls. And without this single eye, the heart is ever divided and unstable, our faithfulness is as the morning cloud that goes away, and we will have no capacity to receive that shining which makes ‘the whole body full of light.’- William Lewis
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A letter of Willim Lewis, giving an autobiographical account of his unhappy apostasy from the truth, his whole-hearted return to the faith, and his subsequent involvement as a member and minister in the Society of Friends; also containing two letters written later in life to young persons who had just begun their spiritual journey.