The following extracts regarding the written ministry of James Smith, are gleaned from his diary.
January, 1845. I have received information of my books being made a blessing in many places. May the Lord make what I write a blessing, when my lips are silent in death!
November 19, 1846. My forty-fourth birthday! How swiftly time flies! I have written two more books for the press, and have begun a third. The Lord blesses my publications, and they circulate by thousands! I frequently hear of their usefulness, which encourages me to go on. To God alone be all the praise! May He bless my publications when I am gone! My aim in writing, is to benefit God's people, enlarge His cause, and glorify His name!
July 30, 1857. Wherever I go, I hear of my poor writings being made a blessing. Truly I have not labored in vain, nor spent my strength for nothing. I have been a pen in God's hand, with which He has written letters of love, to many of His dear people.
January 17, 1859. Almost every day lately, I have written something for the press; and am encouraged to continue, by the blessing of the Lord, so eminently resting on the productions of my pen. The thought that what I write will live and speak for Jesus, when I am dead--urges me forward!
April 15, 1859. I still hear of the Lord blessing my works, and they circulate more than ever. Blessed be God, that I ever put pen to paper--to write for Jesus. By my writings, I shall leave a testimony for Christ behind me, whenever I am called away, which will stand, I trust, until He comes again, and books are needed no more!
June 25, 1859. Three small books have been published, and I have nearly finished a larger one. Never did I write so much, or enjoy writing as now. I find it soothes my spirits when ruffled; cheers my mind when cast down; and raises my soul into communion with God. Blessed be God forever putting it into my heart, to write for the press! How many have been comforted and converted thereby!
August 27, 1859. I have enjoyed writing for the press more than usual. I feel as if I must go on writing and publishing, while the Lord opens the way, and continues to bless my productions. My tongue will soon be silent, and my pen will soon be still--but then, even then, I hope to be heard, speaking of Jesus, and for Jesus! Precious Savior! O to honor Him, with my tongue, my pen, my all!
September 29, 1859. I write for the press more than ever, and am still encouraged by accounts of the Lord's blessing attending what I write. I am now evidently getting old fast, I feel it, and therefore I wish to work while I can. The opportunity must be seized now, if ever--or it will soon be gone, and be gone forever.
October 31, 1859. October is just gone, and gone forever. Blessed be God, that no day has been entirely wasted--but each day, I have tried to do something for God and souls. Most days my pen has been at work, and my tongue too. Souls are still called under my ministry, my books circulate more widely than ever; and I frequently hear that the Lord is blessing them.
November 19, 1859. Hallelujah! Another birthday--and here I am, a monument of mercy! I cannot expect to see many more birthdays on earth--may each one find me nearer to Heaven, and fitter for Heaven. I never valued the press so much as I do now. I now seldom preach more than five or six times a week for my Master--but I endeavor to make it up by writing more.
January 25, 1860. I sensibly feel that I am getting old. I still continue to hear that the Lord blesses my labors, and am daily employed in writing for the press. The Lord Jesus is precious to my soul. I love His dear name, and rejoice to publish His fame! O that I could exalt Him a thousand times higher than I ever have done!
May 31, 1860. I have finished another work for the press, and commenced a fresh one. The publisher urges me forward, and God blesses them--so that I dare not lay down my pen.
July, 1860. This month has fled--and fled forever. It has been a month of considerable labor, in which I have preached many times, and have written a considerable quantity for the press. The Lord still uses my pen, and blesses what I write. He opens new doors for me, and enables me to seize opportunities of speaking and printing for Jesus. Blessed be God, His name is still precious to my soul, and wherever I go, I endeavor to spread the savor of it.
October, 1860. A busy month, I have been out a good deal, preaching the Word, and have written considerably for the press. No month passes--but I hear of the Lord blessing what I write; and every time I hear this, I feel a desire spring up to write more!