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But it would be tedious to detail the whole of this conversation. I shall only observe, and that for the sake of introducing my good friend B. that after the man had worked his way to the main point, universal salvation, and, with a very sagacious look, seemed to imagine himself more than a match for any body on that subject, although with the same breath he declared himself a friend to mankind, and that if he had his will, all mankind should be happy, he pronounced his opinion that not one in a thousand would ever see the face of God in heaven.-Upon which my good friend B. with the tear starting in his eye exclaimed, "O my God! can you possibly think God Almighty has not more compassion on the human race than you? You would save them if you could, and you think he can, and will not.”
The man was really confounded, and after a long pause made an observation upon the justice of God, and great sins and sinners, &c. &c.
I then took up the matter, and began to talk very seriously in the presence of this man and several others, upon the justice, the mercy, and the magnitude of the great salvation, the eyes of my honest friend B. glistening with pleasure all the time, nor do I know that the opportunity was wholly lost upon any of my hearers.
The family in this house are like the principal, the good divine, whom I met on the road. Their path through this world hath not been strewed with roses, yet is the lady, like her venerable husband, sweet tempered and tranquil. He who fixeth the bounds of our habitation, hath planted them here, when it should seem that their talents, and virtues merited a higher standing. They find it hard to live. The poor lady, speaking this morning of the difficulties they have to encounter, with her usual cheerfulness of countenance, not an unmeaning vacant cheerfulness such as we have witnessed, nor a frantic despairing kind of laugh,-no, it was a sentimental complacent smile or laugh, for it is both by turns, and it seemed to say, I have nothing, and yet I possess all things; in this prepossessing manner, I say, she poured into my listening ear what some would have entitled a tale of sorrow, but ever and anon, as she vindicated the ways of Providence, I thought of Shakespeare's Patience, stationed upon a monument, to smile at grief. She seemed as if fearful I should arraign the justice of heaven, or suspect her of complaining. In short, this poor, rich family, enjoy more than many of the sons of affluence.
My pilgrimage is really a fatiguing pilgrimage; the toils of travelling are often burdensome to me. Well, I shall by and by finish my course, and, as I trust, with joy; and I shall then lay hold of eternal life. I shall take up my residence where, although there shall be no more going out, we shall have a range sufficient to gratify the boundless wishes of the immortal spirit. And where the contemplation of the world's Saviour shall fill every faculty of my soul.
I preached morning and evening yesterday, and after church waited, by invitation, upon a Madam S. She is remarkable for her devotion to the established religion of her country, and yet was extremely desirous to hear me, and having thus done, she was quite as anxious I should hear her. This of course produced an invitation, and, as in duty bound, I did not hesitate in my obedience to her summons. She appeared perfectly unacquainted with the gospel plan, and like all of her class, who converse with me, seemed to conceive of me as totally ignorant of every argument made use of against the religion of my Redeemer. They are not aware of the advantages, which in this respect, arc indubitably all my own. I have occupied the ground on which they stand, and by long and thorough investigation I am perfectly acquainted with every avenue, and the most remote recesses in which they are accustomed to take refuge.
Many a time have I trodden this crooked winding, and most uncertain path. Blessed be God, that I have escaped from a labyrinth which pointeth to destruction. Yes, in those very strong holds, which they suppose invulnerable, I myself have been attacked, and after disputing every inch of the ground, compelled to surrender.
I know therefore the whole extent of their power, and I feel, that armed with the sword of the spirit, and strong in the Lord, I cannot be overcome.
My opponents, on the contrary, march forward without the smallest knowledge of my mode of defence. They know not the strength of that rock upon which I stand, the impenetrable phalanx which a consistent range of scripture testimonies embodies for the believer of the doctrines of God our Saviour, by the aid of which he fearlessly encounters whatever forces can be raised against him; and hence it is that the pæan of victory is ever upon his lips.
Madam S. brought forth every argument. She was even eloquent against the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I endeavoured to answer her in the language of reason and revelation.
Her son, a fine young man, whose mind seems deeply impressed by the great truths of our religion, sat by her side, an attentive hearer. The tear of transport glistened in his eye, and from the abundance of his heart he frequently exclaimed, "Yes indeed, it is, it is true. I steadfastly believe it, and my soul rejoiceth in these divine manifestations."
His mother, I believe, was rather silenced than convinced.
What a strange variety in human nature! Were I writing for the public, while making the tour of these rising States, and had skill to note the different shades of character which present, my volume might be rendered sufficiently entertaining.
Stopping, by invitation, at the house of a Dr. C. who is a neighbour, and a hearer of the Rev. Mr. Y. a writer as well as a preacher, I was informed by the good Doctor that Mr. Y. had en joined it upon him, to give him the earliest notice of my arrival, as he was very solicitous to see and converse with me.
I cannot tarry one hour, Sir; it will therefore be useless. Mr. Y. however had seen my carriage pass his door, and was in the house almost as soon as myself. Mr. Y. had been described to me, and the singularity of his appearance both for dress and address, announced the man. Rarely have I seen such a combination. Yet it became manifest, from one hour's conversation, that he is precisely as he is characterized, equal in his disposition, void of malice, rich in knowledge, possessing native talents, and free from bigotry.
I observed to the Doctor in presence of Mr. Y. that he, Mr. Y. reminded me of Mr. Delane's advice to his sons:
"Let men find in you more than they expect,
Sackcloth with satin, speaks the noble mind."
The countenance of Mr. Y. brightened upon this quotation, and could I have tarried, our conversation would no doubt have been ordered by candour. My departure however was a matter of necessity. But I did not take my leave without earnest solicitations both from the Doctor and his minister, that I would visit them, when
I should be at leisure to continue with them through many days. Our good B. is charmed with Mr. Y.
I have met my fellow men this day, in their house of worship, preaching to them by the pressing invitation of the principal characters in the town. You know Dr. F. of this place; he visited me after church, and led me to speak until I was weary, and I am persuaded to no purpose. The enmity of the unbelieving heart against the truth, is indeed strong. I have no pleasure in contending with those who are under its dominion. He observed, at the close of our conversation, that he wished much to hear Mr. K. and myself converse upon these matters, as he did not conceive himself a match for me. I told him he should have that opportunity as soon as he found Mr. K. disposed to oppose the truths I had delivered in the presence of witnesses, I was always ready to attempt a defence of the truth as it is in Jesus. So away went the Doctor, determining to do all in his power to bring this champion to put me to silence. I hardly think he will gain his point.
Merciful God! save me from old age. Yet not my will, but thine, O Lord, be done. I have passed the morning with an old friend, whose appearance originated such a depression of spirit as I have rarely experienced; stretched on a bed, full of pain, and bloated by dropsy. It is not death from which my soul recoils. Death is to me no king of terrors, but my coward heart shrinks from these appendages of dissolution. This poor sufferer, aged seventy-seven, is not able to move in his bed; how deeply am I affected by his situation! yet, at least, the felicity of reflecting upon death with pleasure, is possessed by him, in no common sort; and although he cannot himself attend a preached gospel, he is delighted to learn that many persons were at church.
While addressing me, as if forgetful of every complaint, his countenance brightening as he proceeded, he affectingly said, "I have to tell you, Sir, for your consolation, that your labours in this place have not been thrown away. A considerable number who steadfastly believe the doctrine of God our Saviour, are associated, who, as I trust, will do honour to their profession. For me, I shall shortly enter upon the bliss you so well know to describe. I have continued to live in the faithful expectation of this bliss, from the moment the sound of the gospel reached my ears. Is it wonderful that I
long to take possession of the mansion prepared for me?" Then, after a pause, "Mr. N. came last evening to visit me. He tells me Mr. W. has embraced a very different plan from yours, that he openly preaches a purgatory, and boldly affirms, that every one shall suffer, just as much as his transgression deserves. But these things cannot break my peace. I know in whom I have believed, and I shall appear before my God, in the robe of my Redeemer's right
Religious people are proceeding with a very high hand in this place. They have cut off and excommunicated several of their most respectable members, merely for confiding in the word which bringeth salvation. I have obtained a copy of what may be termed an ecclesiastical anathema. Blessed be God, it doth not possess the power of a popish edict. I transcribe it verbatim : "The church of Christ in to our brother A. B. Brother, after our labour of love with you, and our admonition sent you, and our wasting a long time to see, if possible, you may be reclaimed from error and delusion, and from final destruction, which we fear will be your unavoidable fate, without repentance; instead of which, you appear unto us to be more hardened, and blinded in the mystery of iniquity, with all deceivableness, as the apostle expresses it. For this cause God shall send them strong delusions that they may believe a lie, that they all may be damned, who believe not the truth. Christ came into the world to bear witness unto the truth, which is, he that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned. Ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins, and whither I go, ye cannot come. Hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. Them who are in their graves shall hear his voice, and come forth, they who have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. These shall go away into everlasting punishment. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell. These are words of truth, which our Lord hath borne witness unto, and hath added, because I tell you the truth ye believe me not. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.' And yet you continue to be so daringly bold, in contradiction to our Lord's express words, to profess, to believe, and hope, that all mankind will be eternally saved, for which damnable heresy, as the apostle calls it, we are bound in duty and faithfulness unto God, and in love to our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, and for his