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versal chance given to all. And further still, when it is said, “that the elect of God feel in themselves the workings of the Spirit of Christ,” we are to understand, that there are no such feelings or influences ; or that, if there are, according to an expression that we are very fond of using, they must be secret and imperceptible feelings.
Far. 'Las, Sir, where am I? secret and imperceptible feelings !--[Farmer to his wife.] Why, dame, when our son Harry would be so wild, and when he went to sea, and you and I used to sob and cry together night after night, ours was not imperceptible grief. (To Mr. Dolittle.] And when we repent of sin, for I am sure we have enough of it, are we to have imperceptible repentance; and when we tell God our wants in prayer, are those to be imperceptible wants ? Are we to have imperceptible love to God? and imperceptible faith in Christ? I should wish to have something better than an imperceptible religion, otherwise I should fear I shall have nothing better than an imperceptible heaven. Really, Sir, I am in such amaze by these new notions, that I know not where I am. But as you say, I am to understand all our old folk by the rule of reverse, perhaps I am to understand you by the same rule, and that will turn all matters right round.
Dolit. Master Littleworth, it is very cruel and unjust in you to banter us by such language; you know how many people there are against our religion already: First, Dissenters of every party are saying that we subscribe a creed for the sake of our livings, which we never examined or believed. But who would mind what these Schismatics have to say against us? for all the infidels say just the same; and as for the new sect that you have lately taken to follow, they are worse than any of them.
Far. Well, then, Sir, I must honestly confess, whatsoever your accusers may be, I wonder that so many of you gentlemen should again and again subscribe to all these things, as though you had a right to understand them in a sense just opposite to their real sense, and thus make nonsense of the whole of it; while you subscribe them as being “ articles agreed upon by the archbishops and bishops, and all the clergy,” for “ avoiding diversity of opinions,” and “ for the establishment of consent touching religion ;! and which you say are to be taken in the literal and grammatical sense. Aye, Sir, and run down those ministers whose hands and hearts go together, and who will have nothing to do with those double meanings, and double dealings so contrary to all the common-sense meaning of words, as that all we, farmerlike countryfied folk, cannot but see how little agreement there is between hands and hearts in all these subscriptions. Lord help us ! is this the simplicity and godly sincerity of the upright christian?
Dolit. O Sir, you seem to be struck with the spirit of devotion ; you'll go to prayer with us next.
Far. O no, Sir! I would rather leave that with you. Nancy, my child, reach Mr. Dolittle the Bible; it will be more profitable to us all, if he reads a chapter, and expounds it, and goes to prayer with us, and that is the way Mr. Lovegood does when he goes a visiting.
Dolit. I have been now rector of this parish above these nineteen years, and I never was addressed about going to prayer in such a manner before. Sir, this rude treatment compels me to leave your house immediately.--Mrs. Littleworth, I wish you a good night. Young ladies, your humble servant.
Between Farmer LITTLEWORTH, Mr. BRISK (Mr.
DOLITTLE's Curate), Mr. SMIRKING (Assistant to Dr. DRONISH), and the Farmer's Family.
ON THE EVIL NATURE AND EFFECTS OF STAGE PLAYS.
Sam, the Farmer's Footboy comes Home from Maple
ton, in the evening, after an Affrayat a Public House. Miss Nancy. FATHER, here is Sam come home
from Mapleton with such a bruised face, bloody handkerchief, and his livery all over dirt. He appears to be half drunk : and the lantern is broken all to bits !
Farmer. What can he have been at? Why don't he come in ?
Miss N. He is only stopping to scrape off some of the dirt, and to wash himself in the back kitchen.
[Sam comes in.] Far. Why, Sam, in the name of wonder where have you been, to come home in this condition?
Sam. O master! if you will forgive me, I'll tell you all about it.
Far. Forgive you! why, what have you been doing? Tell the truth first, and after that I'll tell you whether I shall forgive you.
Sam. Why, master, when my young Mistresses were at Mr. Lightman's the lawyer's, at tea, in came Mr. Brisk and Mr. Smirking, and made an agreement that they should all go to the play:
Far. Aye; I thought by their whisperings and dressings that they had some such project in their
heads. But how came you in such a pickle, young man?
Sam. Sir, my young Mistresses gave me sixpence to go to the Nag's Head, that I might not stand out in the cold, while they were all at the play; and there Squire Bluster's footman, and Lord Rakish's gentleman, did nothing but jeer, my young mistresses, by asking, which they understood best, dancing or making butter and cheese ? And then they sneerd and jeer'd at their dress.
Far. Why did you not let them sneer and jeer on, and go away about your business?
Sam. Why, I thought I must stop and spend my sixpence. And then they began their romance on me, and asked how many more of the plow boys the farmer had put in livery? And I said to them, as how, they might have been plow-boys once, as well as I. Then they swore desperate oaths at me, and would make me drink; and said, I should run the gauntlet; then they knocked me down; and as soon as I could, I ran away as fast as I was able; but they followed me into the street, and would bring me back again, but I would not come, so they rolled me in the dirt, and beat me sadly; and the whole street was in an uproar; and the lantern was broke all to smash.
Far. Oh, Nancy, my child; what a mercy from God it is, that we are not in “ the broad way that leadeth unto destruction," and that we have now the Bible before us !
Miss Nancy. A mercy indeed, father ! for, till we went to hear Mr. Lovegood, we were all alike. The Lord be praised for his grace! [After some other conversation, in come the two
ministers and the two daughters.] Brisk. Well, Sir, we have brought home your daughters quite safe and sound; tho' I am afraid it is
a little later than your usual time for supper and bed.
Far. Oh, no Sir; for sometimes I come home al. " most as late as this, when I come from the lecture at Mr. Lovegood's church. And for sure, my daughters can have been in no bad ways when they have been with men of your cloth; tho: Sam has told me a strange story.
Brisk. Why, I confess, Mr. Littleworth, it was I that persuaded your daughters to go to the play. I am sure it is a very innocent and rational amusement.
Far. I can't thank you for that, Sir; for while you was at the playhouse, Sam, and ever so many other servants were at the alehouse; and he is come home in a fine trim.
Miss Polly. But, father, may’nt the gentlemen have a bit of supper for their kindness in bringing us home?
Far. Aye, aye, child, I have no objection against that.—Dame, see what there is in the pantry. Nancy, help your mother to bring it out.
[It is done accordingly.] Far. Will one of you gentlemen ask a blessing.
[Mr. Brisk says a careless grace.] Far. And pray, gentlemen, did you ask a blessing before you went to the play, and took my daughters with you; and can you return thanks to God now you are come away ; for “ in every thing we should give thanks."
Smirking. Why, Sir, how came that thought into
Far. I had it from the Bible.
And for sure, you gentlemen, can't be so ignorant of that book, ås not to know, that you ministers are directed to " give yourselves continually unto prayer.” And that all of us shou'd“ pray always, with all prayer and suppli