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Spirit; and how wonderfully does this appear to be exemplified in the heart and conduct of poor Henry! He has not language to describe how vile he has been; and you perceive also what tenderness and love he now feels to all, and what affectionate obedience he is willing to shew; how does this prove the truth of that blessed word, “s that love is the fulfilling of the law;?' and it affords fuil evidence also, that if we love Christ we shall love to obey him.
Far. And, oh! what a wicked blade he was before he went to sea. After he had got linked in with Tom Wild, Will Frolick, and that set, there was no keeping him at home; and when he found I did not chuse that they should keep up their rackets at my house, he would watch every opportunity to be away; and then I should hear of him driving about
to every horse-race and fair within twenty miles , round. One time I should hear that he had been
fighting, then he had been gambling; twice was he before the justice for his drunken frolics, and night after night have my dame and I sat up for him, while sometimes he would be out all the night, and at other times he would come home at twelve or one o'clock, sulky, ill-natured, and half drunk; and all this was my own doings; for I was wicked and foolish enough to send him to that school where there was nothing of the fear of God; and afterwards I took him to all sorts of romancing nonsenses, such as plays and puppet-shews, by way of diverting him, and that led him into company which brought on his ruin.
Loveg. Yes, Şir, but now a very different scene is before you; your son, I humbly trust, is.“ born from above;" and such are made “ blameless and harmless the sons of God.” “ As an obedient child, he will not fashion himself according to the former VOL. I.
lusts in his ignorance;” but “ as he who hath called him is holy, so will he be holy in all manner of conversation." His hands will no longer be lifted up to strike the mad and angry blow of inward murder and revenge; but with diligence and industry will he learn to labour as Providence shall direct him.His tongue will be no more employed in the language of folly, blasphemy, and filthy conversation; but now, his heart being blessed with the grace of God, his conversation will be as becometh the Gospel of Christ,” and such as will be “ to the use of edifying, that it may administer grace to the hearers:” and instead of finding him a sulky, ill-natur. ed sot, you will find him “ sober, temperate in all things,” “ loving, gentle, easy to be intreated.”— The lion is already turned into the lamb, and the disposition of the tiger and the bear shall prevail no more; and as to his feet, they will need no fetters to keep them out of those vile paths, in which he once ran with such eager haste. No, dear Sir, they will rejoice to walk with you to tlie house of God, to hear the glad tidings of salvation ; no other house like that will his feet now so delight to tread.
Far. Dear Sir, it quite melts, me down ! Oh! what joy of heart shall I feel the first time he and I shall walk together to your church, to hear the man we once so wickedly ridiculed in the days of our ignorance, preaching unto us the love of that Saviour, who has “ called us out of darkness into his marvellous light.” And poor Nancy, oh! what a blessing to her, in having such a brother brought home to the family! for it is wonderful, how soft and good, and gentle, and humble, that dear girl is become, since she has received the gospel of Christ. And when I consider the grace I have lately felt in my own heart, and how sweetly you deliver these things to us from the pulpit, I wonder that every one who comes to hear you is not converted to God, as well as ourselves.
Loveg. So it appears to all who have been newly converted by the word of life themselves; but when we consider the hardness and the deceitfulness of the human heart, we shall rather wonder that any of us are renewed.
Far. Don't you think, Sir, by my son Harry's let. ter, that he is really renewed ?
Loveg. Indeed, Sir, it breathes a most excellent spirit, and I trust he will give you abundantly more joy than ever he has given you grief; but still we must tell him, if we live to see him, that he has but just put on the armour for the battle, and that he must watch unto prayer.
Far. The Lord keep both him and me watching and praying; but, oh, how it affects me to think what we all must feel when he first comes home, and finds his poor old wicked father has been blessed with a new heart! Oh, what a meeting it will be! but how ashamed shall I be of myself on account of the bad example I have set before him : how of ten have he and I neglected our church and sab. bath, that we might go on some idle visit, or after some foolish pastime. I can't think that he would ever have been so bad in his wicked ways, if I had not first led him into them. Well, I'll confess it to him with shame, and tell him the frult was mostly mine.
Loveg. It might be better if both of you were not to dwell too much on these things; they were done in the " times of ignorance that God winked at. You are both, I trust, now arrived in the new world
grace, and your business will be with him to press forward to the eternal world of glory,
Far. But O, Sir, when my dear child offers me his
prize money, because in the days of his wickedness he robbed me, how can he think I could ever take it from him?
Loveg. He does not know the blessed change that has tiiken place upon your mind, and he hopes much, by his honesty and integrity, to win your soul to Christ; and as he now, doubtless, attends to his Bible, he probably thinks on what Paul promised Philémon on behalf of Onesimus the servant who robbed his master; and his conscience will surely tell him, that it was worse to rob a father then a master.
Far. But he says he trusts God has forgiven him, and shall not I forgive him ? Dear child! I would not grieve him for a thousand worlds! No, no; I shall want none of his prize-money, while I have in him such a prize as my unbelieving heart never expected. It will cut me to the heart when he makes the offer.
Loveg. Well, Sir, we must contrive to soften matters before you and your son have the first interview.
Far. I wish you would, Sir, for the thoughts of it are quite tco much for me: he talks of begging par. don on his knees, when I shouid rather go on my knees to him, for leading my own son astray by sending him to such a school, and by the bad example I set before him. If he acts as he says he will, I am sure I never shall be able to bear it. [The Farmer again weeps excessively; after he is in a measure recovered, Mr. Lovegood thus addresses him.]
Loveg: My friend, though I feel for you very tenderly, yet your very tears put me in mind of the joys of " the angels in heaven over one sinner that repenteth;" but I think we can contrive matters so as that your minds may be properly prepared for the meeting
Far. Why it is most likely I can't write to him be. fore I see him, as he will come from Portsmouth directly as he lands.
Loveg. Yes, but he will certainly travel in the stage that goes through Mapleton to the north, and then you may tell Mr. Vintner, of the George, to direct your son to Mr. Traffick’s of the shop, who is a very sedate worthy man; then you may put a letter into his hands that he may give it to your son, and you may tell him what you think proper, and afterwards Mr. Traffick may bring him to his house, and give him further particulars; and Billy Traffick, who is a very serious young man, will walk with him to your house.
Far. No, dear child, he is lame; I must send Thomas Newman to bring him, with a horse for him to ride on, and another horse that he may bring his things with him : but for all that Billy Traffick may come with him, for he is a choice lad; and I must do all I can to put my son into good company : for, oh, what mischief was done to my precious bay by the bad company he kept before he went to
Loveg. I think, Sir, yours is the best plan ; and what a feast will this be to poor honest Thomas to bring such a rich treasure home to his master's house ! and Thomas, though a plain, yet he is a very sensible man, and will know how to break matters to him.
Far. And what a feast will this be to me to receive such a treasure in such a son, returned to me again in peace and safety, and with the rich treasure of the grace of God in his heart. O the yearnings of a father's bowels over such a child !
[A message from Mr. Lovegood's servant.] Servant. Sir, 'Squire Worthy and his lady, with