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them in the manner we did that one month, the whole time would not have yielded me half the pleasure I experienced in one quarter of an hour about a month after our return.
It was about noon, when, as I was walking in the wilderness, meditating upon divine subjects, and praying to be guided in the way that I should go, I at length came to one of those seats which are cut in the hedge that is next the closes, and sat down. Hearing somebody cough just by me, and looking through a small aperture, I beheld Thomas Livingstone, who had been scouring the ditch, on the other side of the hedge. I knew him, but had never spoken to him in my life. Having prepared to dine, by laying on the bank a piece of barley bread, a bit of cheese, a little salt in a paper, and an onion, which things he had taken out of a basket, he lifted up his hands before he began his frugal repast, and said, I thank thee, O my God, for the food which thou hast provided for the nourishment of this frai) body ; but above all I bless thee for Jesus Christ, and that lope of eternal life which thou hast given me through him!
How was I surprised and delighted! I ran a little farther, and falling on my knees, thanked God' that I had found a Christian. This short thanksgiving had no resem. blance to a string of prayers, hurried over, and repeated by number. I earnestly desired a more intimale acquaintance with this poor, rich man.
Ye sons and daughters of riot and dissipation! if ye de. lightin power, affluence, and grandeur, behold in this hedg. er and ditcher, an angel in disguise; one, as much superior to thousands whom an undiscerning world dignifies with the titles of august and mighty, as those earthly gods are to the insect they crush beneath their feet. Alas! how will they bear the dreadful change that in one year, or day, or hour, may take place, when such as he shall be comforted in the presence of the high and lofty One who inhabiteth eternity, and made companions of, and placed upon a level with myriads of angels, while they shall open their eyes in the regions of despair! They think to quench the flames of hell by disbelieving their reality ; nor will they be convinced of their error till they have full and feeling evidence. Well! they must wait a very little while, and cvery scruple will be removed, and no place left for doubt
The apparent happiness of this poor inan, blessing God for his barley bread, and possessing a hope of salvation by the Redeemer, inspired me with a multitude of these reflections; and when I contrasted with it the superb, magnificent, and gay things I had seen in London, they shrank into nothing. Hitherto I had supposed that the protestants of the present day were a different kind of people from those who laid down their lives in Smithfield: but I 110w saw that I had not been acquainted with protestants of the right kind, and that true Christians are hidden from the world; and those words of John occurred to my mind, The world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
I determined to go and see this good man, whose wife I knew, as she frequently assists our cook when we have more company than usual. But I had a terrible inward struggle; I feared that if I put myself in the way
temptation, I might become what my friends term a heretic. On the other hand, I considered that I was nineteen years of age, and able to discern between good and evil; and that it was my duty to try all things, and hold fast that which is good. I also thought that if I should perish, it would be an aggravation to my guilt that God had pointed out the means whereby I might understand his will, and that I had neglected thein.
I went to our friend's house; but like Nicodemus I stayed till night. The good man was at prayer. I shall never forget with what fervour he addressed the Majesty of heaven and earth: my heart burnt within me. like, said I to myself, is this to saying prayers in an unknown tongue, or to running them over as a school-boy repeats his task. This man prays as if he was petitioning for his life at the bar of his judge !
When he had finished I went in. The good people were surprised to see me, especially at that time of night. My father had taught us never to make an excuse. My children, he would say, whenever it is improper to tell the undisguised truth, it becomes you not to speak at all. I therefore told my friend without reserve how long I liad been uneasy in my mind in consequence of reading Fox's History of the Martyrs, and also that I had heard him address the Divine Being before he began his meal; and I concluded with observing, that to be delivered from the wrath to come was a matter of such infinite importance,
that I thought it became every person to use his utmosi endeavour not to be mistaken.
While I was speaking, I perceived, Mary, my friend's wife, in tears; and even Thomas was so moved, that a drop now and then started from his eye, and trickled down his cheek. How beautiful is that trait in the character of Christians which is recommended by the apostle, that they look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.s
After a little pause he said, my dear young lady, both you and your family, from whom I have received much friendship, have many times been the subjects of
my earnest prayers, and I trust that God has heard my request; but it is necessary before we build to sit down and count the costs, I know your father too well to suppose that he will suffer you to become a protestant without manifesting the utmost indignation.
I know it, Thomas, replied I ; but nothing which I can suffer bears any proportion to lifting up my eyes in liell. However, I do not see the necessity of my becoming a protestant : If I only leave the church of Rome in those things in which she has corrupted herself, will not that be sufficient?
Without doubt, Miss, replied he; and I would wish you to follow my advice. Read the New Testament with care and attention, and as much as possible without prejudice; and accompany the reading of that divine book with supplication to him whose word it is, that he will open your understanding, and incline your will to receive his truth, whatever may be the consequence : and if you find the Roman Catholic religion taught there, embracc it; if not, leave that church, so far as she has left divine revelation.
Thomas, replied I, the advice you have given me is so excellent, that an angel could not prejudice me against it.
dear friend, I will endeavour, with the divine assistance, to learn what I am to believe, and what I am to practise, entirely from the word of God; and if I perish, I perish.
This is not the language, my dear young lady, said he, of one who is likely to perish; for in proportion as any person loves God's word, and is disposed to be guided by it, he loves also its Author. Every person, on the contra
ry, who wrests the Scripture from its obvious.mcaning, so far shows his dislike to God : for the Scripture is his mind revealed to us; and if we dislike his mind, we dislike him.
Since this, I haye had three or four conversations with Thomas. We have both been reading archbishop Leighton, and we agree that he was a star of the first magnitude. The writings of this excellent man are a comment upon the observation of Paul, that if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his. The truths which he has delivered are so weighty and important, and his manner is so modest and affectionate, that before I had finished one page I had a sensation which I cannot describe. I blessed God for having sent such labourers into his vineyard. Yet he does not appear, at least while he retained his archbishopric, to have understood the nature of Christ's kingdom. I am more and more convinced, that if the magistrate were to convert the best religion in a country into the state religion, and to allow salaries to its teachers, it would soon degenerate. Church emoluments will always be considered as a provision for the younger branches of the families of the great; and if these needy persons do not engross all the livings in the gift of the state, or of their families, the remainder will in general be obtained, as my dear Miranda observes, by those bold pushing men, who in contentions for gain are always uppermost.
That there are many ministers in the church of England who have the Spirit of Christ, cannot be doubted; and I believe the church of Rome is not destitute of pastors of this description. But national Christianity seems to carry in it the principles of corruption.
I beg you will remember my love to my suffering friend, if she continue with you. I pray that she may not think it a strange thing to be despised by her parent for Christ's sake. Dear Madam, I am most respectfully,
Your sincere friend,
From Mrs. Worthington to Miss Eusebia Neville.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND,
I RECEIVED your letter the day after my neice had left
She returned home with a heart full of grief both on her own account and mine. Every day gives a Christian fresh proof that this is not his rest, but that he must prepare himself to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
You have, perhaps, heard of Mr. M. a very reputable merchant, and an intimate acquaintance of my dear husband. He is become a bankrupt : unhappily for me, he had at least half my fortune in his hands.
It was a great shock to me at first; but the pleasing thought, that my chief treasure is laid up in Heaven, has removed my distress. Besides, a great house, rich furniture, many servants, and an expensive table, are ingredients not absolutely necessary to the comfort of a Christian. I cannot do without food and raiment; and them I have the best security for.
My dear Mr. Worthington was always determined to live below his income, however small. This made us comparatively rich,
while several of our acquaintance, who, to all appearance, had a much better trade than we, came to poverty. I have troubled myself chiefly upon my dear niece's account, as her father behaves very unkindly to her, and as I had thought that my fortune would maintain her and me both. But our Redeemer has cautioned us against being anxiously solicitous about what we shall eat, or what we shall drink; and when we survey the multitude of different creatures that God has brought into being, which have their different wants, and which, as the psalmist observes, all wait upon God, that he may give them their meat in due season, it will appear unreasonable for his own children to suppose, that them only, of all his creatures, he either cannot or will not provide for.
It was a most kind providence which brought you to be acquainted with our friend Thomas, who is able to teach you all that a Christian needs wish to know. As our hea