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every conviction. But since her father accused me of being the cause of her death, I have not enjoyed a moment's peace : and your kind interposition in my favour brought afresh to my mind the divine philanthropy of that excel : lent young lady, whose kindness seemed to increase in the same proportion as I persecuted her. Oh, Madam, I perceive myself to be as different from you and her, as a wolf is from a famb; and the undisguised truth is this; I came into the wilderness on purpose to converse with you.
is I told father Albino, that if God should mercifully cause him to be a real Christian, he would most probably be thereby exposed to many evils in this world, from the resentment of Mr. Neville especially..
Do you think it necessary then, my dear friend, said he, that I should become a protestant, in order to become a Christian ? Are there no catholics who are Christians ?
You will find it necessary, replied I, to regulate your conduct by the New Testament. If you should find in . that divine book the Roman catholic religion, I do not advise you to abandon the church of Rome. I do not wish you to leave that church any further than she has left the apostles.
How forcible, cried the old gentleman, are right words! With the divine assistance I will take your advice, and endeavour to learn what I fear I have not yet learned, the first principles of the oracles of God. And, Othou Foun: tain of light, I beseech thee, for the sake of thy holy Child Jesus, to dispel my darkness. To this I replied, I pray that God may hear and answer your prayer,
My friends were agreeably surprised when I related this conversation. They unite in love to you with,
My dear aunt,
Your dutiful and
From Mrs. Worthington to Miss Sarnwell.
MY DEAR NIECE,
I RECEIVED Mr. William Neville's letter, and also yours. Please to tell that gentleman that his correspondence will afford me great pleasure.
What short-sighted creatures we are! I dreaded the consequence when Mr. Neville should know that his son and daughter were protestants. But things now, I thank God, wear a promising aspect; for that gentleman seems to view persecution which is the most horrid part of popery, in its true light...
I also thank God on account of what you have related concerning father Albino. I hope he has been renewed by divine grace ; for that only is able to make the wolf dwell peaceably with the lamb, and the leopard lie down with the kid. This is the man who but a fortnight ago breathed hatred and malice against the saints of the most High. God has touched this lofty mountain, and has levelled it with the lowest valley. We may say to the proud. est sinner, and to every thing that opposes the cause of the Redeemer, Who art thou, O great mountain ? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain. Many have I seen who were exceedingly furious, and even mad, against the ways and people of God, whom in the midst of their career an arrow from the divine quiver has smitten, and who have immediately laid down their arms, and become the reverse of what they were before. Paul was a remarkable instance of God's acting in this sovereign way; and in all his writings he took abundant care that succeeding ages should know that he beheld himself in that light. I do not say that no real Christian can be an Arminian; but he must be a very inconsistent one, if it is indeed true, that we are saved by the obedience of the son of God. I say obedi. ence; since his sufferings are a part of that obedience, and indeed the finishing part. It is nevertheless true, that all who perish where the gospel is preached, will have only to VOL. II.
blame their own depravity, which showed itself in their voluntary neglect or rejection of the Saviour. .
Since I wrote the above, Mr. and Mrs. Barnwell have arrived here. I have received many favours from your father; I therefore invited them to be at my house, to which they consented. I am sorry to tell my dear niece, that I see no tokens of good in either of them. Her mind is wholly taken up about places of diversion and amusement, and how to adorn that body which will in a short time be the food of worms.
I asked your father whether you were at home?
No, Madam, replied he, I dare say you know that : nor do I wish to see her there, unless I could have my own daughter again. I have heard of children's being changed in the cradle, but never before of their being changed after they were nineteen or twenty years old ; and yet that is the case with my foolish girl. I cannot forgive her. Indeed I shall never forgive her: she knew how much I ab. horred all canting and whining about rcligion. My daughter? she is none of my daughter ; she has not a drop of my blood in her veins, or she would not have gone into a conventicle ; a mere barn, with a few forms in it, and a tub turned upside down for a rostrum. I will take an oath that I heard either that it was a tub, or no better than a tub. : I will take your word, Sir, replied I; it is not an affair of sufficient importance to require an oath.
Nay, Madam, replied he, I must beg leave to differ from you. Is no regard to be paid to decorum ? Was it proper that my daughter should herd with the scum of the earth?
Indeed, Madam, cried Mrs. Barnwell, it was a meeting to which no persons of fashion resorted; none but lowbred people; so that I do not wonder at Mr. Barnwell's being so angry...
Were you not a dissenter, Madam? said I.
Yes, replied she, but that was a very different affair ; the most respectable tradesmen in the town went to our meeting, Mr. Pine I dare say is worth forty thousand pounds : don't you think he is, Mr. Barnwell ?
He is undoubtedly very rich, answered he. And I have often said that in market towns, and great trading places, where they have a genteel place of worship, and a good salary for a reputable minister, I do not blame persons for going to meeting, especially if they were born dis. senters; for I think every one ought to go where he was brought up.
Your father is come to town about his chancery-suit. By what I can learn he is not very sanguine that it will terminate in his favour; and if it should not, the loss of this estate, and a little assistance from his wife, may put it out of his power to do much for you, even if he had the inclination. I esteem it no small mercy, my dear child, that God has put it in my power to supply the place of a parent to you. I 'shall long to hear how affairs go on at 'Thornton Abbey. Pray remember my kind love to all the servants of our divine master there. . . I am, my dear niece,
Your affectionate aunt,
| LETTER XLVIII.
From Miss Barnwell to Mrs. Worthington,
..I THANK you for your kind letter. I have indeed small expectations from my father. As Icontinue to receive much respect from Mr. Neville and his family, I think I shall stay here some time longer. When I remove, I intend to accept my dear aunt's invitation...
In reading your conversation with my father, sorrow and joy took possession of me alternately. Sorrow, that so near a relative should not only be a stranger, but an enemy to the Redeemer; and joy, that God in sovereign mer: cy should call me to the knowledge of himself, notwith
standing I am sprung from one who is a stranger to the covenant of promise. When the temple of God shall be finished, every stone in the building, as well as the headstone, will ascribe it entirely to the grace of the almighty Architect, that it was chosen out of the common quarry, and fashioned for the intended use, in preference to other stones of equal goodness. May I always remember with self-abasement the rock whence I was hewn, and the hole of the pit whence I was digged.
With regard to my father's estate, I should look upon it as a happy thing for him to lose it, if that were to be a mean in the hand of Providence of making him seek the true riches. Nothing used to give me more pain than to hear him value himself upon his being a gentleman. Alas! what a poor prerogative it is for the offspring of God, for immortals, to live in a large house, and to wear clothes made of fine wool or linen, and this for only sixty or seventy years. I have not mentioned their living without labour, and eating and drinking much more than nature requires ; because these things ought to be considered as curses rather than blessings. O my God! may I and all thy servants rather glory in the cross of Christ, and in all that infamy which attends the confession of thy name.
You wish to hear, Madam, how we go on at the Abbey. I have conversed with father Albino several times since I wrote last, and I hope with good effect. I have chiefly endeavoured to prove out of the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ, the only Saviour ; and also that it is the em. ployment of Satan, under the disguise of an angel of light to substitute in the room of the perfect obedience of Christ, and of that atonement which he made for sin, a religion of which the love of God makes no part. Notwithstanding, continued I, the helpless condition of man since the fall, and that it is now impossible for him to live by his own righteousness, yet the enemy of souls, continually labours to make him build a Babel that will reach to heaven, there. . by endeavouring to render the mediatorial work of Christ of no effect.
He asked me what I thought of the monks and nuns in their church.