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mise, that the flattering hopes taken possession of his estate, which we entertained for his gave a new and profitable turn recovery were not disappointed; to his thoughts and views. in a few days after the dispatch The wife of the rector, and of my former narrative, we had mother of four children, died, the satisfaction to see him re- after an illness of only a few stored to our prayers in perfect days : Theophilus had too much health. The news of a national feeling and humanity not to be victory would scarcely have dif- deeply affected at this event, and fused more joy in the little cir- he only waited, according to the cle of his friends and admirers. established etiquette, until the
When Theophilus succeeded funeral had taken place, to offer to the estate which he now en- his personal condolence to his joys, he found a living attached friend. Judge of his surprise, to it, in the possession of a cler- when, on the sabbath following gyman who was beloved by his the death of the lady, and the parishioners, and generally es- day after her interment, he saw teemed for his piety and benev- the rector enter the church, with olence. The opinion entertain a depressed but composed couned of him did not exceed his tenance, and with a firm but merits, and Theophilus was de submissive voice heard him perlighted to discover in him, a form his ministerial functions. man of polished manners and The discourse which he addresclegant conversation, learned, sed to his congregation, naturjudicious, and intelligent, and ally had a reference to his own he courted an acquaintance with situation ; it was pathetic, solhim, which was soon improved lemn, and impressive : 'one pasinto an intimacy.
sage in it, which was commitAt this period, the religious ted to writing at the time, with attainments of Theophilus were tolerable accuracy, by a sensible of a standard little superior to parishioner, has been commu. what mine were when I lately nicated to me, and was nearly in entered his house. In the course the following terms. of his education at school and “ You see me, my brethren, the university, he had gone thro' with the characters of grief upthe usual routine of religious in- on my countenance; they are struction, but the seed was sown deeply engraven in my heart. To among thorns, and the pleasures lose a wife, an amiable beloved of this world, “ the deceitful-wife, the tender mother and kind ness of riches, and the lusts of protector of four dear children, is other things entering in, had no trivial sorrow; but I should choked the word, and it had be- be ashamed to appear before you, come unfruitful.” He attended, if, upon this trying affliction, I indeed, the service of the church were to belie the doctrines which with considerable regularity, but I have taught. I sorrow, but rather for the sake of shewing not as one without hope; I know an example of decent conform- in whom I trust, and I feel his ity than from conviction, or an | divine support on the present anxiety to improve. An affect- occasion; it is that alone which ing occurrence which happened enables me thus to address you. about six months after he had I Had I sought for consolation in
that worldly wisdom, which menguage of inspiration - The Lord call philosophy, I should not gave, the Lord hath taken away, have found it; I should have blessed be the name of the Lord." šunk under the calamity which As for myself, why should I has befallen me ; but the gos- grieve? because the dear ob.: pel teaches me that the afflic-ject of my earthly affection has tions which Christians suffer entered into the joy of the Lord? here, while they are the deserv- for such is the blessed confied punishment of their sins, are dence with which her faith in also intended to purify their him has inspired me. faith, and to prepare them for dear friends, though I am dethe enjoyment of that eternal prived of a companion in whose happiness which Christ has par society I enjoyed all the happichased for them by his death. ness which this world can afin all the dispensations of the ford, though niy children have Alinighty, justice and mercy, lost a most affectionate endear. where there is room for mercy, ing parent, yet my sorrow is are ever united ; nor are any of well nigh absorbed in the the afflictions to which a be thought of the happiness which ħever in Christ is exposed, with she now enjoys. I derive supout abundant sources of consola- port and consolation from the tion. Such an one knows that confidence I feel, that the Lord; whom God loveth he chasten- in whom she trusted, has taken eth ; and while, therefore, he her to himself, and from the considers his sufferings as the hope that through faith in him I effect of his sinfulness, and hum- shall again see her a purified bles himself under them ; he saint, in the company
of regards them also as proofs of er blessed Redeemer." the love of his Creator, who is This was a scene to which thus weaning him from earthly few persons present had ever attachments. Feeling that trib- witnessed a parallel, and for alation worketh patience, and which Theophilus was wholly patience experience, and expe- unprepared ; his admiration was rience hope," he says in his heart, equal to his surprise ; he knew it is good for me to be afflicted, the rector to possess more than and he resigns himself to the a common share of sensibility, disposal of his heavenly father, and that the warmest affection in the hope of eternal life thro' had ever subsisted between him Christ, a hope which elevates and his wife. The style of the kim beyond the limits of the discourse, the tone and manner world and time.'
in which it was delivered, and When the Christian also calls the unimpeached integrity of to mind the sorrows and agonies the preacher, did not suffer him of his dying Redeemer, and to entertain a doubt respecting whilst he contemplates, with un- the sincerity of his resignation, utterable gratitude, the stupen- and he felt all the force of the dous display of divine love, in example, although he then was the atoning sacrifice of the Son by no means qualified to appreof God, then is his burthen ciate the value of the principles lightened, and his tongue in which had inspired it. stinctively exclaims in the lan- Theophilus was too much af
fected by what he had seen and supreme being and the nature heard, to accost the rector after of man, and adapted to all peothe services of the church were ple of every country and condifinished, but he visited him on tion, it was long before he rightthe next day, and then, as well ly understood, and cordially and as in all his subsequent inter- practically embraced the fu:views, found his conversation damental and peculiar truths of and deportment in exact corres- Christianity ; the ruin of the pondence with the doctrines world by sin, its redemption by which he publicly taught. The the atonement of a crucified Saweight of such an example was viour, and the sanctifying influliardly to be resisted by any mind ence of the Holy Spirit. The susceptible of piety or sensibili- truth was, as he now acknowlty; and Theophilus was led by edges, that he depended too it into a train of reflection, upon much upon himself, and had the power of that religion which overlooked the necessity of praycould support human nature un- er for the divine assistance to der the deepest calamity; and enlighten his understanding and he justly concluded, that if it purify his heart ; hence it was were founded on substantial ey that he perused the scriptures idence, the consolation which it rather as a code of ethics than a inspired was no less rational revelation, whichi taught him than solid. He saw clearly that the alienation of man from God, the topics of condolence and re- and the means of his reconciliasignation, suggested by philoso- tion with his offended Maker phy, were neither sound in prin- and Judge. ciple nor efficient in practice, But the pious rector, with and that the frame of mind whom he now constantly associ: which they were calculated to ated, pointed out his errors, and produce was a sullen rather than taught him to renounce all dea rational acquiescence: whilst pendance upon himself for spirChristianity, on the contrary, in-itual improvement, and to trust culcated submission without ex- in him alone who is the author tinguishing feeling, and, by the of every good and perfect gift, views and hopes which it inspir- soliciting his aid by fervent and ed, satisfied the reason whilst it frequent prayer.. Theophilus alleviated the distress of the af- most readily submitted to his inflicted. He determined, there-struction, and being by the difore, to peruse the scriptures vine grace gradually enabled to with patient unprejudiced at- perceive the grand display of tention.
heavenly mercy in the redempTheophilus, with whom I have tion of man, embraced with arfrequently conversed on the in- dor the gracious invitation of teresting subject of the progress an Almighty Saviour. of his religious convictions, has This worthy clergyman is confessed to nie, that although now no more ; he died about ten he immediately discovered in years ago, and Theophilus, who, the code of revelation, a system can scarcely mention his name of morality, equally pure, r'a- without a tear, has since his tional, and sublime, founded on death liberally maintained his the justest conceptions of the children. They are placed un
der the care of a pious relation 1 ject which has been so amply in another county ; and The- detailed in my former narrative, ophilus, who has undertaken to and which describes Theophilus provide for their temporal wel as he now is; but I have learned fare, has made a particular be- one anecdote of his conduct, quest in his will for this pur- which so strongly marks his pose, lest he should not himself principles and good sense, that I survive to fulfil his engage cannot deny myself the pleasure ment.
of relating it. There never was Theophilus having deliberate a period in which it was more ly adopted the religion of Jesus, necessary to enforce the example determined, in humble depend- which it inculcates. ance on divine support, to act up A short time before the death both to the letter and spirit of it. of his pious instructor, a recruitHis first endeavor was to cor- ing party took up its quarters in rect himself, and to bring his a small town at no great distance mind under subjection to the from the residence of Theophigospel ; and as he was sensible lus. The commanding officer, of the natural impetuosity of his a young man of family and fashtemper, as well as of other irteli-ion, had contrived a plan for segious propensities, he labored ducing the daughter of a farmer, incessantly to subdue them. a tenant of Theophilus, who was The instruction of his family be apprised of the scheme just in came an object of his early and time to prevent the ruin of the serious attention ; he was aware girl. On this occasion he wrote both of the obligation of perform a letter of expostulation to the ing this duty, and of the inhu- officer, which the other resented manity of neglecting it. By de- as an insult, and brutally challengrees he extended his care to ged him. Theophilus declined his dependants and neighbors, the defiance without hesitation, and his liberality, which was now and addressed a second letter of under the direction of his piety, remonstrance and admonition to aided the influence of his exer- the officer, which produced an tions. His progress was oppos- insulting and abusive reply. The ed by maný obstacles, but he report of this transaction was cirwas not deterred by them from culated much to the prejudice of perseverance. The obnoxious my friend, and, as usually hapepithet of Methodist was applied pens in such cases, with many to him, and his gay friends a- circumstances which were wholmused themselves with impotently unfounded, and which remainand profane jokes upon his con- ed for a time uncontradicted ; version. He had ignorance per- for Theophilus, satisfied with petually, and malice and ingrat- having performed his duty, was itude frequently, to contend silent on what had passed, from with ; but these impediments, a principle of Christian forbearinstead of inducing him to relax ance to the officer who had inhis efforts, stimulated him to re- sulted him, although he was, at double them, and he had the the same time, fully aware of the happiness, in many instances to consequences that might attend find them crowned with success. his refusal of a challenge. I shall not enlarge upon a sub- About a fortnight after this oc. Vol. VI. No. 4.
currence, Theophilus was pre-shalt do nomurder,'--and that it sent at a numerous ineeting of is opposed not only by the letter the gentlemen of the county, a but by the whole spirit of our few of whom had adopted strong holy religion, the essence of prejudices against him on no which is love to God and man. other grounds than because the These are the principles upon invariable ctitude of his con- which I have acted, and to which, duct, furnished a perpetual con- by God's assistance, I am detertrast to their irregularities. He mined ever to adhere, through remarked, what he had been pre-honor and dishonor, through pared to expect, a cold formality evil report and good report. Eand reserve in their reception of ternity is of too serious importhim, little short of incivility. ance to be staked against the After a moment's deliberation, opinion of the world ; and prohe requested their attention, ex- fessing to fear him who can deplained all the circumstances of stroy both body and soul forever, the transaction which had led to I dare not offend him by the dea correspondence with the offi- liberate commission of a crime cer, and addressed them in terms which may send me or a fellow to the following purport :
creature uncalled into his pre“ I have been given to under- sence, with the dreadful constand, what it would pain me sciousness of wilful sin, which much to believe, that my refusal cannot be repented of.” of a challenge has depreciated This address, of which I am my character in the estimation enabled only to give you an imof some to whom I have the hon-perfect sketch, was heard with or to speak. I know that, even great surprise, but with an effect by the laws of honor, I was not much to the credit of those to bound to meet my challenger ; whom it was offered.
It was but I dare not take refuge from well known, that at no very disreproach in such a plea. No, tant period, Theophilus would gentlemen, I am called upon not have declined a challenge, publicly to avow, that in declin- and those who were disposed to ing the challenge sent to me I attribute his new principles to a acted from a superior motive, methodistical bias, could not refrom obedience to the law of fuse their applause to his manly God, which admits of no com- avowal of them, whilst conpromise with the rules of honor. curred in approving that conduct The master whom I profess to which had exposed him to the serve, not only requires my obe- insult of an unprincipled liberdience, but the avowal of my al- tine. Some of the company did legiance, and disclaims the hypo- not hesitate to express an uncritical service of a disciple, who qualified approbation of his beis ashamed of the name of his havior, and an old and respectLord. I shall not expatiate onable divine spoke with enthusithe absurdity, barbarity, and illcasm in favor of it, as affording an gality of duelling: to a believer example which, under similar in the doctrines of Christianity, circumstances, all were bound to it is sufficient that the practice is imitate, at the bazard of their condemned by the positive com- immortal souls. mand of the Almighty-Thou I now revert to myself. The