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ing he would make every man hap-| few months, terminated his life. py at death whatever might have The first three or four months of been his character in life. | his fickness not apprehending him.
But though thus eagerly enga- self dangerous, he thought little ged in purfuit of this world's goods, concerning death or what was to he was disapponted in his hopes. follow that event. When he did By a train of misfortunes, he lost think of thefe things, he endeavwhat little property he had acquir. ored to quiet his mind by beliered, became embarrassed in his cir- ing that, fome how or other, cumstances, and every effort which it would be well with him and all he made to relieve himfelf was mankind ; that death was the comdefeated. These disappointments mop lot of man, and that a philo. inftead of inducing hini to reflect sopher should not be anxious reupon the uncertainty of all world-specting the time of its arrival.. Iro ly things and to seek more durable short, he renounced all the animariches, ferved only to harden him | ting profpects of the gospel and and to increase his difrelish for re-was falt verging towards the glooligion. He indulged himself in my, cheerless state of universal openly murmuring and repining scepticifm.: . again É the Providence of Heaven, Hearing of his ficknefs I went and in envying the prosperity of to visit him. I reminded him of others. He even dared to cen- the fentiments which had been fure the administration of God taught him when young, spoke and to arraign the wifdom and freely on his infidel principles, and goodness of his proceedings. I asked him whether his fickness and
About this time, Jatros became the probability that he might foon acquainted with several men of be called to leave the world, had whom it might be faid, that they not led him to fear he was buildgloried in their shame; they ridi- / ing upon a false foundation ? He culed the fcriptures ; decried all replied to this effect, that he had religion as the invention of crafty no anxiety concerning himfelf ; men, and derided the Saviour of that he still considered the scripthe world. From their converfatures as the work of designing tion, and from reading infidel men, and Jesus Christ, if ever books with which they supplied such a person exifted, as an impor. him, Jatros foon embraced their tor ; that he was ready to die at Syftem and joined with them in any time, and that if he did not faughing at every thing serious. - ceafe to exist, at death, he preAs a natural consequence of em- sumed that the God who had givbracing such principles, he attempt- en him being would make him. ed to persuade others that there happy, as he had never done any was nothing in religion, and that thing for which he deferved to be all who pretended to seriousness made miserable ; that in such a bewere either designing hypocrites or lief he meant to remain and hoped deluded enthusiasts. In this state to die. I saw that it was in vain of mind he continued for two or to attempt to argue with him ; for three years, repining at divine Pro-though he had no regular system vidence, ervying his more prof. to which a reasonable man could perous neighbors, and scorfing at confiftently truit, yet he was dereligion. At length he was at. termined not to embrace the gospel tacked with a disease which, in a l scheme ; and all I could do was in
secret to pray, that his eyes might declared himself a full believer in still be opened.
the scriptures, and expressed the A few days after this, I visited strongest persuasion, that salvation him again, when I found him in a was obtained only in the way there different state of mind. He was pointed out. He had a deep sense extremely melancholy and deject of his sins, and most bitterly laed. The instructions he had re. | mented that he should ever have ceived when a child, avid certain denied the Lord who bought him, convictions which he experienced and derided his holy word. He when young, had recently recurred expressed himself astonished that to his mind with energy, and filled he had not been left to persist in hina with doubts concerning his his infidelty and ascribed it wholly infidel principles, and he was har to the mercy of God through rowed with the idea that possibly Christ, that he was brought to a he might have deceived himself. sense of liis sins'and as he hoped to Though far from being willing to | true repentance. He manifested a own he was wrong, he did not feel sincere resignation to that Proviperfe&ly fatisfied that he was right. dence which he had formerly darHe was in a state of suspense ed to censure, and gave his friends which filled him with distresling great reason to hope, that he posanxiety. I proposed to him to sessed that true love to God and fend for the clergyman of the par- | man, and that real holiness with. ish. He confented, though with out which no one will see the reluctance on account of the scof- | Lord. Tho' religned to the will fing, jeering manner in which he of Heaven, yet he desired to live, if had formerly spoken of him. The God saw fit on account of his wife, clergyman came, and, at the re- and childen, but more especially quest of Jatros, briefly explained that he might have an opportunity to him the general system of truth to convince his acquaintance that contained in the scriptures. Jatros he had become a real believer in proposed many deistical objections, the Christian religion, and that he which the clergymen endeavored | might serve God by an attendance to remove, and it was evident that on those facred institutions which the remarks which were made in | he had so often ridiculed. the course of this conversation took 1 The following conversation bea deep hold of his mind though he tween him and a female friend still manifested a great averfion to will show what the state of his the truth. The clergyman pray- | mind was at this time. Question. ed with him and left him. From “ Do you feel resigned and subthis time, it pleased the Father of l mislive to God's will ?" Answer. lights gradually to enlighten his “ I do.” 2. “Do you think you mind. He was brought to see I have a heart to reperit ?" A. "I that he had been trusting to refuges think I have.” 2. “ On what of lies. He gave up the principles do you depend ? . “ On the of infidelity one after another ; as | atonement Christ niade by his fuftruth opened upon his mind God ferings and death.” 2.- “ Do disposed him to receive it, and you not think that you keep back while his understanding became fome darling fin, something you convinced and enlightened it is | are not willing to give up?" A. presumed his heart was changed. “ I think I do not; I hope I am Some time before his death, he willing to give up all." He then
broke out into a fervent prayer for I ly years he had several seasons of himself and for all mankind seriousness, against which he con
After this he conversed with all tinued to strive, until all sense of his friends separately and together. truth and of duty to God, seemed He cautioned them particularly to be obliterated from his mind. against embracing those dangerous After he became thus ftupid, it was principles which had so nigh ruin. one of his most delightful themes, ed him ; he urged them to be more to ridicule his former sobriety and anxious to lay up treasures in Heav- thoughtfulness, and he represented en than to acquire the good things himself as having been ridiculous of life, and exhorted them above in the highest degree, to think so all things to seek an interest in much of another state and take Christ--to make that the first and pains to be happy by rejecting the great object of their pursuit. He festivities of the world. By this fake feelingly of the happiness of manner of ridiculing himself, he a life of religion ; expressed a was instrumental of corrupting a strong hope that, through the mer- | number, some of whom were reits of a Saviour, his fins were par claimed by his death, some remain doned, and that God would re-l in the stupidity of sin, and others ceive him to glory , took an affec have followed him into eternity. tionate leave of his friends, and by This man was generous, hospitaprayer commended them to the 1 ble and festive in his natural dispomercy and blessing of God. He lition, which led to many opporcontinued in this frame of mind tunities for discovering the impiety until he lost his senses and his of his heart, and he never failed speech, which was a short time | in any company to express his conprevious to death ; and after the tempt of Christ and his religion Itruggles of nature had ceased, his and of pious persons. He ridicuspirit, it is humbly hoped, was re | led prayer-he spoke of death ceived into those mansions of bliss with levity--represented Christian which the divine Redeemer has institutions as a farce-and profesprepared for all who believe in him. sed to think that God was so high
ly exalted above all creatures that Mess’rs Editors,
he took little or no notice of their IF you think a knowledge of transactions. That God made the following fact will be useful,
men that they might pursue their you are at liberty to insert it in
own pleasures ; and that he was your Magazine. Perhaps some
pursuing his own pleasures in a way may think the method taken to
suited to his own appetites, as he open the eyes of a disbeliever was
expressed himself. At no great
distance there lived a Clergyman, improper ; but the event showed that it had a deep effect and was
with whom Perditus took particudoubtless more impressive on a blin
lar pains to become acquainted.
He would often meet him affably ded mind than any other means
in the streets, and insist on his visa which could have been used.
l'iting his house ; but all this was
done that he might gratify himself T HIS disbeliever of all reli. with indirect insults and insinua
I gion shall be called Perditus, tions against religion and fobriety. for the sake of secreting his family | In fundry interviews, the ClergyAame. It is said, that in his ear. I man bore the fneers of Perditus,
Vol. I. No 3.
affecting not to perceive them, un- 1 judgment and the eternal world. til he had obtained a thorough ac- | The conversation was long-it was quaintance with his heart. This interesting. Perditus found that being thoroughly obtained, the he had completely laid himself open Clergyman requested Perditus to to a man, on whom he had thought spend with him a day in the solita- himself to be ludicrously playing, ry fields, with which he complied. He was sometimes confounded When removed from all other and ashamed ; fometimes 'for å eyes and in the solitude of a grove; moment angry ; sometimes alarnithe Clergyman acquainted Perdi. ed; and did at some times attempt tus with the object he had in view, | to change the serious discourse in. which was to converse freely with to merriment. He was told, that him on the things of God, of re- unless there was a reformation from ligion and eternity. Perditus, lit. reflecting on religion and its institle suspecting any thing of this tutions, there must be a total dis. kind, was for a few moments an- | continuance of those social intergry, but soon became calm and a- views to which they had been acgreed to hear. The Clergyman customed. The result was that then stated the manner of their ac. Perditus engaged to call the next quaintance, and acknowledged per | day at the Clergyman's house and fect civility of treatment, in every fix bis resolutions. He called as respect, except the sneers which he he had engaged. He acknowl. had often thrown out against the edged that he had not treated the truths, duties, institutions, minif. Clergyman with the respect of po. ters and professors of religion. | liteness, promised to refrain in his That he had always seen and felt | presence from any future insinuathese things, though Perditus had | tions against religion, and desired supposed him ignorant and unfeel him to visit his house as a friend ing under the most bitter reflections. I and a gentleman ; but at the fame That he had often affected this time avowed his utter disbelief of want of discernment out of tender. religion, of the word of God, andness to the feelings of the wife of the sincerity of Christian professors Perditus, who was often present in general. On this being so frecly at their conversations. She be- owned, the minister again begged lieved in the reality of religion, him to review, for that posibly he although she was not pious. Per- might yet obtain a conviction of ditus had ridiculed the Clergyman, the truth. To which he refolutein his own profane circle, as beingly replied, “I wish your company a man who could not resent ; but as a man, but I charge you rievwas now confounded to find that, er to speak to me again on the his motives were tenderness to the subject of religionyca more feelings of his own family. I never to pray for me, unless I
The Clergyman now proceeded fpecially ask you," and thus they to state before him, in the most parted. solemn and affectionate manner, It was not long after this before the great truths of religion ; its Perditus was smitten with a deepdenatural and revealed evidence ; his cline, and all spectators saw marks own character, neglects, impiety, of approaching death on his visage. and ingratitude to the Lord of all | He Itruggled, but in vain, for a his bounties ; and enforced these specdy confinement ensued. The truths by the folempities of death, Clergyman deliberating on the cale,
concluded to conduct as will be not pray that God would forgive related.
my sins.” But you have always He called often as a neighbour, denied that you were a finner-I conversed of his complaints, and have prayed for you as a sinner in endeavored by every means to as- my closet, but if you spoke true, suage the pains of his body and you could not sincerely join with console the afflicted family ; but me in praying for you as a linner ; never said any thing of religion. I shall however gladly now do it if These visits were daily made, but you feel yourself to be fuch. He without any thing of a very serious assented that he did ; but said that nature. On a certain day, the | he did not see the need of a $2. Clergyman had barely returned viour, for if God was disposed to home, before a messenger fellowed forgive he might do it without. to recal him. He returned, when He was told that a Christian min. Perditus told him. “You kind ister could not pray God to forly visit me, but say nothing of re- give finners in any other way than ligion, why is this?"? The answer through the Saviour, whom he was, you have forbidden me ever had appointed. And was left in to speak to you on such subjects, | a state of great agitation. In sub. I wait but your permission and re- fequent vilits he strongly urged for ligion shall in future be the subject prayer that God would forgive his of our discourse. To which he lins without a mediator, but as this replied, “converse with me on the could not be granted he seemed religion of nature, but not on for a few days to determine that Christianity.” The direction was he would throw away all sense of followed, and the religion of na- his finfulness. However, as the ture was for several days the sub- 'certainty of death was becoming ject of discourse, without a word more apparent, the struggle in his faid of Jesus Christ or the peculiar mind grew more terrible, and an doctrines of the Gospel. Perdi- accusing conscience denied him all tus ftill denied that he or any other peace. Two days before his death men were finners. After a short he urgently sent for the minister, feason Perditus enquired, why do and requested prayer that God you not offer to pray with me, as would forgive him for the sake of you do with others who are fick. | Jesus Christ. He said that he faw The former answer was given, you God's displeasure against him to have forbid me, and I cannot do it be so great, that none but a Saviour - until you make the request, I wish of infinite power could deliver him it, said Perditus. For what shall from the ruin into which he was I pray, for any thing more, than falling, and he now repeated the that you may recover ? To which name of Christ with as much urhe replied, that is the great thing gency as he had before blafphemed at present. Prayer was several | hiin. At the time he was brought cimes made according to his direc- to this confession a number of his tion, and confined to the matter of infidel companions were listening bis recovery. After several par. 1 to his dying words. They conIng days, Perditus faid, " Why felfed him to be in the full exercise do you not pray with me as you of reason, and until now had trido with other people ?” The min- umphed in their looks, expecting ilter answered, in what respects do that his death would be an evidence I differ? He answered li you do l for infidelity. But when they