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felicity to be continued. I was soon compelled to relinquish my pleasant occupation. My father found it necessary to remove from the neighborhood of his mother, and her garden no more bloomed for me.
We were speedily established in the vicinity of a nobleman's seat, in which was instituted an academy of high reputation. It was under the direction of an Episcopalian clergyman, who, being well acquainted with, and much attached to my father, had frequent opportunities of hearing me recite many chapters from the bible, which I had committed to memory, and becoming fond of me, he earnestly importuned my father to surrender me up to his care. 'He shall live in my family,' said he; he shall be unto me as a son; I will instruct him, and when opportunity offers, he shall become a member of the University; he has a prodigious memory, his understanding needs only to be opened, when he will make the most rapid progress.' But my father, trembling for my spiritual interest, if removed from his guardian care, returned to this liberal proposal the most unqualified negative, and my writing-master immediately sought, and obtained the situation for his son, who was about my age. In this academy many noblemen's sons were qualified for Trinity College, Dublin; and in a few years one of those ennobled students, selected my fortunate schoolmate as a companion; he passed through Trinity College, and received its honors, from which period I never again beheld hiin, until I saw him in a pulpit in the city of London.
Though my social propensities, at every period of my life greatly predominated, yet the close attention paid me by my father, greatly abridged every enjoyment of this description. Yet I did form one dear connexion, with whom I held sweet converse. But of the society of this dear youth I was soon deprived. Recalled by his family, he was to leave town upon a Sunday morning, and instead of going to church, I took my way to his lodgings, for the purpose of bidding him a last farewell. The ill health of my father prevented him from attending church on that day, but tidings of my delinquency were conveyed to him by a gentleman of his acquaintance, and my punishment, as I then believed, was more than proportioned to my fault. Still, however, I had sufficient hardihood to run great hazards. A review of several regiments of soldiers was announced; I could not obtain leave to be present, yet, for the purpose of witnessing a sight so novel, I was determined to take the day to myself: I suffered much through the day from hunger, and I anticipated my reception at home. In the evening, I stopped at a little hut, where the homely supper smoked upon the frugal board; the cottagers had the goodness to press me to partake with them; my heart blessed them; I should, like Esau, have given my birthright, had it been mine to bestow, for this entertainment; but, blessings on the hospitable inhabitants of this island, they make no demands either upon friend, or stranger;
every individual is welcome to whatever sustenance either their houses or their huts afford. I sat down, and I ate the sweetest meal I ever ate in my life, the pleasure of which I have never yet forgotten, although the paternal chastisement, which followed, was uncommonly severe.
The time now approached when it was judged necessary I should engage in some business, by which I might secure the necessaries of life. The conscience of my father had deprived me of an estate, and of a collegiate education, and it was incumbent upon him to make some provision for me. But what was to be done? If he sent me abroad, I should most unquestionably contract bad babits. Well then, he would bring me up himself; but this was very difficult. He had for some time thrown up business, and new expenses must be incurred. Finally, however, I commenced my new career, and under the eye of my pains-taking father. I did not however like it; yet I went on well, and, dividing my attention between my occupation and my garden, I had little leisure. It was at this period I began once more to experience the powerful operation of religion, and secret devotion became my choice. Perhaps no one of my age ever more potently felt the joys and sorrows of religion. The Methodists had followed us to our new situation, and they made much noise; they courted and obtained the attention of my father, and he now joined their society. They urged him to become a preacher, but his great humility, and his disbelief of Arminianism were insuperablę bars. He was nevertheless a powerful assistant to the Methodists. Mr. John Wesley was a great admirer of my father, and he distinguished him beyond any individual in the society; perseveringly urging him to become the leader of a class, and to meet the socie ty in the absence of their preachers: to all which my father consented. I think I have before observed, that I was devoted to the Methodists, and for the very reason that rendered my father apprehensive of thein,-they were very social. The Methodists in this, as in every other place, where they sojourned, by degrees established a permanent residence. They first preached in the streets, practised much self-denial, and mortification, inveighed against the standing religion of the country, as impious and hypocritical, declaring the new birth only to be found among them. To this general rule, they, however, allowed my father to be an exception; and his open espousal of their cause contributed greatly to building them up. They gained many proselytes: it became the fashion for multitudes to become religious; and it is in religion as in every thing else, where once it is followed by a multitude, multitudes will follow. The very children became religious. A meeting-house was speedily obtained, a society was formed, and classes of every description regularly arranged. There was one class of boys; it consisted of forty, and Mr. John Wesley appointed me their leader. Twice in the course of every week this class met in a private
apartment. The business of the leader was to see that the members were all present; for this purpose he was furnished with a list of their names, and when they were all assembled, the leader began by singing a hymn. I was once pronounced a good singer, and although I never had patience to learn music by note, I readily caught every tune I heard, and my notes were seldom false. I repeat, that I was delighted with the music introduced by the Methodists. I collected their most enchanting tunes, and singing them frequently in my class, I obtained much applause. Prayer succeeded the hymn; I was accustomed to extemporary prayer; I had usually prayed in sincerity, and my devotion upon these occasions was glowing and unfeigned. Examination followed the prayer; I examined every individual separately, respecting the work of God upon his heart, and both the questions and responses evinced great simplicity and pious sincerity. A word of general advice next ensued, a second hymn was sung, and the whole concluded with prayer. This was a most delightful season, both for my parents, and myself. I became the object of general attention: my society was sought by the grey-headed man, and the child. My experience was various, and great; in fact, I had experienced more of what is denominated the work of God upon the heart, than many, I had almost said than any, of my seniors, my parents excepted. Devout persons pronounced that I was, by divine favor, destined to become a burning, and a shining light; and from these flattering appearances my father drew much consolation. I was frequently addressed, in his presence, as the child of much watching, and earnest prayer; this, to my proudly-pious parent was not a little flattering; it was then that I derived incalculable satisfaction, from these very legible marks of election: And though the Methodists insisted, that the doctrine of election, before repentance and fai was a damnable doctrine; yet they admitted, that, after the manifestation of extraordinary evidences, the individual, so favored, was unquestionably elected. Thus, by the concurrent testimonies of Calvinists and Arminians, I was taught to consider myself as distinguished, and chosen of God; as certainly born again. Yet, as it was next to impossible to ascertain the moment of my new birth, I became seriously unhappy; but from this unhappiness I was rescued, by reading accounts of holy and good men in similar circumstances; I now therefore lived a heaven upon earth, beloved, caressed, and admired. No longer shut up under my father's watchful care, I was allowed to go out every morning at five o'clock to the house of public worship; there I hymned the praises of God, and united in fervent prayer with the children of the faithful: meeting several of my young admiring friends, we exchanged experiences, we mingled our joys and our sorrows, and, by this friendly intercourse, the first was increased, and the second diminished. In all our little meetings we were continually complaining to, and soothing each other, and these employments were truly delightful. The mind cannot be intently occupied on contrary mat
ters at the same time, and my mind being filled with devotion, my waking and my sleeping moments were invariably engaged in religious pursuits; it was in truth my meat, and my drink, to do what I believed the will of my heavenly Father. At this period, I should have been wrecked upon the sand-built foundation of self-righteousness, as many of my young friends were, had it not been for the unbroken vigilance of an experienced and tender father. He saw the danger of too great elation, and he labored to keep me humble in my own estimation. 'You now, my dear,' said he, 'think you know every thing; but when you really attain superior information, you will be convinced you know nothing.' This assertion appeared to me extremely paradoxical; but I have since learned to appreciate its rationality and its truth. I know not how long I proceeded in this delightful path; nothing, from within or without, interrupted my course, and I well remember, that I fancied myself on the verge of perfection. I saw, or imagined I saw, undeviating rectitude within my grasp. I was conscious of no wishes, but those which I considered the legitimate offspring of the religion I professed. I wondered what had become of my evil propensities; they were however gone, and, I believed, they would no more return; my days, my weeks rolled on, uniformly devoted to pursuits, which created for me unutterable self-complacency. On Sunday morning I arose with the sun, and like our first parent in a state of innocence,
Straight towards heaven my wandering eyes I turned,
Thus, after a night of charmingly refreshing and undisturbed repose, with spirits innocently gay, I arose, washed my face and hands, repeating a short supplication, which my father never, on those occasions, omitted: 'O, Almighty God, who hath ordained this watery element for the use and support of nature, by which I am at this time refreshed, and cleansed, O! purify my soul, by the operation of thy blessed spirit, as a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.' I then retired to my closet, offering the orisons of my gladdened heart, and habited for church. I sat down to my book, until my father made his appearance, when the family being summoned, and the morning prayer ended, we breakfasted; but it was a light repast, and soon dispatched. At eight o'clock, I attended the Methodist meeting: at half past nine, returned home, and devoted the time to reading, until after ten, when the bell summoned ine to church, where the Methodists at that time attended; at church I was remarked for my devotion. From the church I returned to my closet, after which I read the Bible, responding to the interrogations of my father, relative to the sermon, by repeating it nearly verbatim. Dinner over, I again retired to my closet; from which, by my father's desire I made my appearance, to read for him some devotional book, until the bell again commanded my attendance upon public worship: but, to my great consolation, I had not, when I return
ed home, as on Sunday sketched in a former page, to spend the residue of the day in saddening glooms; at five o'clock, the Methodist meeting again opened, to which the multitude flocked; there I saw, and there, with affectionate admiration, I was seen; there when the terrors of law were exhibited, I was delighted by the assurance of eternal security therefrom; and there, when the children of the Redeemer were addressed in the soothing and plausive strains of consolation, my heart throbbed with pleasure, and tears of transport copiously evinced the rapture of my soul. Society meeting succeeded the close of public service; three classes of the people were denominated Methodists: The congregation, who, as outercourt worshippers, were only hearers, and seekers; members of the society, who were classed; and members of the band society, who were genuine believers. The two latter met every Sunday evening after meeting, and no individual, who was not furnished with a ticket, could gain admittance. This ticket was a badge of distinction; it gave the possessor entrance; all others were shut out, and the door was locked. No words can describe, my sensations, when I obtained a seat inside the closed door; when I listened, while the preacher in a low voice addressed the children of God. The house was not unfrequently filled with the dissonant sounds of terror, and joy issued from the discordant voices of those, who were in the valley, or on the mount. From this society, I returned home, to unite in family devotion, repeat the fundamental points in my religion, retire to my private devotions, and then to bed. Monday morning, I arose at five o'clock, and after the same preparation as on Sunday, attended meeting, returned to breakfast, occupied myself with the business of the day, until dinner; and after dinner, an interval passed in private devotion, to secular affairs again, until evening; then once more to the Methodist meeting, returned, attended family and private devotions, and to my chamber: often not to rest, but to my book, till midnight. Thus was my time spent, two evenings in the week excepted, which were devoted to my class, and one night in the week, when the society assembled, as on Sunday evening: but, alas! the fervor of spirit, excited on those occasions, cannot, in the nature of things, be very durable. There were individuals in my class who proved untoward, they began to be weary in well-doing this was a source of sorrow, the first I had experienced for a long time; added to this, repeated complaints reached my ear, and not unfrequently slanderous reports-reports one against another! This tortured me; I consulted the preachers, disputes ran high, the interposition of parents became indispensable, and the class was broken!! This was a severe trial: I had derived high satisfaction from the connexion, and from the fame which it had bestowed upon me; I however lost no reputation; it was generally believed I had performed my duty, and that no boy, beside myself, would have kept such a set of beings together, and in such order so long.
This was a season replete with events, which possessed for me no common interest, Constantly in society, I formed many attach