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greatly relied. On our way a sudden thought of misgiving came over him; he all at once turned to me and said, "I say, my friend, I'll be done with you altogether if you say Mr. is not converted!"
Then," I replied, "you may be sure I will not say it." "But suppose you think so ?"
"Well, I must confess I think so already, and not without good reason (at least, to my mind), for he has taken no interest whatever in this remarkable work of God, nor has he shown the least sympathy in the spiritual welfare of many of his parishioners, who have received blessing at the meetings. His High Church neighbour, who does not profess to be converted, could not help coming over to ask about it, while your friend has never been near, nor even sent to make inquiry. Besides this, one of his own people told me that he was much put out, and very angry with you for asking me."
"Ah," said my friend, " we are not all revivalists like you, remember."
"Well," I said, "let me hope you are a deal better than I am."
He seemed very uneasy at taking me on after this conversation; but as he had written to say we were coming, he thought we must go forward. In order to ease his mind, I made an agreement with him that during luncheon I would tell about the conversion of one of Mr. -'s parishioners, and said, "While I do so, you watch his face. If he is at all interested, I will conclude that I am wrong, and that he is converted; but if he is not, I will leave you to judge for yourself. I must say, I cannot understand a converted man not interested in the conversion of others, even if it does nothing more than remind him of his own."
My friend agreed to this, and seemed somewhat relieved in his mind.
"REVIVAL!-WHAT IS THAT?”
On our arrival, Mr. received us courteously, and asked after the family—indeed, about everything he could think of but the work.
My friend, after a little pause, said, "Have you not heard of the revival?"
"Revival!" he said, calmly. "What is that?" "The special services in my church."
This evidently was enough. He went out of the room to try and hurry the luncheon. My friend looked very thoughtful, and said nothing, but was clearly beginning to suspect that the judgment I had formed was not far wrong.
In course of the luncheon I told my story, but not without being interrupted over and over again by the host's attentions, and importunities to "take more vegetables." "Have you any salt?" "Will you take some bread ?" "Will you not take a glass of wine?" It was quite evident he wished the story at an end.
My friend said, "That is one of your parishioners he is talking about."
"I suspected so," he replied. "All I can say is, that if Mr. Haslam had only known that man as long as I have, he would never speak of him as he does. This is not the first profession he has made. He has been reformed and changed several times before this, and has always become worse afterwards."
"That is just the very thing Haslam says," said my friend-" that some reformations are all flesh, and not the work of God; and, as such, can never stand. I believe the man to be converted by God this time."
"We will see-we will see," said our host, quietly helping himself to a glass of wine. "For my own part, I don't
believe in these things."
My friend and I exchanged looks. I was silent, but he
continued, "I am bound to say that I was never converted before, nor yet my wife, my daughter, or my sister."
"What!" said the vicar, starting, "you mean your sister Mary? Well, that is enough! I don't wish to hear another word about your conversions after that! I can only say that if I were half as good as Mrs. S―, I should be well satisfied."
"Well, now,” replied my friend, "do come over and see her, and hear what she has to say about it herself.”
"No, thank you," he replied; "I have no desire to interfere in such matters."
There the conversation stopped, leaving a wall of separation between the two clerical brothers, who had together professed to be Evangelical, and cordially hated sacramental religion. They had also professed to believe in salvation by faith only; but for all this they never urged upon their people to perform any acts of faith-they only expected them to receive the doctrine. I found that such people opposed me and my work a great deal more than even High Church men.
My friend and I returned home, and he told his wife and sister the result of our visit. They said that they were not surprised, for they had made up their minds on the subject, and were quite sure that Mr. had no personal experience, though he was so intelligent about the doctrine of salvation by faith.
The work, in the meantime, went on and spread. Some of the people came over from Mr. -'s parish to ask me to come and preach to them in a large sail-loft, which they had prepared for the purpose. My friend would not consent to my going, and I was obliged to give them a refusal. The next day they sent again, not to ask me to preach, but if I would just come over to visit a sick man who was anxious about his soul. My friend hesitated at this also. I said,
IN THE SAIL-LOFT.
Why do you object to my going to see the poor fellow? You took me to the vicarage to talk to the vicar himself; surely you can let me go and do the same thing to one of his parishioners."
"No," he said, "I cannot; that is quite a different thing."
Seeing that he was unwilling, and that it would displease him I gave it up, and went to the messengers and said, "I cannot go."
They were not satisfied, and asked "if the ladies would please to go;", meaning my late dear wife and Mrs. S. (Mary), whom they had seen working in the after-meetings.
My friend did not see any objection to the ladies going, and the men seemed better pleased than if I had gone. They visited the sick man the next day, and after that were asked "just to come and speak to a few people up here "that was, in the adjoining sail-loft. On entering this place, to their astonishment they saw about three hundred people sitting quietly waiting.
"What is this?" asked my wife.
The man said, "I only asked a few, but all those people are come. Do give them just a word." She had never yet ventured on addressing a large company like that, and Mary was shocked at the idea; but still, they were afraid to refuse; so they mounted the carpenter's bench, which was placed there with two chairs on it; and after a hymn and prayer, Mrs. H. gave an address, which Mary told me afterwards "was far better than anything I ever preached." They had an after-meeting, and some conversions, and promised to come over again. Thus the work spread to another part, and I had to go there also.
Poor Mr. was very excited about this, and said that he "thought it most ungentlemanly." I dare say it was, and that I was somewhat uncouth; but I never stop
to consider prejudices and fancies when the Lord's work is in the way.
It was a widespread and remarkable awakening, and one not without much opposition and jealousy. I happened to say from the pulpit, that at one time before I knew the truth I used to be quite a popular man: people liked me, and clergymen let me preach in their pulpits; but now that I had something to tell for the good of souls, they seemed to agree to keep me out. Very few were so bold as the vicar of this parish, who had not only invited me, but stood by me also.
A neighbouring clergyman, who was an important man— a prebendary, and what not-wrote to the vicar to ask if it was true that I had said in the pulpit that my clerical brethren scouted me, and would not let me preach for them.
The vicar very wisely handed the indignant prebendary's letter over to me to answer, which I did. In my reply, I took the opportunity to put in some Gospel teaching, which was supposed to be very irrelevant matter, and counted evasive. I did not deny that I had said something to the effect of which he complained, but I pleaded in extenuation that I was justified in doing so. He was more enraged by my letter than by the report he had heard, and threatened to publish the correspondence. This he did, with a letter to his parishioners, in which he warned them against revivals in general, and me in particular. He told them that I was "infatuated;" that I had "usurped the judgment seat of Christ;" that I was "the accuser of the brethren;" that I "acted the devil's part now, and was to be his companion hereafter." I thought of giving more choice extracts from this publication, but on second thoughts I consider it better. to pass it over.