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Thus our sermon-reading concluded, and, besides this, my witness had given his testimony.
I had stayed already two hours longer than I intended, and was tired of talking. The rector asked me to remain, and dine with him, and promised that he would send me to church in the evening in time for the service. I agreed to this; so he kindly took me upstairs to wash and rest. Coming into the room with me, he shut the door, and said in confidence,
"I know you are right; my mother taught me all this when I was young!"
"Then," I said, “ we had better kneel down and pray
We did so. In his prayer he entreated very earnestly that the scales might fall from his eyes, and that these truths which he loved when he was young might be brought to him again.
He was only praying for truth, and not for pardon and salvation; so I pointed this out to him.
"Yes—yes," he said; "Lord, save me! Lord, save me! Pardon me!"
I believe he found peace before he came down ; but it is more difficult to pronounce in the case of educated, than in that of uneducated people. In the latter, the transition from darkness to light and life is often very manifest; whereas in the case of the educated, the effect is not so clear.
However, he came down to dinner, and it was not long before he roused the anger and contempt of his wife and curate, by saying, "I am converted." They tried hard to laugh him out of it, and asked him which of the chapels he would join? They suggested he had better be a Bryanite ; Mr. Haslam is king of the Bryanites; and so on!
I was happy to hear all this, and could not help telling them so: first, because the rector was counted worthy of
such taunts; and, secondly, because their natural enmity was raised. I said that I hoped that they would both be converted also, and that very soon.
When I was leaving for my service, the rector, in bidding me good-bye, said, that he "was sorry he could not go with me; but would I come and preach in his pulpit on Sunday ?" I promised that I would.
On the way, Sam, who was driving me to church, became much excited, and seemed beside himself for joy. Putting up his arms all of a sudden, with reins and whip in either hand, in the act of praising God, he frightened the horse, so that it ran away at full speed.
"Oh, never mind-never mind!" he said, "don't be frightened! No doubt the old devil 'ud like to upset both on us; but I am sure the dear Lord will take care of us : don't fear."
Certainly there was need, for the horse went headlong down a long narrow hill, and if anything else had been on the road, we must have come into disastrous collision. We were, however, carried safely down, and reached the church in good time.
Sam's joy, I need scarcely say, was all about the master's conversion, and the fact that I was to preach in their church on Sunday-two circumstances he did not fail to announce to every one he met.
He put up his horse, and stayed for the service. In the after-meeting, when he prayed, he sent up his prayer with a thanksgiving for these two things, which set the congregation praising God also.
Thus the revival, which began on one side of the river, passed over to the other, and brought out people from another town, and also villages beyond. There was a great awakening in that part of the country. peace on the Sunday, and many more; but not the rector's wife. She continued her opposition most vigorously.
The curate found
The wisdom of the serpent is seen in capturing the wife first; but still I am sure in this case that the serpent's wisdom was outwisdomed, for her persecution made her husband pray and work all the more earnestly.
People in these days did not regard "missions" so complacently as they do now. The very idea of preaching night after night, not for some Missionary Society, or for collections, but simply for the conversion of souls and the salvation of sinners, seemed to cast a slur upon ordinary preachers, as if they did not aim at such a thing; and upon people generally, as if we meant to imply that they needed it. Most certainly they did.
I believe ordinary preachers in the churches of that neighbourhood did not expect conversions; and most of the people were unconverted. I could not help telling them so, which only roused their wrath so much the more.
From this place I returned home; for my prolonged absence, I found, was likely to bring me into trouble. Other clergymen might go away for months, travelling or salmon fishing; but if I was absent for a few weeks, I was supposed to be neglecting my parish. On my return, I had much to tell, and did not expect to be invited out again in a hurry; for very few clergymen would willingly desire to be drawn into such a whirlwind of storm and trouble, as my visits usually involved.
A Mission in Staffordshire.
HE work at Baldhu, which had been going on almost incessantly for three years, was now beginning to flag; that is to say, there was not that ardent and eager attendance at the services and meetings, to which we had been accustomed in the revival time. We had had occasional lulls like this before, but they did not last more than a few weeks; and then the "swallows" returned, and the bright hot summer of work came again with its loud songs and pleasant fruits. This dulness was continuing longer than usual; the crowded congregations were falling off; strangers did not come from a distance; and people at home were not so lively. However, the classes were continued, as also the services at the church, and the number of communicants did not decrease. Still any one could see that the revival was over. It was rather discouraging to me, and a cause of triumph to some outsiders; but we were occasionally cheered by work amongst visitors, and with sick-bed cases.
The majority of the people were complacently waiting for another tide of revival; this was their custom, but it sat
very uneasily upon me. I did not like it, nor agree to it;
The self-restraint and self-control I had exercised in my churchy days, and which I supposed was derived from sacraments, I found wanting in my new work. We required something with authority, such as church and priest supply. I could not, however, conscientiously go back to that legal system, nor did I think there was any need, for I was sure there was something somewhere to be had, which should and would supply our want, if I could but discover it. It appeared to me that my people, without this, were subject to impulse, and consequently in bondage to their feelings.
In this time of lull I found that the steadfastness of some was shaken; but I had known others, who had gone further back than these, return at a revival time with new vigour. In this way, some of the Cornish people professed to be converted scores of times.
While ruminating on these things and praying over