Imatges de pÓgina


peace, and rejoiced with the others in unmistakable accents, and as loud as the loudest. Evidently he was not ashamed or afraid of excitement and noise now.


While he was thus engaged I went round to his house to see his wife, and tell her the news. I found her sitting on the stairs in profound dismay, as if some dreadful calamity had happened. She was literally dumb with fear and astonishment. When she could speak, she said, “What will happen to him now? Will he die? What will become of us ?" When I assured her that her husband was only just beginning to live, she said, "Must we be Dissenters now? Oh, what will become of us ?" Her sister, who was staying with her, became very angry at hearing of the master's conversion. Finding that I could not do much with these two, I left them, and returned to the schoolroom, where the people were even more uproarious and happy than before; several others having also found pardon and peace.

The Sunday after, the master was seen moving out of church as quickly as he could; and when he reached the churchyard he was observed to run, and then leap over a wall, and next over a hedge into a field. They could not hear him, but he was shouting all the time as well as running. He afterwards said that the Prayer-book was full of meaning; it was like a new book to him; and that if he had, stayed in church, he should have disturbed the whole congregation. He became a very earnest Christian, and took much pains and interest in the religious instruction of the children. There were several revivals in the school while he was there, and many of the children were converted. It was not long before he was able to rejoice over the conversion of his wife, and her sister also.

I had been anxious about my clerk for some time; he was a good man in his way, and most attentive to his work in and out of church; he was also a regular communicant,

and exemplary in his life; but, with all this, he was unconverted. I often warned him of his danger; and one day it came to my mind to tell him of the man who went in to the marriage supper without the wedding garment. I said, no doubt he thought himself as good as others, but when the King came in to see the guests, he was speechless; and because he was so, and had not on the wedding garment, the King commanded that he should be bound hand and foot, and put into outer darkness. Now, I continued, the King has often come in to see us, and we have rejoiced before Him; but you have never spoken to Him, or asked for mercy. It is a very hardening thing to hear so much as you do, and remain unsaved; and a very deadening thing to come to the Lord's table as you do, going through the form without any real meaning. You receive the bread and wine in remembrance that Christ died for you, and yet you do not believe enough to thank Him. I was led to say, "I must forbid your coming to the Lord's table till you have given your heart to God. You know it is right to do it, and that you ought to be converted. I will not have you come here again till you are."

The man looked at me as if to see whether I meant it, and then appeared so sorrowful that I nearly relented. All through the service he was low and dejected, and went away at the time of the administration of the ordinance, and sat at the other end of the church. My heart ached for him, for I had never seen him so touched about anything. Afterwards, when he came into the vestry, I could see that he had been crying. "Ah, friend," I said, "it is bad to be left out from the Lord's table here; what will it be to be left out of heaven ?"

In the evening he was more miserable than ever, and at the close of the service came into the schoolroom, where he broke down, and asked the people to pray for him,



for he was a hard-hearted, miserable sinner. "Pray the Lord to melt my heart." We did so and soon the poor broken-hearted man sobbed and cried aloud for mercy; and it was not long before, to our great joy, he found peace. He afterwards told us that he had been getting hardened by forms ever since he had been clerk, reading solemn words without any meaning, which at first he trembled at doing. He was right; it is good to hear the Gospel, good to attend the means of grace, good to assemble in the company of God's people; but to rest in the habit of doing these good things, without conversion, is most dangerous, and calculated to deaden the heart. He said that he felt it very much when 'master' was converted (meaning myself), and was also dreadfully condemned; for he had believed in the necessity of conversion all his life; and though he knew that I was unconverted, yet he never told me, but rather encouraged me to go on as I was. He said that he had had many sleepless nights about it; "but now, thank God," he added, “it is all right; my feet are on the Rock, my soul is saved. I can praise the Lord in the congregation."

The clerk's conversion did not stop with himself, for it was a call to some of the ringers; they were still outside and unsaved, though they knew as well as he did, that they ought to be otherwise. One of these men began to attend the meetings regularly, but we could not get him to pray, or speak a word. I said to him one evening, "You will never have a sound from the bell till you move it or its tongue; in like manner, you must move your tongue, for you will have nothing until you speak, nor get an answer until you pray." Still he remained silent, and shut up to himself; till one night, as we were putting out the lights at ten o'clock, the meeting being over, I said to him as he stood by, "James, I wonder when you will ever give your heart to God?" He looked at me and said, "Now." "That is

right," I replied; "thank God! let it be so. I at once stopped the extinguishing of the lights, and invited him to pray with me, but he took no heed. It was evident he had deliberately made up his mind what he would do, for he took off his coat, undid his neck-tie, turned back his shirt-sleeves, and then, setting a form about nine or ten feet long, square with the room, he knelt down and began to say, "Lord, have mercy upon me!" "Lord, have mercy upon me!" This he repeated with every returning breath, faster and louder as he went on, till at last he worked himself up to a condition of frenzy. He went on without cessation for two hours, and then stopped in an exhausted state, gasping for breath. I pointed him to the cross, and told him of God's mercy in giving His Son to die for sinners; but he was quite absent, and did not appear to hear me, or take the least notice. After a little rest, he commenced again praying as before, and got into terrible distress. What with his noise, and the energy he put forth, it was frightful to see the struggle. He cried and beat the form till I thought his arms would be black and blue; then he took up the form and beat the floor with it, till I expected every moment it would come to pieces. The noise he made brought some of the neighbours out of their beds in a fright, to see what was the matter.

At two o'clock in the morning, four hours after he began, he laid himself across the form, and begged with tears that the Lord would not cast him off. I told him that the Lord was actually waiting for him. At last he found peace, or felt something, and, springing up, he began to shout and praise God; and we all joined with him. When this was done, he put on his coat and neck-tie, and saying "Good night," went home. From this time he became a changed man, and an earnest and steadfast believer.


Dreams and Visions.



URING the revival, the outpouring of the Spirit of God was very manifest and unmistakable, and was seen in various ways. It was not, of course, by power or might of men, but by divine influence, that souls were awakened to see themselves in their true condition. The candle of the Lord was lighted, and there was a searching of and for immortal souls, as typified by our blessed Lord in the parable of the lost piece of silver.

We read that the woman with her lighted candle discovered her treasure; so the Divine Spirit, by awakening and searching hearts, found souls, though they had been buried under sins, worldliness, and neglect, and that for many years. It was astonishing to hear persons who had been dull and silent before, break out into full and free expression of spiritual truth; and their liberty and power in prayer were not less remarkable. It was truly an opening of eyes to see, and ears to hear, and hearts to understanda raising of the dead to spiritual life and animation. It was as wonderful as the speaking of tongues on the day of Pentecost, with this difference-that those people spoke what

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