Слике страница


[ocr errors]


Through the great mercy of God, all the designs of my journey to Locksbury have been fully answered.-M. Chipman resigned his soul into the hands of God on Wednesday last. What blessed things he said during his sickness; and what a glorious end he made of it! I was with him in the solemn moments of his departure.-When he felt himself going, he took me by the hand and kissed it, and then said, God bless you a thousand times for your attention to my precious soul. I said to him, Dear Sir, you are just going to be dissolved and be with Christ: then he stammered out, word after word, ⚫ Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. He immediately closed his eyes, squeezed my hand, and then said, God is come;' fetched a long sigh, and breathed no more. Reader was also standing at the bed-side; and when he perceived his son-in-law was going, fell down on his knees, and offered up a secret prayer; and after he found he was dead, while a plentiful shower of tears were running down his cheeks, he kissed his corpse, and said, the best of husbands, the most affectionate son-in-law is now no more. "Oh! that my poor unfortunate daughter should have been the death of such a worthy man.' Oh, my dear father! what scenes I have beheld since I left your house, on this occasion.-But, be sure don't tell Mrs. Chipman what Mr. Reader said when her husband died. And I think it will be best not to inform her of any thing about his death, till after my return, for then I can first tell her what a blessed state of mind he was brought into before he died, which may be the most likely way of preserving her heart from being broken, by the death of her husband, through her unfaithful conduct.

[ocr errors]

"Oh my dear parents! how rejoiced I am, that my base conduct had not the same effects on yon, as Mrs. Chipman's elopement has had on her poor hus


band and what a mercy it is, dear Father, that your once profligate son should now be employed on an errand in which he has had the honor of conveying the news of the same salvation he has felt on his own heart, to others that were once as ignorant, if not as wicked, as himself."

[Here the farmer takes off his spectacles, and weeps and cries, "O this child, this sweet child! see what the grace of God can do. The Lord be praised! -O what would I give, if Polly and Patty were but like my dear Harry!"]

Mrs. Lit. Master, your spirits are so affected, had I not better pour you out a glass of currant wine?

Far. No I thank you dame.-Harry's letter is but a short one, I'll read the rest of it. [The spectacles are again mounted, and the Farmer proceeds with the letter.]

"As the end of my coming to this place is now accomplished, and as I have already been above a month from home, I wish to return as soon as circumstances will allow. But Mr. Reader is so very anxious that I should stop over the funeral, and help him to settle his son's affairs, that I cannot resist his importunate request. I fear therefore, I shall not be at home till next Friday, or Saturday se'nnight; though indeed, if I were to stop in these parts another Sabbath after the next, I think my patience would be quite exhausted. You cannot conceive, my dear Father, what a difference there is between the sermons of Mr. Fribble and Mr. Lovegood.-Blessed be God, I never was made so thankful for the preaching of the word of life, as since I have for a season been deprived of it. At times it quite affects me, that the people in these parts should hear no more of the Gospel, and sometimes hardly as much as might be expected from a mere heathen teacher. As I hope, with the Lord's blessing to see you again soon, I need only add for the present, that when you have time, it might not be amiss if you could ride down to Mr. Lovegood, and consult him about the

best plan of laying before Mrs. Chipman her family affairs and in this, and every concern, may the Lord give us wisdom and grace to act as shall be most consistent with his glory! With my kind love to my sisters, and most affectionate duty to you, dear Father and Mother,

I am,

Your most dutiful and loving son,

The Farmer, according to his son's advice, went to Mr. Lovegood to consult him. Mr. Lovegood was of opinion that Mr. Worthy would be glad still further to interest himself on this business. It was therefore agreed, that directly as Mr. Henry came home they should all go together to Brookfield Hall, and that Mr. Lovegood should give Mr. Worthy previous notice of their intentions.

Henry returned on the Friday evening, as he mentioned in his letter. We pass by all the affectionate intercourse, between him and his own relatives on his arrival, and record the conversation which took place on the Saturday morning according to appointment.

[Farmer Littleworth, Henry, and Mr. Lovegood are introduced.]

Wor. How do you all do?. Come in, Mr. Littleworth, I wish you joy on your son's return.

Far. Thank your honor; but it seems as if he had been gone for an age. Harry and I never loved one another as we do now, till we both were taught to love the Lord. [To Henry.] Ay'nt it so my dear child?

Hen. Ah father, I hope we shall both have eternal reason to bless God for his love. This sets all right between parents and children, and all the world, if all was wrong before.

Wor. Well, let us all sit down, and then Mr. Henry

will inform us what passed at Locksbury, that we may know how to act.

Hen. Though I have already been telling my father about matters: yet for the sake of your information Sir, I had better relate things from the beginning.

Wor. I wish you would Mr. Henry. By what we have heard from the letters you sent to your father, I expect it will be a very interesting narration.

Hen. Why Sir, as soon as I got to Locksbury, I called first on Mr. Reader, told him who I was, and on what errand I came, and then gave him Mr. Lovegood's letter, and the three books. While he read the letter, he appeared very much affected indeed; and after he had finished it, he cried, "What would I give to know the writer of this letter! What a good man, and a good preacher he must be, to have wrought such a reformation on my poor daughter! And what a character Mr. Worthy must be, to take so kind a part on behalf of that unfortunate girl!” After some other conversation, he observed, [to Mr. Lovegood] that your notions in religion were, till of late, widely different from his; but that he conceived the reason was, that he had been much more engaged in studying the works of men, than the word of God.

Loveg. All the errors that abound in the world, arise from mankind bringing their preconceived notions to the word of God, instead of coming in the spirit of a child to be instructed, but after that excellent remark, I think you had better not have given him the books, which were sent for his acceptance.

Hen.. Why, I could not do otherwise, as they were mentioned in the letter; but I said he was to judge of those books, only by the word of God, and not of the word of God by them.

Wor. Did you go to see poor Mr. Chipman, the same day you had the first interview with Mr. Reader? Hen. No Sir; Mr. Reader said, after he had dis

[blocks in formation]


missed his school, he would prepare his son's mind for the visit on the next day. And so he took Mrs. Chipman's letter, and that which you Sir, [to Mr. Lovegood,] wrote to him, that he might read them before I saw him.

Loveg. This was a predent step, but what was the result?

Hen. O Sir! the condition poor Mr. Reader was in, on his return that evening, can never be expressed. He told me the grief of his son-in-law was so strong, that he could not leave the house till near midnight, Mr. Chipman's perpetual cry was, "Oh, that my dear Jemima had known Mr. Lovegood before she had met with that horrid profligate, who seduced her!"It was very affecting to see an old greyheaded man, crying, sobbing, and sighing, under such a calamity.

Wor. After this, I suppose the next day you visited Mr. Chipman.

Hen. Yes Sir; but before he went to bed, I plucked up courage and said, "Sir, is it not time to go to family prayer?" He blushed exceedingly and then answered, "I generally pray by myself;" and then added: "But if what Mr. Lovegood says be true, I fear I never prayed in all my life. And being but young in years, and much younger still in grace, I thought it would look too forward in me to propose prayer myself. I am afraid I was once much more bold as a sailor, than I am now as a christian. After this Mr. Reader shewed me to my bed, which he had kindly provided for me, and the next day I went and visited Mr. Chipman.

Wor. Poor man! And how did you find him?

Hen. O Sir! there I saw one that was but a little while before a fine personable young man, literally dying of a broken heart, and reduced to a skeleton, in the last stage of a rapid consumption, with his hands twisted in each other, and his eyes running down with tears. Then he cried, "Oh! that unfeeling wretch, who could take such a cruel advantage

« ПретходнаНастави »