« FöregåendeFortsätt »
5. Also when they shall be 5. When pleasure shati be afraid of that which is high, despised, gratification. be aband fears shall be in the way, horred, and the desires be ex. and the almond-tree shall tinguished ; when man 10 his flourish, and the grasshopper long home shall now be deparishall be a burden, and desire ins, and the mourners be standshall fail ; because man goeth ing round in the street; to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets :
6. Or ever the silver cord 6. Ere the silver thread be loosed, or the golden bowl shrink, and the golden cup be be broken, or the pitcher be bruised ; ere the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the broken at the well, and the wheel broken at the cistern. wheel at the cistern be shai.
tered ; 7. Then shall the dust re- 7 Ere the dust return to turn to the earth as it was; the dust whence it came, and and the spirit shall return un- the soul go back to Goil who to God who gave it.
THE INFIDEL RECLAIMED. The following is an extraordi- a part of which he commanded in nary instance of the goodness, and a war against the Turks. The emthe power of omnipotence, to one peror made him a count, in addiof his benighted children, related tion to his hereditary titles of by Frederick Smith, a minister of marquis and viscount of Valadesthe society of friends in London, to in Spain; he was also a granin a letter to John Murray: dee of the first order in that king.
I became acquainted with a na- dom; besides which he was relattive of Ireland, his name Francis . ed to some of the first nobility in Nugent, who, in his early youth, England and Ireland. went to Germany, where he was At the commencement of our educated at one of the Colleges first acquaintance, he expressed there ; and was brought up in the a wish to know something of the Roman catholic persuasion ; the principles of Friends; and on inconsistency of which, he told having read Barclay's Apology, me he very early saw. The big- on returning it, he told me, it was otry, superstition and wickedness the best written book on divinity of the priests, was such as to give he had ever seen ; and if it were him a disgust to religion ; believ- possible to act according to the ing, he said, that the foundation sentiments contained in it no man of it was dissimulation and priest- could act wrong; but he added, I craft.
have something to say to you in When he left the university he private, and which I hardly dare was introduced to the Emperor to say to any other man. UnforJoseph the second, to whom he tunately for me, I do not believe was one of the Lords of the bed in any system of religion : I do chamber; and he became an offi- not even believe in the existence cer of rank in the German army; of a God. You may be assured
it is a subject that has given me a ments on that subject ” “Why great deal of thought, and when sir, my sentiments are these ; I I came into this protestant coun- look upon the Almighty as of intry, I had hoped I should have finite purity: as the object of both discovered the essence of truth; love and fear; that I am in his and that the protestant clergy immediate presence; that it is would have given the lie to the through him I live and move and impressions I had imbibed, from have my being; I consider that I my early prejudices on account of am amenable to him for every acthe dissolute and abandoned lives tion of my life; that if I do evil of the Romish clergy. But alas! voluntarily, I run the hazard of his I perceive there is the same sys- eternal displeasure, and wretchedtem of deception carried on in ness will be my portion ; but if I England, as in Germany: the act according to his will I shall clergy have only one thing in be eternally happy.” “ Is this sir view; and that is the accumula- really and truly your belief?” tion of wealth, and where it can “Yes sir it undoubtedly is, and is be done, to endeavour after splen- also the belief of every well regudor and aggrandizement. As to lated christian.” their flocks, it is a matter of no Then, sir, how comes it to pass, consequence to them, whether that your actions correspond so they are wise or ignorant, it ap- little with your profession? Is it pears no part of their study to possible that such a hear-say eviaim at their religious improve- dence as this, would convince me ment; so that I find myself just were I an atheist, of the truth of where I was. I find that all man- God's existence? Has any part kind are alike; they pretend to of your conduct, since we have religion and that is all ; they talk been so often together, manifestof it and there they leave it. As ed either love or fear, or revera confií'mation of what I say, I ence for this object of your premay inform you, that on my first tended regard ? I wish not to give coming into these parts, I paid a you offence, but see, whether there visit to my relations in Ireland, is any thing like consistency in who shewed me great hospitality your declarations, and in the conand kindness, and as is usual in duct I am led to fear you are in that country, there were large the habitual practice of? My convivial parties, where neither friend seemed confused and the manners, nor the conversa- thoughtful, and I immediately tion would bear much reflection turned the discourse to another even in an infidel, as I supposed subject. I should be called.
I was much struck with so It happened one evening, that much of this conversation, and the conversation took a religious was considerably morę so, when turn, in the course of which I in- he told me in confidence, that he advertently leaned towards scep- had left Germany on account of ticism at least; on which one of his objections to serving any longthe company hastily said, “ surely er in the army ; that the thoughts sir, you do not doubt the existence of taking away the life of a fellow of a Supreme Being ” to which man, had become distressing and I replied, “what are your senti- perplexing to him ; so much so Vol. VI. No. 12,
that he could in no way become name was set down with two othaccessary to the death of a fellow ers; and I requested the friends creature.
to let me set with them. Very I felt much interested for this soon after we were seated, divine person and carefully concealed goodness was pleased to overfrom every one what his senti- shadow this little assembly, I ments
I apprehended, mean the silent part of it. "The where there appeared so much poor object of this little narrative sincerity, the Almighty would in in a few minutes burst into tears, his own time reveal himself to and continued in this humble state him.
for nearly twenty minutes before He seemed much gratified in a word was uttered ; when one of attending our religious meetings, the females (A.C.) unlettered and and I have many times seen him unlearned as to human attainmuch affected and in tears in ments; but who had waited for them. He used frequently in a Christ to be her instructer; in a modest way, to argue the point of few words expressed herself to his disbelief with me, but never I this effect; that she had felt an believe, as to himself, to much pur- extraordinary solemnity on her pose. I lent him several books first sitting down, which had conwhere the existence of a God was tinued to the present time, so treated on, but all seemed una- much so, that she feared to speak, vailing. He had made notes in a although she feared to keep siBible I had lent him, almost lence, more especially as the subthroughout the whole book, in op- ject which had come before her, position to its precepts and doc. was of a truly awful and solemn trine; and towards the close of nature. Surely, she added, there the period of his infidelity here is no person present, who has any quested I would lend him New- doubts respecting the existence of ton's Principia, which I refused; a Supreme Being. If there is I on the belief, that he had wander- would have such look into their ed so much in the dark, by seek- own hearts, and observe the seing for that without, which was cret operations of a something only truly to be found within, that there, they cannot but feel, more I advised him to keep his mind especially when they have comstill and quiet, adding, that I be- mitted an evil action : how does lieved the Almighty would one it torment the poor, mind, and day make himself known to him; render it for a time in continual but he must not be surprized, if he uneasiness. On the other hand, should do it in such a way, as to when they have acted well; have all outward appearance, would in avoided the temptations to evil, his view be contemptible. A few what a sweet glow of approbation weeks after this, two female has covered the mind. From Friends, Ann Christy and Debo- whence proceed, this uneasiness rah Moline, having a concern to or this approbation ? it must provisit the families of friends who ceed from something. Man could attended Westminster meeting; not communicate these sensations and as he had been a pretty con- to himself. Be assured they come stant attendant, and he was desir- from God. Nay it is God himself qus of setting with the friends, his who thus speaks in the inmost of
my own soul."
the heart.” The friend said but to me, the evidence I had felt in little more; to the person it was addressed to, it was a volume; it "I this evening thought, that was to him as though the windows though I had been thus favoured of Heaven were opened. To my- it would be difficult to point out self, it was an opportunity never or explain the Divinity of Christ, to be forgotten.
a thing which I then conceived as About two days from the above altogether absurd. But on comperiod, my friend called on me in ing up your steps, and waiting to the evening, and requested to speak to you, the whole mystery have some conversation with me, was unfolded with the greatest and which I readily agreed to. clearness and satisfaction to my Without any preface he told me, own mind; and now I have no that he knew not how he could be doubts on that subject " sufficiently grateful to me for the He also entered on the subject patience I had endured with him; of the creation of man, his fall, or for the kind concern I had in- his complete redemption through variably manifested for his wel Jesus Christ; and other religious fare, but he added; “ I believe it topicks, in a way that struck me will give you inconceivable plea- with astonishment, because his exsure to be informed, that I have planations though confirming, as now not a doubt remaining. I am to the evidence of these great and abundantly thankful to that Al- important truths, were conveyed mighty Being, who in mercy has in language very dissimilar to made himself known to this poor what has usually been written on benighted heart of mine, in some these subjects. In short, it apdegree through the instrumentali- pears as if a ray of divine light ty of that dear woman, though I and intelligence had been affordmay acknowledge to you, that be- ed him, as a certain confirming fore a word was spoken, the busi- seal to the evidence he had felt of ness was nearly effected. I had the being and of the power of taken great pains, as you know, to God. invalidate the scripture testimo- His very pature at this time, ny; but at that solemn and hea- seemed alčered, and his countevenly opportunity, all the urgů, nance seemed changed, as from ments I had made use of for this the haughtiness, which his outpurpose, reverted back, and I be- ward rank in society had given came confounded and ashamed, I him: his disposition now became felt as it were all at once, the cer- mild and passive, like a little child, tain evidence of a kind and mer- joined to the simplicity and innociful God; which so overcame me, cence of a lamb. Soon after this that I could only show my love occurrence, he called on me one and gratitude, by my tears, so that morning, when during the previfor a while I appeared to myself ous night there had been a dreadin Heaven; that is, in a situation ful storm attended with violent of mind, far beyond what any thunder and lightning. Fle relatearthly mortal could bestow. The ed his feelings at that time, which dear woman was doubtless sensi- were very striking. He said, that ble of my situation, and confirmed previous to this storm, he had nerer known what the fear of death treated me with the greatest rewas: he had supposed it to be spect. He had a sister in Germere annihilation, and that both many, a Roman catholic, married goul and body would be destroyed to a nobleinan. He lamented his at the moment of death; the fear being obliged to return to Gerof which had never given him any many, where he said he should be concern; but now it was differ- surrounded by Ronnish priests. ent; he saw his awful situation; Previous to his departure he rethat perhaps in an instant he quested some of Friend's writshould be in the presence of that ings: acknowledging that he felt Being he had contemned during more satisfaction in reading them, his whole life.
than any other. He attended His sins were ranged in order Friend's meetings regularly til before him, and he felt all the he left England. horrors of self condemnation and
FREDERICK SMITH, fear, In this situation he was led to pray fervently for forgiveness N. B. In the second paragraph for the past, and preservation for of the foregoing narrative we find the future. It was a new scene Mr. Nugent expressing his views in the period of his life, the effect of the catholic clergy in Germany, of which, words could not express. and of the protestant clergy in After his mind had been thus gra- England. It should be rememciously visited and enlightened, bered that when he uttered these his natural imperious temper indiscriminate censures, he was woull sometimes show itself, with an atheist, and had no belief in sudden fits of passion ; for this he any system of religion. His cenwas always penitent, and often sures, however, might be correct expressed his sorrow. Perhaps in regard to individuals with this was permitted to convince whom he happened to be acquainthim of the necessity of watchful- ed; but such wholesale censures ness, and that he should guard af sects or classes of men are against too great dependance on generally unjust. We dissent past experience, or too much con- from each of these churches, and fidence in his natural strength, yve doubt not that there have been, and that in order to reap all the, in both, many dissolute and abanadvantages, of so much divine fa- doned men among the clergy;vour, great humility, and self still we believe that there have abasement would be necessary. also been many pious and benevoIt is but justice to him to say, he lent men, both in the Romish never showed any intemperate be- church and in the Episcopal haviour towards me, ke always church of England.-ED.
MADAM ABIGAIL ADAMS.
ber 28, 1818, aged 74, taken from If the following character of a discourse delivered at Quincy Madam Abigail Adams, consort of on the Lord's day after her dePresident Adams, who died Octo- cease by the pastor of the Congre