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to her so distressing occasion. Oh, the mercy that could pity and pardon a wretch like me!
On her knees, with tears she prayed me not to leave her. “ Your father,” said she, “ will buy you off. Oh, my sonmy only sou—my only child, do not break your mother's heart, and draw down the curse of God upon your own head.”
All in tears, my father sat in pensive silence and beheld the scene. I felt I loved them ; glad would I have stayed at home-but their religion! It was their religion, not them, I hated; and to get away from it, I resolved to go away from them.
My mother, still solicitous for my everlasting welfare, when she put up my clothes, secreted a small Bible withir. the folds of one of my shirts, This I found not out till far at sea, when, on changing my linen, it dropped out. When I saw the Bible I felt mad with rage, snatched it up, ran on deck, and cast it overboard as far as I could throw it.
When I joined my regiment in the West Indies, I castil off all restraint, and sinned with a high hand. The sins I there committed make me tremble and blush when I think of them. I stuck at nothing, how bad soever. I feared not God-he was not in all my thoughts; I regarded not future consequences ; and nothing but grace worthy of God - grace free and sovereign-grace abounding to the chief of sinners-grace that seeks and finds the sinner, before the sinner seeks it, could have reached my case. Some, if ther will, may boast their works, but I must ever say, "Not for works of righteousness that I have done, but according to his mercy he saved me."
“Oh, to grace how great a debtor!” I had gone into the woods with my companions in sin, where we sought to hide our guilt from the eyes of men, when the sound of distant "psalm-singing ” broke upon my ear. It was the first I had heard since I left my father's house. My attention was arrested; I stood still and listened, and thoughts altogether different from any which had heretofore occupied my mind, laid hold upon it ; and tears,
astonishing myself, unaccustomed to weep, ran from my eyes. “Home” stood before me. My heart melted like wax. My father's prayers-my mother's prayers--the grief and sorrow I had caused them--their often mingled and bitter tears on my account-Sabbaths at home--family worship in my father's house-my sins, my heinous sins, against God, against my dear parents, against many youthful companions, and against my own soul-all came crowding upon my remembrance and heart, until I trembled in view of the wrath of Almighty God, which I so justly deserved to suffer, and which, I thought, had then overtaken me.
At first my companions mocked at my distress ; but as my convictions and distress increased, they became frightened, and left me. When I recovered strength sufficient to rise--for I had fallen to the earth-I walked as I could towards the place whence the sound proceeded, where I heard the voice of a preacher: it was a missionary, there preaching to a congregation of negroes. Unperceived I lay under a bush, and listened to the remainder of the sermon, and heard also when they were again to meet for worship. It would he impossible to describe how my nights and days passed till then. I had no Bible, nor was there in the regiment a man to whom I could make known my distress, or apply for advice and instruction,
At the time appointed by the missionary, I was again secreted behind my bush, where from day to day I had spent much time in almost hopeless prayers and tears. The missionary came, but he brought no comfort, no consolation to me; and at night I returned to my quarters as one that had no hope. Oh, that night-never to be forgotten while I have a mind to think : I felt, yea, I believed, that God had hid his face from my tears, and shut out for ever my prayers from him. The sermon served only to call up to my view fresh guilt, and more terribly make manifest my exposure to the “ wrath to come.” As the messenger of God, it " found me out," and cried to my heart, “ Thou art the man !” As the “sword of the Spirit," it inflicted new wounds upon my mind, and tore more widely oper such as
already bled, till, as the royal Psalmist says, “ the pains of hell gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow.”
For some time, despair and death were before me; I refused to eat my bread, because of “a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which should devour the adversaries.” Awful, indeed, was the realisation I then experienced of that truth, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." There was none for me: in my thoughts of God, none; in the recollections I had of his word, none; none in my own heart. I could find none on earth-I expected none in heaven. Thoughts of the past were dreadful-I trembled at the prospects of the future. I was afraid to look up to God I thought him my enemy. Perish I could not-pray I dared not—and what to do “ to be sared” I knew not.
My former companions now came about me in crowds ;' some coaxing me, others swearing at me, many laughing at me, but all mocking me. With much feeling, I reminded them of the fearful extent to which I had run in the ways of sin and folly—that they had prompted me on, and madly followed after—and that it was of the “ Lord's mercy we were not consumed !” I fearlessly made known to them the change which had taken place in my mind; what now were my views of the sins with which we were chargeable
-of myself and of them as transgressors in the sight of God; and what would be the sad and everlasting consequences, if we persisted in our wicked courses, and refused to repent and turn unto the Lord. With many tears I told them how I trembled before God for myself and for them;' that I would cheerfully submit to any punishment they could inflict upon me, could I undo the sins I had led them to commit, and avert from them and myself the misery to , which the guilt of those sins exposed us as transgressors of the righteous Law of God, destroyers of the souls of others, and despisers of his Son, Jesus Christ. I spoke to them of sin, of hell, of God, and of the judgment to come, as I then felt, and which they too felt; and I continued speaking, until not a voice was to be heard except my own ; yea, till all, either from fear or shame, walked off and left me, a “prey," as before, to my own fears and sorrows. The whole barracks now rang of the new“ Methodist.”
I had gone almost to every man in the regiment inquiring for a Bible, but no Bible was to be found. An officer hearing I was in search of a Bible, sent me word to call upon him, and he would give me one. My heart leaped for joy, and without delay I waited upon the officer to receive it. He sat for a time staring at me, then handed me a small package, carefully wrapped up and sealed, with the inscription, “Holy Bible," written upon it. I thanked him, praised the Lord, and hasted back to the barrack-room. · You may imagine what was my disappointment and mortification, when, upon opening the wrapper, I found, instead of a “Holy Bible," a dirty pack of cards! This act of an officer emboldened my enemies, and the room rang with shouts of “Well done,” “Served him right," “ Just as it should be, my boys," &c.
As a retreat from my persecutors, I now spent much of my time in the woods, under the bush where I first heard the missionary preaching to his black congregation, and where, in my supplications to God, I prayed to be directed where I might find a Bible! You may judge of my surprise, when, one day, on coming to my bush, I found under it a new Bible! Overcome with joy, I fell upon my knees, and thanked and praised God for the gift. When I had finished my devotions, I heard a rustling among the bushes, as if some one approached me; I looked whence the noise proceeded, and, to my great joy, saw the missionary. He informed me that, on a previous occasion, while waiting for his congregation, he overheard me praying to God to direct me where I might obtain a Bible-he had brought me one, and had listened, with pleasing emotion, to the thanksgivings I had rendered to God for it. It is needless to say, that he inquired into my history and the state of my mind, all of which I told him, and that I received from him such instruction and advice as encouraged and somewhat comforted my drooping and disconsolate spirit. He also prayed with me, and frequently afterwards did we pray together.
I continued to attend his ministry, therein seeking for and waiting upon the Lord; nor was it long till he appeared for my help. “ Faith came by hearing," so that I could adopt the language of the apostle, and say, “ Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” And it was, indeed, a peace passing all understanding, staying and keeping the heart, and filling it “ with joy unspeakable, and full of glory."
The great questions now were, “What shall I render unto the Lord !” “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? ** “ How can I best glorify thy great name, and do others good ?" For this purpose I commenced, evening after evening, reading my Bible in the barracks. This was met by great opposition. To drown my voice, some song songs, others cursed and swore, and many laughed and mocked; a few, however, night after night, gathered around me, and listened with attention to the word of God; nor did they hear, I hope, in vain, as it was not long before, with pleasure, I saw the tear drop from the eye of one, and another, while some in silence retired to pray.
For some time I suffered greatly for my religion ; persecution ran high against me, and those who could and should have shielded me, took pleasure also to vex and trouble me. But in the Lord I had a “friend that sticketh closer than a brother," and “ making his grace sufficient for me," till by steadfast, unflinching, and upright Christian conduct, I put persecution to shame--I might say at an end.
Finding that neither their frowns nor threats could terrify, nor their smiles allure me from the path on which I had entered, and that they never set upon me for that purpose but they had to retire foiled, and with a deeply wounded conscience, the Lord assisting me to speak his word with all boldness, they let me alone, apparently more afraid of my attacking them, than manifesting any disposition to attack me. So completely did persecution cesse, that while some appeared to fear me, I found almost all ready to do me a kindness.
Such had become the happy state of things when the