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grave from which he arose; they are to be buried and forgotten, as though they had never been. Henry. Oh, sir, how glad shall I be to hear
you preach concerning these great things, and about this blessed Christ, at Brookfield Church! and William Traffick tells me it is Sacrament Sunday ; and will you let me be there, dear Sir ?---[To his father] and will you, my dear father, forgive me, and let me kneel down by you at that blessed feast of love ?
Far. O, my dear child! don't talk șo; don't talk so; it quite breaks my heart; all is forgotten and forgiven already
Mr. Lovegood, finding that the sluices of affection were opened afresh, and remembering that it was the father's design to establish family prayer on the return of his son, and that he was expected to introduce that very profitable service into the family, wisely called for the Bible before supper. Once he thought of reading and illustrating the 15th of Luke, on the Prodigal's Return, but discreetly forbore, knowing that the feelings of the family, upon a very similar event, were already excited to the utmost.He chose' therefore the 51st Psalm, as being very congenial to that broken and contrite spirit, which was now exemplified among them.
After prayer the supper was soon introduced, hospitable and plain. Two fowls, and a large fat ham, with plenty of vegetables, puddings and pies, were added to the piece of the fatted calf already brought from Mapleton. For the Farmer having invited many of his neighbours to this first family prayer, on such an occasion, chose that the provision should be plentiful for those in the kitchen, as well.. as others in the parlour; for now. “ they began to be merry." One affecting circumstance, however, happened during the festivity in the parlour. The
Farmer, seeing his son's.plate nearly emptied, loaded it a second time with what would have satisfied a moderate man for three meals at least, and then plentifully drenched it with melted butter. This act of hospitable affection from the father, again touched the feelings of the son; he looked down on his plate, thus heaped with a Benjamin's mess, and again he wept. Mr. Lovegood called him aside, advising him for a while to withdraw from the company; and they walked and conversed together for some minutes in a large old hall, while Mr. Lovegood thus attempted the word of consolation.
Loveg. My dear youth, it grieves us all to see you so cast down on an occasion which calls for so much thankfulness and joy.
Henry. Oh, sir! what an ungrateful and rebellious wretch have I been against my parents, against my God all the days of my life!
Loveg. Whatever you may have been, yet of this you may most assuredly be persuaded, that now all your past offences your father has entirely forgiven; and has again and again desired me to assure you, that he means to look upon you as if nothing had ever happened to offend him.
Henry. [Weeping still more abundantly.] O, sir, that's the very thing which cuts me to the heart;not that I suspect my father to be unforgiving; but that I should have been such an ungrateful wretch to grieve such a kind, tender-hearted parent.
After a little while Henry's spirits were recruited, and he and Mr. Lovegood returned to the parlour. While they continued at the feast, the conversation. thus continued.]
Loveg. Welī, Mr. Henry, you can now tell us a little more than what we find in your letter of God's gracious dealings with your soul.
Henry. Why, sir, if all the world had told me that I should have experienced such a blessed change, I could not have believed them.
Loveg. Were you filled with much despondency when you first saw the evil tendency of sin? ; Henry. Why, sir, I was not so much distressed from an apprehension that there was a hell for sin : what I dreaded was a hell in sin.
Loveg. Had you no concern about your soul till after you were wounded ?
Henry. Not the least.--I am astonished at my wickedness till I was brought, as I supposed, close to the gates of death. Then I was ever framing to my mind, that an angry God was looking at me, and that he hated me : then sin began to flash upon my conscience, and many evils, which I had forgotten, were brought to my mind, as if I had committed them but the day before. Nothing made me fear hell but sin, and now I saw sin worse than hell itself.
Loveg. And how did you get relief?
Henry. While I continued groaning in my hammock, some poor, despised, praying seamen ventured to come near me, when all the ship's crew expected to hear of my death every hour; and when I began to tell them of my evil heart, and evil plight, they seemed quite to rejoice at it. This appeared strange to me at the first, but they soon gave me to understand that there was no coming to Christ but with a wounded conscience. And then I was directed to seek to him for mercy, while his salration was my only hope.
Loveg. Indeed, and so it is; for nothing but redemption will do for a ruined sinner. When we come to know our own hearts, we are soon delivered from trusting in ourselves, and on our own fancied righteousness.
Henry. Ah, sir, as soon as ever I felt that I was a ruined sinner, I was fully convinced that Christ alone must be exalted in my salvation. I had no other hope left, but in him.
Loveg. What, had you no serious apprehensions during the time of the engagement, while your eternal state seemed to depend upon the fate of every moment?
Henry. Not the least. And when a poor profane wretch died but a little before, of a mortification through a broken leg, by his falling down the hatchway, I could even hear him all the time curse and swear, because, as he thought, he was not properly attended to, while he lay in his hammock; and when he was told that his leg was in a state of mortifica tion, he sunk into despair, and, even to his last moments, used the most horrid imprecations against his own parents for sending him to sea, and for intro. ducing him into all sorts of sin.
Far. O, my dear child, what a mercy that my bad example was not the cause of your eternal ruination!
Henry. But, blessed be God, father, that is not the case : in a way of wonderful mercy the Lord has met with us both. Come, let us be thankful, and bless the Lord together for his love.
Far. With all my heart, my dear child. [He takes him by the hand, and falls upon his neck, and kisses him most affectionately. Mr. Lovegood again interrupts him, and adds, 1
Loveg. But, Mr. Littleworth, your son is to tell us the rest of his story.
Henry. Why, as soon as I began to be better, I joined' those praying people, and at once partook with them their lot of ridicule and contenipt. We were all despised as the meanest fellows in the ship, though in the time of the engagement they had proved themselves the boldest men among us ali.
Loveg. No wonder at that: living Christians need
not be afraid to die, because they who live and believe in Christ can never die. But when you came to Antigua, how was it with you there?
Henry. Sir, the providence of God most favourably and graciously attended me; for as soon as I arrived, I and my comrades in prayer sought after any wł. > were inclined to seek after God; and by a remarkable providence, the town being very full, I found myself quartered at the hut of a poor slave, who knew the grace of God in truth. I could not but from the first admire his mild submission and attention; but before we went to sleep, how was I struck to hear the poor creature say, My dear Massy; me hope you no be angry if me and my poor wifey and pickuninnies pray to our dear Saviour before we go to bed ;” and when I told him that I had been lately taught to pray myself, and should be glad to pray with him, he asked me, “ What, Massy! you love our dear Saviour too?” and when I told him I hoped I did, for that he had pardoned my sins, and changed my heart, then he ran directly and em. braced me, and said, “ O my dear Broder, den I love you to de heart, because you love our dear Saviour ;” and after this, as you may suppose we soon got acquainted with each other.
Loveg. I suppose, when you got acquainted with this poor good creature, he soon introduced you to the rest of his brethren.
Henry. Yes; and I went directly, and told my praying shipmates what a treasure I had found in this poor slave; and the night after we all met for prayer in his hut; and when we asked him how he came to know about these good things, he told us the most affecting story I ever heard, of his sufferings before he came from Africa, and how mercifully he was brought to the knowledge of the truth by the zeal and attention of the Moravian missionaries, some