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til the Shiloh should come*: Whereas I saw very plainly, that our nation was without a sceptre, without government, without temple. I remarked moreover, that our people were a light, and vain, and worldly-minded people, who took it not to heart. And if the Lord had punished our fathers for their sins, ours deserved his displeasure more. Added to all these considerations, which very powerfully operated upon my mind, I saw a great mass of people living around me who professed themselves to be followers of the true God; and who asserted, in confirmation of their faith, that the Shiloh was come, and to him was the gathering of the people. Distressed and perplexed in my mind, by reason of these various considerations, I knew not what to do, and could hardly find power or inclination to prosecute my daily labour. ing : It happened one day, while walking over the bridge of the city, that, my mind being more than usually affected, I could not refrain from pouring out my heart in prayer to God.. I paused, as I stood on the bridge, and lifting up my eyes towards heaven, I cried out, O God of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who hast declared thyself as keeping covenant-merin • Gen. xlix. 10.
cy for thousands ! look down upon me, a poor Jew, vouchsafe to teach me what I must do. Thou knowest my desire is to serve thee, if I knew the way. Thou art justly despleased with our nation, and with our people ; for we have broken thy commandments. But, oh, Lord ! direct me.' *. It was with words somewhat like these'(continued the poor man,) that I prayed'; in which I wept much. At length I walked on and passing by a place of worship, where I saw many assembled, I found my heart inclined to go in. Who knows, I thought within myself, but the Lord may have directed me hither. I went in, and near the door finding a seat unóccupied, I entered into it, and sat down. The minister was discoursing on the mercies of God, in sending his Son to be the Saviour of the world. If this Saviour was my Saviour, I thought, how happy should I be! I felt myself considerably affected, and frequently turned my face to the wall and wept. And many times, during the continuance of the service, so much was my heart interested by what I heard, that I wept 'aloud, and could not refrain.
"I had disturbed some of the congregation, åt appeared, by my behavior ; so that, as soon as the service was finished, two or three of the
men came towards me with much anger, asking
One little event more,' (he added,) • I will, if you please, relate, which happened soon ofter my going into this church. My business of selling my pens obliged me to go to another city, about twelve miles distant from the one where I dwelt; and calling at a pastry-cook's shop, who occasionally dealt with me, a circumstance occurred which became highly service. able to me in my new path of life. There sat
in the shop a venerable gentleman, dressed in black; the mistress of the house stood behind the counter, and I was just within the door. A poor beggar, looking miserably ill came in for a tart. 6 Ah! John,” cried the old gentleman, “what, you have left the infirmary. Is your disorder declared to be incurable;" “ Yes, Sir," replied the poor man, “they say they can do nothing more for me.” “Well, John,” answered the old gentleman, “ there is one Physician more which I would have you try : and he never fails to cure. And he doth it also without money and without price.” The poor man's countenance seemed to brighten at this ; and he said, “ Who is he!" “ It is the Lord Jesus Christ,” said the gentleman; “pray go to him, John; and if he be pleased to heal your body, it will be a blessed recovery for you indeed; and if not, he can and will heal your soul.” The poor man did not relish the advice ; for he went away looking angrily. As for me, I cried out, (for I could not refrain,) May the Lord bless you, Sir, for what you have said in your recommendations of my Master and Saviour ! He is indeed all you have described him, for he hath cured both my body and soul. Astonished at what I said, the gentleman expressed his surprise in observing, “ I thought you were a
Jew !" "I was, Sir,' I answered, once ; but by grace I am now a Christian.' He caught me by the hand, and entreated me to go with him to his house, where I related to him, as I have to you, the means under God of my conversion. And when I had finished my story, at his request, we dropped on our knees in prayer. And oh! Sirs, the fervour and earnestness with which he prayed, and the thanksgivings which he expressed for the Lord's mercy to my soul, never shall I forget. The recollection, even at this distance, continues to warm my heart.'.
When the poor man had finished his narrative, my friend and I looked at each other, then at him, and then upwards. One sentiment, I am persuaded, pervaded both hearts; and this was the language, “Great and marvellous are thý works, LORD GoD ALMIGHTY! Just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints !
My companion offered him money, at which he seemed hurt. "I am sorry,' he said, ' that you should think so unfavourably of me.'. Well, but,' (answered my friend,) " we have detained you from your employment, and it is but just; as you have so highly contributed to our pleasure, we ought not to make it detrimental 1o your interest.' • I should be very sorry,' (replied the poor man,) · if my diligence would not