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here." The tone of his voice went to my heart, and the

sound of it rung in my ears for weeks. I never had before witnessed this abhorrence of a name; and such a crowd of feelings rose within me, that I could do nothing but remain silent and confused. Mr. Hilson relieved me by saying, "But, deacon, there may be some good men amongst the Arminians." "That's more than you know, or I either," said the deacon. 'But you think it's possible they may be saved, don't you?" rejoined my host. "It is not promised," replied the deacon; "it is not in the covenant; and as they do not hold the true faith, they are certainly in a dangerous way. I should not expect I could be saved myself, if I was one of them." "But all things are possible with God," said Mrs. Hilson, mildly. "True," said the deacon; "and if any of his elect be in this error, he will snatch them from it before they die."

The course which the conversation had thus taken led to the statement of all the tenets of Calvinism, to which I listened with amazement, sometimes mingled with horror;


many things were so new and strange, so apparently contradictory, so repugnant to my most cherished feelings of religion, that I seemed to be in some region of romance, rather than among Christians. Of one thing I felt certain, that if I had wrongly called my father an Arminian, at least he was not a Calvinist. But what is there so much an object of horror in an Arminian? Why so difficult for him to be saved? I was lost in the perplexity of my own thoughts.

Before the deacon went, he proposed to join the family in prayer. He first read the eighth chapter of Romans, and then poured out a long and earnest prayer, of great vehemence and minuteness, in which I was made an object of special supplication. The loudness and fervor of this act of

worship, so different from the calm and subdued tone of my father, thrilled and agitated me with a new feeling; and when the deacon, as he went out, put his hand solemnly on my head, and, with an affectionate emphasis, wished me God's blessing and success in my new office, I was overpowered, and burst into tears. I cannot pretend to explain my feelings. They were a chaos of confusion. I was young, every thing was novel, my situation was such as to render me uncommonly susceptible, and religion was presented to me in a form altogether new, and with something inexplicably solemn in the manners of its professors. Those who have been ever placed in a situation in any measure similar, will understand something of the feelings which kept me many hours awake that night, and will easily perceive that I could come to no conclusion, except that of writing to my father, as soon as possible, to inquire what was an Arminian, and what he himself was. Being quieted by this determination, and comforted by my prayers, I at last fell asleep.


UNDER some circumstances, the feelings I have named would soon have passed away, and my mind have returned to its usual state. But my situation was such as to keep me agitated and harassed in spirit for a long season. I have always, however, seen cause to rejoice in that trial of my faith, and to render thanks to my heavenly Father, who thus established, strengthened, and settled me in the true and living way.

It was expected of the master that he should pray in the

school, morning and evening. I knew it to be the custom, and had been greatly disturbed in the anticipation of being called to its performance; for, as I have said, my natural diffidence was extreme. As the time drew near, the dread of it weighed upon my mind with an oppression which I cannot describe; and when the moment came, upon the first morning, my resolution failed me, and I commenced the ordinary business without a prayer. This, however, was no relief, for I felt that I had done wrong. My conscience severely reproached me, and for several days I was made wretched by the struggle to overcome what I thought a sinful timidity and shrinking from religious duty, which could not fail to bring upon me the heavy displeasure of God. At length my religious sense of duty got the victory, and on Saturday morning, I, for the first time in my life, addressed my Creator in the presence of fellow-beings.

I was so engrossed by my own feelings in this affair, that it had not occurred to me that I might draw upon myself the displeasure of the village. It had not even suggested itself to me, that what was done in school was known abroad. I returned to my lodgings at noon, happy in the triumph I had gained over myself. I was hardly seated, when a gentleman entered, who was introduced to me as Mr. Reynolds, the minister of the parish. He saluted me coldly, and, after a momentary pause, began the conversation by saying, with some sternness, "Young man, I understand that you do not pray in your school. The duty never was neglected before in this town; and if you are not sensible enough of its importance to attend to it, you are unfit for the place. How can we expect a blessing on our children, if God be not remembered in their instructions? and how can he be fit to teach, who will not seek wisdom from above?"

This unexpected address confounded me, and, after all

that I had suffered in my mind, was more than I could sustain. I burst into tears, and, as well as I was able, stated the exact truth. Mr. Reynolds was not a man to appreciate the diffidence which had caused my error, and he rebuked me for yielding to it. He expressed his satisfaction, however, that I had conquered it. "I have heard of your father," said he, "though I do not know him personally. I am not solicitous for the acquaintance of those who are not perfectly sound in their views; and I am not surprised that the religious faith, in which he has educated you, is too weak to overcome your fear of the world. Nothing but the genuine gospel can subdue that false pride of the natural heart. But I trust you will learn better. God has sent you here at a propitious season for the interests of your soul, and I do not doubt you will find it blessed to you. erful work of grace going on amongst us. is evidently in the midst of us, and there is a great rattling among the dry bones. Our meetings are frequent, full, and solemn. You must attend them, of course, as many as you can, and you will see such operations of divine power as

are wonderful to behold."

There is a powThe Holy Spirit

Much more, and more earnestly, he talked on this topic, and at length pressed me with close and trying questions respecting my own religious opinions and experience, and drew from me a minute account of negligences and failures, which he represented to me as glaring and dangerous defects. My conscience was a tender one, and easily joined in accusations against myself. I had a horror of displaying myself to greater advantage than the truth, which led me to conceal almost every thing in my religious character which he would have approved. I could not bring myself to speak of those secret exercises of my spirit, which I accounted sacred to the inspection of Heaven. Mr. Reynolds argued


warmly, and warned me earnestly. His tone of expostulation was powerful in itself, as well as new to me. I felt it to my heart's core. My timid spirit shrunk and trembled. He left me in a state of amazement and anxiety, which robbed me of the perfect possession of my faculties for the remainder of the day.

In the afternoon, when, of course, I was unengaged, sev eral friends of my host called in, who were interested in the religious state of the village, and made it the subject of their conversation. They talked of the meetings which had been held, of the cases of those who had been affected, and described at length the situation and exercises of some of the converts. A wholly novel scene was thus unveiled to me. Religion and religious feelings were presented in a new light. And the eagerness with which the matter was discussed, the breathless curiosity and sympathy expressed in the eye, the flushed cheek, and the impatient attitudes of speakers and listeners, were calculated to make a deep impression upon a novice like myself. The comparison of this exhibition with what I had always seen, and reverenced, and loved, as true religion, perplexed and distressed me. I could gain no peace, after many hours of anxious thinking, but by remembering that longer observation would teach me what was right, and that it was my duty to wait patiently. I gave myself, therefore, to the reading of the Scriptures, and, at length, laid myself down calmly to await the opening of the Sabbath day.

On this occasion, and on thousands since, I have derived peace from prayer, when every thing else conspired to vex and distress me- a proof of itself, that devotion of spirit is the essence of true religion, and that he who has this cannot be lost to God, nor be a stranger to his favor, however he may err in controverted truths.

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