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found that seasons of removal to strange places and new duties, have been those in which my faith and sense of duty have been most rapidly improved. When all others were strangers around me, I went the more frequently to God, as a Father and accustomed Friend.

But what I remember particularly in this season is, the trial I underwent in learning the stress that was laid upon the differences among Christians. My father, as I have said before, lived in a retired village, to which the noise of the polemic world did not reach; and whose inhabitants, happy in the simplicity of good and holy lives, felt no interest in the questions of words, on which the faith and charity of so many are suspended. They read their Bibles, attended public worship, and lived soberly, righteously, and piously in the world. There was nothing among them of the pride either of orthodoxy or heresy. My father held, himself, and was laborious to instil into his people, the most enlarged charity toward all. He was disgusted at the spirit of narrowness and bigotry, which he had always seen accompanying a vehement zeal for particular forms of faith. He therefore rarely alluded, either in preaching or in conversation, to the differences among Christians. He seldom even named the names of theological parties. And thus it happened that, strange as it may seem, I grew up almost ignorant that there were parties in religion, entirely unacquainted with their badges of distinction, and with none of that prejudice for and against names which is often the earliest lesson in religion. It had not escaped me, in the books which fell in my way, that there had been divisions and strifes in the church; but I saw and heard nothing of them in the world around me, and I felt as though nothing of them existed.

On the evening of my arrival at my new quarters, I was greatly struck with the tone and language of my host and

hostess in speaking of religion. It was different from any thing I had ever heard before, and it puzzled me. Mrs. Hilson was so frequent in her scriptural allusions and phrases of piety, as to introduce them, sometimes, very improperly and irreverently; but in her husband there seemed constantly a half-suppressed sneer, and disposition to throw ridicule on the subject. Both were so different from the serious, manly, intelligible, and reverent manner in which I had always seen the subject treated at home, that I was not a little perplexed to know what to think. One of the school committee, who was also deacon of the church, came in, during the evening, to see the new master, and give his instructions. As I was too diffident to talk much, and the deacon had but little to say on the business of my profession, the conversation took a turn but little different from a catechetical lecture. After many common-place questions, such as an inquisitive stranger naturally puts first, Deacon Lumbard inquired what were the opinions of my father. I felt ashamed not to be able to give a direct answer, and waited for him to put the question in a different shape. "I mean," said the deacon, "is he Arminian or Calvinist?" This question was hardly more intelligible to me than the former; but, thinking it would never do to say I did not understand him, and feeling tolerably confident that I should speak the truth, I replied, "I believe he is an Arminian." The deacon gave a hem! of surprise, and walked across the room. Mrs. Hilson dropped her knitting, and fixed upon me a look of sad concern; and her husband stopped poking the fire, and turned round with a half-merry stare, as if to know whether he had heard aright. I felt my face color suddenly all over, and I thought I must have made some dreadful blunder. No one spoke for some time. At length the deacon said, "An Arminian! - We don't think much of Arminians

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; for 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

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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. 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

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