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Personal Recollections by Charlotte Elizabeth

Part 2 out of 3

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charge, until he should give me into the hands of my lawful protector. I
thanked him with true English reserve, and a coldness that seemed rather
to grate on his warm feelings; and having owned that his seeing my
Newfoundland dog well fed and lodged would be a great obligation, I
withdrew to fret alone over my exile to this foreign land. You may call
this an exaggeration, but it is no such thing. I delight in dwelling
upon my reluctant approach to the land that I was to love so fondly.

Next day my miseries were alleviated by the enchanting beauties of the
Welsh country through which we passed; and my regard for Mr. D----
greatly increased by the compassionate care he took of a poor sickly
woman and her ragged infant, whom he descried on the top of the coach,
and first threw his large cloak to them, then, with my cordial assent,
took them inside, and watched them most kindly until he fell asleep. I
peeped into his kind, benevolent face, and inwardly confessed there
might be some nice people in Ireland.

At the inn where we dined, I made another acquaintance. A younger, but
middle-aged man, whose vivacity, combined with Welch mutton and ale,
quite raised my spirits. Hearing from Mr. D---- with what enthusiasm I
had admired the scenery of Llangollen, he volunteered to hand me in at
the coach window, a note of every remarkable place we should approach
during the rest of the journey; adding, "I know the road pretty well,
having traversed it at least twice a year for sixteen years, passing to
and from my Irish home." He was a legal man, a finished gentleman, and
another sad drawback on my perverse prejudices. Mr. F---- proved an
excellent descriptive guide, punctually reaching to me from the roof of
the coach his little memoranda, in time for me to take a survey of the
object concerned; and also most assiduously aiding in the care of my
luggage and dog when we were all put into the ferry-boat.

There was then no bridge over the Menai, and I being in total ignorance
of the route was not a little dismayed at the embarkation, forgetting
that Holyhead was in Anglesea, and that Anglesea was an island. At
last, when the boat pushed off, the opposite shore being hidden under
the mist of deepening twilight, I addressed the ferryman in a tone of
remonstrance that infinitely diverted the whole party, "Surely you are
not going to take me over in this way to Ireland?"

"No, no," said Mr. F----, "you shall have a good night's rest, and a
better sea-boat, before we start for the dear green isle."

Steamers were not then upon the packet station, and the wind being
unfavorable, we had a passage of seventeen hours, not landing until two
in the morning of Easter Sunday. Nothing could exceed my discomfort, as
you may suppose, when I tell you that after paying my bill at Holyhead,
I, in a fit of abstraction, deposited it very safely in my purse, and in
its stead threw away my last bank-note. The mistake was not suspected
until in mid-voyage I examined the state of my finances, and found the
sum total to amount to one shilling. This was an awful discovery; my
passage was paid, but how to reach Dublin was a mystery, and such was
the untamed pride of my character that I would sooner have walked there
than confessed to the fact, which might have been doubted, and laid
myself under the obligation of a loan which I was sure of repaying in a
few hours, even to good old Mr. D----. When I stepped from the deck of
the packet upon the plank that rested against the pier of Howth I had
not one single halfpenny in my pocket, and I experienced, without the
slightest emotion, one of the most hairbreadth escapes of my life.

The water was very low; the plank of course sloped greatly, and as soon
as I set my foot on it began to slide down. In another second I should
have been plunged between the vessel's side and the stone pier, without
any human possibility of rescue; and already I had lost my balance, when
a sailor, springing on the bulwarks, caught me round the knees, and at
the same instant Mr. F----, throwing himself on the ground, seized and
steadied the plant, until I recovered my footing and ran up. I shudder
to recall the hardened indifference of my own spirit, while the kind,
warm-hearted Irishmen were agitated with strong emotion, and all around
me thanking God for my escape. Each of my friends thought I had landed
under the care of the other; while one had my dog and the other my
portmanteau. I received their fervent "cead-mille-failthe" with cold
politeness, and trod with feelings of disgust on the dear little green
shamrocks that I now prize so fondly.

We went to the hotel, and Mr. D---- proposed my retiring to a chamber
until the coach started; but my empty purse would not allow of that, so
I said I preferred sitting where I was. Refreshments were ordered; but
though in a state of ravenous hunger, I steadily refused to touch them,
for I would not have allowed another person to pay for me, and was
resolved to conceal my loss as long as I could. I was excused, on the
presumption of a qualmishness resulting from the tossing of the ship;
and most melancholy, most forlorn were the feelings with which I watched
through the large window the fading moonbeams and the dawning day. To my
unspeakable joy, the two gentlemen proposed taking a postchaise with me
to Dublin, the expense being no more and the comfort much greater than
going by coach; and having requested Mr. F---- to keep an exact account
of my share in the charges, I took my seat beside them with a far
lighter heart; my dog being on the footboard in front of the carriage.

Away we drove, our horses being young, fresh, and in high condition. It
was a glorious morning, and vainly did I strive not to admire the
scenery, as one after another of the beautiful villas that adorn the
Howth road gleamed out in the snowy whiteness that characterizes the
houses there, generally embosomed in trees and surrounded by gardens on
the rising grounds. We were descending the hilly road very rapidly, when
by some means the horses took fright, and broke into a full-gallop,
crossing and re-crossing the road in a fearful manner. The driver was
thrown on the footboard, poor Tajo hung by his chain against the horses'
legs, and our situation was most critical. I had suffered from one upset
in America, and resolved not to encounter another; so quietly gathering
my long riding-habit about me with one hand, and putting the other out
at the window, I opened the door, and with one active spring flung
myself out. You know the extreme peril, the almost certain destruction
of such a leap from a carriage at full speed; I did not, or certainly I
would not have taken it. However, at that very instant of time, the
horses made a dead stop, and the chaise remained stationary only a few
paces in advance of me.

Was not the hand of God here? Oh, surely it was, in the most marked and
wonderful manner. No cause could be assigned for the arrest of the
animals; the driver had lost the reins, and no one was near. I had
fallen flat on the road-side, just grazing my gloves with the gravel and
getting a good mouthful of the soil, with which my face was brought into
involuntary contact. In a moment I sprung to my feet, and blowing it
out, exclaimed with a laugh, "Oh well, I suppose I am to love this
country after all, for I have kissed it in spite of me." I then ran to
help my dog out of his disagreeable state of suspension, and returned to
my friends, who were frightened and angry too, and who refused to let me
into the chaise unless I positively promised not to jump out any more.
To shorten the tale, I reached the Hibernian hotel, where my husband
was, seized some money, and paid my expenses without any one having
discovered that I was a complete bankrupt up to that minute.

I have been very prolix here; for I cannot overlook a single incident
connected with this eventful journey. Never did any one less anticipate
a blessing or look for happiness than I in visiting Ireland. I cannot
enter into more particulars, because it would involve the names of
friends who might not wish to figure in print; but if these pages ever
meet the eyes of any who gave me the first day's welcome in Dublin, let
them be assured that the remembrance of their tender kindness, the
glowing warmth of their open hospitality, and their solicitude to make
the poor stranger happy among them, broke through the ice of a heart
that had frozen itself up in most unnatural reserve, and gave life to
the first pulse that played within it of the love that soon pervaded its
every vein--the love of dear, generous Ireland.

My first journey into the interior was to the King's county, where I
passed some weeks in a house most curiously situated, with an open
prospect of ten miles pure bog in front of it. Being newly built,
nothing had yet had time to grow; but its owner, one of the most
delightful old gentlemen I ever met with, had spared no cost to render
it commodious and handsome. He was a fine specimen of the hospitable
Irish gentleman, and took great pleasure in bringing me acquainted with
the customs of a people and the features of a place so new to me. Indeed
it was my first introduction to what was really Irish, for Dublin is too
much of a capital to afford many specimens of distinct nationality. On
that great festival of the peasantry, St. John's eve, Mr. C---- resolved
on giving his tenants and neighbors a treat that should also enlighten
me on one of their most singular relics of paganism. It is the custom at
sunset on that evening to kindle numerous immense fires throughout the
country, built like our bonfires to a great height, the pile being
composed of turf, bog-wood, and such other combustibles as they can
gather. The turf yields a steady, substantial body of fire, the bog-wood
a most brilliant flame; and the effect of these great beacons blazing on
every hill, sending up volumes of smoke from every point of the horizon,
is very remarkable. Ours was a magnificent one, being provided by the
landlord as a compliment to his people, and was built on the lawn, as
close beside the house as safety would admit. Early in the evening the
peasants began to assemble, all habited in their best array, glowing
with health, every countenance full of that sparkling animation and
excess of enjoyment that characterizes the enthusiastic people of the
land. I had never seen anything resembling it, and was exceedingly
delighted with their handsome, intelligent, merry faces; the bold
bearing of the men, and the playful but really modest deportment of the
maidens; the vivacity of the aged people, and the wild glee of the
children. The fire being kindled, a splendid blaze shot up, and for a
while they stood contemplating it, with faces strangely disfigured by
the peculiar light first emitted when bog-wood is thrown on; after a
short pause, the ground was cleared in front of an old blind piper, the
very beau ideal of energy, drollery, and shrewdness, who, seated on a
low chair, with a well-replenished jug within his reach, screwed his
pipes to the liveliest tunes, and the endless jig began.

An Irish jig is interminable, so long as the party holds together; for
when one of the dancers becomes fatigued, a fresh individual is ready to
step into the vacated place quick as thought, so that the other does not
pause, until in like manner obliged to give place to a successor. They
continue footing it, and setting to one another, occasionally moving in
a figure, and changing places with extraordinary rapidity, spirit, and
grace. Few indeed among even the very lowest of the most impoverished
class have grown into youth without obtaining some lessons in dancing
from the travelling dancing-masters of their district; and certainly, in
the way they use it, many would be disposed to grant a dispensation to
the young peasant, which they would withhold from the young peer. It is,
however, sadly abused among them, to Sabbath-breakings, revellings, and
the most immoral scenes, where they are congregated and kept together
under its influence; and the same scene enacted a year afterwards would
have awoke in my mind very different feelings from those with which I
regarded this first spectacle of Irish hilarity, when I could hardly be
restrained by the laughing remonstrances of "the quality" from throwing
myself into the midst of the joyous group and dancing with them.

But something was to follow that puzzled me not a little; when the fire
had burned for some hours and got low, an indispensable part of the
ceremony commenced. Every one present of the peasantry passed through
it, and several children were thrown across the sparkling embers; while
a wooden frame of some eight feet long, with a horse's head fixed to one
end and a large white sheet thrown over it, concealing the wood and the
man on whose head it was carried, made its appearance. This was greeted
with load shouts as the "white horse;" and having been safely carried by
the skill of its bearer several times through the fire with a bold leap,
it pursued the people, who ran screaming and laughing in every
direction. I asked what the horse was meant for, and was told it
represented all cattle. Here was the old pagan worship of Baal, if not
of Moloch too, carried on openly and universally in the heart of a
nominally Christian country, and by millions professing the Christian
name. I was confounded, for I did not then know that Popery is only a
crafty adaptation of pagan idolatries to its own scheme; and while I
looked upon the now wildly excited people with their children, and in a
figure all their cattle, passing again and again through the fire, I
almost questioned in my own mind the lawfulness of the spectacle,
considered in the light that the Bible must, even to the natural heart,
exhibit it in to those who confess the true God. There was no one to
whom I could breathe such thoughts, and they soon faded from my mind:
not so the impression made on it by this fair specimen of a population
whom I had long classed with the savage inhabitants of barbarous lands,
picturing them to myself as dark, ferocious, discontented, and
malignant. That such was the reverse of their natural character I now
began to feel convinced; and from that evening my heart gradually warmed
towards a race whom I found to be frank, warm, and affectionate, beyond
any I had ever met with.

My interest in them, however, was soon to be placed on another and a
firmer basis. I took up my permanent abode in a neighboring county; and
within six months after that celebration of St. John's eve, I
experienced the mighty power of God in a way truly marvellous. Great and
marvellous are _all_ his works, in creating, in sustaining, in
governing this world of wonderful creatures; but Oh, how surpassingly
marvellous and great in redeeming lost sinners, in taking away the heart
of stone and giving a heart of flesh, and making his people willing in
the day of his power! I have carefully abstained from any particulars
respecting myself that could either cast a reproach on the dead or give
pain to the living; I shall do so still, and merely remark, that as far
as this world was concerned, my lot had no happiness mingled in it, and
that my only solace under many grievous trials consisted in two things:
one was a careful concealment of whatever might subject my proud spirit
to the mortification of being pitied when I desired rather to be envied;
and the other a confident assurance, that in suffering afflictions
silently, unresistingly, and uncomplainingly, I was making God my debtor
to a large amount. What desperate wickedness of a deceived and deceitful
heart was this! The very thing in which I so arrogantly vaunted myself
before God was the direct result of personal pride, in itself a great
sin; and thus I truly gloried in my shame. I never looked beyond the rod
to Him who had appointed it; but satisfying myself that I had not
merited from man any severity, my demerits at the hand of the Most High
were wholly put out of the calculation. Thus, of course, every stroke
drove me further from the only Rock of refuge, and deeper into the
fastness of my own vain conceits. Added to this, I was wholly shut out
from all the ordinary means by which the Lord usually calls sinners to
himself. There was no gospel ministry then within my reach; nor could I,
if it were provided, have profited by it, owing to my infirmity,
(deafness.) Into Christian society I had never entered, nor had the
least glimmer of spiritual light shone into my mind. My religion was
that of the Pharisee, and my addresses to God included, like his, an
acknowledgment that it was by divine favor I was so much better than my
neighbors. Reality had so far chased away romance, that my old favorite
authors had little power to charm me; and the hollowness of my affected
gayety and ease made society a very sickening thing. * * *

At the time I am now to speak of, I was living in perfect seclusion, and
uninterrupted solitude. Captain ---- was always in Dublin, and my chief
occupation was in hunting out, and transcribing and arranging matter for
the professional gentlemen conducting the lawsuit, from a mass of
confused family papers and documents. Our property consisted of a large
number of poor cabins with their adjoining land, forming a complete
street on the outskirts of the town, which was greatly in arrear to the
head landlords, and a periodical "distress" took place. On these
occasions a keeper was set over the property, some legal papers were
served, and the household goods--consisting of iron kettles, wooden
stools, broken tables, a ragged blanket or two, and the little store of
potatoes, the sole support of the wretched inhabitants--were brought
out, piled in a long row down the street, and "canted," that is, put up
to sale, for the payment of perhaps one or two per cent. of the arrears.
This horrified me beyond measure: I was ashamed to be seen among the
people who were called our tenants, though this proceeding did not
emanate from their immediate landlord; and every thing combined to
render the seclusion of my own garden more congenial to me than any
wider range.

It was then that I came to the resolution of being a perfect devotee in
religion: I thought myself marvellously good; but something of monastic
mania seized me. I determined to emulate the recluses of whom I had
often read; to become a sort of Protestant nun; and to fancy my garden,
with its high stone-walls and little thicket of apple-trees, a convent
enclosure. I also settled it with myself to pray three or four times
every day, instead of twice; and with great alacrity entered upon this
new routine of devotion.

Here God met and arrested me. When I kneeled down to pray, the strangest
alarms took hold of my mind. He to whom I had been accustomed to prate
with flippant volubility in a set form of heartless words, seemed to my
startled mind so exceedingly terrible in unapproachable majesty, and so
very angry with me in particular, that I became paralyzed with fear. I
strove against this with characteristic pertinacity; I called to mind
all the commonplace assurances respecting the sufficiency of a good
intention, and magnified alike my doings and my sufferings. I persuaded
myself it was only a holy awe, the effect of distinguished piety and
rare humility, and that I was really an object of the divine complacency
in no ordinary degree. Again I essayed to pray, but in vain; I dared
not. Then I attributed it to a nervous state of feeling that would wear
away by a little abstraction from the subject; but this would not do. To
leave off praying was impossible, yet to pray seemed equally so. I well
remember that the character in which I chiefly viewed the Lord God was
that of an Avenger, going forth to smite the first-born of Egypt; and I
somehow identified myself with the condemned number. Often, after
kneeling a long time, I have laid my face upon my arms, and wept most
bitterly, because I could not, dared not pray.

It was not in my nature to be driven back easily from any path I had
entered on; and here the Lord wrought on me to persevere resolutely. I
began to examine myself, in order to discover _why_ I was afraid;
and taking as my rule the ten commandments, I found myself sadly
deficient on some points. The tenth affected me as it never had done
before. "I had not known lust," because I had not understood the law
when it said, "Thou shalt not covet." A casual glance at the declaration
of St. James, "Whosoever shall keep the whole law, yet offend in one
point, he is guilty of all," alarmed me exceedingly; and on a sudden it
occurred to me that not only the ten commandments, but all the precepts
of the New Testament, were binding on a Christian; and I trembled more
than ever.

What was to be done? To reform myself, certainly, and become obedient to
the whole law. Accordingly I went to work, transcribed all the commands
that I felt myself most in the habit of neglecting, and pinned up a
dozen or two texts around my room. It required no small effort to enter
this apartment and walk round it, reading my mementos. That active
schoolmaster, the law, had got me fairly under his rod, and dreadful
were the writhings of the convicted culprit, I soon, however, took down
my texts, fearing lest some one else might see them, and not knowing
they were for myself, be exasperated. I then made a little hook, wrote
down a list of offences, and commenced making a dot over against each,
whenever I detected myself in the commission of one. I had become very
watchful over my thoughts, and was honest in recording all evil; so my
book became a mass of black dots; and the reflection that occurred to me
of omissions being sins too, completed the panic of my mind. I flung
away my book into the fire, and myself into an abyss of gloomy despair.

How long this miserable state of mind lasted, I do not exactly remember;
I think about two weeks. I could not pray. I dared not read the Bible,
it bore so very hard upon me. Outwardly, I was calm and even cheerful,
but within reigned the very blackness of darkness. Death, with which I
had so often sported, appeared in my eyes so terrible, that the
slightest feeling of illness filled my soul with dismay. I saw no way of
escape: I had God's perfect law before my eyes, and a full conviction of
my own past sinfulness and present helplessness, leaving me wholly
without hope. Hitherto I had never known a day's illness for years; one
of God's rich mercies to me consisted in uninterrupted health, and a
wonderful freedom from all nervous affections. I knew almost as little
of the sensation of a headache as I did of that of tight-lacing; and now
a violent cold, with sore throat, aggravated into fever by the state of
my mind, completely prostrated me. I laid myself down on the sofa one
morning and waited to see how my earthly miseries would terminate; too
well knowing what must follow the close of a sinner's life.

I had not lain long, when a neighbor hearing I was ill, sent me some
books just received from Dublin, as a loan, hoping I might find some
amusement in them. Listlessly, wretchedly, mechanically, I opened one;
it was the memoir of a departed son, written by his father. I read a
page describing the approach of death, and was arrested by the youth's
expressions of self-condemnation, his humble acknowledgment of having
deserved at the Lord's hand nothing but eternal death. "Ah, poor
fellow," said I, "he was like me. How dreadful his end must have been; I
will see what he said at last, when on the very brink of the bottomless
pit." I resumed the book, and found him in continuation glorifying God
that though _he_ was so guilty and so vile, there was ONE able to
save to the uttermost, who had borne his sins, satisfied divine justice
for him, opened the gates of heaven, and now waited to receive his
ransomed soul.

The book dropped from my hands. "O, what is this? This is what I want:
this would save me. Who did this for him? Jesus Christ, certainly; and
it must be written in the New Testament." I tried to jump up and reach my
Bible, but was overpowered by the emotion of my mind. I clasped my hands
over my eyes, and then the blessed effects of having even a literal
knowledge of scripture were apparent. Memory brought before me, as the
Holy Spirit directed it, not here and there a detached text, but whole
chapters, as they had long been committed to its safe but hitherto
unprofitable keeping. The veil was removed from my heart, and Jesus
Christ, as the Alpha and Omega, the sum and substance of every thing,
shone out upon me just as he is set forth in the everlasting gospel. It
was the same as if I had been reading, because I knew it so well by
rote, only much more rapid, as thought always is. In this there was
nothing uncommon; but in the _opening of the understanding, that I
might_ UNDERSTAND _the scriptures_, was the mighty miracle of
grace and truth. There I lay, still as death, my hands still folded over
nay eyes, my very soul basking in the pure, calm, holy light, that
streamed into it through the appointed channel of God's word. Rapture
was not what I felt; excitement, enthusiasm, agitation, there was none.
I was like a person long enclosed in a dark dungeon, the walls of which
had now fallen down, and I looked round on a sunny landscape of calm and
glorious beauty. I well remember that the Lord Jesus, in the character
of a shepherd, of a star, and above all, as the pearl of great price,
seemed revealed to me most beautifully: that he could save every body I
at once saw; that he would save me, never even took the form of a
question. Those who have received the gospel by man's preaching may
doubt and cavil; I took it simply from the Bible, in the words that
God's wisdom teacheth, and thus I argued: "Jesus Christ came into the
world to save sinners: I am a sinner; I want to be saved: he will save
me." There is no presumption in taking God at his word: not to do so is
very impertinent: I did it, and I was happy.

After some time I rose from the sofa, and walked about. My feelings were
delicious. I had found HIM of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets
did write; I had found the very Paschal Lamb whose blood would be my
safeguard from the destroying angel. Oh, how delicious was that
particular thought to me. It was one of the first that occurred, and I
laughed with gladness. Indeed my feeling was very joyous, and I only
wanted somebody to tell it to. I had two servants, one a young woman,
the other a little girl, both papists, both loving me with Irish warmth.
They were delighted to see me so well and happy on a sudden; and in the
evening I bade them come to my room, for I was going to read a beautiful
book, and would read it aloud. I began the gospel of St. Matthew, and
read nine chapters to them, their wonder and delight increasing my joy.
Whenever I proposed leaving off, they begged for more; and only for my
poor throat, I think we should have gone on till day. I prayed with
them, and what a night's rest I had! Sleep so sweet, a waking so happy,
and a joy so unclouded through the day, what but the gospel could
bestow? Few, very few, have been so left alone as I was with the
infallible teaching of God the Holy Ghost by means of the written word,
for many weeks, and so to get a thorough knowledge of the great
doctrines of salvation, unclouded by man's vain wisdom. I knew not that
in the world there were any who had made the same discovery with myself.
Of all schemes of doctrine I was wholly ignorant, and the only system of
theology open to me was God's own. All the faculties of my mind were
roused and brightened for the work. I prayed, without ceasing, for
divine instruction; and took, without cavilling, what was vouchsafed. On
this subject I must enter more largely, for it is one of immense



I am standing before you now in the character of one who, having been
brought under conviction of sin into utter self-despair, had found in
Christ Jesus a refuge from the storm of God's anger. I felt myself safe
in him; but as the revelation which God had made to man was not confined
to the sole point of a _satisfaction_ for the sins of men, I felt
it my bounden duty to search for all that the Most High had seen good to
acquaint his people with. At the same time I found myself a member of a
church calling itself Christian; but I too had called myself a
Christian, while as yet wholly ignorant of Christ, therefore I could not
depend upon a name. I knew that there were other churches, each putting
in a claim to a higher and purer standard than its neighbors, and it
behooved me to know which of them all was in the right, I had no books
of a religious character--not one; no clergyman among my acquaintance,
no means of inquiry, save as regarded my own church, whose Liturgy and
Articles lay before me. I resolved to bring them first to the test of
scripture, and if they failed, to look out for a better.

How I commenced the work and pursued it, I need not state. I tried every
thing, as well as I could, by the Bible; and my satisfaction was great
to find the purest, clearest strain of evangelical truth breathing
through the book which I had used all my life long, as I did the Bible,
without entering into its real meaning. How I could possibly escape
seeing the doctrines of faith, regeneration, and the rest of God's
revelation in them both, was strange to me; but I understood that the
natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, and mourned
over the darkness that I supposed universal.

I found it distinctly stated by our Lord, that "except a man be _born
again_, he cannot see the kingdom of God;" and this served as a key
to many passages in the epistles and other parts of scripture
illustrative of the same solemn truth. I had never understood, never
thought of this. Did my church hold it? Yes; it was not only laid down
as a fundamental doctrine in her Articles, but constantly put into the
mouths of her congregation, either expressed or clearly implied. Again,
I found that _not by works but by faith_ I was to be justified
before God; and this also ran through the prayer-book, with unvarying
distinctness; though with that book in my hand and its contents on my
lips I had been hitherto attempting to scale heaven by a ladder of my
own forming.

* * * * *

The Athanasian creed brought to my recollection a circumstance that had
occurred a few years before, the importance of which had never been
known to me until I was brought acquainted with the saving truths of the
gospel. I now looked back upon it with trembling joy and gratitude to
him who had preserved me from a snare into which the pride of intellect,
joined to spiritual ignorance, would have been sure to lead me, but for
the watchful care of my heavenly Father, still working by means of my
blind but sincere reverence for his word. In my native town, Socinianism
flourished to a fearful extent; it has long been a very hotbed of that
fatal heresy, the holders of which are found among many leading
characters of wealth, influence, and high attainments. I knew no more of
it than that it was one of the many forms of dissent with which I had
nothing to do. I was acquainted with several of its disciples; but as
religion formed no part of our social intercourse, its peculiarities
were wholly unknown to me.

Not long before my trip to America I had been staying in Norwich, in the
same house with a most clever, intelligent, and amiable woman, of whom I
was very fond. I knew her to be a dissenter, and that was all. One
evening she drew me into a conversation, the commencement of which I
forget, but it soon arrived at a denial, on her part, of the Godhead of
Christ, which exceedingly astonished me, for I never supposed that could
be called in question. I ran for the Bible, saying, I would soon show
her it was not to be disputed; and she in return asserted that I could
not prove it out of the _inspired scriptures_. After pondering for
a while, I recollected the first chapter of Revelation, which, for its
sublimity, I ranked among the highest of my poetical gems, and that it
unequivocally proclaimed the divinity of our glorious Lord. I opened at
it, on which she burst into a laugh, saying, "You are not so weak as to
fancy that book of riddles any part of God's word!" "Why it is in the
Bible, you see," replied I, half indignantly. "And who put it there?
Come, you are a person of too much sense to believe that the binding up
of certain leaves between the two covers of the Bible makes them a part
of it. You must exercise the reason that God has given you, and in so
doing you will discover so many interpolations and deceptions in that
version of yours, that you will be glad to find a more accurate one."

She continued in the same strain for some time. I was greatly agitated;
I closed the great Bible, and leaning on it with folded arms, my heart
beating violently against the bright red cover, I gave heed to all she
said. My love of novelty, passion for investigation, and the
metaphysical turn that had sometimes made my father quite uneasy about
me, when he saw me at eight years old poring over abstruse reasonings
with the zest of an old philosopher, were all in her favor. I felt as if
the foundation of my faith was giving way, and I was being launched on a
sea of strange uncertainty. When she concluded, I laid my forehead on
the book in most deep and anxious thought. I did not pray: God was found
of one who sought him not, for surely he alone dictated my answer. I
started up, and with the greatest vivacity said, "Mrs. ----, if you can
persuade me that the book of Revelation is not inspired, another person
may do the same with regard to the book of Genesis, and so of all that
lie between them, till the whole Bible is taken away from me. That will
never do; I cannot part with my dear Bible. I believe it all, every word
of it, and I am sure I should be miserable if I did not." Then, kissing
the precious volume with the affection one feels for what is in danger
of being lost to us, I carried it back to its shelf, and declined any
further discussion on the subject. She told some one else she was sure
of having me yet; but the good providence of God interposed to remove me
from the scene of danger.

That metaphysical turn I omitted to mention among my early snares; my
father checked it, although it was a great hobby of his own. He had seen
its fearful abuse in the origin of the French revolution, and regarded
it as one of the evil spirits of the age. I recollect the mixture of
mirth and vexation depicted in his face one morning, when on his
remarking that I did not look well and inquiring if any thing ailed me,
I replied, "No, but I could not get any sleep."

"What prevented your sleeping?"

"I was thinking, papa, of '_Cogito, ergo sum_'--'I think,
therefore I exist'--and I lay awake, trying to find out all about it."

"'_Cogito, ergo sum!'_" repeated my father, laughing and frowning
at the same time; "what will you be at twenty, if you dabble in
metaphysics before you are ten? Come, I must set you to study Euclid;
that will sober your wild head a little." I took the book with great
glee, delighted to have a new field of inquiry, but soon threw it aside.
Mathematics and I could never agree. Speculative and imaginative in an
extraordinary degree, carrying much sail with scarcely any ballast, what
but the ever watchful care of Him who sitteth upon the circle of the
earth could have preserved from fatal wrecking a vessel so frail, while
yet without pilot, helm, or chart?

It was the recollection of my short encounter with the Socinian that
satisfied me respecting the Athanasian creed. I felt that had I taken up
its bold assertions and established every one of them, as now I did, by
scripture, no sophistry could have staggered my faith, though it had
been but a reasoning, not a saving faith, in that high doctrine of the
coexistent, coequal Trinity. I did not then know--for of all church
history I was ignorant--that its original object was not so much to
establish a truth, as to detect and defeat a falsehood. The damnatory
clauses, as they are called, did not startle me. I saw clearly the fact
that God had made a revelation of himself to man, which revelation man
was not at liberty to receive or to reject, and as without faith it is
impossible to please God, and that alone is faith which implicitly
believes the record that he hath given of his Son, the deductions in
question were perfectly fair and orthodox. I frequently wondered, when
subsequently brought into the arena of various controversies, at the
ease with which, aided by the Bible alone, I settled so many disputed
points; and as it really was by the Bible I settled them, man's teaching
has never yet on any subject altered my views. * * *

Whether it be regarded as presumptuous or not, I must thankfully avow
that during the weeks when I was left alone with my Bible, I obtained a
view of the whole scheme of redemption and God's dealings with man,
which to this hour I have never found reason to alter in any one
respect, save as greater light has continually broken in on each branch
of the subject, strengthening, not changing those views. You will see in
the progress of my sketch, how complete a bulwark against error in
numberless shapes I have found in this simple adherence to the plain
word of truth--this habit of bringing every proposition "to the law and
to the testimony;" fully persuaded that "if they speak not according to
this word, it is because there is no light in them."

I now proceed to an interesting epoch in my life: the commencement of my
literary labors in the Lord's cause. It marks very strongly the
overruling hand of Him who was working all things after the counsel of
his own will; and I will give it you without curtailment, together with
my introduction, through it to the Christian community of the land.

My life, as I told you, was solitary and retired; my time chiefly passed
in writing out documentary matters for the lawyers. The circumstance of
my using the pen so incessantly became known, and I was looked on as a
literary recluse. One day a lady personally unknown to me, but whose
indefatigable zeal was always seeking the good of others, sent me a
parcel of tracts. With equal wonder and delight I opened one of them, a
simple, spiritual little production; and the next that I took up was an
inducement to distribute tracts among the poor. From this I learned that
some excellent people were engaged in a work quite new to me; and, with
a sigh, I wished I had the means of contributing to their funds.
Presently the thought flashed upon me, "Since I cannot give them money,
may I not write something to be useful in the same way?" I had just then
no work before me, and a long winter evening at command. I ordered large
candles, told the servants not to interrupt me, and sat down to my novel
task. I began about seven o'clock, and wrote till three in the morning;
when I found I had produced a complete little story, in the progress of
which I had been enabled so to set forth the truth as it is in Jesus,
that on reading it over I was amazed at the statement I had made of
scriptural truth, and sunk on my knees in thankfulness to God. Next
morning I awoke full of joy, but much puzzled as to what I should do
with my tract. At length, in the simplicity of my heart, I resolved to
send it to the bishop of Norwich, and busied myself at the breakfast-
table in computing how many franks it would fill. While thus employed, a
note was put into my hands from Miss D----, apologizing for the liberty
taken, saying she had sent me, the day before, some tracts, and as she
heard I was much occupied with the pen, it had occurred to her that I
might be led to write something myself; in the possibility of which she
now enclosed the address of the secretary to the Dublin Tract Society,
to whom such aid would be most welcome.

I was absolutely awe-struck by this very striking incident. I saw in it
a gracious acceptance of my freewill offering at His hands to whom it
had been prayerfully dedicated; and in two hours the manuscript was on
its way to Dublin, with a very simple letter to the secretary. A cordial
answer, commendatory of my tract and earnestly entreating a continuance
of such aid, soon reached me, with some remarks and questions that
required a fuller communication of my circumstances and feelings. He had
recommended frequent intercourse with the peasantry, of whose habits and
modes of expression I was evidently ignorant, and I then mentioned my
loss of hearing as a bar to this branch of usefulness, His rejoinder was
the overflowing of a truly Christian heart, very much touched by an
artless account of the Lord's dealings with me; and greatly did my
spirit rejoice at having found a brother in the faith thus to cheer and
strengthen me.

But alas, a few days afterwards, Miss D----, whom I had still never
seen, wrote to apprize me that this excellent man had ruptured a blood-
vessel and was dying. Still he did not forget me, but after lingering
for some weeks, on his death-bed commended me to the friendship of his
brother, who from that period proved a true and valuable helper to me.

Meanwhile I was beginning to take a view of popery, under the light of
the gospel. As yet, I knew nothing of it spiritually; and my retired
life kept me from observing how it worked among the poor people around.
My attention was first directed to it by a conversation with the younger
of my two servants; she slept in my apartment, and I remarked that while
kneeling at her devotions she not only uttered them with amazing
rapidity, but carried on all the while the operation of undressing, with
perfect inattention to what she was saying. I asked her the purport of
her prayers; she told me she said the "Our Father," and then the "Hail
Mary:" at my request she repeated the latter, and I gave her a gentle
lecture on the irreverence of chattering to God so volubly, and of
employing herself about her clothes at the same time; adding that she
should be devout, deliberate, and quiet while speaking to God; but as
for the Virgin Mary it was no matter how she addressed her, if address
her she would, for being only a dead woman she could know nothing about
it. This, I am ashamed to say, was the extent of my actual protest at
that time. The girl took it all very readily, and ever after, during her
address to God, she knelt with her hands joined, repeating the words
slowly and seriously; but the moment she commenced the "Hail Mary," to
make up for lost time she prattled it so rapidly, and tore open the
fastenings of her dress with such bustling speed, that I could scarcely
refrain from laughing. A little reflection, however, convinced me it was
an act of idolatry, and no laughing matter; and from that time I
inquired as deeply as I could into their faith and practice; constantly
showing them from the scriptures how contrary their religion was to that
of the gospel. Still it was but a very partial and superficial view that
I could as yet obtain of the great mystery of iniquity through these
ignorant and thoughtless girls; and to this must be attributed my sad
failure in not warning them more distinctly to come out of Babylon. I
rather tried to patch up the old, decayed, tattered garment with the new
piece of the gospel, as many more have done; and so made the rent worse,
instead of replacing the vile article with one of God's providing.

* * * * *

When that excellent man, Mr. D----, was committed to the grave, his
younger brother visited me on his way back to Dublin. That interview I
shall never forget; he talked to me out of the overflowings of a heart
devoted to Christ, and left me pining for more extended enjoyment of
Christian society. I was not long ungratified; within three days an
unexpected summons took me to Dublin, and on the very evening of my
arrival Mr. D---- introduced me to a party of about thirty pious
friends, assembled to meet a missionary just returned from Russia.
Remember these were the frank, unrestrained, warmhearted Irish, of all
people the most ready at expressing their zealous and generous feelings;
and imagine, if you can, my enjoyment, after such a long season of
comparative loneliness, when they came about me with the affectionate
welcome that none can utter and look so eloquently as they can. I
thought it a foretaste of heavenly blessedness; and yet I often longed
for those seasons when I had none but my God to commune with, and poured
out to him all that now I found it delightful to utter to my fellow-
creatures. Then, my tabernacle was indeed pitched in the wilderness, and
the candle of the Lord shone brightly upon it; now, the blending of many
inferior lights distracted my mind from its one object of contemplation,
and broke the harmony that was so sweet in its singleness.

A few months after this, the lawsuit being ended, my husband was ordered
abroad. I declined to cross the Atlantic a second time, and from this
period I became chiefly dependent on my own exertions. My mother had
joined me in Ireland, having been made a partaker in the like precious
faith and hope with myself. * * *



We took up our abode in the town of Kilkenny, so richly blessed with
gospel privileges, and so far removed from the annoyances to which I was
exposed while trying to fulfil the landlord's part over a property
inextricably involved, and now also placed in the hands of trustees. I
had sought the maintenance of that character for the sake of the poor
tenants, whose affection, for me was very great, and among whom I had of
late been frequently allowed to read the scriptures. The necessity,
however, of providing for myself, and the hopeless perplexities of my
nominal office, between head-landlords, under-tenants, trustees, a
receiver, and all the endless machinery of an embarrassed little Irish
estate, compelled me to seek a more quiet sphere; and in Kilkenny I
found all that could combine to encourage me in the pursuit of honest
independence in the way of usefulness. I finished "Osric," which formed
a good-sized volume, and commenced the pleasant task of writing penny
and twopenny books for the Dublin Tract Society, who paid me liberally,
and cheered me on my path with all the warmth of Christian affection. It
was indeed a delightful task, and God had raised up to me also a friend
to whose truly paternal kindness I owe more than ever can be told, Mr.
George Sandford, now Lord Mountsandford, who, from our first
acquaintance, entered with a father's interest into all that concerned
me. Thus encouraged, I held on my way, and tasted the sweets that I hope
to enjoy to the end of my days--those of the original curse brightened
by the irreversible blessing: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat
bread;" "Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the
Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor shall not be in vain in the

I have already told you my escape from the snare of Socinianism; and now
I am to narrate a trial of faith and doctrine which by the mercy of God
produced effects just the reverse of what was intended. This was no less
than a vigorous attempt to convert me to Popery. I had not yet bestowed
any great attention on the details of that abominable device, but was
most fully persuaded of its being a system of idolatrous delusion, the
working of which was strikingly manifested in the wretchedness, the
immorality, the turbulence and degrading superstitions of the poor
creatures around me. It never had been my practice to tamper with or to
compromise what I knew to be wrong; therefore I had not suffered
curiosity to lead me within the walls of a mass-house, nor in any way to
put on the semblance of an agreement which cannot really exist between
the temple of God and idols. I believed Popery to be the Babylon of the
Apocalypse, and I longed for resolution to proclaim to the deluded
victims, "Come out of her, my people," This I had never done, but on the
contrary fell cheerfully in with the then cautious policy of my friends,
and so framed my little books and tracts as to leave it doubtful whether
they were written by a Protestant or not. Paul to the Jews became as a
Jew, that he might gain the Jews: I, by a false process of reason,
thought it allowable to become as an idolater to the idolaters, that I
might gain the idolaters. An awful, presumptuous sin! The Jew possesses
the fair blossom of gospel truth, which by kindly fostering is to be
expanded and ripened into the rich fruit: the Papist holds in his hand
an apple of Sodom, beneath the painted rind of which is a mass of ashes
and corruption. He must be induced to fling it away, and to pluck from
the tree of life a wholly different thing.

My Protestant principles, such as they were, withheld me from visiting
the convent which formed a principal attraction to the military and
other strangers in Kilkenny. Many sought to draw me thither, adducing
the examples of Christian ministers and other spiritual people, who did
not scruple to go; but in vain. At length a lady came to me with an
earnest request from "the most interesting nun in the establishment," to
give her some information on the best mode of conveying instruction to a
poor little girl in their school, deaf and dumb. Here was a call of
duty: I knew it could not be effectually done unless in person; and to
the surprise of my friend, I volunteered to accompany her to the

The nun was indeed a most engaging young lady; in personal appearance,
in manner, in feeling, realizing the visions of my girlish romance, when
reading idle stories in novels on such topics. She had, moreover, all
the animated warmth of a genuine Irishwoman, and her fine countenance
beaming with benevolent joy at our successful beginning, and with
affectionate gratitude for my services, quite won my heart. I promised
to repeat the visit shortly, and on doing so accompanied her to walk
round the garden, at the other extremity of which stood a building which
I took for their school, and unhesitatingly mounted the stairs with my
sweet conductor. Judge what was my dismay when, on passing the folding
doors, I found myself in a splendid Popish chapel, opposite the altar,
over which shone a richly gilt cross, while my poor nun was prostrated
in the lowliest adoration, touching the ground with her forehead before
the senseless idol. I was confounded, and unable to say any thing; but
after a hasty glance at the fine trappings, left the place secretly
praying for grace and strength to protest openly against the abomination
from which my soul revolted with unspeakable horror from the moment of
my witnessing the act of idolatrous homage rendered to a thing of wood
and stone. On leaving the convent, I met a person who informed me that
my poor nun was a Protestant lady of high respectability, sprung from
one of those iniquitous mixed marriages, her mother belonging to the
established church, her father a Romanist, who, however, honestly
adhered to the terms of the wicked covenant by which the sons were to be
educated in his, the daughters in her persuasion. A family of daughters
were born to them, who, with their mother, continued nominally
Protestant; but after his death, when the house was filled with Romish
priests, performing for a week together their mummeries over the corpse,
these poor females had become a prey to the subtle perversions of the
ecclesiastics, and had openly apostatized, all save my new friend, who
with a better informed mind and more scriptural knowledge withstood
their sophistries, until sundry mock miracles performed by means of
saintly relics and a well-contrived nocturnal visitation from the ghost
of her father whom she fondly loved, had so unnerved and frightened her
that she too fell a prey to the delusion. They ended by admitting her
into the sisterhood of this convent, excusing the payment of the large
sum usually demanded; and as her darkness was now great in proportion to
the measure of light against which she had sinned, they found her a
valuable decoy-bird to draw others into the snare. I did not learn all
these particulars at the time, nor until after her decease, when I met
with a near family connection of hers who told them to me. I simply
gleaned the fact of her apostasy, with that of her abounding zeal in the
antichristian cause.

With all my heart I loved the gentle, affectionate, elegant nun, and
earnestly did I pray for help in bringing her back, as I was resolved to
do, from the path of destruction; and while I deliberated on the best
means of commencing the work, the difficulty was removed by her openly
attempting to convert me. To this end she urged on me a strict inquiry
into the real doctrines and tenets of her church, for myself and by
myself, promising to lend me books of the most candid character, if I
would engage to read them. I agreed, stipulating that I was freely to
write out my remarks on them for her consideration; and with this mutual
understanding, I brought home from the convent as a loan Dr. Milner's
"End of Controversy," furnished for my especial benefit by a seminary of
Jesuit priests, located near the town: and thus was I become the object
of a combined attack from the forces of great Babylon.

True to what I considered a tacit engagement to study the matter alone,
I read the book. Never shall I forget the effect it produced on me. I
seemed to be holding communion with Satan himself, robed as an angel of
light, the transparent drapery revealing his hideous form but baffling
my endeavors to rend it away. Such sophistry, such impudence of
unsupported assertion, such distortion of truth and gilding of gross
falsehood, I never met with. I tried in vain to find an answer to things
that I saw and felt to be antiscriptural and destructive; but this "End"
was the beginning of my controversy, for I was wholly new to it, and
ignorant of the historical and other facts necessary to disprove the
reverend author's bold assumptions. At last I burst into tears, and
kneeling down, exclaimed, "O Lord, I cannot unravel this web of
iniquity: enable me to cut it in twain." I was answered; for after a
little more thought, a broad view of the whole scheme of man's salvation
as revealed in the holy Scriptures appeared to me the best antidote for
this insidious poison. I read through the New Testament with increased
enjoyment, and casting from me the wretched fabric of lies, with all its
flimsy pretences, I resolved, instead of attempting a reply to what I
saw to be falsehood, to set forth a plain statement of what I knew to be
truth. Indeed it is indescribable how disgusting the painted face, the
gaudy trappings, and the arrogant assumptions of the great harlot
appeared in my eyes, when thus contrasted with the sublime simplicity,
purity, and modesty of the chaste spouse of Christ.

I wrote; and in reply got another and a smaller book, containing the
pretended reasons of a Protestant for embracing Popery. They were of
course artfully put, and made a formidable exhibition of the peril of
heresy. I thought I could not do better in return, while writing my
dissent, than to enclose some small books of my own to the nun, inviting
her comments thereon. This brought a letter which was probably written
by stealth, though so cautiously worded as to be safe if intercepted.
She said she did not wish to leave me under a wrong impression, and
therefore told me that she was not permitted to read any of my letters,
or the little books I had sent, as those who watched over her spiritual
interests and whom she was bound to obey, thought it wrong to unsettle
her mind by reading any thing contrary to the true faith which she held.
Here was a pretty exposure of one-sided honesty. I thanked God for the
further insight given me into the mystery of iniquity, and from that day
devoted all my powers to the investigation of that against which I had
become a stanch protester.

In the midst of our proceedings, a nun had taken the veil at the
convent. Every body almost, to their shame be it spoken, was trying for
tickets to the unhallowed show. My poor friend sent us two, informed me
that two of the best front seats would be reserved for us, and
accompanied her kind note with a programme of the ceremony and a
translation or transcription of the service, all in her own handwriting.
I felt deeply the pain of hurting her, and perhaps for a moment the
workings of natural curiosity, but the hesitation was short. I sent back
both books and tickets, with a grateful but decided refusal to be
present. In all Kilkenny I did not find a person who could go along with
me in my objections; but it is a matter of great joy to me to this hour,
that I kept myself wholly unpolluted by any participation in these
idolatrous doings; and I do believe that a double blessing has attended
my efforts against Popery in consequence of it.

The affair of the little deaf mute at the convent led me to turn my
attention to some poor children similarly circumstanced in the streets
of Kilkenny; and while prosecuting that work the Lord brought to me that
dear dumb boy whom you well remember as the brightest, most lovely of
Christian characters. He was then very little, and had a brother of
sixteen, one of the most genuine paddies I ever beheld. This lad was
living very idly; a fine, sensible, shrewd fellow, who could read and
write, and very soon made great proficiency in the finger language by
helping me to instruct Jack. No one above Pat's own rank had ever taken
any interest in him; I did, a strong one, and as he was much with me,
and of a character most intensely Irish, he became attached to my with a
warmth of devotion rarely met with among any other people.

One day Pat made his appearance with an important look, his brogues
stamping the carpet with unwonted energy, his fine bare throat stiffened
into a sort of dignified hauteur, and his very keen hazel eyes sparkling
under the bushy luxuriance of chestnut curls that clustered about his
face and fell on his neck. The very beau ideal of a wild Irish youth was
my friend Pat. Seating himself as usual, he began--and here I must
observe that my chief knowledge of the phraseology and turn of thought
so peculiar to the Irish peasant was derived from this source. Whenever
Pat came "to discourse me," I got rich lessons in the very brogue
itself, from the fidelity with which his spelling followed the
pronunciation of his words--"I wouldn't like," said he, "that you would
go to hell."

"Nor I either, Pat."

"But you are out of the thrue church, and you wont be saved, and I must
convart ye."

"That is very kind of you, my good lad. If I am wrong, you cannot do
better than set me right."

"Sure and I will."

"But how?"

"With this," said he, pulling out a small pamphlet nothing the cleaner
for wear. "You must learn my catechism, and it's you that will be the
good Catholic."

Delighted with the boy's honest zeal, I asked him where I should begin;
and he no less pleased at my docility, desired me to read it all, and
then get it all by heart. I promised to do the first at any rate; and Oh
what a tissue of falsehood and blasphemy that "Butler's Catechism" was.
Next morning my teacher came early: "Well, Pat, I have found out what
makes you anxious about me: here it is said that none can be saved out
of the true church."

"That's it, sure enough."

"But I do belong to the true church, and I'll show you what it is;" so I
pointed out to him two passages, and added, "Now, I do love our Lord
Jesus Christ in sincerity, and therefore I am one of those to whom St.
Paul wishes grace and peace; and do you think an apostle would send his
blessing to any body who was not of the true church?"

Pat shook his head: "That's _your_ catechism, not mine."

"Very true. Dr. Butler wrote yours, and God wrote mine," holding up the
Bible; "which is best?"

"That is not the real Bible," persisted Pat; "my priest has the true

"Then ask him to lend you his."

"I wouldn't get my ears pulled, would I?" said he, smiling: "but if he
lent me his Bible he must lend me a car to bring it home in, for it's as
big as this table. Yours is too little, and doesn't hold half the truth.
That is why you are so ignorant."

I soon proved, by showing him Matthew. Henry's Commentary, that the word
of God would lie in a very small compass, the great bulk of the book
being man's work. I also urged on him the absolute necessity of reading
what God had given for our learning, and the danger of resting on man's

Pat stood his ground most manfully, astonishing me by the adroitness
with which he parried my attacks, while pursuing, as he hoped, the good
work of my conversion. For many a day was the controversy carried on,
Butler _versus_ the Bible, without any other effect than that of
bringing Pat to read the sacred book for himself; but it opened to me
the awful wiles of darkness by which the poor and ignorant are blinded,
while for the more educated class such polished sophistry as Milner's is
carefully prepared. I reaped the fruit, however, six years afterwards,
when, in a little English church, Pat kneeled beside me and his brother,
a thankful communicant, at the Lord's table.



I turned my attention to the deaf and dumb children, whose situation was
deplorable indeed: I took four out of the streets to instruct them, of
whom one proved irreclaimably wild and vicious; two were removed by a
priest's order, lest I should infect them with heresy: the fourth was to
me a crown of rejoicing, and will be so yet more at "that day." * * *

John, or Jack as we always called him, was a puny little fellow, of
heavy aspect, and wholly destitute of the life and animation that
generally characterize that class, who are obliged to use looks and
gestures as a substitute for words. He seemed for a long while unable to
comprehend my object in placing before him a dissected alphabet, and
forming the letters into words significant of dog, man, hat, and other
short monosyllables; and when I guided his little hard hand to trace
corresponding characters on the slate, it was indeed a work of time and
patience to make him draw a single stroke correctly. His unmeaning grin
of good-natured acquiescence in whatever I bade him do, was more
provoking than downright rebellion could have been; and I secretly
agreed with my friends that the attempt would prove a complete failure,
while impelled, I hardly could tell how, to persevere with redoubled
efforts. Jack's uncouth bristly hair fell in a straight mass over one of
the finest foreheads ever seen, and concealed it. I happened one day to
put aside this mass, for the benefit of his sight, and was so struck
with the nobly expansive brow, that I exclaimed to a friend then in the
act of dissuading me from the work, "No; with such a forehead as this, I
can never despair of success."

* * * * *

It was by a sudden burst that the boy's mind broke its prison and looked
around on every object as though never before beheld. All seemed to
appear in so new a light to him; curiosity, in which he had been
strangely deficient, became an eagerly active principle, and nothing
that was portable did he fail to bring to me, with an inquiring shake of
the head, and the word "what?" spelled by the fingers. It was no easy
matter, before we had mastered a dozen common substantives and no other
parts of speech, to satisfy his inquisitiveness, which I always
endeavored to do, because it is wrong to repress that indication of
dawning reason in a child, and Jack at eleven years old was in the
predicament of a mere infant. More especially was I puzzled when his
"what?" was accompanied by a motion pointing first at the dog, then to
himself, to learn wherein consisted the difference between two
creatures, both of whom, as he intimated, could eat, drink, sleep, and
walk about, could be merry or angry, sick or well; neither of whom could
talk; and yet, that there was a very great difference, he felt. The
noble nature of man, was struggling to assert its preeminence over the
irrational brute, which he, nevertheless, loved and feared too; for
Barrow was a splendid dog, and used to assist me very cleverly in
keeping my little wild Irish crew in order. Oh what a magnificent wreck
is man! I do love to watch the rapid approach of that glorious time
when, the six thousand years of his degradation beneath the reign of
Satan being fulfilled, he shall rise above the usurper's power, and
resume his high station among the brightest works of God.

I do not remember exactly how long after his first coming to me it was
that Jack began to inquire so diligently about God. He seemed full of
grave but restless thought, and then approaching me, pointed towards the
sun, and by a movement of the hands as if kneading something, asked me
whether I made it. I shook my head. Did my mother? No. Did Mr. Roe, or
Mr. Shaw--two Protestant clergymen--or the priest? He had a sign to
express each of these. No. Then "What? what?" with a frown and a stamp
of fretful impatience. I pointed upwards, with a look of reverential
solemnity, and spelled the word "God." He seemed struck, and asked no
more at that time, but next day he overwhelmed me with "whats," and
seemed determined to know more about it. I told him as well as I could,
that He of whom I spoke was great, powerful, and kind; and that he was
always looking at us. He smiled, and informed me he did not know how the
sun was made, for he could not keep his eyes on it; but the moon he
thought was like a dumpling, and sent rolling over the tops of the
trees, as he sent a marble across the table. As for the stars, they were
cut out with a large pair of scissors, and stuck into the sky with the
end of the thumb. Having thus settled his system of astronomy, he looked
very happy, and patted his chest with evident self-applause.

I was amused, but of course not satisfied: my charge was necessarily an
Atheist, and what I had told him was a very bare sort of Deism indeed.
To communicate more, however, seemed utterly impossible, until we should
have accomplished considerable things in the way of education. We had
not above a dozen of the commonest words--all names of things--to which
he could attach a meaning; and our signs were all of his own contriving,
which I had to catch and follow as I might. So said reason, but reason
is a fool. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God." "For my ways are not your ways,
neither are your thoughts my thoughts, saith the Lord." It pleased him
to enlighten the mind of the boy; and instead of that work being
dependent on human wisdom, all that human wisdom could do was to creep
after it at a modest distance.

Next day, Jack came to me in great wrath, intimating that my tongue
ought to be pulled out. This was his usual mode of accusation where a
lie had been told. So I looked innocent and said, "What?" He reminded me
of yesterday's conversation, telling me he had looked everywhere for
God: he had been down the street, over the bridge, into the churchyard,
through the fields, had peeped into the grounds of the castle, walked
past the barrack-yard, and got up in the night to look out at the
window. All in vain; he could not find God. _He saw nobody big enough
to put up his hand and stick the stars into the sky_. I was "bad," my
tongue must be pulled out; for there was "God, NO." And he repeated
"God, no," so often that it went to my heart.

I considered, prayerfully. My view of the scriptures told me that
without divine help none could really seek after God: and also that when
he vouchsafed to give the desire, he would surely increase knowledge.
Here was a poor afflicted boy getting out of his bed to look by night
for one whom he had vainly sought all the day: here was Satan at work to
strengthen unbelief: I was commanded to resist the devil, and surely
there must be some way of resisting him. I sat silent on the opposite
side of the fire, and a plan having struck me, I looked at Jack,
shrugged my shoulders and seemed convicted of a deception. He shook his
head at me, frowned, and appeared very much offended at my delinquency.
Presently I seized a small pair of bellows, and after puffing at the
fire for a while, suddenly directed a rough blast at his little red
hand, which hung very near it. He snatched it back, scowled at me, and
when again I repeated the operation, expressed great displeasure,
shivering, and letting me know he did not like it.

I renewed the puff, saying, "What?" and looking most unconscious of
having done any thing; he blew hard, and repeated that it made his hands
cold; that I was very bad, and he was very angry. I puffed in all
directions, looked very eagerly at the pipe of the bellows, peering on
every side, and then, explaining that I could see nothing, imitated his
manner, saying, "Wind? no!" shaking my head at him, and telling him his
tongue must come out, mimicking his looks of rebuke and offended virtue.
He opened his eyes very wide, stared at me and panted; a deep crimson
suffused his whole face, and a soul, a real soul shone in his strangely
altered countenance, while he triumphantly repeated, "God like wind! God
like wind!" He had no word for "like;" it was signified by holding the
two forefingers out, side by side, as a symbol of perfect resemblance.

Here was a step, a glorious step, out of absolute atheism into a perfect
recognition of the invisible God. An idea, to call it nothing more, new,
grand, and absorbing, took possession of his mind. I numbered seven
years of incessant care over him from that day; and I will fearlessly
assert that in his head and in his heart God reigned unrivalled. Even
before he knew him as God in Christ, the Creator and Preserver were
enthroned in his bosom; and every event of the day, every object that
met his view, gave rise to some touchingly simple question or remark
concerning God. He made me observe that when trying to look at the sun
he was forced to shut his eyes, adding, "God like sun." An analogy not
very traceable, though strictly just; for the glory that dazzled his
mind was not visible. He was perpetually engaged in some process of
abstract reasoning on every subject, and amazed me by explaining its
results; but how he carried it on without the intervention of words, was
and is a puzzle to me.

Previously he had been rather teasing to the dog and other inferior
creatures, and had a great desire to fish; but now he became most
exquisitely tender towards every living thing, moving his hand over them
in a caressing way, and saying, "God made." At first he excepted the
worms from this privilege, remarking that they came up through holes
from beneath the earth, while God was above, over the sky; therefore
they were not made by him; but I set him right, and he agreed that they
might be rolled up in the world, like meat in a pudding, and bite their
way out. Thenceforth, woe to the angler whom Jack detected looking for
live bait!

When my first pupil from being irregular in his attendance fell off more
and more, until he wholly discontinued coming, and the others were
withdrawn for fear of heretical infection, I became more anxious lest
this dear boy might also leave me before he had received the knowledge
of Jesus Christ. I had, at his earnest entreaty, taken him into the
house altogether, his home being at some distance; but I knew not how
long he might be permitted to stay. The ravages of a dreadful fever
among the poor, increased my solicitude to see my devout little Deist a
Christian. I have, in a small memoir of this "Happy Mute," related the
manner of his receiving the gospel, but I must not pass it over here. To
the glory of God's rich grace it shall be recorded, as one of the most
signal mercies ever vouchsafed to me. As before, the boy was led to open
the way, and in the faith of the Lord's willingness to reveal himself to
an inquiring soul, I followed it up.

Jack had noticed the number of funerals passing; he had occasionally
seen dead bodies placed in their coffins, and one evening he alluded to
it, asking me by significant gestures if they would ever open their eyes
again. Considering that he had often been present at the interment of
the dead, and had also witnessed the decay of animals cast out to
perish, it struck me as a singular question, plainly indicating that the
consciousness of immortality is natural to man, and unbelief in a future
state foreign to his untaught feelings. On the present occasion, my
heart being then lifted up in prayer for divine assistance on this very
point, I caught at the encouragement, and instantly proceeded to improve
the opportunity, I sketched on paper a crowd of persons, old and young;
near them a pit with flames issuing from it, and told him all those
people, among whom were we, had been "bad" and God would throw us into
the fire. When his alarm was greatly excited, I introduced into the
picture another individual, who I told him was God's Son; that he came
out of heaven; that he had not been bad, and was not to go in the pit;
but that he allowed himself to be killed; and when he died, God shut up
the pit; so the people were spared. This seemed to myself too strange,
vague, meagre, to convey any definite idea to the boy's mind; but how
effectual does the Lord make our poorest efforts when HE wills to work!
After a few moments' deep thought, Jack astonished me by an objection
that proved he saw the grand doctrine of a substitute for sinners, which
I was so hopeless of bringing before him. He told me the rescued people
were many; he who died was one, and his earnest "What?" with the
eloquent look that now peculiarly belonged to his once stupid
countenance, showed his anxiety for a solution of this difficulty.

With unutterable joy in my heart, but great composure of manner, I rose,
and taking from a vase a bunch of dead flowers, inadvertently left
there, I cut them into small bits, laid them in a heap on the table, and
beside them my gold ring: then pointing to each, with the words "many-
one," I asked which he would rather have? He struck his hand suddenly to
his forehead, then clapped both hands, gave a jump as he sat, and with
the most rapturous expression of countenance intimated that the one
piece of gold was better than the room full of dead flowers With great
rapidity he applied the symbol, pointing to the picture, to the ring, to
himself, to me, and finally to heaven. In the last position he stood up
and paused for some time, and what a picture he would have made! A smile
perfectly angelic beaming on his face, his eyes sparkling and dancing
with delight, until, with a rush of tears that quite suffused them, he
gazed at me, then again raised them to the ceiling, his look softened
into an expression of deep awe and unbounded love, while he gently
spelled on his fingers, "Good ONE, good ONE!" and ended by asking me his

"How sweet the name of Jesus sounds In a believer's ear!"

Jack was not to hear that name with his bodily ears until the voice of
the archangel and the trump of God should call him from sleeping in the
dust of the earth; but he received it into his mind, and the gospel, the
glorious, everlasting gospel, into his soul, and the Holy Spirit into
his heart, without the intervention of that sense. In that hour it was
given unto him to believe, and from that hour all things were his--the
world, life, death, and a bright immortality. Never but once before had
I laid my head on the pillow with such an overwhelming sense of perfect
happiness. The Lord had indeed shown me his glory, by causing his
goodness to pass before me.

Henceforth I had a Christian brother in my little dumb charge: his love
to Jesus Christ was fervent and full; his thoughts about him most
beautiful. By degrees, I gave him some knowledge of our Lord's mortal
birth, his infancy, work, death, resurrection, and ascension; together
with his coming to final judgment at the end of the world. * * *

Very great indeed was Jack's emotion when he discovered that the Saviour
in whom he was rejoicing was the object represented by the image he had
been taught to bow down before. He resented it deeply: I was quite
alarmed at the sudden and violent turn his feelings took against Popery.
* * * He spurned the whole system from him, as soon as the light of the
gospel fell upon its deformities.

Returning from the chapel one day, soon after this, he came up to me
under great excitement: he took up a clothes-brush, set it on one end,
and with a ludicrous grimace bowed down before it, joining his hands in
the attitude of prayer and chattering after his fashion; then asking the
brush if it could hear him, waiting in an attitude of attention for its
reply, and finally knocking it over and kicking it round the room,
saying, "Bad god, bad god!" I guessed pretty well what it was all about;
but as he concluded by snapping his fingers exultingly and seating
himself without further remark, I spoke on other subjects.

Next morning, Jack was very animated, and came to me with an evident
budget of new thoughts. He told me something very small came out of the
ground, pointing in opposite directions; it grew: and then two more
points appeared. I found he was describing the growth of a plant, and
expecting some question, was all attention; but Jack was come to teach,
not to learn. He soon showed that his tree had reached a great height
and size; then he made as if shouldering a hatchet, advanced to the tree
and cut it down. Next came a great deal of sawing, chopping, planing,
and shaping, until he made me understand he had cut out a crucifix,
which he laid by, and proceeded to make a stool, a box, and other small
articles; after which he gathered up the chips, flung them on the fire,
and seemed to be cheering himself in the blaze. I actually trembled at
the proceeding; for where had he, who could not form or understand half
a sentence, where had _he_ learned the Holy Spirit's testimony as
recorded by Isaiah?

The sequel was what I anticipated: he feigned to set up the imaginary
crucifix, and preparing to pray before it, checked himself, saying,
"No;" then with animated seriousness reverted to the springing up of the
little seedling, saying, "God made;" and as it grew, he described the
fashioning of the trunk and branches and leaves most gracefully, still
saying "God made;" he seemed to dip a pencil in color, to paint the
leaves, repeating, "God made beautiful!" Then, that God made his hands
too; and he came to the conclusion that the tree which God made, cut out
by his hands which God made, could not be God who made them. Then he got
very angry, and not satisfied with an unsubstantial object for his holy
indignation to vent itself upon, he ran for the clothes-brush, and gave
it a worse cuffing and kicking than before; ending with a solemn inquiry
whether I worshipped crosses, etc., when I went to church.

I trembled to give the encouragement I longed to bestow. However, I
distinctly intimated my detestation of idolatry, and confirmed his
strong repudiation of it. He told me he would not go any more to chapel,
but I told him, as well as I _could_, the almost certain
consequences, and he then remembered that other boys had told him those
who ate meat on Fridays would go to hell. He became greatly distressed
as the next Sabbath approached, but contrary to all my expectations
returned from mass in excellent spirits. Pat told me, laughing, that
Jack was become so musical he insisted on going to sit by the organ,
that he might feel the vibration; and when alone with me, Jack joyfully
told me that he had run up the stairs from the outer door to the organ-
loft, and so escaped even the necessity of bowing down to the cross.
This plan he persisted in from that day. Some years afterwards I asked
his brother if he had any suspicion at the time of the boy's object in
so doing: he answered, None at all; and that if he had, he would have
forced him into the body of the mass-house, and compelled him to
prostrate himself.

* * * * *

Early in the summer of 1824, I received a summons to return to England.
It was most unwelcome, for my heart was knit to Ireland, and to share
the lot of her devoted people was its earnest desire. At home I had many
old friends; but what were they to the beloved brethren and sisters in
Christ, who had been my fellow-helpers for the last four years in the
work of the Lord? All ties were weak to that, save one, the tie that
bound me to my beloved brother. Him I had not seen for nine years: he
had continued on the staff of the Portuguese army until the
establishment of the Cortes, who dismissed all British officers; and
then he settled in the interior of that country, cultivating some of the
land which he had gallantly fought to rescue. It was a subject of
continual sorrow to me that he was residing in the heart of an
exclusively Popish country, far from every means of grace; not even a
place of worship within many leagues, and wholly shut out from Christian
intercourse. I knew that he had been equally dark with myself on the
subject of religion; and truly can I say, that from the very hour of my
being enabled to see the truth as it is in Jesus, my life had been a
constant prayer for him, that God would make him a partaker in the like
precious faith. There was now a prospect of his returning, and this
added to the summons I have mentioned, made my way plain. The state of
Jack's mind, too, on the subject of Popery, helped to reconcile me,
since I had made up my mind to take him with me if his parents would
agree to it. There was no difficulty in bringing them to do so; they
gave a willing, a grateful consent. His mother's words, while tears
rolled down her cheeks, were, "Take him; he is more your child than
ours." His father remarked, "Why shouldn't we let him go with you,
seeing he would grieve to death if you left him behind?" When I began to
state that I could not promise he would not openly embrace my religion,
they interrupted me, repeating that he was my child more than theirs,
and could never come to any harm under my care. Coward as I was, I did
not use the opportunity then given to set before them their own danger,
and commend the pure faith that I knew their child held. I had
occasionally talked in a general way, and once very strongly, when the
mother told me of the dreadful penances she had done, walking on her
bare knees over a road strewed with pebbles, glass, and quicklime, to
make her sufferings greater, in order to obtain from God and the saints
the restoration of the boy's hearing and speech. She was then pleading
the power and holiness of her clergy, and their superiority to all the
rest of the world. I looked from the window, and said, "See, there goes
your bishop; now do you think this bright sun warms him more than it
does any Protestant walking beside him?" "Troth, and I am sure it does,"
answered she. "What, do you think he has any particular advantage over
other men in things that are common to all?" "That he has, being a holy
bishop." "Well, now, if I call him up, and we all put our fingers
together between these bars, do you think the fire would burn him less
than us?" She hesitated; her husband burst into a laugh, and archly
said, "I'll engage his reverence wouldn't try that same."

I was now to bid adieu to my pleasant haunts, chief among which was the
lordly castle of Kilkenny, where I had passed so very many delightful
hours. Its noble owners were abroad, but by their favor I had a key to
the private door beside the river, and full access to every part of the
castle and its beautiful grounds. It was there I used to muse on days of
Ireland's bygone greatness, though not then well read in her peculiar
history, and gradually I had become as Irish as any of her own children.
How could it be otherwise? I was not naturally cold-hearted, though
circumstances had, indeed, greatly frozen the current of my warm
affections, and I had learned to look with comparative indifference on
whatever crossed my changeful path; but no one with a latent spark of
kindly feeling can long repress it among the Irish. There is an ardor of
character, an earnestness in their good will, a habit of assimilating
themselves to the tastes and habits of those whom they desire to please
--and that desire is very general--that wins on the affections of those
who possess any, a grateful regard, and leaving on the scenes that have
witnessed such intercourse, a sunshine peculiar to themselves. Reserve
of manner cannot long exist in Irish society. I have met with some among
the people of the land, who were cold and forbidding, insensible and
unkind, but these were exceptions, establishing the rule by the very
disagreeable contrast in which they stood out from all around them; and
I never found these persons in the humbler classes, where the unmixed
Irish prevails. Hospitality is indeed the polestar of Ireland; go where
you will, it is always visible; but it shines the brightest in the poor
man's cabin, because the potato that he so frankly, so heartily, so
gracefully presses upon your acceptance is selected from a scanty heap,
barely sufficient to allay the cravings of hunger in himself and his
half-clad little ones. In this, as in all other particulars, a change
for the worse has come over the people of late; priestly authority has
interposed to check the outgoings of kindness from a warm-hearted people
to those who are indeed their friends, and a painful, reluctant
restraint is laid upon them; but the evil had not become evident at the
time of my sojourn there, and I can only speak of them as the most
respectful, most courteous and hospitable peasantry in the world.

At the same time they were in many respects the most degraded. Nothing
could equal the depth of their abasement before an insolent priesthood,
except the unblushing effrontery with which the latter lorded it over
them. For any infraction of their arbitrary rules, the most cruel and
humiliating penances were imposed. I knew an instance of a young woman,
a Romanist, who engaged in the service of a Protestant family, and went
out with them to America. While there, she was led to join in family
worship, but without any intention of forsaking her own creed; neither
had they attempted to draw her out of the net. On her return to Kilkenny
she went to confession, and among other things divulged the fact of
having heard the Bible read, and prayed in company with heretics. This
was an enormity too great for the priest to deal with alone; so he
ordered the girl off, fasting, to her original confessor, who then
officiated in a chapel seven good Irish miles distant. On hearing the
case, he ordered her to go thrice round the chapel on her bare knees,
and then to set off, still fasting, and walk back to Kilkenny, there to
undergo such additional penance as his reverend brother should see good
to impose. The poor creature scarcely reached the town alive, through
fatigue, exhaustion, and terror; she was ill for some time, and on her
recovery subjected to further discipline. These particulars I had from
one of her own friends and a bigoted Papist to boot, who told it in
order to convince me that the girl had committed a very great sin.

I once asked a young man how he got on at confession--whether he told
all his sins. He replied, "Sometimes I disremember a few, and if the
priest, suspects it, he pulls my hair and boxes my ears, to help my
memory." "And how do you feel when you have got absolution?" "I feel all
right; and I go out and begin again." "And how do you know that God has
really pardoned you?" "He doesn't pardon me directly; only the priest
does. He, the priest, confesses my sins to the bishop, and the bishop
confesses them to the pope, and the pope sees the Virgin Mary every
Saturday night, and tells her to speak to God about it." "And you really
believe this monstrous story?" "Why shouldn't I? But it is no affair of
mine, for, once I have confessed, all my sins are laid on the priest,
and he must do the best he can to get rid of them. I am safe." Of such
materials is the net composed that holds these people in bondage; and
who can marvel that such prostration of mind before a fellow-mortal
should lead to an abject slavery of the whole man, body, conscience, and
understanding? We see the effects, and abhor them; but we do not go to
the root of the matter.

The priest himself is equally enslaved; his oath binds him to an
implicit blind reception of tenets which he is not permitted to
investigate, and which make him the pliant tool of a higher department
of this detestable machinery. He receives his cue from the bishops, and
they are wholly governed by the Propaganda at Rome, whither each of them
is bound periodically to appear for personal examination and fresh
instructions. The Propaganda is, of course, the _primum mobile_ of
the system, set agoing by Satan himself. Hence the mischief that is
perpetrated by the unhappy beings who form the operative section of this
cunning concern--the handicraft men of blood. It is an awful spectacle,
and one that we cannot long avert our eyes from contemplating with the
deep interest that personal peril excites. All is preparing for a burst
of persecution against the people of the Lord, and happy is he who shall
be found armed with watching.



We started for Dublin with sorrowing hearts, for it was likely to be a
long, if not a last farewell to friends who were endeared as well by a
participation in danger as in feeling. * * *

Jack had never before been beyond the environs of his native town, and I
expected to see him much astonished by the splendid buildings of Dublin.
He regarded them however with indifference, because, as he said, they
were not "God-mades;" while the scenery through which we had travelled,
particularly the noble oaks on Colonel Bruen's fine demesne, and the
groups of deer reclining beneath their broad shadow, roused him to
enthusiasm. It was wonderful to trace the exquisite perception of beauty
as developed in that boy, who had never even been in a furnished room
until he came to me. His taste was refined, and his mind delicate beyond
belief: I never saw such sensitive modesty as he manifested to the last
day of his life. Rudeness of any kind was hateful to him; he not only
yielded respect to all, but required it towards himself, and really
commanded it by his striking propriety of manner. He was, as a dear
friend once remarked, a "God-made" gentleman, untainted with the
slightest approach to any thing like affectation or coxcombry: indeed he
ridiculed the latter with much comic effect: and the words "Dandy Jack,"
would put him out of conceit with any article of apparel that drew forth
the remark. He would answer the taunt with a face of grave rebuke,
saying, "Bad Mam, bold Mam; Jack dandy? no; Jack poor boy." He had not,
indeed, arrived at so copious a vocabulary when we left his home; but he
was rapidly acquiring new words.

It was beautiful to see him at prayer. He had never kneeled down with us
at Kilkenny; for any Romanist who had detected him doing so must have
informed, and the priest would have commanded his removal. In Dublin he
volunteered to join us, and as he kneeled with clasped hands, looking up
towards heaven, the expression of his countenance was most lovely. A
smile of childlike confidence and reverential love played over his
features, now becoming most eloquent; his bristly hair had begun to
assume a silky appearance, and was combed aside from a magnificent brow,
while a fine color perpetually mantled his cheeks and changed with every
emotion; his dark hazel eyes, large, and very bright, always speaking
some thought that occupied his mind. He was rather more than twelve
years old. In profile, he much resembled Kirke White when older; but the
strongest likeness I ever saw of him is an original portrait of Edward
VI., by Holbein, in my possession.

It was taken after consumption had set its seal on the countenance of
that blessed young king, as it did on that of my dear dumb boy.

In Dublin, he had one adventure that afforded him much enjoyment. I went
into an extensive toy-shop to make some purchase, and Jack, enchanted
with the wonders around him, strolled to the further end, and into a
little adjoining recess, well filled with toys. A great uproar in that
direction made us all run to inquire the cause, and there was Jack,
mounted on a first-rate rocking-horse, tearing away full gallop, and
absolutely roaring out in the maddest paroxysm of delight, his hat
fallen off, his arm raised, his eyes and mouth wide open, and the
surrounding valuables in imminent peril of a general crash. The mistress
of the shop was so convulsed with laughter that she could render no
assistance, and it was with some difficulty I checked his triumphant
career, and dismounted him. He gave me afterwards a diverting account of
his cautious approach to the "good horse;" how he ascertained it was
"bite, no; kick, no:" and gradually got resolution to mount it. He
wanted to know how far he had rode, and also if he was a God-made? I
told him it was wood, but I doubt whether he believed me. Thenceforth
Dublin was associated in his mind with nothing else; even at nineteen
years of age he would say, if he met with the name, "Good Dublin, good
horse; small Jack love good Dublin horse." The shipping pleased him
greatly, and many of his beautiful drawings were representations of
sailing vessels.

I had now been in Ireland five years and three months; and with what
different feelings did I prepare to leave its green shores from those
with which I first pressed them. Unfounded prejudice was succeeded by an
attachment founded on close acquaintance with those among whom I had
dwelt, contempt by respect, and dislike by the warmest, most grateful
affection. I had scorned her poverty, and hated her turbulence. The
first I now knew to be no poverty of soil, of natural resources, of
mind, talent, or energy, but the effect of a blight, permitted to rest
alike on the land and people, through the selfishness of an unjust,
crooked policy, that made their welfare of no account in its
calculations, nor would stretch forth a hand to deliver them from the
dark dominion of Popery. Their turbulence was the natural fruit of such
poverty, and of their being wholly under the influence of a party
necessarily hostile to the interests of a Protestant state, and bent on
subverting its ascendency. What Ireland was, I too plainly saw: what she
might be, I clearly understood; and the guilt of my country's
responsibility lay heavy on my heart as I watched the outline of her
receding coast.

Bristol was our destination; and for the ensuing year, Clifton became
our abode. This period of my life was one of severe trial, which it is
not necessary to particularize. Incipient derangement, which afterwards
became developed, in a quarter where, if I did not find comfort and
protection, I might expect their opposites, occasioned me much alarm and
distress, while my brother's protracted absence increased the trial.
Much secluded, I pursued my literary avocations, and watched the
progress of Jack's growth in knowledge and in grace. * * *

My sojourn at Clifton brought me into personal acquaintance with that
venerable servant of God, Hannah More. We had for some time
corresponded, and she had afforded me great encouragement in my humble
labors, taking an especial interest in my attempts to instruct the deaf
and dumb children. I had now the pleasure of showing her the progress
made with Jack, who delighted her greatly, and who, to the last day of
his mortal existence, most fondly cherished the memory of that sweet old
lady. She was, indeed, one of the excellent of the earth, permitted long
to beautify the church which she had so mainly helped to strengthen and
advance, and to be an honor to the land where she had nobly stood forth
to repel the assaults of revolutionizing impiety. I often wonder that so
little stress is laid upon this branch of Mrs. More's extensive labors.
We hear much of her schools, her charities, her letters, her devotional
and educational publications, and all of these deserve the full
celebrity that they have attained. But England should especially bear in
mind her effective championship of the good cause, by means most
admirably adapted to its furtherance among the most dangerous, and
generally speaking the most unapproachable class--a class who
congregated in ale-houses to hear the inflammatory harangues of
seditious traitors, while as yet Bibles were scarce, religious tracts
not in existence, and district visiting unthought of. In a lady of
refined taste, and rare accomplishments in the higher style of writing,
to volunteer in a work so new, and to furnish the press with a series of
plain truths dressed in a most homely phrase, rendered attractive by
lively narrative and even drollery, and the whole brought down to the
level of coarse, uninformed minds, while circulated in a form to come
within the narrow means of the lowest mechanics--this was an enterprise
worthy especial note, even had not God openly blessed it to the turning
of that formidable tide. When I looked upon the placid but animated
countenance of the aged saint, as she sat in her bow-window looking out
upon the fair fields, the still inviolate shores of her beloved country,
I thought more of her "Cheap Repository Tracts" than of all her other
works combined. There lay the Bristol Channel, that noble inlet to our
isle, by which the commerce of the world was even then finding its
peaceful way to the great mart of Bristol; and there sat the aged lady,
so long the presiding spirit of the place, with one hand, as it were,
gathering the lambs of the flock into green pastures among the distant
hills, that formed a beautiful feature in the landscape; with the other
vigorously repulsing the wolf from the field. If I could have
discovered, which I could not, a single trait of consciousness that she
was a distinguished being, exalted into eminence by public acclaim, I
must have conceived her to be dwelling upon this branch of her many
privileges, that she had been a Deborah where many a Barak shrunk from
the post of honor and skulked behind a woman. She took that lively
interest in the public, secular affairs of her country that Jeremiah and
Ezekiel did of old; and on the same plain ground--that where the state
professes to be modelled and the executive to act on principles of God's
instilling, with a view that peace and happiness, truth and justice,
religion and piety, may be established among us, nothing done by the
state can be indifferent to the church, or unworthy the anxious watchful
regard of Christians. To be called a carnal politician by those whose
minds, at least on religious subjects, could contain, but one idea, was
certainly a light affliction to balance against the joyous consciousness
of having materially aided in preserving those cavillers' homes from the
hand of the spoiler, and their Bibles from that of the Atheist.

When I saw Hannah More, she was really at ease in her possessions; and
none who loved her less than the Lord himself did, would have laid a
sorrow upon her grey hairs. Man would have decreed that such a full-ripe
shock of corn should be brought into the garner without further ruffling
or shaking. She had suffered exceedingly from rheumatism and other
ailments, and yet more from the tongue of calumny and the hand of
ingratitude. She was an illustration of that striking couplet,

"Envy will merit as its shade pursue,
And, like the shadow, prove the substance true."

She had, however, triumphed over all by meekly committing her cause to
Him who judgeth righteously; and now she seemed to be placed beyond the
reach of further molestation, and about to end her useful life in peace.
But she had another lesson to give to the people of God, another fire in
which to glorify him: and not long after I saw her reclining in that
lovely retreat which had grown up about her, a perfect bower from slips
and seeds of her own planting, as she delighted to tell us, she was
actually driven out of her little paradise, compelled to leave the
shadow of her nursling trees, and to cast a tearful farewell look on the
smiling flowers, and to turn away from the bright sea and the waving
line of her Cheddar hills, to find a lodging in the neighboring town;
and all through treachery, domestic treachery against her whose whole
life had been a course of unsparing beneficence towards others. Hannah
More perhaps needed to be again reminded, that she must do all her works
"as to the Lord," looking to him alone for acceptance of them; or if she
needed it not, others did; and often since she entered into her
Saviour's presence, "to go no more out," has the scene of the last trial
to which her generous, confiding, affectionate spirit was subjected,
been blessed to the consolation of others. God's children find that it
is good for themselves that they should be afflicted; but they do not
always remember how good it is for the church, that they should be so.
They look within, and seeing so much there daily, "justly deserving
God's wrath and condemnation," they lie still in his hand, willing and
thankful to have the dross purged out, and the tin taken away. Their
fellows look on, and not seeing the desperate wickedness of their
hearts, but fondly believing them to be as near perfection as human
frailty will permit, they argue, "If such a saint as ---- be thus
chastened and corrected, what must a sinner like me expect?" So they
learn watchfulness and fear in the day of prosperity; and when adversity
comes, they are enabled more lovingly to kiss the rod. Oh, if we could
see but a little of the Lord's dealings, in all their bearings, how
should we praise him for his goodness and the wonders that he doeth unto
the children of men. What profit, what pleasure has he in afflicting us?
Surely it is, so to speak, more trouble to correct than to leave us
alone; and he would not twine the small cords into a scourge, unless to
cleanse and sanctify his temple.

I have said that my brother's return home was delayed. A hurt received
in shooting, with its consequences, detained him in Lisbon nearly a
year; but his family came over, and I had a new delicious employment, a
solace under many sorrows, an unfailing source of interest and delight,
in teaching his eldest surviving boy the accomplishments of walking and
talking. I almost expected Jack to be jealous of such a rival, but I
wronged him: nothing could exceed his fondness for "baby boy," or the
zeal of his Irish devotion to the little gentleman. Knowing that in the
event of my removal, Jack must earn his bread by some laborious or
servile occupation, I had kept him humble. He ate in the same room with
us, because I never suffered him to associate with servants; but at a
side-table; and he was expected to do every little household work that
befitted his age and strength. A kind shake of the hand, morning and
evening, was his peculiar privilege; and the omission a punishment too
severe to be inflicted, except on occasions of most flagrant
delinquency, such as rebelling against orders, or expressing any angry
emotion, to which he was constitutionally liable, by yells and howls
that almost frightened our hosts from their propriety. He had, of
course, no idea of the strength of his own lungs, nor of the effect
produced by giving them full play in a fit of passion; but the commotion
into which it threw the whole house seemed to flatter his vanity, and he
became a vocalist on very trifling occasions. This neither agreed with
our dear invalid landlady, nor was a fitting example for "baby boy," who
speedily tried his own little treble in admiring imitation of Jack's
deafening bass; and recourse was at last had to the aid of a young
friend, who bestowed a few gentle raps on his head with the bent end of
a hooked cane, and then locked him up in a dark kitchen for half an
hour, saying to me, rather regretfully, "I suppose my popularity is at
an end now. Poor fellow, I shall be sorry to lose his affection." But
this was so far from being the case, that to his closing scene Jack
retained a grateful remembrance of the proceeding. He used to say, "Good
Mr. W----; good little stick beat Jack's head; made bad Jack good. Jack
love good Mr. W----." At the very time, as soon as he saw his kind
corrector after the business, he very gracefully and cordially thanked
him, kissing his hand, with a bow, and saying, "Jack no more cry;" and
as he really was hardly touched, and full well knew we had not the heart
to be severe, it was a proof of that openness to rebuke which is a
lovely mark of true Christianity.

Montgomery beautifully says,

"Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air."

And so it eminently was with the dumb boy. Under every form of condition
and circumstance, in health and sickness, in joy, in grief, in danger,
in perplexity--over his food, his studies, his work, his amusements, he
was ever turning a look of peculiar sweetness on me, with the two words,
"Jack pray." He always smiled when so engaged, and a look of
inexpressible eagerness, mingled with satisfaction and the triumph of
one who feels that he has taken a secure stand, told me when he was
praying, without any change of position, or looking up. There was always
a mixture of anxiety in his aspect when he tried to make himself
understood by his fellow-creatures; this gave place to something the
reverse of anxiety when he was "talking to God," as he sometimes
expressed it. He oftener looked down than up; and very often did I see
his eye fixed upon the "baby boy," when, as his looks bespoke, and as he
afterwards told me, he was "tell God" about him, and that he was too
little to know about Jesus Christ yet. Many a prayer of that grateful
dumb boy even now descends in blessings on the head of my brother's
"baby," and long may the hallowed stream continue to flow down, until
they rejoice together before the throne of the Lamb.

One of Jack's lovely thoughts was this: he told me that when little
children began to walk, Jesus Christ held them by the hand to teach
them; and that if they fell, he put his hand between their heads and the
ground to prevent their being hurt. Then, as if he saw this proceeding,
he would look up, and with the fondest expression say, "_Good_
Jesus Christ, Jack very much loves Jesus Christ." I hope you are not
tired of Jack; I have much to tell about him. God made me the humble
means of plucking this precious brand from the burning; and I owe it to
the Lord to show what a tenfold blessing I reaped in it. Jack was not
the only one of whom He has, in the dispensations of his providence,
said to me, "Nurse this child for me, and I will give thee thy wages." I
have found him a noble Paymaster.

And now I come to a period of my life that I have scarcely courage to go
over. Many and sharp and bitter were the trials left unrecorded here;
and shame be to the hand that shall ever DARE to lift the veil that
tender charity would cast over what was God's doing, let the instruments
be what and who they might. It is enough to say, that even now I know
there was not one superfluous stroke of the rod, nor one drop of bitter
that could have been spared from the wholesome cup. Besides, he dealt
most mercifully with me; those two rich blessings, health and
cheerfulness, were never withdrawn. I had not a day's illness through
years of tribulation; and though my spirits would now and then fail, it
was but a momentary depression; light and buoyant, they soon danced on
the crest of the wave that had for an instant ingulfed them.

It is of joy I have to tell: safety, peace, prosperity, under the
restored sunshine that had made my early career so bright. Never did a
sister more fondly love a brother; never was a brother more formed to be
the delight, the pride, the blessing of a sister. He was of most rare
beauty from the cradle, increasing in loveliness as he grew up, and
becoming the very model of a splendid man; very tall, large, commanding,
with a face of perfect beauty, glowing, animated, mirthful--a gait so
essentially military, that it was once remarked by an officer, "If B----
were disguised as a washerwoman, any soldier would give him the salute."
He had also served in the Peninsula with the highest possible credit,
regarded by those in command as one of the best officers in the service,
and most ardently loved by the men under him. Many a bloody battle-field
had he seen; but never did a wound reach him. On one occasion--at
Albuhera--his gallant regiment went into action 800 strong, and on the
following day only 96 men were able to draw rations. He became on the
field a lieutenant, from being the youngest ensign; and alike in all
circumstances he shone out as an honor to his profession. He had also
been an especial favorite with John VI. of Portugal, and the high polish
of a court was superadded to all the rest, without in the smallest
degree changing the exceedingly playful, unaffected joyousness of the
most sunshiny character I ever met with.

Ten years' absence had produced the effect on my sisterly love that
Burns describes:

"Time but th' impression stronger makes,
As streams their channels deeper wear."

I had also many personal reasons for looking forward to his return with
peculiar anxiety; and its uncertainty increased the feeling. I had been
spending the day with a sick friend, and ran home at night to the
lodging occupied by my mother and myself, and there I found my brother.
What a dream those ten years' trials appeared!

We remained but a short time in Clifton, and soon bent our way towards
the metropolis, where he expected, as is usual, to dance a long and
wearisome attendance on the Horse Guards, for a regimental appointment.
He had refused that of aid-de-camp to king John, with any military rank
and title that he might desire; preferring a half-pay unattached company
in the British, to any thing that a foreign service could offer; but he
was mistaken: his merits were well known to the Duke of York, and before
he could well state to Sir Herbert Taylor his wishes, that estimable man
told him he had only to select out of two or three regiments lately
returned from foreign service, and he would be gazetted on the following
Tuesday. He chose the 75th, and was immediately appointed to it, with
leave to study for two years in the senior department of the Military
college at Sandhurst, the better to qualify himself for a future staff

A sweet cottage, standing isolated on the verge of Bagshot-heath,
sheltered by tall trees and opening on a beautiful lawn, with a distant
but full view of the college, became our abode. A delightful room was
selected for me, with an injunction to sit down and make the most of my
time while he was in the halls of study, that I might be at leisure to
walk, to ride, to garden, to farm with him--my brother--my restored
brother, whose eye beamed protection, and whose smile diffused gladness,
and whose society was what in our happy childhood it had ever been, just
instead of all the world to me. If one thing was wanting, and wanting it
was, to knit us in a tie more enduring than any of this world's bonds
could possibly be, that very sense of want furnished a stimulus to more
importunate prayer on his behalf. Some of the good people who for lack
of a relay of ideas borrow one of their neighbors and ride it to death,
treated me to a leaf from the book of Job's comforters, when the
calamity fell on me of that precious brother's death, by telling me I
had made an idol of him. It was equally false and foolish. An idol is
something that either usurps God's place, or withdraws our thoughts and
devotions from him. The very reverse of this was my case. I had an
additional motive for continually seeking the Lord, not only in prayer
for the enlightening influences of the Holy Spirit on behalf of one so
dear, but also for grace to walk most circumspectly myself, lest I
should cast any stumbling-block in his way, or give him occasion to
suspect that my religious profession was a name, and not a reality. That
was surely a profitable idol which kept me always prayerful before God,
watchful over myself, diligent in the discharge of duties, and in
continual thanksgiving for the mercies I had received. Do I repent
loving my brother so well? I wish it had been possible to love him
better. These warm affections of the heart are among the sweetest relics
of a lost Eden, and I would sooner tear up the flowers that God has left
to smile in our daily path through a sin-blighted wilderness, far sooner
than I would cease to cherish, to foster, to delight in the brighter,
sweeter flowers of domestic love, carried to the full extent of all its
endearing capabilities.

The Lord knoweth our frame; he deals with us not according to what we
are not, but according to what we are. He sets before us various duties,
and to the end that we may the better fulfil them, he gives us aids not
contrary to, but accordant with our natural feelings. Men set up a
standard, often a just and scriptural one, to which they sorrowfully
confess that because of the weakness of their nature they cannot
themselves attain; but according to which they sternly judge their
neighbors. A person has a path assigned to him, a steep ascent strewed
with thorns and crowded with obstacles, before which he often pauses and
waxes faint. God gives him a companion for his way, even as he sent
forth the disciples two and two, and the pilgrim is cheered. He quickens
his pace; another besides himself will be benefited by his progress, and
if he fails, another will suffer in his loss. So he goes on thankful,
rejoicing, and endued with double energy for the toilsome achievement.
But he sees a neighbor to whom the Lord has also granted help through
human means, perhaps not exactly similar to that which he has received;
he sees his neighbor likewise openly rejoicing in the possession of such
a staff; and bringing him to the tests of that perfect law which
requires an entire devotedness to and dependence on the Lord, he raises
a cry of "mixed motives," "the arm of flesh," "idolatry," and so forth.
No doubt he is so far right, that perverse humanity will ever abuse
God's gifts, and often make them occasions of sin; but this outcry of
the beam against the mote, which is so grievously prevalent in the
religious world, is very unseemly. Oh, how infinitely more tender is the
Lord to us than we to one another.

Hitherto, many impediments had been thrown in the way of my literary
labors. Anxiety, apprehension, and the restlessness of feeling resulting
from a continual change of abode, had broken the train of thought, and
rendered my work very uncertain. Indeed, it would often have been wholly
inadequate to my support, but for the watchful kindness of friends whom
the Lord raised up to me, foremost among whom always stood the estimable
Mr. Sandford, who never ceased to regard me with paternal affection and
care. To he wholly independent was the first earthly wish of my heart;
and now a fair opportunity was given of testing my willingness to labor
diligently. The result was so far, satisfactory, that in the course of
the two years and two months of my residence under my brother's roof, I
wrote the Rockite, the System, Izram, Consistency, Perseverance, Allen
McLeod, Zadoc, and upwards of thirty little books and tracts, besides
contributions to various periodicals. I was going on most prosperously,
when an attempt was suddenly made from another quarter to establish a
claim to the profits of my pen. The demand was probably legal, according
to the strict letter of existing statutes, though circumstances would
have weighed strongly in my favor. But it greatly reduced the value of
my copyrights for the time being, and I found myself checked in my
career at a juncture when it was especially my desire to go on steadily.
This brought upon me two temptations, the force of which was greatly
increased by the circumstances under which they found me.



When I first began to write, it was with a simple desire to instruct the
poor in the blessed truths of the gospel. My own situation soon rendered
it needful to turn the little talent I possessed to account. This I did,
still keeping in view the grand object of promoting God's glory; and my
attempts having been well received, I found a ready market for whatever
I wrote, so that the name was considered a sufficient guarantee for the
book. Now, I could no longer safely use that name, and anonymous writing
became the only feasible plan. A friend, who did not look upon the main
subject in the light that I did, made, through my brother, a proposal
that I should become a contributor to the most popular magazine of the
day, supplying tales, etc., the purport of which was to be as moral as I
pleased, but with no direct mention of religion. The terms offered were
very high: the strict _incognito_ to be preserved would secure me
from any charge of inconsistency, and coming as it did when my regular
source of income was suddenly closed, and when the idea of being
burdensome to my generous brother with his increasing family was hardly
supportable, it was thought I could not demur.

Nevertheless, I did; the Lord in his gracious providence had said to me,
"Go work to-day In my vineyard," and I had for upwards of four years
enjoyed that blessed privilege. It was now withdrawn, certainly not
without his permission; and how did I know that it was not to try my
faith? The idea of hiring myself out to another master--to engage in the
service of that world the friendship of which is enmity with God--to
cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before those whom by the pen
I addressed--to refrain from setting forth Jesus Christ and him
crucified to a perishing world, and give the reins to an imagination
ever prone to wander after folly and romance, but now subdued to a
better rule--all this was so contrary to my views of Christian
principle, that, after much earnest prayer to God, I decided rather to
work gratuitously in the good cause, trusting to Him who knew all my
necessity, than to entangle myself with things on which I could not ask
a blessing. The conflict was indeed severe; no one attempted to oppose
my resolve; but as yet no one could at all understand its real ground;
and it was a very trying position in which I stood, thus seemingly
spurning an honorable means of independence and leaving myself
destitute. But the trial was short: my first friends, the Christian
"Dublin Tract Society," exercising that faith which has distinguished
all their acts, determined to brave the consequences, and still publish
my little books. This, though, the profit was not then very good, I
hailed as a gracious intimation of the Lord's purpose still to continue
me in his service; and I was the more strengthened to meet the second
trial, which coming at a time when the sum proffered would he doubly
acceptable, and the refusal involving the loss of a very old and kind
friend, was rather a sharp one; more especially as the offence given
would and did alienate him from others who had no share in the
proceeding, and whose interests were far dearer to me than my own.

Many years before, that friend had published a novel: not a flimsy love-
story, but of a class above the common run. I had, as a girl, been very
fond of it, and often delighted the amiable author by expressing an
admiration that was not general; for the work had failed, and was
unsold. Now, finding I had been myself successful with the pen, and
full, even, in old age, of natural love for his literary offspring, he
had formed a plan, in which he never dreamed of encountering opposition.
He wished me to rewrite it, to cast the characters anew, enliven the
style, add variety to the incidents, and, in short, make a new work out
of his materials. Still it was to be a novel; and as it had been
originally published in his name, it was to be so now. My share in the
work would never be known; and as he was abundantly wealthy, and equally
generous, a _carte blanche_ as to terms was before me.

On the former occasion I had paused, and thought much: on this I did
not. The path was plain before me, but dreadfully painful to pursue. A
hundred pounds just then would have been more to me than a thousand at
another time; and private feeling was most distressingly involved, both
as regarded myself and others. It was in an agony of prayer, and after
many bitter tears, that I brought myself to do what, nevertheless, I had
not a wish to leave undone. I wrote a faithful letter to the friend in
question, most unequivocally stating the ground of my refusal--the
responsibility under which I conceived we all lay before God for the
application of talents committed by him; the evils of novel-reading;
and, as far as I could, I declared the whole gospel of Christ to one
whom I had no reason to consider as taking any thought whatever for his
soul. I heard no more from him to the day of his death, which took place
ten years after. I had reason to believe that his intentions towards me
were very liberal in the final distribution of his property; for he had
known and loved me from my cradle, and he had no family; but my
conscience bore a happy testimony in the matter; and I am fully
persuaded that the whole was a snare of Satan to betray me into an
acceptance of unhallowed gains, by catering to the worldly tastes of
those who forget God. No doubt, the business would have been a
profitable one, and the inducement to persevere made strong in
proportion as I sacrificed principle to lucre. "All these things will I
give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." I should neither do
justice to the Lord's rich goodness nor to the honored instrument of his
bounty if I omitted to add, that, shortly after, my munificent friend
Mr. Sandford sent me a gift that left me no loser by having done my

While on the subject of my books, I will record an incident that
occurred about the same time, and on which I always look with feelings
of indescribable delight. I did not know it until, some years
afterwards, the story was related to me by the principal actor in it--
the abetter of my heretical pravity. Little did I dream, when writing my
humble penny books, that they would be advanced to the high honor of a
place in the Papal Index Expurgatorius.

The lady in question took to the continent a sweet, only daughter: a
lovely little girl of ten years old, the joy of her widowed bosom, who
was fast sinking in decline. I was exceedingly fond of that child, who
returned my affection from the depths of an Irish heart; and who, out of
love for its author, selected one of my small penny books to translate
into Italian during her last stage of suffering. She did not live to
complete it; but with her dying breath requested her mother to do so, in
the earnest hope of its being made useful to the ignorant people around
them. Bessie was a lamb of the Lord's fold; and to lead other children
into the same blessed shelter was her heart's desire. As soon as the
bereaved mother could make any exertion, she betook herself to the task
assigned by her departed darling, and found such satisfaction in it that
she extended her labors, and translated several more. Being a lady of
rank and affluence, she was enabled to carry it on to publication, and
to insure the circulation of the little books among many. One of them,
"The Simple Flower," a sixpenny book, thus translated, fell into the
hands of an Italian physician, a man of highly cultivated mind;
nominally a Romanist; and like all thinking Romanists, in reality an
infidel. The book contains not a word on controversy; not an allusion to
Popery--it is plain gospel truth, conveyed in a very simple narrative.
God blessed it to this gentleman, and he became a Christian. The
circumstance excited much remark: curiosity led many to read that and
others of the series, and a great number were circulated in the
neighboring districts. This was actually within the papal states, under
the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Sienna, to whose knowledge came

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