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may seem that a common soldier, whose pay at the time brother Davidson was in the army was only thirteen pence and a halfpenny per day, should find means to provide himself with the intoxicating cup, yet so it was ; though out of his daily wages he had to furnish himself with shirts, stockings, trowsers, brushes, and various other articles, he would by stratagem, contrivance, and a wretched economy in food, sometimes find ways and means to drown his cares in liquor. On some occasions two or three would form themselves into a band; then they would cast lots who should desert, in order to procure the sum of two guineas, which was the reward given for bringing back the deserter. This done, the victim would make his escape ; in due time his trusty friends would bring him back, and though he was sure of five hundred lashes, he would risk all for the sake of the cup; his friends the mean time holding safe the reward of iniquity in their hands, until he was recovered of his wounds; and then they would enjoy the fruit of their devices; and then another balloting would take place, and so on, until the whole of the miserable fraternity had shared in the ignominy and pain, as well as the pleasure. When this plan was discovered and broken up, recourse was had to another.

“ Two of them,” says brother Davidson, “one evening went out “a privateering,' as they called it; met with a gentleman, knocked him down, and took from him a great sum of money, made off with the booty as fast as possible, in order to get into the barracks before the gates were shut. But the gentleman recovering from the blows they gave him, found a nearer way to the barracks, testified against them, and proved them guilty. Next day they were discharged from the regiment and delivered over to the civil law, tried and found guilty, and sentenced to death : one was reprieved, the other suffered the awful sentence of the law in the city o. Dublin in the year 1805.” Thus much for drunkenness : and as for lewdness, the hospitals are witnesses to its fearful consequences. As to the third species of crime, namely, profane swearing, it is an evil which prevails in the army to an awful extent. " I well recollect,” says brother D., “one evening while in the barracks, a complete desperado began cursing and swearing in a most tremendous manner, and with shocking vehemence demanded his Maker to make his appearance and enter into combat with him ; and as if he expected his demand to be regarded, he drew his bayonet out of its scabbard, and stood in a posture of defence, in order to meet his almighty Antagonist. I stood a dumb spectator, expecting every moment that some awful judgment would fall upon him : he escaped, however, for that time; but shortly after was called to enter the eternal world in a fearful manner, to meet his Maker there." He mentions also the case of sergeant W., an aged man who had distinguished himself as a soldier of no ordinary character in the revolutionary war in this country, and but for his



love of strong drink might have been raised to the highest post of honour. Towards the close of the year 1806, he being tben nearly sixty years of age, was taken ill, and the last expressions he was heard to utter were, that he wished himself dead and damned, and

“ bis soul in hell.” While the army was lying at Athlone, in the

. centre of Ireland, the commander in chief of the forces in Ireland paid them a visit two or three times a week. During this time they had a sham fight in order to try their skill; and one night at eleven o'clock an intentional false alarm was given, (as if Napoleon had landed,) in order to try their dexterity and courage. In three minutes after the alarm was given, every man was in readiness to meet the enemy. For this they got great praise, and were then informed of the plan and dismissed, every man to his tent. About this time some of the soldiers committed a most wanton depredation upon some precious articles of ecclesiastical revenue ; and for the better understanding of the grievous nature of this offence, let it be noted, that they were now in a Catholic country, and in the very region where Saint Patrick had done such wonders; for according to the account which the inhabitants gave of the place, astonishing wonders had been done by the guardian saint, such as the building seven churches in one night; digging a well with his staff, the waters of which were calculated to cleanse both soul and body from all pollution : in front of this well stood a monumental pillar, which it was believed had stood from the time of the saint, and would stand till the latest posterity. But in this also they were mistaken ; for the pillar was broken to pieces by the cruel soldiers, and not content with breaking the monument, they must needs fill up the well with the broken pieces, and leave the poor deluded victims of a vain superstition, without one drop of that most efficacious water wherewith to bless themselves withal. However, it was not long before they cleared out the well; but the fragments of the broken pillar they could not join together : so the well remains without the monument that was to remain for ever. This transaction took place at Shannon bridge, eighteen miles from Athlone.

It was about this time that he experienced a change of heart. The circumstances which led to this event he relates as follows : “ Until this time I did not know of one in all our regiment that had so much religion as the fear of God,' although there were several that both feared and lovedl God with all their hearts. Two young men in the company to which I belonged were professed followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, but I had formed no acquaintance with them until one of them came to me and said, “ It has been impressed upon my mind for some time, to talk with you upon the subject of religion ; but not having sufficient fortitude for that purpose, I have delayed the conversation till the present. But now having a favourable opportunity, I think that our time cannot be spent to


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better purpose than in talking of the things of God. For my part, continued he, I have more need of instruction than to impart it; but I have come to Joshua's resolution, that whatever others do, I am resolved to serve the Lord; and I should like if you would accompany me to the kingdom of heaven. What do you say to that?' My reply to his proposal was, that if I were not in the army I should have no objection ; for, said I, you know what a wicked set we are surrounded with from day to day. I thought this was a powerful argument, and that it would terminate the business ; but it proved to be quite the reverse ; for he took occasion from this very objection to urge the necessity of conversion. This conversation took place while we were on duty, at a late bour,

but the

eye of Omniscience beheld us. After this he fell into a train of reasoning on the supposed impossibility of serving the Lord, while employed in the business of carnal warfare ; and many were the “ devices" which Satan made use of in order to divert bis mind from the pursuit of the “ thing needful.”

The next interview he had with the beforementioned young man, he told him of his doubts and discouragements; but at length confessed that he believed it possible to be a Christian, even in the army. His friend advised him to break off all connexion with his wicked companions, and join himself to the people of God. He soon complied with the former part of this advice, being fully persuaded that it was utterly impossible to be a disciple of Christ and walk in the way of sinners." This step exposed him to violent persecution, and brought upon him showers of opprobrious epithets, such as “fanatic," " enthusiast,” “Me

“ thodist,” &c. “ Methodist !” thought he, “how inconsistent, to call me by the name of a people, of whom I was always taught to beware.” He now began to read and meditate upon his long neglected Bible ; which brought to mind the painful remembrance of those days when he was forced to lay aside the study of that precious book. His trouble of mind now increased, and he often sought relief in tears. He thought much upon the advice of his friend, “ Join yourself to the people of God;" but he knew not who they were, nor where to find them. He could think of none but the Methodists; but for them he had no regard, notwithstanding he could think of none besides. He made known his feelings to his young friend, who also was labouring under similar impressions. He at length heard that there was a Methodist chapel in town, and that there was a class leader and a preacher in the regiment. He sought many times to introduce himself to the leader, but did not succeed : at last a thought came into his mind, “Go to the chapel at such an hour, a little before the meeting commences, and you will have an interview with the person you so inuch long to see.” He went, and waited at the door until the leader arrived, who took him by the hand, and with a smile

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#which," says brother Davidson, “ I shall never forget, said to me, * Hath the Lord given you a desire to save your soul, and fee from the wrath to come ? I replied, I have a strong desire to serve the Lord. Then,' said he, come into the chapel, and after meeting we shall renew the conversation. So following my guide to the farther end of the chapel, I beheld nine or ten soldiers met together to worship God. After being seated about five minutes, the leader (whose name was Peter Hamilton) gave out a hymn, the singing of which appeared so melodious that I felt as if I could have tarried all night. After the hymn was sung we all kneeled down; Peter opened his mouth in prayer, and in such an affecting manner as I never heard any thing like it before. Oh how earnestly he prayed for the stranger that had turned in with them. Under that prayer I came to this resolution---this people shall be

' my people, and their God my God.' The meeting continued about an hour and a half: when we were about to disperse they all shook hands; and I thought surely, if religion consists in love, one towards another, this little band possesses it in no ordinary degree. Peter and I then took a walk together; he asked me many questions in order to prove my sincerity. Having given him satisfactory answers, he then told me he had in his possession several little books, chiefly experiences, which he would lend me to read, and had no doubt but that they would be of singnlar advantage to me; at the same time he expressed his wish that I would attend prayer meeting every day (unless duty prevented) at five o'clock, A. M., at half past two P. M., and at seven in the evening, and preaching on sabbath at six o'clock : all this tended greatly to encourage me.'

He then informed his friend who first advised him to seek religion, that he had found the Lord's people, and at the next meeting took him along with him, which caused the little band to rejoice, seeing that two more were now added to their number. After meeting, the leader presented him with the books before mentioned, namely, the experiences of John Nelson, John Haime, Samson Staniforth, and others, which he read with uncommon avidity, and which were the means of good to him and to many others. The first class meeting astonished and delighted him; he was astonished to find that the exercises of the brethren in the former part of their experience so exactly agreed with his own; and delighted with their simplicity, godly sincerity, and ardent affection for each other; and though not as yet set free from the guilt of sin, he was mightily encouraged to pursue his way amidst all that opposition which he had to encounter. He therefore read his Bible diligently, and often on his knees; he prayed in secret; he attended all the outward means of grace within his reach; he watched over his words and tempers, and was circumspect in all things, both before friends and foes. But the great enemy of all souls

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sion that there was a certain degree of merit in all these doings of his ; until his more experienced and faithful friend, the leader, discovering this, drove him off his ground, and sent him a poor sinner laden with sins to Jesus Christ for mercy. At the first he wondered that he could do nothing to merit the favour of God; but after a little time had elapsed, he saw the plan of salvation more perfectly ; and then wondered at his own absurdity, in supposing that there could be any thing meritorious in asking for mercy, in seeking the pardon of sin, and in receiving the blessings of the gospel. But he is not the only one who has had to acknowledge, “how foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before thee."

While these things were opening to his mind, the regiment marched to Dublin; the little band was scattered for a season; part of them were stationed in the city, where they had the free use of the society rooms three times a day, as at Athlone. Brother Davidson and his comradę (whose name was Buckley) were sent on duty to Phoenix Park, about two miles out of town. On this occasion he remarks, “ The day after our arrival at this place, I said to Buckley, where shall we hold our meeting to night? There are two or three vacant rooms,' said he, up stairs ; but we are but weak, and I am afraid we have not sufficient courage to take up the cross. Come then, said I, let us go out to the fields among the bushes, and there let us build a tabernacle, and erect an altar, and worship the mighty God of Jacob. So we looked out for some retired spot in the field, and found a thicket of various shrubs growing on the side of a hill. The spot on which we fixed, in which to perform our devotions, was about five yards in length, and three in breadth, and completely arched over with shrubs. When within, we could just perceive the sun beams in various directions making encroachments upon us ; which, together with the singing of birds, the bleating of sheep, and humming of bees, all contributed to inspire devotion, and render the scene delightful to the serious and contemplative mind. We immediately took possession, and set it apart for the worship of Him who hath said,

The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; and here we met every morning at five o'clock; every afternoon at three, and every evening at seven, when military duty did not interfere.” Hitherto our friend had been drawn by the sweet cords of love, but now conviction rolled

him like the billows of the ocean. “I could do nothing now," says he, “but mourn and weep. I was com pletely stripped of every covering, having no prop to lean on, no refuge to fly to; frequently did I wish that I had never been born, or that I had given up the ghost the hour in which I was brought forth ; for then should I have been a stranger to the dreadful effects of sin. My language and experience were now like that of Hezekiah : Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter; I did mourn as a dove ; mine eyes failed me with looking upward; oh



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