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Quirk's; for the old man, having had several sharp contests with his nephew, the Esquire, about money matters, was ever determined to make Mr. Lovely his heir. However I advised Mr. Lovely by no means, to suffer Mr. Quirk to go alone to his great uncle, that he might prevent any underhand dealings; so they went both of them together, and Mr. Lovely told me as soon as they entered the room, he groaned inexpressibly, and cried, " Oh nephew! I must die, I know I must die ; and oh that dreadful moment!” Mr. Quirk then interrupted him, and said, Sir, I am come with your nephew, Mr. Greedy's respects, that he hopes you have forgiven him, and that you die in peace with him; and it is to be hoped Sir, according to these principles of mutual forgiveness, you have settled your affairs. He took him up very hastily, and said, “ What do you ask me that question for ?" Mr. Quirk made answer, that he only wished to remind him, that his nephew was nearer akin than Mr. Lovely. Immediately, though quite in despair, he swore at him several times, calling him rascal, and said that he should leave all to young George
Mer. Could the lawyer stand all this?
Loveg. Sir, he immediately retired, and Mr. Lovely and the old woman were left in the room alone with Mr. Greedy, while he continued, cursing the designs of the lawyer, in the profanest manner.
Wor. Was this profane way of talk what he in general accustomed himself to?
Loveg. When he was in a passion, he would at times be very reprobate ; but in general he did not adopt this infernal language. However it was a most awful circumstance, that when the horrors of his conscience were the most dreadful, his language would be the most profane.
Wor. I fear then, it was a difficult matter for you to get an introduction to him.
Loveg. Sir, Mr. Lovely first opened the business by saying, he would wish to introduce to him a cler.
gyman of his acquaintance, as he appeared near death. He cried, “What good can such men do for me, I have known some of them as wicked as myself?" Mr. Lovely then pleaded for my admission, as being one of a different character; and then he cried, “O God! could I find the man, though at the distance of a thousand miles, who can quell the hell I feel within, how gladly would I send for him !” Mr. Lovely kindly answered—Sir, if any man upon earth can relieve the agonies of your mind, it is the minister I now
you to see; and in consequence of this, I was admitted to see him.
Wor. I fear it was an awful sight.
Loveg. The most awful I ever saw. His first speech was—“Sir, if there be an eternal world, you see a wretch sinking into eternal woe.”
He appeared almost distracted with despair; the stare of his eyes was most dreadful.
Wor. How could you answer him in such a state ?
Loveg. Sir, the only remedy you know that can be applied, is the gospel. I told him that all the free mercies of redemption, were revealed to penitent believers in the Lord Jesus, and that even these graces whereby sinners are brought to Christ, are the entire gift of God: and that Jesus Christ has in his heart, compassion to the vilest of our race.
Mer. And what was his answer ?
Loveg. Hecried"I have for a long time been endeavoring to think that there never was such a person as Jesus Christ; or that he was some enthusiastical impostor of the day; for oh, how I have hated his doctrine, and that of his disciples !" Then he paused, and staminered out, from the best of his recollection, these passages from Scripture, “ Do unto others, as ye would they should do unto you."-"Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world.”—“ Covetousness, which is idolatry.” , “If a man see his brother in need, and shut up his bowels of compassion, how dwelleth the love of God in him !" He
then cried, “O God! What shall I do, if I am called to stand before such a judge."
Wor. I fear then that he had been hardened in his wickedness, by the infidel system of the day.
Loveg. Sir, I believe he attempted to stand by it as long as he could ; but then, like Voltaire, D'Alembert, and many others, he was obliged to give up all his infidel principles before he died.
Mrs. Wor. Well, well; God give us a religion, which will do to live by, and that will prove the best to die by!
Loveg. True dear Madam ; but from what I could find, he was not a Deist; though I believe, like all those who chuse darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil,” he tried to the utmost of his power, to be one.
Mer. In that respect I was quite like him, when I was living in sin ; I could never bear to believe that the Bible was true, and I have wished it false a thousand times.
Loveg. I remember a remark of his on this ver subject, which made me shudder. He cried in his most reprobate language : “ How could I be such a d------ fool, to believe the Bible was false, only because it threatens eternal damnation against such hard-hearted monsters as myself!" And at another time he cried, “ How must I be hated of Christ, who preached and recommended nothing but mercy, while throughout all my life, I have been as cruel as the Devil himself!" And when I again attempted to tell him of the infinite ability of Christ “ to save to the uttermost," he shook his head and said, “I have ever hated him, and loved nobody but myself; and now I shall be eternally hated by him.” At another time he cried, “I have lived on earth, to starve my body, and oppress the poor, for which I am now going to receive the eternal damnation of
Wor. What a proof is this of the importance of those words, " What shall it profit a man if he shall
gain the whole world, and lose his own soul; or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul !"
Loveg. He was made to feel the sting of those words inexpressibly; for he said, among other things,
though there was a time when I would almost as soon have parted with my life, as my money ; yet ob, what would I not now give, if I could but purchase a short respite from the grave !-I am going, I feel I am going, and I know not where: but by grasping after earth, I have lost heaven, and must lose them both eternally."
Mer. What a horrid witness this poor wretched creature bore against himself!
Loveg. The most horrid that can be conceived. It seems once, after he had lain some time as in a slumber, though intermixed with sad and heavy groans, he was asked if his sleep had not done him some good ? He immediately cried,-“What rest could I find in sleep, while all the time I thought I was cast “into outer darkness, to be tortured with Devils and damned spirits, where there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth,-where the worm dieth not, and where the fire is not quenched.” 0, that pit of hell! I thought I was falling in it, and that I should be falling to all eternity, because it is the pit that is bottomless. O that I could but believe what some have said, “Death is an eternal sleep."
Wor. What then, could you get him to receive no word of consolation?
Loveg. Every word I attempted to put into his mind, by way of consolation, he would immediately turn against himself. When I said that though Christ was a tremendous judge to the wicked, yet to the penitent, he would be a most merciful, and gracious mediator. He immediately cried, “la penitent! No, my heart is as hard as a stone: I dread Hell, but I cannot repent of sin.” “I shall have thousands to witness against me." Then he stammered out-"I was hungered, and ye gave me no mént: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in ; naked, and ye clothed me not : sick and in prison, and ye
visited me not." What then can screen me from the sentence I shall so soon hear ? " Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.”
Mrs. Wor. How awfully he bore witness against himself. But it is remarkable that he should have been able to quote the scriptures so correctly ; one would have thought that his wickedness would have kept him from reading the Bible.
Loveg. Oh madam! many as wicked as the old Alderman, will read the scriptures if it be only for the sake of turning them into ridicule: but he was tolerably regular at his church, for that cost him nothing, and thereby he kept up appearances : and you know, that there is a deal of scripture read in our church service : and there he would sit in his Alderman's gown, as demure, and apparently as devout, as if he had been the best christian in the parish; besides, he had a remarkably strong memory, being so accustomed to exercise his brains upon simple, and compound interest, he surprised every body as a remarkably memmentor arithmetician; no wonder therefore, that the scriptures he read as a school book, and were so frequently read to him at church, should have been so well recollected by him.
Wor. I suppose the Rector would highly compliment him on this account.
Loveg. Mr. Saveall, would be frequently saying, he was a very good churchman, though a little too mean.
Wor. Would he suffer you to go to prayer with him before
left him? Loveg. Though he seemed to abhor the thoughts of prayer, yet we were determined not to leave the room without it. But how awfully he interrupted us by his screams, and exclamations, crying, "O God, what I feel! I feel Hell already; the wrath of God abideth on me.” So that it appeared in vain to attempt to pray with him.