Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

lay her work aside, and again give way to the extreme grief of her mind.

Wor. It must have been exceedingly distressing to her poor father, to have seen her overpowered by such excessive grief.

Loveg. The grief of the parent, was nearly equal to that of the daughter, though he exemplified astonishing patience on the occasion. All his affection seems entirely restored ; he now loves her as much as ever he once could blame her. It is amazing, what the forgiving love, and converting grace of God does, on the hearts of all the children of God.

Wor. Did she not in any degree recover her spirits while you were there.

Loveg. I humbly trust she did : there were such cheering prospects of good, which attended the divine services on the Sunday, as revived the hearts of all; though my final departure from Locksbury, exceedingly depressed her spirits.

Wor. That must have been a very trying moment hetween

you

both. Loveg. I am sure Sir, I could not have sustained the concluding interview without a very considerable injury to her feelings and my own; I therefore tuok my farewell by sending her a letter, and at the same time I composed for her a penitential hymn.

Mrs. Wor. Do Sir, let us see a copy of it.

Loveg. Oh madam, my poor rhymes scarcely deserve the name of poetry; If I had by me a correct copy, it would never be worth your perusal.

Mrs. Wor. Leave us to judge of that, we must hear it.

After much persuasion, Mr. Lovegood submitted. He is a man of uncommon modesty, though of considerable ability. He lives much as Moses did, on the mount with God : and as this made Moses's face to shine, “though he wist not that his face shone," when he came down from the mount, to do the work of God below, so also it is with Mr. Lovegood, though

in my opinion, he shines less as a poet, than as a divine. However, from some short-hand notes he had in his pocket-book, he delivered the following hymn, supposing it to be the genuine experience before God, of an humbled sinner of her description, panting for the mercy

of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto eternal life,

THE HYMN.

And must I sink beneath my load,

By weighty guilt borne down?
How can I bear the heavy rod,

Of God's eternal frown?
Who can thy righteous power withstand,

Or who thy wrath restrain?
But mercy still withholds thy hand,

And lets me here remain.
Why should'st thou yet forbear to slay,

If not inclin'd to spare ?
Shall I then fling all hope away,

And yield to wild despair ?
This were my sad account to swell,

Too big to be forgiven :
All sins lead down to death and he.

But this shuts out from heav'n.
No: still I'll hope for grace divine,

That mercy may abound;
Others, with guilt as vile as mine,

Have still thy mercy found.
Peter deny'd his blessed Lord,

With base blaspheming breath ;
Paul rag'd against the heavenly word,

And hunted saints to death.
What though a Magdalene had been

Of sev'n foul fiends possess'd ?
Yet Peter, Paul, and Magdalene,

Were with forgiveness bless'd.
And why not I, this grace obtain?

Did not my Savior die?
Or did he shed his blood in vain,

To ransom such as I?

0! let me hear thy gracious call;

“Come thou, with guilt oppress'd, “On me let all thy burthens fall,

“ I give the weary rest."
The door I trust is open still,

Whate'er my guilt has been,
And since 'tis my Redeemer's will,

I'll humbly enter in.

Mrs. Wor. Well Sir, I dare say, we are all of the opinion, that you need not have been so much ashamed of your poetry ; But oh! what a mercy to be kept from the evil propensities of our corrupted hearts, and to be under the sanctifying influences of God's most blessed Spirit.

Loveg. Yes madam, the blessings we enjoy in this world, in being so graciously converted, so mercifully preserved, and kept, are inexpressible; in the next they will be infinite.

Mrs. Wor. Oh Sir ! how shall we sufficiently express ourselves, for the kind providence which sent you among us? Mr. Worthy, and I, both felt we wanted something, but we knew not what.

This observation of Mrs. Worthy coming home rather personally to Mr. Lovegood, rendered the conversation desultory, though still edifying. It turned upon the following subject, “What is there, which thou hast not received ?” But as the author aims at an abridgment of every subject, remembering the old Greek proverb, “A great book, a great evil;" he begs leave to close the present Dialogue, and resume the subject, when the conversation may be more to the point.

DIALOGUE XXXIV.

CHE FAMILY OF THE WORTHYS, AND

MR. LOVEGOOD.

THE CHARACTER OF MR. FRIBBLE, AND SOME FURTHBR

NARRATION OF EVENTS, OCCASIONED BY MR. LOVEGOOD'S VISIT TO LOCKSBURY.

R. LOVEGOOD dreaded personal praise, more

than any thing. Having therefore retired for a few minutes, to break the chain of conversation which terminated the last dialogue, though so deservedly to his praise, he again returned, and thus the conversation recommenced.

Wor. Well Sir, you have now told us all

you

know respecting Mrs. Chipman: we 'must next request you, to tell us how it fared with you on the Sunday.

Loveg. Sir, you should first ask me, how it fared with me on the Saturday.

Wor. Begin where you like. But we want to know how you succeeded with Mr. Fribble, according to the dying request of Mr. Chipman.

Loveg. Oh Sir, after Mr. Reader had sent bim word of my arrival, he came and called on us. I found him as complete a puppy as ever I met with in my life ; and he invited me and Mr. Reader with a vast deal of affectation, (for his father it seems was a dancing master,) to tea with him, as he was pleased to express bimself, on the Saturday evening.

Wor. Did you accept the invitation ?
Lovec, I conceived it was not in my power to say

no: but I told Mr. Reader, it could be only on the condition that he should go with me; and we had such a dose !

Wor. I suppose you found him to be a most curious sprig of divinity, according to the fashionable taste of the day.

Mrs. Wor. How could you hit it off together?

Loveg. Why Madam, he first began bowing and scraping, with such an abundance of compliments, that I could not tell what to do with them.

Mrs. Wor. Not with one half of them, I suppose. Loveg. No-nor with one quarter of them, madam.

Wor. After the compliments were all over, how did you proceed?

Lovey. Sir, he began chattering away at a most extraordinary rate; first upon one topic, then upon another ; 1 think I never heard so much incoherent chatter before. But the first thing which struck me, was the furniture of his room.

On one peg were hung a pair of skaits, with red Morocco straps; on another his violin; at another place his bows and arrows were exhibited, as he was a member of an archer's club ; over his chimney-piece were piled, his and other accoutrements for that sport, with two or three dog-collars ; then there was his backgammon-table, his cribbage board, and among other pretty play things, he had his battledores, and shuttlecocks.

Wor. From the furniture of bis room, you might easily guess the furniture of his head.

Loveg. I thought that was more easily described, by what appeared on two or three shelves of books, which he called his library; containing little, that I could find, but a parcel of plays, loose poetry, and empty novels.

Wor. Had he no books of divinity?

Loveg. Sir, he had a few trumpery pamphlets, and among the rest, he had one book somewhat better bound than the others, called “The Religion of a polite gentleman.”

gun

« НазадПродовжити »