from her. She was speaking to me of her lost child, with tears; she told me that you were one of the best of sons, but that some strange idea appeared to have occupied your mind. Despair not, my son. If thou hast been afflicted, I doubt not but that thy affliction will eventually turn out to thy benefit; I doubt not but that thou wilt be preserved, as an example of the great mercy of God. I will now kneel down and pray for thee, my son."

‘He knelt down, and prayed long and fervently. I remained standing for some time; at length I knelt down likewise. I scarcely knew what he was saying, but when he concluded I said "Amen."

‘And when we had risen from our knees, the old man left me for a short time, and on his return led me into another room, where were two females; one was an elderly person, the wife of the old man, - the other was a young woman of very prepossessing appearance (hang not down thy head, Winifred), who I soon found was a distant relation of the old man, - both received me with great kindness, the old man having doubtless previously told them who I was.

‘I stayed several days in the good man’s house. I had still the greater portion of a small sum which I happened to have about me when I departed on my dolorous wandering, and with this I purchased clothes, and altered my appearance considerably. On the evening of the second day my friend said, "I am going to preach, perhaps you will come and hear me." I consented, and we all went, not to a church, but to the large building next the house; for the old man, though a clergyman, was not of the established persuasion, and there the old man mounted a pulpit, and began to preach. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden," etc. etc., was his text. His sermon was long, but I still bear the greater portion of it in my mind.

‘The substance of it was that Jesus was at all times ready to take upon Himself the burden of our sins, provided we came to Him with a humble and contrite spirit, and begged His help. This doctrine was new to me; I had often been at church, but had never heard it preached before, at least so distinctly. When he said that all men might be saved, I shook, for I expected he would add, all except those who had committed the mysterious sin; but no, all men were to be saved who with a humble and contrite spirit would come to Jesus, cast themselves at the foot of His cross, and accept pardon through the merits of His blood-shedding alone. "Therefore, my friends," said he, in conclusion, "despair not - however guilty you may be, despair not - however desperate your condition may seem," said he, fixing his eyes upon me, "despair not. There is nothing more foolish and more wicked than despair; over-weening confidence is not more foolish than despair; both are the favourite weapons of the enemy of souls."

‘This discourse gave rise in my mind to no slight perplexity. I had read in the Scriptures that he who committeth a certain sin shall never be forgiven, and that there is no hope for him either in this world or the next. And here was a man, a good man certainly, and one who, of necessity, was thoroughly acquainted with the Scriptures, who told me that any one might be forgiven, however wicked, who would only trust in Christ and in the merits of His blood-shedding. Did I believe in Christ? Ay, truly. Was I willing to be saved by Christ? Ay, truly. Did I trust in Christ? I trusted that Christ would save every one but myself. And why not myself? simply because the Scriptures had told me that he who has committed the sin against the Holy Ghost can never be saved, and I had committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, - perhaps the only one who ever had committed it. How could I hope? The Scriptures could not lie, and yet here was this good old man, profoundly versed in the Scriptures, who bade me hope; would he lie? No. But did the old man know my case? Ah, no, he did not know my case! but yet he had bid me hope, whatever I had done, provided I would go to Jesus. But how could I think of going to Jesus, when the Scriptures told me plainly that all would be useless? I was perplexed, and yet a ray of hope began to dawn in my soul. I thought of consulting the good man, but I was afraid he would drive away the small glimmer. I was afraid he would say, "Oh yes, every one is to be saved, except a wretch like you; I was not aware before that there was anything so horrible, - begone!" Once or twice the old man questioned me on the subject of my misery, but I evaded him; once, indeed, when he looked particularly benevolent, I think I should have unbosomed myself to him, but we were interrupted. He never pressed me much; perhaps he was delicate in probing my mind, as we were then of different persuasions. Hence

  By PanEris using Melati.

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