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Mr. Henry has to say about poor William Frolic: he hopes, that by the grace of God, this awful dispensation may have been over-ruled for the salvation of his soul.
Wor. Now, Mr. Henry, we are quite prepared to hear what passed between you both.
Hen. Why, Sir, I perceived he was remarkably struck at the unexpected visit from Mr. Lovegood and myself ; and while Edward Sparkish, his mother, and Mr. Lovegood, were in conversation with each other, he and I retired into a corner of the room : he directly burst into tears, and cried, “O Henry! what could influence you to come to see such a horrid wretch as I have been, before I am given over to die for my crimes, when I once did all in my power to make you as bad as myself; and then I should have had to answer for the ruin of your soul, as well as my own.-Can you forgive me ?”. I-directly cried, “Yes, and Christ can forgive us both." He answered, “He has forgiven you , you have been a true penitent; but God only knows, what sort of repentance mine is, for on Saturday I am sure to die, and have no time to prove the sincerity of my heart, by better ways.” As I could not but help crying all the time: I talked to him, I could only say to him, “ O William ! remember the thief upon the cross.”
Loveg. No wonder that you were so much affected, when you
recollected the terrible attachment wbich sub, sisted between you, when you were both living without God in the world.” * Hen. O Sir! that was just the point. He directly cried out, “Oh! that I might be yet permitted to live, that you might take me as your companion! I hope I should prove the sincerity of my repentance, both before God and man.-But it is now too late. We have been the partakers of the crimes of that hardened desperate fellow, Sam Blood; and though we always dissuaded him against murder, yet being linked in with him, we
thought it necessary, at least in appearance, to act as he directed ; and by that means we have forfeited our lives. And then he cried, “O good God, what a most wicked heart mine must be, or I could not have been so sinful and abominable all the days of my short life! I have ruined myself; I have ruined my wife; I have ruined the peace of your family by marrying your sister; and I fear, I shall be ruined to all eternity.”
Wor. All this sounded well.
Hen. He once said he heard Mr. Merryman preach, soon after his conversion ; curiosity having excited him to hear one that he had, frequently been with, on his different hunting expeditions, how he would act as a serious preacher of the gospel ; and conviction, he says, though he continued so wicked, never ceased to follow him after that time.
Wor. (Sighs and says] Ah ! dear Mr. Merryman!
[Here Mrs. Merryman's feelings were again revived, while the recollection of such a loss of one so useful as a minister; so pleasant as a man; so devoted as a Christian, ran throughout the company, and created among them such sympathetic silent grief, as prevented the continuation of the conversation, till Mr. Worthy rang the bell, and ordered a glass of wine for each of the parties: this, though an unusual custom after tea at Brookfield Hall, was now acceptable, especially to the travellers, who had but just finished their journey, and whose minds were so much agitated by those very impressive events which were now the subject of conversation : the writer also will take this opportunity to lay aside his pen, that his spirits and recollection, may be recruited, before he attempts the concluding narration of this tale of woe.]
MR. WORTHY AND FAMILY, MR. LOVEGOOD, AND HENRY
PRISON MEDITATIONS CONTINUED.
AFTER having given the present room-full of company
time to recruit their spirits, the recommencement of the same Dialogue may not be unacceptable to the reader.
Wor. As I suppose you have given us the substance of what occurred upon your first visit to the prison, we shall be glad to hear what took place afterwards.
Lovey. Why, after concluding with prayer, we went to the inn, where we passed, or meant to pass, a serious retired evening among ourselves, in order that we might communicate to Mrs. Sparkish, all the instruction and advice, her situation seemed to require.
Hen. [To Mr. Lovegood.] But, Sir, you should tell what passed at your introduction of family prayer while you were at the inn.
Loveg. O no, Mr. Henry, you should let that pass.
Hen. I am sure, Sir, it is a pity it should, for you know it was attended with a great blessing.
Wor. Come, Mr. Henry, if Mr. Lovegood won't tell his own stories, you must tell them for him. His modesty at all times stands much in his way.
Hen. Why, Sir, you must know, it soon began to be rumoured about who Mr. Lovegood was, as his preaching at Locksbury, and the conversion of Mrs. Chipman, had made a considerable talk even in those parts, which was, I suppose, the reason why the landlady of the inn asked him, if they should not be favoured with a sermon, at any of the churches belonging to their town.
Loveg. Yes, Sir, but you know that was entirely out of the question, as I was under the necessity of returning to attend to my own duty at home; and if not, I fear there was no probability of gaining admission into any of the pulpits in that town; for two of the ministers are constant attendants at the assembly-room, at the George inn, where we were ; and one of them is said to be quite a vociferous bully; there is a third minister whose name is Primrose, who is a very decent character ;-they say he is a distant relation of Dr. Orderly's, yet he is so far convinced that I preach faith without works, that I am quite out of his good graces also. However, by this event, I thought I had an opening to invite as many of the household as could attend to prayer; and they soon collected themselves together, and nearly filled the room; and an impressive time I must confess it was.
Wor. It is best to follow the scriptures, and “ beside all waters :" but there is one text you do not take into sufficient consideration. Loveg. What is that, Sir? Wor, “ Be instant-Out of season." Loveg. O Sir! I am not Mr. Slapdash.
Wor. Ah, but you are Mr. Lovegood, and we shall never be ashamed of you.
Hen. I am sure there was no occasion to be ashamed of our minister on that night, nor the two nights afterwards. [To Mr. Lovegood.] You know, Sir, what a blessing went with every word you spoke, and with every prayer you offered up.
Lovey. O Mr. Henry! you did not use me well on that occasion.
Wor. What have you done, Mr. Henry ?
Hen. Why, Sir, what I could not help. The landlord's eldest son was so impressed with what Mr. Lovegood said at family prayer, that I verily believe God has sent a signal blessing home to his heart." And after having received so much good himself, no wonder that he was desirous others should enjoy the same; and after he had mentioned his wish very earnestly to me, that he might invite some of his friends and companion's to hear Mr. Lovegood, I told him "I thought there could be no sort of harm in it.
Wor. No more there could;"Mr. Henry; and I hope you and the young man together, got Mr. Lovegood a good congregation. ---- Hen. Why really, Sir, the parlour, in which we were, was so full, that it could not hold all who were willing to attend, and I had the greatest difficulty in the world, to persuade Mr. Lovegood to adjourn into the assembly
Wor. [To Lovegood.] And could you have suffered a set of poor sinners "perishing for lack of knowledge,” to have gone away without the word of life, while they were so eager to attend it?
Hen. I believe, Sir, our minister would have run out of town, if he possibly could.
Wor. If he had, I think I should have sent him back again by force of arms.
Loveg. Sir, I was never taken to, in such a manner before in all
life. Wor. I am glad of it, you will get no pity from me; I hope you had double the congregation the last night before
left town. Lovey. Why, Sir, I am quite ashamed of myself.
Wor. Ashamed of yourself !--What for? If you had been dancing in the assembly-room, instead of preaching in it, we should all have been ashamed of