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DIALOGUE XL.

THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.

BETWEEN MR. AMD MRS. WORTHY, AND MR.

LOVEGOOD.

MRS

RS. WORTHY, and Mr. Lovegood, were ab

sent about a fortnight, attending upon Mr. Merryman at Sandover. Upon their return, after a few introductory salutations, the dialogue thus commenced.

Mr. Wor. [To Mrs. Worthy.! O my dear! is our beloved son-in-law, yet alive?

Mrs. Wor. O yes, and I trust by the blessing of God, he will yet live, and continne to be a blessing to us all.

Loveg. O Madam, we should not be too sanguine in our expectations—Though he has passed the

most dangerous crisis of the fever; yet the Doctor has his apprehensions, how far he may yet recover from the consequences of such an alarming attack. There are some symptoms, he does not like.

Wor. Olet us hope, that a litile good nursing, may yet restore him to his friends, his family, and his Church, But do let us hear all that has passed, while you were at Sandover.

Loveg. 0 Sir! what I ave seen, what have heard, and what I have felt, is more than I can espress.

Wor. But tell me, how has my dear daughter borne the shock.

Mrs. Wor. Her distress has been astonishing. Yet she has been astonishingly supported, but Mr. Lovegood had better tell you all that has passed from the beginning.

Loveg. On our first arrival, we found Mrs. Merryman in the greatest perplexity and distress, you may well suppose ; and as for Mr. Merryman, instead of finding him better, he was evidently much worse. He lay almost in a perpetual stupor, what little he said, was frequently incoherent, though always upon the best subject; and sometimes the things he said were most delightful. But by the particular request of Dr. Skillman, neither of us went to see him that night, nor the next day. Nor would it have done him any good, as the fever had rendered him remarkably deaf.

Wor. I should like to hear some of the good things he said ?

Loveg. Yes, Sir, and I should like to tell you of them. But as it was a task, far beyond what Mrs. Merryman could perform, I feel myself obliged to Mr. Robert Sprightly, for recording some things, which I shall endeavour to repeat.

Wor. Who is this Mr. Sprightly?

Loveg. One of the most pleasant, and amiable youths, I ever met with in all my life. In Mr. Merryman's gay days, they were the gay, and giddy companions of each other. But when Mr. Merryman became an altered character, this young man, was one of the first fruits of his ministry; and this greatly added to the surprise of the whole town! when in an infinitely better way, they became closely united for better purposes. Like Jonathan and David, their hearts were one, and they were one with each other, in every design that was profitable, kind, and good. And immediately as Mr. Merryman was taken ill, he was almost perpetually with him ; seated at his bed side, night and day, he would wait upon VOL. III.

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him with the constant assiduity of a nurse ; in short, if it had not been for him, I question, if Mrs. Merryman could have been supported, under the pressure of her fatigue.

Wor. O what a kind youth ! I shall ever love him for my daughter's sake.

Loveg. O Sir! if ever you should know him, you would be delighted with him. Such a lively, pleasant, and animated disposition, and withal, so truly devoted to God.He is quite the counterpart of Mr. Merryman.

Wor. I hope I shall soon be acquainted with him. But what had he to say of the frame of Mr. Merryman's mind, when he was first taken ill ?

Loveg. Upon the whole, from the very first he seemed to possess in a high degree, a resigned and submissive spirit. But it appeared, that the reflection of what he had been, came home at times to his recollection, with considerable remorse, and grief; lamenting exceedingly, how much he had to undo, of the evils he had done by his light, and frothy conduct, before the grace of God took possession of his heart. But one time in particular, with tears in his eyes, it seems he cried : O what would I give! if I could recal the time that is now forever past, when as a wicked, and careless minister, both in my life and doctrine, I was the cause of the ruin and delusion of so many souls. It was I, that

It was I, that persuaded poor Jack Trifler to go with me to the ball, where he first met with those who poisoned him with disease, that led him to the grave. What an awful charge against me, that precious souls should have been ruined by

But now they are irrecoverably lost. And when Mr. Sprightly mentioned, the free forgiveness he had preached to others, and which he had received himself, he immediately cried, Yes, yes; I know that God has forgiven me, but for all that, I never can forgive myself. And when Mr. Sprightly began to speak of the good he had done, since he had been blessed with the grace of God, and mentioned himself,

me.

as one among many others, that would have eternal reason to bless God, for his ministry, he seemed to smile; took him by the hand, and said ; Yes my dear Robert, and this is the only reason which makes me wish to live that I may bring more sinners to Jesus Christ : though I am ashamed of myself that I have not been more earnest, and zealous in the cause of the salvation of souls.

At another time he said, I hope my dear Robert, I shall not infect you with my fever, as I have infected others with my sinful ways; well, though the Lord has permitted me to run into sad lengths of dissipation, yet it might have been, that he might again make known bis patience, forbearance, and grace to the very chief of sinners, who are enabled to come to him, who in no wise can cast us out.

Wor. It seems then, while he was in a humble frame, he was by no means in a desponding frame.

Lovez. I believe just the reverse ; for while he felt and lamented, that he had been such a sinner, he could still rejoice, that he was a sinner saved.

Mrs. Wor. But in saying these things, he did not speak, as though the fever had disturbed his recollection.

Loveg. By no means, but this was at the beginning of his illness, when there were some hopes, that his disease was about to take a favourable turn. However, it seems that soon afterwards, he became frequently incoherent; but in the midst of his reveries, his mind was still engaged upon the best of subjects. At one time he supposed himself to be preaching : and at another time, he would seem to imagine, that he was praying with the people; while what he said, on these occasions, was astonishingly affecting and fine, even superior to what he ever said in the best days of his recollection, and health.

Wor. When did you first see him ?

Loveg. It was thought necessary that I should see him on the Saturday morning, to set his mind at rest about the supply of his Church, for on the Sunday

before, it was entirely shut up, and the consternation of the people was inexpressible.

Wor. [To Mrs. Worthy.] Did you go up stairs with Mr. Lovegood ?

Mrs. Wor. Oh no! I was advised not, and I staid below with our daughter, for whenever he perceived her in the room, seeing her much affected, it greatly increased his agitation : and again he had sad apprehensions lest she might catch the disease. It being necessary that he should be kept as quiet as possible. Mr. Sprightly was the only person, that went into the room with me, and being then in a sort of restless dose, I stood by his bed side some time, before he took any notice of me, and while I was waiting till he awoke, I heard him repeat the following lines, which I could not have understood, if I had not known the hymn.

Thou say'st, thou wilt thy servants keep
In perfect peace, whose minds shall be,
Like new born babes, or helpless sheep,
Completely staid dear Lord on thee.
How calm their state, how truly blest,
Who find in thee their promis'd rest !

Bid the tempestuous rage of sin,
With all its wrathful fury die ;
Let the Redeemer dwell within,
And turn my sorrows into joy.
In thy dear arms of love carest,
Give me to find thy promis'd rest.

After repeating these lines, he cried, I cannot sing, I cannot sing, I wish I could. Just then be opened his eyes, looked at me with the kindest affection, for a few seconds, and then said, What are you there my dear Mr. Lovegood ? that precious man who saved my soul from ruin ! Who was it that carried me over to Brookfield to see him? Being too much overcome to answer him, Mr. Sprightly said, no dear Sir, you are still at Sandover : Mr. Lovegood is come over to see you, and to supply the Church for you to-morrow. He replied, dear man, how kind!

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