true. In one moment I felt as sober as if I had never tasted any intoxicating liquor that day. I trembled from head to foot, and said to myself, If I had gone down into the pit this morning, I should have been a dead man; and what would have become of my soul?

"That seemed to be the first time that I had an impression on my mind that I had a soul, either to be saved or lost. The arrows of the Almighty stuck fast in me; and the terrors of hell got hold upon me. I was then both a convinced and condemned sinner in the sight of God and my own conscience, and I cried out in the bitterness of my soul, Lord, have mercy upon me, a miserable sinner.

"I passed many sleepless nights and very uncomfortable days in this state of mind; but at last the Lord spoke peace to my never-dying soul, and said, 'Thy sins, which are many, are all forgiven thee.'

"Sov'reign grace o'er sin abounding!

Ransom'd souls, the tidings swell;
'Tis a deep that knows no sounding;
Who its lengths or breadths can tell?
On its glories

Let my soul for ever dwell.'

"From that time I began to go to chapel, and was full of zeal for God, as I thought. I soon joined the Arminian band, and concluded they were all as holy as angels, and truly the excellent of the earth.' I attended their prayer-meetings, classmeetings, and preaching, and was ever ready to lend a helping hand to forward God's work; and truly I thought this was it. I was soon invited to stand up to preach amongst them, and I willingly consented; for my heart was warm with the love of God. I wanted to do something for that God who had spoken peace and pardon to my soul. I preached among those people for several years; in fact, until the Lord opened my eyes to see their error and my own ignorance. He did both, and opened my heart to receive his truth in the love of it. Bless the Lord, O my soul.'

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"About that time I was led by the Holy Ghost to see that God had a special people, of whom he says, This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.' As the Holy and ever-blessed Spirit was pleased to reveal the glorious doctrines of divine grace to my understanding, I was compelled to preach them wherever I was sent; but I was not allowed to preach them long before the leaders of our society were upon me like a hailstorm, declaring that I was a Calvinist.' I must confess that up to that time I did not know what a 'Calvinist


These preachers and leading men soon began to persecute me, and to condemn the doctrines I preached as erroneous; and they ultimately turned me out as a dangerous man, saying that if I was suffered to go on preaching such things I should ruin their flock.' At that time the Lord was showing me that he had

a slaughtered flock,' and that I must go and feed it; and, thanks be unto God, I have been enabled to do so, to a lesser or a greater degree, ever since.

"Some time before this took place I had heard of a man who preached the truth down in the North, and I went to hear him preach. On that occasion he took for a text Eccles. ii. 14, which reads as follows: The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness.' When the good man had finished his discourse, I said, 'I am the fool in the text.' I thought I was the greatest fool in the world for ever attempting to speak in the Lord's Name; and yet I felt some encouragement to go on declaring what the Lord had taught me, and what he was then teaching me.

"Since then I have had many things to pass through of a painful nature, both in providence and grace, both in the world and in the church; but I have been upheld to this day, through Christ strengthening me."

We next insert a letter from a friend of Mr. Clough's, Elias Armstrong, which not only confirms the foregoing account, but contains further and interesting particulars. It pays, we believe, a just tribute to Mr. Clough's devotedness and liberality. He who at one time worked zealously, at any rate to a considerable degree, from Arminian principles, remained zealous and liberal when the love of God and the grace of Christ had been in a fuller measure made known to him, and had in a greater degree enlarged his heart. This is, we believe, the genuine working of the grace of God; but at the same time we fear that too often and in too many cases the flesh takes occasion from the doctrines of grace to weaken zeal, and sink the soul into coldness and lethargy; if even not in something worse,-a tampering with sin. What a mercy, as Dr. Owen writes, to water a free pardon with the tears of godly sorrow, and zealously seek the destruction of that sin which yet we believe through grace shall not destroy us eternally! And, we may add, what a mercy not to lose in the clearer light of more orthodox opinions the power of vital godli ness, and the warmth and devotedness, and animating zeal of our first love.

But we must now give the following interesting letter:

If I remember rightly, I first became acquainted with Mr. Thomas Clough in the year 1836. He was at that time what we call a Primitive Methodist preacher. He told me that the Lord came to him when he was on a bed of affliction, and spoke peace to his soul. When he was healed of his malady he said he would be religious, and as the Primitives seemed to be a happy people, he thought he could not do better than cast in his lot amongst them; and I may say he soon learned their way of saving sinners, and was for a time a zealous advocate for the doctrines they professed. Being a tolerable scholar and a good talker, he soon became a teacher amongst them.

As these people were many, he entered into a confederacy with them; but the time was at hand when the Lord intended to separate the precious from the vile. He was brought, like Balaam by Balak, to South Hetton, to curse their enemies; but here the Lord made him, unlike Balaam, bless both the Lord and his people. He received a commandment to bless; and he has blessed, and it cannot be reversed. This was the first time I spoke to him on the things of the Spirit. He came to me, like some bold champion, with this portion of God's word (Matt. xxiii. 37); and O how he harped upon the words: "Ye would not." I said to him, "And what would they not do, my friend?" He said, "They would not receive Christ." I said to him, "It does not say so. It says, 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!' The rulers would not allow Christ to gather the children or people together to instruct them in the truth." He stood amazed, and astonished that he had not seen this before; and said, "I will further consider the matter."

From that time he began to think there was something wrong in his religion, and that there was something he wanted which he had not. From that time all his "comeliness was turned into corruption," and was made to cry, "Woe is me, for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips." I tried to persuade him to come over and hear our minister, Mr. Bewick; but he said, "I have to teach the children on the Lord's day." I told him that it was himself who required to be taught. He came down one Sunday morning to hear Mr. Bewick, who preached on that occasion from Eccl. ii. 14: "The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness.' When Mr. Clough came out of the chapel, he said, "I am the fool that is walking in darkness; and yet I am appointed to preach to-night in the Primitive Methodist chapel; and I am going to take for my text Rom. viii. 1." He asked me if I would go and hear him. I said to him, "You know nothing about that portion." However, I went with him, and he preached from that text, and told the people that as there was no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, there could be no separation from him. When he came down from the pulpit, the people soon told him that he had been preaching Calvinism; but he would not say anything to them; for he did not know what he had been preaching. The plough was now bringing all his beautiful roses into the dust, from whence they came; but his feet were being set like hinds' feet upon high places.

About that time he went about the fields and woods night and day, and when he went to the pit to work he had fears the coal might fall upon him and kill him, or that the pit might close upon him, as he was such a great sinner. He thought that God had set him

as a mark to fall soon. I remember, one day about that time, there was a very heavy thunderstorm, with lightning and heavy rain. I had to go that day by the way of his house; and I called in to see him. I found it was not only thundering and lightning without him, but also within him. He was like Paul on his voyage, where two seas met and broke the old vessel to pieces; yet all came safe to land. This was the first time I ever went into his house, and I found him in one corner on his knees. Mrs. Clough and another woman were going about the house quite distracted, fearing, as they said, "the day of judgment had come, and they were not ready." Mr. Clough rose from his knees, and said he wondered I was not afraid of the thunder, and that he thought surely the day of judgment had come. I said, “Of that day and hour knoweth no man; no, not the angels in heaven;" and I encouraged him as well as I could in his nervous state.

Soon after that it fell on a Lord's-day that he had to go to Seaham Harbour to preach, with the arrow of death sticking fast in him. That day he took tea with a professed friend, to whom he told part of his sorrow. The man pitied him, and told him he had a book that would just suit him, and that he would give it to him. He did so, and it being summer time, and Mr. Clough having four miles to walk home, he commenced reading the book as soon as he left the place. The more he read it, the more he desired to read it; so he sat up until two o'clock in the morning. The book was Mr. Huntington's "Kingdom of Heaven taken by Prayer.”

He preached once more among the Primitives in South Hetton, from John iii. 3; and it was said to be the means, in the hand of the Spirit, of the conversion of one Mrs. Gray. I heard her husband say, after this, that he seldom went home but he and his wife were reading the Bible.

Mr. C. then left the Primitives, and came over to us, and was baptized by Mr. Bewick, near Houghton-le-Spring, Durham. This was in the month that his daughter Anne was born. After this he went to live at Thornley. He had then six or seven miles to walk to the chapel every Lord's- day, but he never stayed away except he was unwell, winter or summer. I remember his telling me about this time that when he was coming one Sunday morning to the chapel, a Wesleyan preacher was also coming to preach at Haswell, about two miles off. It had been raining very heavily, and was very wet. They came to a pool on their way, that they must either pass through or return. When they got to it, the Wesleyan said, "I shall not go through that water; but shall return." But Mr. Clough said, "No going back. Here goes free grace; but there goes free will. Free grace can go through when free-will will not enter." I sometimes said

Mr. D. Smith adds the following interesting information: "I have heard Mr. Clough say that this book was picked up by a sailor in one of the streets in London out of the ruins of a fire, and sent to his cousin in the North, the very man who gave it to Mr. Clough."

to him, "You should not come in such stormy weather." He would reply, "I wish it was as quiet within."

We walked many years together in company to the house of God. I remember one Lord's-day we were coming from chapel. He was very poor at that time, but had a liberal heart. He saw a man on the road near my house begging; and seeing the man had no shirt on, as soon as he could he got into my house and commenced pulling off his clothes. I said, "What are you about to do?" He said, "If you will lend me a shirt, I will give that poor man mine." I said, "I will not do so." But he did give the man his. Poor fellow, he would give the last copper he had in the world.

Another time, he heard of a poor family that had no bread in the house. He went to the master of the colliery, and when the master saw him, he said, "Now, Tom, what are you wanting?" He said, “Well, sir, there is a family in this place which has no bread, and I want you to give me some money for them." "How much?" said the master. "Well," he said, "half a guinea;" and the master put his hand into his pocket and gave it to him. Mr. C., when he had received it, went and gave it to the poor family; and very thankfully was it received.

Mr. C. was always "ready to do good and to communicate." I well remember him opening the room for preaching in West Hartlepool, where he preached once a month. He had to walk on one occasion to get there from Percy Main, a distance of 27 miles, to preach the gospel. I remember when he first went to Leeds to preach,-he came down from Percy Main with very little money. He had not as much as would pay his railway fare, so Mrs. Briggs and myself paid it. When he had preached at Leeds, the people gave him three pounds, and he gave one to Mark Owen before he got home. The second time he went to Leeds he came from Percy Main with only twopence in his pocket, and he paid one penny for his boat fare and a halfpenny to go over the bridge at Sunderland; so he was left with two farthings. He went to sleep at Mr. Turner's; and after supper, as he was going to bed, Mrs. Scott said, "Mr. Clough, I have got ten shillings for you, which a friend left the other day." Mr. C. said, "That is just what I want for my fare to Leeds. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy Name."

I think, poor man, he has just got through this wilderness with strength enough, but none to spare.

Yours in the best love,


South Hetton, near Sunderland, June 11th, 1879.

(To be concluded.)

DOUBTINGS, fears, temptations, if not ordinarily prevailing, are consistent with gospel assurance. Though the devil's power be limited in reference to the saints, yet his hands are not tied; though he cannot prevail against them, yet he can assault them.-Owen.

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