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her with civility, and she visited them occasionally. At first her visits were short, and she was always upon her guard, and was generally accompanied by some Christian friend. But, one day unhappily she made one among a large party, composed of carnal and worldly persons. Miss Lively was determined to shew them she was not ashamed of her religion; indeed, pride under the disguise of zeal, was her principal motive for making this visit; accordingly she took the first opportunity of introducing her favorite subject; none of the company seemed disposed to listen to her, excepting a military gentleman, who was too polite not to attend to a lady. Miss Lively delighted that at length she had obtained a hearing, weat on most fluently, began to faocy she was doing great good, and at last could not help exclaiming, “Dear captain D.... how I long for your conversion!” The captain replied, with his accustomed politeness, “I should be happy, Miss Lively, to be con. verted by you, would you favor me with another inter. view?” This was agreed to without a moment's thought. From that time they became intimate. The captain left off swearing, and other outward immoralities, attended Miss Lively with the utmost assiduity to the house of God, admired all that she admired, and so completely won her affections, that he very soon possessed himself of her fortune, and her person, by a precipitate marriage. It was in vain that her friends argued with her on the pro. priety of waiting to see if there was really a change in the heart of the person to whom she was about to attach herself for life. She was too proud of her convert to doubt a moment of the reality of the change. All re. monstrances were useless; she declared that the finger of Providence was so evident in the whole affair, that nothing
should restrain her.
as captain D..... had gained the object, he was not very ceremonious in throwing off the mask, which Miss Lively had given him the trouble of wearing but for a short time; at first he laughed at all religion as fit only for women and fools, and, at length, he openly and violently persecuted his amiable wife.
It is unnecessary to enter into a particular account of the trials which Mrs. D..., was now called to undergo. With difficulty, and very rarely, could she attend the public means of grace; and in a great measure she was cut off from all her religious connexions. These were heavy trials. She had no companion but her Bible, no friend but her God and Savior, no means of grace but those of a private nature; nevertheles3 she has often said that before her afflictions, she talked about religious enjoyments; now she knew what they were.
Her devotions were indeed often interrupted by blasphemy and abuse, her Bible some. times taken from her; but nothing could separate her from the love of God, and the enjoyment of his presence. She now lived and walked by faith, in a more eminent de. gree than she had ever done before. She had abundant occasion for all her natural spirits, and, if she had not been remarkably favored in this respect, must have sunk under her heavy burden. What the kind endeavors of her friends could never effect, was now produced by the severity of affliction; and a degree of excellence appeared in the character of this lady which had never before been mani. fested. Her cheerfulness appeared truly amiable, and on. mixed with the frailties to which she had been subject. As she was now forced to read more, and converse less about religion, her judgment became more solid. Her zeal was ia nothing diminished; but it was tempered with prudence. By her meekness and patience she has often disarmed the rage of a brutal husbaod; yet she displayed fortitude in what she knew was right and consistent with the Divine will; but she had already to her cost, experi. enced too much the sad effects of the weakness of her own judgment to shew any thing of vain glory, or posi. tivity in defending her opinions.
This flower which now displayed new charms, and appeared peculiarly beautiful, was not long to adorn the garden of God on earth. Severe trials, in a few years, exhausted the spirits of the once animated Miss Lively, and though her mind was vigorous,and her soul in prosperity; yet her body sunk under the pressure of accumulated trials, and, after a short and rough continuance here, she was removed into that state " where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest."
MR. RIGID; OR, THE EFFECTS OF RELIGION ON A MAN
NATURALLY STUBBORN AND RESERVED.
[A COUNTERPART TO MISS LIVELY
A clownish roughness, and unpolished. Mr. Rigid was, unquestionably, a man of great piety, and of long experience in religion. He had lived to see many young people make a profession, who "for a time did run well," and afterwards turned back to the world; as he knew Miss Lively, he was afraid for a long time she would be one of that description. His behavior to young inquirers after Christ was often discouraging; and when he was told of anyone who appeared concerned about his sal. vation, his constant remark was, “Let us wait; we shall see; the tree is known by its fruits.” Such an observation
in some respects was just; we are to wait before we form our judgment of the reality of religion; but we should not delay for a moment to lend our aid; it is by the fruit we must form our opinion of the tree; but it is our duty to train the branches, and to promote the growth of the young plant in the spiritual vineyard, that it may bring forth fruit in its season.
The fact was this; Mr. Rigid had for a long time walked in darkness, and felt the deepest distress before he en. joyed any thing of the comfort of religion; and most peo. ple thought, that his enjoyments were always less than they might have been if his views of Divine truth had not been too much contracted, and his natural temper too rough and unbending,
Constant in his attendance at the house of God, every child in the congregation knew, that if Mr. Rigid was not in the well known corner of his pew, which he had occu. pied for half a century, he must be detained by severe af. flictions. Steady and persevering in all his engagements, it was not any slight change of the wind, or the weather, it was nothing but absolute necessity that could keep him at home when his fellow Christians were worshipping God. Mr. Rigid had a clear judgment, and, excepting the peculiarities of his temper, he appeared among his fellow créa. tures to be without blame. The
scoffers who would sneer at him as a queer old fellow, would not for a moment have hesitated to take his word on any occasion. His punctuality in the fulfilment of his engagements was proverbial, and pothing could be a higher commendation of a man's integrity, than to say he was as honest as old Rigid.
His attachment to the minister op whom he attended was very strong. Though, by the roughness of his temper, he
sometimes gave the good man pain; yet, if others ventur. ed to cast the most distant reflection on him, they would soon feel one of Mr.Rigid's severest rebukes. Indeed, his affection to bis owo pastor was so great, that he only liked other ministers in proportion as they approached his strain of preaching. Hence, he was a very nice and difficult hearer. Some ministers were too lively; they were all noise; some were not clear in their doctrines; others did not bring home the subject to the heart. He never liked
to see a young man in the pulpit; though he ought to have * reflected that his favorite minister was once young, and that, if young men were not to enter into the ministry, there would soon be a deficiency of the aged.
Mr. Rigid, though a plain man, was possessed of con. siderable knowledge of Divine subjects. He spent his leis. ure time, which was not a little, in reading the works of Owen, Charnock, and other eminent divines of that age. He had also had a long experience of the ways of God and man; consequently, his observations were frequently ju. dicious, and if they had been made in the meekness of wis. dom, and received in love, considerable benefit might have been derived from thein, especially by young ministers, who, owing to his sternness, rather shunned than sought his acquaintance.
There were many, however, who, notwithstanding its defects, could perceive, and highly esteem the sterling worth of Mr. Rigid's character. Those who put conf. dence in him always found him a steady and faithful friend. Nice and critical, as was his taste in hearing, he would not condemn the ministers whom he did not altogether approve; but if he saw in them the image of Christ, he would heartily wish them success, and fervently pray for their further