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nised me, that I thanked him for his kind
expressions, but did not remember to have known him. When, however, he reminded me of our meeting at Mile End Gate, I at once recognised him--but how changed ! In the well-dressed, neatly-trimmed, happy, and healthy-looking person who stood before me, I might well be excused for not remembering the besmeared sot, pipe in hand, unshaven, dirty, and haggard, almost in tatters, issuing from a public-house on the Sabbath-day, surrounded by vile and debauched companions—but so it was. God had thrown him in my path, and applied the Scriptures with power to his heart. He had found his way back that very evening to that ancient sanctuary,
“The old house at home," – to the seat where his mother had sat before him, and the Lord Jesus there spoke forgiveness to the heart of this troubled wanderer from his fold.
The antipathy of many infidels to religious teachers is often very violent. The following is an instance :-
I made my way into a house, (nearly all the doors are open upon my district continually, and the houses let out in floors and single rooms ;) I knocked at a room door, it was opened, and Mr. Tubbs, then a stranger to me, was within. So soon, however, as he was fully aware of the object of my visit, he became extremely violent. I said there could be no occasion to speak so harshly, as if he declined my visits I should of course leave his apartment instantly. He ordered me to do so, and was so violent that I deemed it prudent to retire, giving him, however, as I went down stairs, a faithful, but respectful warning, that it was no light matter to insult my sacred office.
Mr. Tubbs very shortly afterwards dropped down suddenly at his work, and became in a strange and really fearful condition. He immediately sent for me. The impression upon his mind appeared to be that it was a judgment upon him, as, immediately I entered the room where he laid, he grasped my hand, and said, “Oh! forgive me! oh! forgive me!”-uttering these words with a terrible expression of woe upon his countenance. I felt very much for him-it was truly affecting to observe his condition of mental suffering. Dying and being damned, was the burden of the woful fears of this poor man.
He might truly have said :
“My hopes and fears
A dread eternity !-how surely mine." Conviction comes like the breath of evening over some minds, but conviction comes like the tornado on others; it had seized him, and he writhed in mental misery. Mr. Tubbs continued in this condition for a considerable space of time-several months. I made him very long visits, but he said repeatedly, “Let me have your hand;" and, Don't
go; can't you stop longer ?” It appeared to be his delight to have me near him, praying with him. At last he died. I hardly know what to conclude respecting his last end; he certainly died under great conviction of sin. I have not, however, sufficient grounds for enabling me to say I believe he died exercising faith in
Christ. I can only repeat respecting him, that it was a terrible scene.
Some of the unconverted have “no bands in their death;" but there is another scripture--"Be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong." Poor Mr. Tubbs was indeed tied and bound with the chain of his sin, and felt his awful condition. To die in either of these conditions is not "the death of the righteous.”
The following is another remarkable case which occurred to me among the infidel portion of the community
A member of the head families of the Gipsies, who has long resided upon my district, was inclined to infidel sentiments some years since, and utterly regardless of the Sabbath or of public worship, He has long, however, been a changed man-was a regular attendant upon my meetings, and had deeply studied his Bible.
Although totally uneducated, he possessed very considerable shrewdness, and I sometimes was somewhat startled by his addressing me thus : “ Have you seen this here new vork,* Mr. Vanderkiste."--alluding to some very expensive issue from the press--and then he would repeat some sentiment or an extract. I was wondering how he could gain access to such expensive literature, knowing that, being a poor cripple, he could not often obtain even a sufficiency of bread by his occupation of chair caning. He regards his sufferings from poverty, he says, as a punishment upon him for not making better account of his early days. A friend who visited with me, to whom his condition of mind was unknown, very properly asked him if he considered his sufferings would be accepted by the Lord as an atonement for his sins.
* A Gipsey pronounces the w as v.
Ah! my good sir," said be, shaking his head and pointing upwards, “I knows better than that now. It is Jesus Christ, and him only, who can save my poor soul.” When I inquired of him how he was enabled to peruse such expensive books, he would smile and say “ Never mind ;” but one day, (I think he had been alluding to Humboldt's “ Cosmos,") I asked him the question more pointedly, and found he hobbled on his crutch to St. Paul's Churchyard and Paternoster Row, “ And there," said he,“ the books is all of a row, (don't I long to have 'em, though, sometimes,) and they turns over fresh pages, and I reads like anything. Why,” said he, "I picks up a deal.”
Mr. L-argues with infidels now, and gives me an account sometimes of his discussions. I was much pleased the other day by a statement he made to me, and I quote it here as bearing forcibly upon the subject of this chapter, and illustrating the great pains taken to instil atheism and infidelity into the minds of the working classes in a variety of ways
“ The other night,” said he, “there was a respectable young man, a stranger, at the bottom of the court; some of us was standing taking the air, and he come up to talk. I soon found out he was an atheist. He said, as how there was no Almighty ; and, says he, will you tell me if something can
come out of nothing? And pray, says I, sir, will you
have the kindness to tell me what is nothing ? What do you know about nothing? Why, says I, don't talk so foolish, young man, there is no such thing as nothing; the very smoke in the chimbley don't go to nothing; there aint no nothing. And, pray, said I, could you or any man place the sun where he is, or the moon, or the stars? If there was no Almighty, who placed them there? Why, says I, look at a blade of grass, look at a flower, and don't talk such stuff to us, young man, as to say there is no God, for we knows better.”
I direct Mr. L. to argue with all the infidels he can meet, and these particulars were given in answer to questions as to whether he had had any discussions lately. He attends Smithfield occasionally on Sunday afternoons, and argues with the infidels there. The Asiatic-like vehemency of his manner and gesture, common to the Gipsey tribe, makes my poor friend really an orator :
Said he to me, “ One said, there never was sich a person as Jesus Christ upon earth.
So, says I, Pray, do you believe there vos sich a man as Julius Cæsar? Yes,' says he, 'I does.' 'And pray,' says I, do you believe there ever vos sich a man as Alexander the Great ?' 'Yes,' says he. And Homer?' says I. 'Yes,' says he.
Yes,' says he. And pray, says I, 'vy do you believe in them, when you wont believe there ever vos a Jesus Christ?'"
When Mr. L. is met by objections he cannot reply to, he falls back on those impregnable