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separation at death. Cutting indecd, beyond expression, must it be, to have such a reflection haunting the mind! and doubtless it must embitter all the pleasures of life. The fond hope of seeing a divine change wrought in her heart, may alleviate the present sorrow; hnt while no evidence of this change is apparent, fear and doubt must often prevail.
Contrast this with such as are married in the Lord. The world is a scene of conflict and strife to the good man, whose “conversation is in Heaven:" --- his righteous soul will be daily vexed with the unhallowed lives of wicked men ; but, if his partner is, together with him, “ a parlaker of the grace of life,' he runs to his home as an asylum from the ills of life: -- there he finds a physician, a counsellor, and a friend, to pour the balm of Gilead into his blecding heart,- to impart consolation and advice, and, by all the tender offices of pious affection, brace up his mind anew to the performance of the duties of his station. Nor is this all; by mutual intercourse with such a partner, by prayer and conversation, he re:ips spiritual improve:nent from his temporal crosses, and looks forward with joy unspeakable to the approaching period when the bliss, of which they are now receiving some foretastes, shall be fully realized ; - freed from the bitter ingredients with which at present it is unavoidably mixed.
On the other hand, what must be the situation of a pious female, married to a husband who lives “ without God in the world !” The word which she takes for a rule of life, expressly erjoins submission and obedience to her husband in all things,
even as the church is subject unto Christ.”. Ephes. v. 24. The same Scripture demands a sincere obedience to the commandą ments of God. Must not the claims of these two be contrary to each other? An unconverted husband, whatever his particular disposition may be, is habitually an enemy to God and holiness, How awful tlieu is it to consider, that Christians, at their marriage-engagement, can deliberately take upon them the most solemn vows, in the presence of God, to love and obey persons whose conduct and principles they inwardly abhor! Is not this an attempt " to serve God and Mammo:1," which he himself hath declared impossible: an attempt to join what God hath for ever put asunder?
Let believers, then, beware of treading on forbidden ground. He who condemns a wanton look of adultery, cannot remain an unconcerned spectator of the conformity of his people with the corrupt customs of an evil world, with which they are drawn away and enticed.
Many serious Christians, wlio doubtless have meant far otherwise at their first setting out to seek a partner, by inattention to the path of duty, have allowed their affections to be entangled, and their indgments to be subdueri, perhaps, before they conceived themselves within reach of danger. Many a pious tradesman has been much easier satisfied with the
evidences of his wife's religion before marriage, than he would have been with the necessary qualities in purchasing an' article of trade, though it is most likely she will prove the best or the worst bargain he ever made. The general complaint, that pious women are very rare, is more common than just. It is to be lamented that truly pious men and women are so few: yet there is reason to believe, there are as many or more of the latter than of the former, Female piety, for the most part, is modest and unassuming, and requires attention to find it out. Such will not readily be found among those who love “ gadding abroad,” be cause they are admonished to be “ keepers at home;" and it is there they ought to be looked for; as it is there they are most likely to make a deliberate and judicious choice for ihemselves, where their passion is likely to be in subordination to their judg. ment; which is but rarely the case with those who assemble in the 6 house of mirth."
- Upon the whole, let Christians who are looking out for a partner, apply for direction to God," who giveth liberally, and upbraideth not ;” being assured, that a good husband, as well
prudent wife, is from the Lord." Mach indeed of the happiness of this life depends upon the choice a Christian makes; therefore frequent and importunate prayer for direction, accompanied with a conversation becoming the gospel,” is the path of duty: for in vain do God's own children pray to be kept from temptation, while they neglect the means he affords them to escape it. He may, for a time, leave such to themselves, and make their sin their punishment : no wonder, if in such a case, that from which they look for comfort, prove a “thorn in their side,” and bring them to repent their folly when it is too late.
To the Editor. The substance of the following account was communicated to me by your pred cessor, the late Rev. and worthy Mr. Webb, when minister of Ferier Lanc, London, who was formerly pastor of a church at Hitchin, where the singular events took place : A good in and his wife, who lived in a village near that town, and attended the meeting there, had a son (David Wright) who was dreadtally aflicted with what is commonly called the King's Evil; and whose minii was as much diseased as his body, being moi ouby imunosaland profant, but Atheistical.
Notice being given at the meeting which they attended in Hitchin, of a sermon to be preached on a week-day, by an eminent minister, they wished him to go and hear it*. He resolutely refused ; and when importuned, he pleaded his inabi. lity to walk so far. After further persuasion to make the attempt, he yielded; but several times offered to turn back. At lengih, however, he was prevailed upon to go forward, and went to the meeting. During the former part of the service, he behaved with more decency than might have been expected ; and was very attentive to the prayer. But the sermon, which was remarkably applicable to his case, deeply affected him. The minister insisting upon one of our Lord's miraculous cures, took notice of the power of faiili in procuring a healing virtue. It pleased God so to apply what was spoken to his heart, that he was brought to the exercise of that faith by which he was made whole ; and so strong were the impressions made upon his mind, that he could not help exclaiming, “ I believe! and I am cured, both body and soul! To the astonishment of all who knew him, this appeared to be matter of fact. The agitation of his spirits had such an effect upon his whole frame, as to turn the humours, of his body, and dry up his sores; so that he walked home without any difficulty: and the grace of God accompanying the discourse, rendered it effectual to the healing of his spiritual maladies, and to his thorough conversion from a life of sin to a life of holiness. From this time, many could witness that this poor diseased blaspheinous wretch became an eminent Christian; and to the day of his death remained free from the dreadful disorder with which he had been for many years afflicted.
His case was a matter of such notoriety and wonder, that it excited great and general attention, so that many persons from a distance went into the field where he was used to tend sheep, in order to satisfy themselves respecting the truth of the report. Some gentry were known to go in their coaches, chiefly to gratify their curiosity concerning this man's bodily cure: but he always told them, that he must begin with that of his soul, which was by far the greater; and then related what a vile sinner he had been, and how great a change the grace of God had made in his heart and lite.
The above account Mr. Webb related, as what he had received from several elderly members of his church and congregation ; some of whom could attest the truth of the story from their own personal knowledge; who further informed him, that it was customary for many of the congregation to get about this great convert on the Lord's Day, to converse with him on the great things God had done for him.
The substance of the above account was drawn up some months ago, with a view of its being inseried in a periodical
* Other accounts make no ment:ou of his parents.
publication ; but finding that the story had been printed in Turner's History of Remarkable Providence, with some little variations *, I desisted from the publication, in hope of rendering the narrative more accurate. For this purpose it has been subie mitted to the inspection of my worthy friend the Rev. Mr. Genrd, minister of The Baptist church at Hitchin, who has taken considerable pains to investigate all the particulars relative to this extraordinary story, by making all the enquiry he could of the most elderly persons yet living, as he had formerly done of sone now deceased, who were the most likely to give any intormation. The result of all which was, " That whatever variations there may be as to certain circumstances, the grand fact is sufficiently establishel, viz. that this man, in a very extraordinary manner, was both cured and converted at the same time.”
The account given in Turner's History is in a letter addressed to him, in answer to his enquirics; and reported to have been written by Mr. E. Hitchin, and is dated Hitchin, June 6, 1693 +. Ile relates that this David Wright was about 27 or 28 years of age: that he lived two or three miles from that town, in the capa. city of a shepherd, being incapable of Tiard work, by the distempered state of his body, haviny had the Evil for about 15 years, for which he had been touched by king Charles JI; and which was attended with such pains and ulcers, that he was sometimes obliged to keep his bed for weeks together : that at Michaelmas, 1693 , he desired a religions woman to take him into her service ; which she was unwilling to do, because of his profaneness; but that upon his promise of a reformation, she bired Irim : that he still went on in huis evil courses, and would not go to hear the worl; but that on November 29 following, being told that a sermon was to be preached by Mr. Edward Coles, le was fully bent upon going to hear him; for which he could give no reason : that while the minister was preaching, his hard heart was softened, and the eyes of his mind enlightened (as he himself expressed it) whereby lie had faith in his Loral and Saviour Jesus Christ; and at the same time found his body cured of the Eril, of which no symptoms had returned: that though he felt grcat pain in going to the meeting, and could not keep pace with his company, -as they returned, he went before them leaping, rejoicing, and praising Goul for his great mercy : that after he came liome, he continued to admire the exceeding grace of God to so ignorant and vile a sinner; and spent most part of the night in This heavenly exercise. The writer adds, “ He still remains in ilis admirable frame of licart. Much more might be mentioned; but this may sụffice at present, from Yours," &c.
* Soc chap. Ixxxii. p. 112.
It should have bce: January 6, 1693.
# This doubtless is a misprint før 1.092, as it is in another copy of the salire letter.
The following testimony is subjoined: “We, whose names are hereunto subscribe!, do attest and declare, That, living in the same family with David Wright, we were eye and e:ur witnesses of the truth of the foregoing particulars conarning him.
SLAPE DEVER, both sons of Wright's
Josepu MOHGAN." Mr. Geard remarks an error in the two first of these names, which should have been, as in another copy, Sleep Dermer, Thos. Dermer. - Mr. Sleep Dermer died December 14, 1740, aged 63; and was buried u the ground belongiog to the Independent meeting. He was grandfather to John Dermer, late of Hitchin, and Tho. Dermer, late of 'Tottenhamn. From a memorandum of the Rev. Jos. Pitts, it appears that the first and last of the above four witnesses were living when he was pastor of the same church in Hitchin, 1729 ; of which it appears they were all members.
The following account was several years ago communicated to Mr. Geard by Mr. Isaac James, of Bristol, a native of flitchin, and son of the late Rev. Samuel James, of that place.
6 It is said, the year 1692 was remarkable for a wonderful cure wrought at Hitchin, by faith in Christ, of which an account was printed in Two Letters from Hitchin; also, in Turner's History of Divine Providence, Burton's History of Earthquakes, Narrative of Goodwin's Children at Sarrait, in Hertfordshire, and Edwards's History of the Pensylvanian Baptists."
Though these acoounts vary in some small circumstances, they all agree in regard to the leading facts; viz.--"A very wicked fellow, named David Wright, lived with Mrs. Dernier, of Cockernoo*, a few miles from Hitching in the capacity of a shepherd. He was almost eaten up with the King's Evil; and could not walk without crutches. One Mr. Colest was to preach at the Independent meeting; and, as Mrs. Dermer's family were Dissenters, they earnestly desired Wright to go with them and hear him ; but he obstinately refused 1. At lengih, however, he went;
* Instead of Cockernoo, Mr. Geard is of opinion it should bave bear Offy, which is only about threc miles from flitch in, and that is the distance mentioned in Turner; whereas the other place is not less than six. Besides, tradition says, that Mrs. Hermer lived at Oftly, which is the name of the parish to which the other hainlet belongs.
+ He was at that time ininister at Needingworth, in Hunting lonshire.
# This particular is in consistent with the account in Tarn:r, whicta represents hi us being earne ily bent upon going. It cannot now be ascer:tained which is the true one, nor is it material. If he discovered a willingness to go at first, he might alterwards be averse to proced f.om tlie di? ficulty he found in walking. Mr. Geard says, " There is a tradition tirat he wanted to turn back again and again, but that his companions en. couraged him to proceed ; and particularly when he came to a certain bush, which was remarkable for its size, he seemed deterinined to go no farther; and was only prevailed upon to proceed by the pressing importunity of Joseph Morgan. This bush was between Cmy and Litchin; and was in existence within the recollection of persons still living."