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of our dear God and Saviour, and sleep on earth as though we were to wake in heaven.
Far. But, Thomas, does God Almighty require all this religion from you? would not less serve?
Tho. Why, master, these things are our delight; we do not serve as slaves, but as sons; we serve, because we love the service : look into the bible, master, and you will find what my wife and I find, that religion is regeneration, and that holiness is heaven : all the Lord's “ ways are ways of pleasantness, and all his paths are paths of peace.”
Far. I will look into our great Bible, when I get home; but I am ashamed to say, I know more about the christening and burials, that are written in the first leaf, than I do of the book itself. But how is it that you are so fond of talking about your wife?
Tho. Why she is the joy of my heart, and the comfort of my life.
Far. Where did you meet with her?
Far. Why, surely you did not go to church to seek for a wife?
Tho. After I began to know the value of my soul, I only went there to seek for salvation ; but about half a year after I was converted from my sinful courses, I used to see a mighty decent dressing young woman, who came from Mr. Blindman's parish, to our church ; and I thought of it; (I hope not too much, when I should have thought of something better), if I married, that the Lord might intend her for my wife ; and as I used to meet her at Mr. Lovegood's house, I once plucked up courage and plainly told her what I thought about it; but I could get nothing out of her, but that she could not think of it till she had made it a matter of prayer; then, thought I directly, this is the damset that will do for me; for, the Lord knows, I made it a matter of prayer also, and this made me ask her the same question again and again.
Far. Lord, Thomas, do your sort of people go to prayer before you are married?
Tho. O master, if I may be so bold, you should not “ take the Lord's name in vain," it is a breach of the third command; but we wish to pray upon all such occasions.
Far. I confess, I am apt to say words I should not; but how did the match go on?
Tho. Why a little after this, the young woman went and consulted Mr. Lovegood about my offer, and one evening Mr. Lovegood sent for me to his house, while she was there, and so down I came; and when I saw her there, my heart went pit-a-pat, in a manner I never felt it before. We then talked over the matter before him; and he read to us that wonderful good exhortation in the marriage-service, shewing the duties there would be between us; then he went to prayer with us, after this we promised each other marriage: and as soon as we were outasked we were married accordingly. They do say, matches are made in heaven, and, I verily think ours was made in heaven, for I have been as happy as a prince ever since: for nothing makes us miserable; we can praise and bless God for every thing.
Far. Well, Thomas, I am sure you are a happier man since you have taken to this new religion.
Tho. New religion, master ! why it is as old as the Bible; and, I am sure it is as old as the Common Prayer Book, and the Articles, and Homilies of our Church.
Far. Why, Thomas, you are quite a scholard; what do you mean by the Articles and Homilies? Inever heard any thing about them in our Church.
Tho. Ah, but Mr. Lovegood tells us about them
in a very precious manner; and I am sure, I shall for ever bless the Lord, for the good I have received from what he has shewn us from them, and from the word of God.
Far. Well, Thomas, I must have another talk with you, for I want to know why you changed your religion.
Tho. Master, I will tell you at any time you please, how the Christian religion changed me.
Far. Then I will come again as soon as I can; but it begins to rain, and I cannot hobble very fast with my gouty legs. Farewell, Thomas.
Tho. Your servant, master.
THOMAS NEWMAN'S CONVERSION AND HAPPY
FARMER LITTLEWORTH AND THOMAS NEWMAN.
The Farmer goes into-Thomas's Cottage, and waits till
he comes home to Dinner. After some Conversa
tion with the Wife and Family, Thomas comes in. Thomas. A H, master! are you come into our poor
Far. Yes; for I was afraid to stand in the field, because of the gout.
Tho. Well, thank God, by his blessing on my health, I am able to get bread for myself and my poor family too; for I know nothing of the gout.
Thomas's Wife. My dear, see what a nice haslet Master has sent us. I have not boiled any bacon with the potatoes, for I am going to fry a bit of Master's kind present.
Far. Why, we killed a pig yesterday, and I sent Sam with a little that you might taste of it.
Tho. Thank you, master, a thousand times; for a little fresh meat is very relishable to a hard working family. [The dinner is prepared.]
Betty. Come, Billy, my dear, leave your loom, it is your turn to ask a blessing. (They all stand up.] Billy. By the bounty alone of our Saviour we live.
Ador'd be his name for the food we receive;
To feed on himself-He is heavenly bred. Far. There's a good boy; I wish I had taught my girls a few such good things. But, Thomas, while
you eat your dinner, you are to tell me about changing your religion.
Tho. Well, then, master, I'll tell you as near as I can, how, as I said, religion changed me.—My father, you know, was a poor working man, and died of a consumption; and then my mother went to the workhouse with two children. I was the oldest of them, and was put out apprentice to one old James Gripe, who used to work me morning, noon, and night, and half starved me; and his wife Margery was worse than he. So I ran away from them, and went to the justice about them; and his worship questioned me very hard, but got me a better place at farmer Thrifty's, where I had plenty of work, but good victuals and drink. But the farmer was all for the world, and many of the family were desperate wicked; and as I grew up, I wonder they did not make me as wicked as themselves. But wicked enough I was, God knows, for I scarce ever went to church, unless I was to meet some one there, or to shew my new clothes when I had any. I had no more notion of a Bible, or what it meant, than one of the horses I used to drive at plow.
Far. Why, Thomas, you had a good heart at bottom, or you would have followed more of their bad
Tho. A good heart indeed! when I never prayed, read my Bible, thought of my soul, or any thing else, but wickedness. But you shall soon hear what a good heart I had : for I well remember, when I was about seventeen years old, while we were carrying barley, just as we were going to bind, about half the load slipped off the waggon, threw me down flat on my face, and then rolled upon me. And what thoughts I then had, no mortal can tell! I could neither struggle, cry, nor breathe. There I lay till I was