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THE CHURCH DEFENDED AGAINST FALSE
FRIENDS AND INTERNAL ENEMIES.
THE REV. MR. DOLITTLE, FARMER LITTLEWORTH,
We left the Farmer much struck and affected by Tho
mas Newman's Conversation and Praver. On the next Sunday afternoon, he and his daughter Nan.cy attended at Brookfield Church, after he had been at Mapleton Church on the morning. He received the Word with solemn surprise, and was soon melted into tears. Thomas immediately caught his Master's eye, and began to mingle the sympathetic tear with his. Mr. Lovegood's looks were directed that way; and he was so overpowered at the scene, that for a while he could scarce continue his discourse. Mr. Lovegood's engaging and affcctionate style of preaching had frequently a great effect on his auditory; and remarkably so on the Sunday afternoon when the Farmer first attended. Nor was the conversation less affecting between Thomas and his Master when the service was ended. He was at once disarmed of all his prejudices, and mingled almost every word with a tear. Miss Nancy's mind began also to open to receive the truth, if in a less rapid,
yet not in a less gracious manner. When he arrived at his own house, Mrs. Littleworth
conceived he had heard some very bad news, and begged to know what it was. He said, it was very good news. The question was naturally asked, If he had heard any thing about Henry, their son? The Farmer began to explain the nature of the good news, or glad tidings of salvation, he had been hearing at Brookfield Church, mixing each word with a tear. The wife and daughters Nancy excepted, began at once to suspect that his brains would be turned ; and that the peace of the family would be ruined by his new religion. No opposition, from that quarter however, prevent
ed the Farmer and Miss Nancy from giving all possible diligence to attend the means of grace.His visits to Thomas Newman were now almost as constant as each returning day; who soon introduced him into Mr. Lovegood's company. Mr. Lovegood put into his hands several profitable books for his private instruction; which he read with great attention and diligence, and through his now constant attendance, twice every Sabbath, and oftentimes on Mr. Lovegood's Week-day Lecture, he being a man of an intelligent mind, though but poorly educated, began to grow in grace and
divine knowledge very considerably. The family, however, were terribly perplexed at the change: and, after they had said all in their
power to dissuade him against his new notions in religion, concluded, it might be the best plan to call in Mr. Dolittle to their aid. Happily, however, for the Farmer, his mind began to be well-settled and grounded in the knowledge of the gospel be. fore this visit took place. Mrs. Littleworth and Miss Polly, however, called at Mr. Dolittle's, one market-day, and invited him to come and see what could be done. Soon afterwards he rode, one afternoon, according to his promise, to the Farmer's house; and the conversation, as it then took place, shall next be laid before the reader.
Mr. Dolittle. ELL, Master Littleworth, how
are you? I was afraid you were ill of the gout, for I have not seen you at church above these three months.
Farmer. I am obliged to you, Sir, for your kind enquiries; but, I thank God, of late I have been better than usual.
Dolit. How is it then, Sir, that you have been so remiss in your dụty in not attending your church?
Far. Oh, no, Sir; I have not neglected church; for I, and my daughter Nance, have lately been to hear Mr. Lovegood.
Dolit. So I have heard, Sir; and, in a little while longer, I should not wonder if he were to drive both of you mad, by his enthusiastic harangues.
Far. Why, Sir, did you ever hear him?
Dolit. I hear him! No, Sir; nor shall I ever disgrace my character by attending such modern sedu
Far. Did you ever talk to him, Sir?
Dolit. I talk to him! no; nor will any other rational clergyman hold conversation with such sort of fellows.
Far. “Does our law judge any man before it hears him ?
Dolit. 0. Sir! this is bringing matters to a fine pass; you can quote scripture against your minister already. Far. Now, Mr. Dolittle, it is not fit that either
you or I should put ourselves out of temper while we are talking about religion: but if you will be so kind as to come in and sit down, and drink a dish of tea, I should be glad to talk matters over with you; and, if I am wrong, the Lord direct you to set me right!
Dolit. No, Mr. Littleworth; while you, as churchWarden, can act as you do, and can set such an exVOL. I.
ample as to leave your own parish-church, and run rambling after such sort of teachers, I shail not think it proper to darken your doors any more. had gone to the meeting after old Dr. Dronish, it would not have been halt so bad; for, I am toid, he preaches good, sober, moral sermons; but to run rambling after such wild enthusiasts, is too bad.
Mrs. Littleworth. But, Sir, if you will not drink tea with my husband, yet, I hope, you will stop for my sake, and my daughters; for his new notions in religion are as bad a grief to us as they can be to you.
Dolit. Ah, Mrs. Littleworth, I pity you to my heart! It is amazing how much the peace and comfort of people's families are broken up by these religious disputes.
Far. Well, Sir, if you won't accept the invitation from me, you are quite as welcome to accept it from my wife and daughters ; neither does religion, nor Mr. Lovegood, teach me to be rude or uncivil to my neighbours; so that such disputes cannot be laid to the charge of religion, but on those who oppose it. I should be very glad if you would walk in and sit down, that we may talk matters over in a christianlike manner; and while I answer for myself, if I should in anywise speak unmannerly, I'll beg your pardon.
Dolit. Well, Sir, this is fair. I am apt to be a little hasty, I confess; but you must not impute this to the badness of my heart.
Far. Why, Sir, to my humble way of thinking, all that comes out of us, which is bac, comes from something that is bad within us. But pray, come in Sir? [calls his daughter Polly. ] Where is Sam? Tell him to take Mr. Dolittle's horse, put him in the stable, and give him a lock of hay, and a good feed of corn.
[Mr. Dolittle comes in; a fire is lighted in the best parlour, and tea is brought in; but no one appears but Mrs. Littleworth and Miss Nancy to wait on the Rector.]
Far. Why, Nancy, where are your sisters ? Miss. Nancy. They are gone up stairs to dress.
Far. To dress! Why, were they not dressed before Mr. Dolittle came? Now, all this they got by going to that boarding school. They can't make you a dish of tea without putting on some new-fashioned gown, or new-fangled cap, and some other nonsenses. I hope, Sir, you will talk to them, for their pride; I cannot see the sense of such, ceremonies in our way of living.
Dolit. Perhaps not, Sir, but young ladies will have their foibles. [Their appearance in a gaudy, taudry dress, prevents any farther conversation on that subject.]
Dolit. continues. Now, Sir, I am ready to hear what has made you change your religion, and why you have left your parish-church.
Far. Well, Sir, as near as I can, I'll tell you all about it. When my father sent me a courting to my present wife (Farmer Greedy's daughter) after we had made a match of it, we put our fortunes together, and I bought the lease of my farm of the late Lord Rakish, who was as wild a blade as the present Lord that now is; and as he wanted money, they say, his steward received a sly sum of my wife's father, that we might have a beiter bargain ; but of this I have no certain knon ledge.
Dolit. I doubt, there are too many of these sly bargains made; but what has this to do with your change in religion?
Far. Why, having got such a good bargain, no world for me like the present ; my heart was set upon it. I could be up early and late, about from fair to fur, that I might buy and sell, and get gain; and