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shore." This narrow escape from a watery grave he often alluded to, even in the pulpit, as illustrating the special and merciful care of Divine providence towards himself in that dangerous season of life.
"Those who observe providences shall have providences to observe." Some time after this, there was another event which he could never call to mind but with admiration and gratitude. He went out to drive a young ox to the slaughter, and, as he was passing through a forest, the ox determined to return. But he resolutely urged him forward with considerable violence, till at length, irritated to madness, the animal turned upon his driver, and with his sharp horns inflicted several wounds on his face and head. With much difficulty, and pursued by the ox, he escaped to a tree. By passing continually and rapidly round it, he was able just to elude the strokes of his horns. At the moment when he was nearly exhausted by exertion and terror, some person came and diverted the attention of the infuriated animal, and saved his life. His wounds, by medical aid, were ultimately healed, but his deliverance from an untimely and dreadful death was never forgotten. Long afterward, even to the close of his life, it was remembered and mentioned with much gratitude. He was a firm believer in a special providence, and often expressed his belief by quoting a favourite passage from John Newton: "Did I not believe in the particular providence of God, I should not dare to step my foot out of doors."
It was a just saying of Juvenal, "Maxima pueris debetur reverentia."* An instance strikingly illustralive of this principle occurred to Lemuel Haynes, at the age of nine or ten. Being very expert as a ploughboy, he was frequently employed by a neighbour of licentious principles. By this man religion was often ridiculed in his hearing, and the prayers of his godly master were from day to day the subject of profane jest. The infection, thus infused, soon produced unhappy effects in his susceptible mind. He actually began to think, that, peradventure, religion is but a small business. Not many months passed away,' however, before the family of the scoffer was visited with mortal disease, and one or more of them were carried to the grave. "In the time of adversity" he began to "consider." His views respecting the important subject of religion were changed, and he sent for Deacon Rose to pray with him. Lemuel saw the force of truth at once. He reasoned thus—" If prayer and religion are needful in sickness and in death, they must be important in health and in life." Nearly seventy years afterward, in his last visit to Granville, he referred to this remarkable incident with grateful acknowledgment of the hand of the Lord, which had thus saved him from the withering influence of infidelity.
* "The most circumspect deportment should be maintained in the presence of children."
The extent, particularity, and accuracy of the knowledge which he eventually acquired of various subjects, and especially of his profession, have led intelligent men who were acquainted with him to inquire how he emerged from his obscurity, and by what means and efforts he arrived at the intellectual rank and influence which he held during so great a portion of his life. From all that can now be learned respecting him, it appears that he possessed the facility in the acquisition of knowledge which is "the birthright of genius." It was one condition of his indenture that, "in common with other children, he should enjoy the usual advantages of a district-school education." As, in the newly-settled village where he resided, schools were in session but few months in the year, and the teachers but moderately educated, his early opportunities for instruction must have been very limited. Business often kept him from school, or caused him to arrive at a late hour. How highly his scanty privileges were appreciated mav be learned from his own words:—" As I had the advantage of attending a common school equal with the other children, I was early taught to read, to which I was greatly attached, and could vie with almost any of my age."
The remark has been a thousand times repeated, that "Lemuel Haynes got his education in the chimneycorner." This is literally true. It may be necessary to say here, that chimneys among the early settlers on the western hills in New-England were of a peculiar structure. They were built of huge stones, with a broad base, occupying at least one third of the ground covered by the building. The fireplace seems to have received its form either with reference to its consuming the greatest quantity of fuel, or for the purpose of forming a kind of sitting-room for the younger members of the family. Hence the fireplace was nearly eight feet between the sides, and a full yard in depth. In one extreme was the oven, and in front of it was the long square block, which would comfortably seat the children, one, two, or three in number, as the case might require. Such was the "chimney-corner" where Lemuel Haynes in his childhood laid the foundation of his future usefulness. While his mates were sporting in
the streets and even round the door, you might see him sitting on his block with his book in his hand. Evening after evening he plied his studies by firelight, having the preceding day laid in a store of pine knots and other combustibles for the purpose. The luxury of a candle he rarely enjoyed. Here he studied his spelling-book and psalter till he had literally devoured them. He studied the Bible till he could produce by memory most of the texts which have a bearing upon the essential doctrines of grace; and could also refer, with nearly infallible accuracy, to the book, chapter, and verse where they might be found. At length he procured Young's Night Thoughts, and was soon able to repeat large portions of it, together with a great part of Watts's Psalms and Hymns. All this and much more he accomplished on his block in the chimney-corner by firelight. At the same time no boy in the neighbourhood performed a greater amount of manual labour. Bound by indenture as a servant, he was obliged to labour hard through the day, so that the hours of the evening and the twilight of the morning were his only time for mental improvement.
And yet he had a system. One day, on meeting a youth who had been his schoolmate, he said to him, "Israel, how do you succeed in your studies?" After hearing the reply, he added, "I Make It My Rule To
KNOW SOMETHING MORE EVERY NIGHT THAN I KNEW
In The Morning." Here is the grand secret of his attainments. Whatever might be the urgency of his labour, he made every passing day contribute something to his improvement. This was undoubtedly the governing principle of his life. And as in his immediate
vicinity there were but few books, he converted inanimate things into instructers, so that he found
"Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Thus he struggled forward in a course of study, and, as far as he was taught at all, he was his own teacher. Though almost without books, and entirely without teachers except in the rudiments of reading and penmanship, and exposed to numerous hinderances and perplexities, his mind was subjected to unremitting and severe discipline. And if he suffered by the absence of the usual advantages of liberally educated men, he must have been led at least to try his own powers, and to form habits of independence and decision.
A general scarcity of books was one of the severest difficulties which he had to encounter. There was no public library in the place. The Bible, psalter, spelling-book, and perhaps a volume or two of sermons, comprised the library of the most respectable families. Hence he remarks—" I was constantly inquiring after books, especially in theology. I was greatly pleased with the writings of Watts and Doddridge, and with Young's Night Thoughts. My good master encouraged me in the matter."
At the age of about sixteen or seventeen he again experienced a narrow escape from the fatal snare of the infidel. A professional gentleman had moved into the place who owned a small library. The privilege of using his books was granted to young Haynes. Having borrowed and thoroughly read one book after another, he at length received the loan of a volume which contained the principles of a poisonous infidelity. He was now at that perilous period of life when