« AnteriorContinuar »
induces me to go to the churches, in this parish, is, because they are most convenient to me; and because I love to go to church. But when I go, and see, almost, the whole congregation, in the churchyard, before the service, all engaged on worldly topics, or in trifling conversation
when I see them come in with such an air of indifference and irreverence-when I discover so little appearance of any design of joining me, heartily and sincerely, in the sacred exercises of the sanctuary-it tends to cool my, zeal and spoil my own deyotion---so that I seldom return from church, but with a heavy heart... · I know not how it may be in other states, but I consider the situation of a gospel minister, in this state, to be very forbidding and distressing. I have found it so, indeed, and still find it so, in an increasing degree : so that if duty and necessity laid not on me to preach the gospel-if a desire to please God and promote the best interests of mankind, did not compel, I see no. thing that could induce me to hold the of. fice, any longer. I am not induced by the prospect of any temporal emolument, or reward-for I have no reason to expect : this but the contrary. I have no sub
scription in my favour, nor do I ask any. And yet, would you think it? It is pretend ed, I have a very itching palm.' And so critical is my situation, that though I am now in debt, I cannot ask for monies, which have been due to me, for many years, in order to do justice to my creditors, but it is made a pretext to confirm the popular cry>that 'money is all and all with me. To shew how unfounded and unkind, such rinsinuations and assertions were, I lately wrote a letter to a gentlemán in the county on the subject, and which, by the by, was the first letter I ever deigned to write on the subject at all, though the Cry 'had been so loud and so long continued. -In' that letter, I appeal to my general con
duct and to matters of fact : the substance - of which letter may be to this effect: I wished him to consider on what basis the charge was founded : that I thought, if a judgnient was formed from circum-štånces and matters of fact, a mòre groundJess charge could not be conceived. And - then, in an appeal to my manner of life, "I ask, whether any man ever heard me complain of the measure, when the republiean assembly took away my living, in the year 1776, by an“Exposta facto law, and a stroke of power; and thereby subjected
me to the caprice of the multitude? When other clergymen were chagrined at this law, and quit their post, their charge, and their parishes--I asked-did I do so, or did I slack in my, diligence on that account? Did I desert my post, or leave my parish ? Did I not as constantly and zealously preach in the several churches in the parish as before, though till the latter end of the year 1785, I never had a scrip or subscription in my favour, nor did I ask for any such thing? Here I appealed to himself as a witness, not only to the constancy of my attendance at the churches, but that I refused, on no occasion, to turn out by night and by day, and preach in private chapels and private houses, and in the highways and hedges., for tre benefit of the people : and I called upon him to point out, if he could, a sine gle person, who, from the year 1776. to .1786, ever gave me a six-pence for these services; or any one, of whom I had ask. ed any money for them. When a subscription was set on foot, in 1785 and 1786, I asked him, if this was done by any solicita-tion from me? And when about sixty or seventy people had subscribed, and the collection of the money was put into his hand, whether he did not meet with so little encouragement in the business, that, through despair, he gave up all further at. tempts, after having collected thirty or for. iy shillings for a whole year ? I asked him, if he heard me complain of this fruitless attempt, or, whether I betrayed any úneasiness on the occasion ? I acknowledged I got a few perquisites for marrying, but these fees were just what the married person chose to give, and hence, they were, according to fancy, sometimes more, sometimes less, and sometimes nothing. I then mentioned several instances, in his own family and connections, when after I had rode to marry, I returned as light as I went. Upon the whole, I concluded, that no impartial and unprejudiced person, could fairly judge, from the above state. ment (most or all of which he knew to be true) that there was any thing in my whole conduct, which betrayed a thirst for gold. In speaking thus in my own favor, and appealing to my own conduct in this manner, I may be thought, with St. Paul, to have become a fool in glorying—but, with him, I was compelled. And in the whole recital I had his example in view ; especially, in his appeal to the elders of Ephesus. " You know, says he, from the first day I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all times, &c. &c."
And I can also say with him, on the same occasion, these hands (of mine) have mi. nistered to my necessities, and those with me, for near twenty years.
But, sir, I never expected (if found faithful) to escape persecution from enve. nomed tongues, at least, and I thank God, I believe few men have cared less for the slanders and reproaches of malevolence than I have and therefore, as I said, it was the first time I ever troubled any man, in the county, with a letter on the subject.
That you and myself may be accounted worthy to suffer persecution for Christ's sake, is the prayer of - Your sincere friend,
D. JARRATT. P. S. The Methodists, I believe, have let me alone for some time, and, I trust, at present, we are on pretty friendly terms.