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HE grace of God does not obliterate the peculiarities of

nature. It weakens, and ustimately destroys, our depraved propensities; but the merely human elements in us it preserves in all their individuality, consecrating but not

effacing them. Originality is rather an embellishment than a disfigurement of true religion; though formalists have in all ages aimed at lifting all up or beating all down to a common level, it is a most fortunate circumstance that they have not succeeded, for had they done so the elect family would have lost much of its beauty, and more of its strength. If when the living creatures in Noah's day entered the ark, they had all, straightway, become of one species-ail cattle for instance - the result would have been destructive to the perfect chain of life, injurious to mankind, and, what is far more important, derogatory to the wisdom of the Most High: we ought not, therefore, to expect men when they enter the ark of salvation, to lose their natural distinctions and peculiarities, and become all tame and monotonous repetitions of one model.

Many, however, who are prepared to tolerate, and even to admire considerable diversities of character, have yet, unconsciously to them

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For this paper we are indebted to a little book entitled " The King's Son, or a memoir of Billy Bray. Compiled from his own Memoranda by F. W. Bourne." It may be had by order of all booksellers; and is published at the Bible Christian Book Room, 57, Fairbank Street, East Road. It is full of anecdotes, and is written in a most commendable spirit.

selves, laid down in their own minds very fixed and definite limits within which those diversities shall range. So far they are still looking for a measure of uniformity, and will probably require several more or less violent wrenches of their propriety before they will be able to comprehend within the circle of their sympathy sundry eccentric and erratic forms of genuine spiritual life, which, nevertheless, have had their uses, and have brought no small glory to God. We are most of us somewhat tolerant of well-educated eccentrics, we almost reverence the oddities of genius, but we are squeamish if we see singularities combined with ignorance, and idiosyncrasies prominent in men who cannot even spell the word. What in a gentleman would be a peculiarity, is reckoned in a poor man to be an absurdity. Such slaves are most men to kid gloves and good balances at the banker's, that they toady to aristocratic whims, and even affect to admire in my Lord Havethecash that which would disgust them in poor Tom Honesty. This partiality of judgment, in a measure, affects even Christians, who, beyond all other men, are bound to judge things by their own intrinsic value, and not according to the false glitter of position and wealth. We claim for uneducated Christian men as wide a range for their originality as would be allowed them if they were the well-instructed sons of the rich; we would not have a shrewd saying decried because it is ungrammatical; nor a fervent, spiritual utterance ridiculed because it is roughly expressed. Consider the man as he is; make allowances for educational disadvantages, for circumstances, and for companionships, and do not turn away with contempt from that which, in the sight of God, may be infinitely more precious than all the refinements and delicacies so dear to pompous imbecility.

With this long-winded preface, we beg to introduce to our esteemed readers the life of Mr. William Bray, of Cornwall, for several years a local preacher among the Bryanites, or Bible Christians: we beg his pardon for calling him by a name which he never used, and introduce ħim a second time, with due accuracy, as Billy Bray. This worthy was once a drunken and lascivious miner, running to excess of riot, but grace made him an intensely earnest and decided follower of the Lord Jesus. His conversion was very marked, and was attended with those violent struggles of conscience which frequently attend that great change in strong-minded and passionate natures. After many resolves and failures, he was deeply impressed by reading Bunyan's “ Visions of Heaven and Hell.” In that book he met with a passage, in which two lost souls in hell are represented as cursing each other for being the author of each other's misery; and Bray at once thought of a certain Sam Coad, to whom he was much attached, and the question pierced his very

heart: : “Shall Sam Coad and I, who like each other so much, torment each other in hell ?'' “ From that time, November, 1823, he had a strong desire to be a better man. He had married some time before; his wife had been converted when young, but had gone back from the right path before marriage. But the remembrance of what she had enjoyed was very sweet, and yet very bitter. She told her husband tható no tongue could tell what they enjoy who serve the Lord.' Why don't you begin again ?' was his pertinent enquiry; adding, 'for then I may begin too. He was ashamed to fall on his knees before his wife, ‘for the devil had such a hold of him;' but he knew it was his duty to pray for mercy. He went to bed without bending his knees in prayer ; but about three o'clock he awoke, and, thinking that if he waited until his wife was converted, that he might never be saved, he jumped out of bed, and got on his knees for the first time, and forty years afterwards he could joyfully boast that he had never once since been ashamed to pray

"When Sunday morning came it was very wet ; the Bible Christians had a class-meeting a mile from his house; he went to the place, but because it was wet none came. This had an unfavourable effect on his mind, and his first thought was, “If a little rain will keep the people away from the house of God, I shall not join here.' This hasty decision was soon reversed, for Billy was a consistent member with the Bible Christians for more than forty years, and died in communion with the people of his early choice.”

His actual obtaining of peace brought the tears into our eyes as we read it, and made us remember a lad who, more than twenty years ago, found the Lord in a somewhat similar style ; it also reminded us of George Fox the Quaker, and John Bunyan the Baptist, when undergoing a similar change. Children of God are born very much alike: their divergencies usually arise as a matter of after years; in their regeneration, as in their prayers, they appear as one. When Bray found no one at the meeting, he went home, and spent the day in reading his Bible and the hymn-book, and in prayer to God. “He was assailed by the fierce temptation that he would never find mercy;' but with the promise, Seek and ye shall find,' he quenched this fiery dart of the wicked one, and in due time he learned, by blessed experience, that the promise was true. Monday forenoon was spent in the same manner. In the afternoon he had to go to the mine, but all the while I was working I was crying to the Lord for mercy. His sad_state moved his fellow-workmen to pity; he was not like Billy Bray,' they said. Why? Because he had been used to tell lies to make them laugh, and now he was determined to serve the Lord. No relief came, and he went home, asking for mercy all the way.' It was then eleven o'clock at night, but the first thing he did was to go upstairs and fall upon his knees, and entreat God to have mercy on him. Everything else was forgotten in the intensity of his desire that the Lord would speak peace to his soul. After a while he went to bed, but not to sleep. All the forenoon of the next day he spent in crying for mercy, food being almost left untasted, and conversation with his partner' at the mine in the afternoon having almost ceased. That day passed away, and nearly the whole night he spent upon his knees. The enemy 'thrust at him sore,' but ‘I was glad,' he says, that I had begun to seek the Lord, for I felt I would rather be crying for mercy than living in sin. On the next day he had almost laid hold of the blessing,' but the time came for him to go to the mine (two o'clock in the afternoon). The devil strongly tempted him, while at his work, that he would never find mercy; but I said to him, “Thou art a liar, devil,”' and as soon as I said so, I felt the weight gone from my mind, and I could praise the Lord, but not with that liberty I could afterwards. So I called to my comrades, “ I am not so happy as some, but sooner than I would go back to sin again, I would be put in that plat'* there, and burned to death.” When he had got home on former nights he had cared nothing about supper, his anguish of soul was so great; and this night he did not, because a hope had sprung up in his heart, and with it a determination to press right into the kingdom of heaven. To his chamber he again repaired. Beautifully simple and touching are his own words :- •I said to the Lʻrd, “ Thou hast said, They that ask shall receive, they that seek shall find, and to them that Icnock the door shall he opened, and I have faith to believe it.” In an instant the Lord made me so happy that I cannot express what I felt. I shouted for joy. I praised God with my whole heart for what he had done for a poor sinner like me; for I could say, the Lord hath pardoned all my sins. I think this was in November, 1823, but what day of the month I do not know. I remember this, that everything looked new to me; the people, the fields, che cattle, the trees. I was like a man in a new world. I spent the greater part of my time in praising the Lord. I could say with Isaiah, “O Lord, I will praise thee, for though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me;" or, like David, “ The Lord hath brought me up out of a horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings, and hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto my God.” I was a new man altogether. I told all I met what the Lord had done for my soul. I have heard some say that they have had hard work to get away from their companions, but I had hard work to find them soon enough to tell them what the Lord had done for me. Some said I was mad; and others that they should get me back again next pay-dav. Bat, praise the Lord, it is now more than forty years ago, and they have not got me yet. They said I was a mad-man, but they meant I was a glad man, and, glory be to God! I have been glad ever since.”

No sooner was Billy saved himself than he began at once looking after others. He prayed for his work-mates, and saw several brought to Jesus in answer to his prayer. His was a simple faith ; he believed in the reality of prayer, and meant to be heard, and expected to be answered whenever he supplicated for the souls of his comrades. He was a live man, not a dummy. In his own simple style he did all that he did with vigour, physical vigour being quite conspicuous enough in his shouting and leaping for joy. “He tells us, soon after his conversion, 'I was very happy in my work, and could leap and dance for joy under ground as well as on the surface. My comrades used to tell me that was no religion, dancing, shouting, and making so much "to-do." But I was born in the fire, and could not live in the smoke.

They said there was no need to leap, and dance, and make so much noise, for the Lord was not deaf, and he knows our hearts. And I would reply, but you must know that the devil is not deaf either, and yet his servants make a great noise. The devil would rather see us doubting than hear us shouting.'" Does the reader wince? Why should not Billy Bray shout as well as the saints in the Psalms ? and why should he not dance before the Lord, if he felt inclined to do so, with so good an example as David before him? Why should we play the part of Michal ? True,

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