Page images
PDF
EPUB

been left; and fo ftrong a hold had his former ftudies taken of his imagination, that he could relish no part of the Bible, except the Revelation of St. John, a great part of which, he thought, referred to the whore of Babylon, or, in other words, the Pope of Rome. This part of the fcripture he perufed continually with unabating ardor and delight. His friend the clergyman, having obferved this, took occafion to fay, that every part of the Holy Bible was, without doubt, most fublime, and wonderfully inftructive; yet he was furprised to see that he limited his ftudies. entirely to the laft book, and neglected all the reft. To which the other replied, That he who was a divine, and a man of learning, might, with propriety, read all the facred volume from beginning to end; but for his own part, he thought proper to confine himself to what he could understand; and therefore, though he had a due refpect for all the fcripture, he acknowledged

1

9

He communicated the anxiety and diftrefs of his mind to a worthy fenfible clergyman who lived in the neighbourhood. This gentleman took great pains to quiet his fears, proving to him, by ftrong and obvious arguments, that there was little or no danger of fuch an event as he dreaded. These reasonings had a powerful effect while they were delivering, but the impreffion did not laft, and was always effaced by a few pages of the Book of Martyrs. As foon as the clergyman remarked this, he advised the relations to remove that, and every book which treated of perfecution or martyrdom, entirely out of the poor man's reach. This was done accordingly, and books of a lefs gloomy complexion were substituted in their place; but as all of them formed a ftrong contrast with the colour of his mind, he could not bear their perufal, but betook himself to the ftudy of the Bible, which was the only book of his ancient library which had been

been left; and fo ftrong a hold had his former ftudies taken of his imagination, that he could relish no part of the Bible, except the Revelation of St. John, a great part of which, he thought, referred to the whore of Babylon, or, in other words, This part of the the Pope of Rome. fcripture he perufed continually with unabating ardor and delight. His friend the clergyman, having obferved this, took occafion to say, that every part of the Holy Bible was, without doubt, most fublime, and wonderfully inftructive; yet he was furprised to see that he limited his ftudies entirely to the laft book, and neglected all the reft. To which the other replied, That he who was a divine, and a man of learning, might, with propriety, read all the facred volume from beginning to end but for his own part, he thought proper to confine himfelf to what he could understand; and therefore, though he had a due respect for all the fcripture, he acknowledged

;

1

9

knowledged he gave a preference to the Revelation of St. John. This answer entirely satisfied the clergyman; he did not think it expedient to queftion him any farther; he took his leave, after having requested the people of the family with whom this perfon lived, to have a watchful eye on their relation. In the mean time, this poor man's terrors, with regard to the revival of popery and perfecution, daily augmented; and nature, in all probability, would have funk under the weight of fuch accumulated anxiety, had not a thought occurred which relieved his mind in an instant, by fuggesting an infallible method of. preventing all the evils which his imagination had been brooding over for fo long a time. The happy idea which afforded him fo much comfort, was no other, than that he should immediately go to Rome, and convert the Pope from the Roman Catholic to the Presbyterian religion. The moment he hit on this fortunate

[ocr errors]

fortunate expedient, he felt at once the ftrongest impulfe to undertake the task, and the fulleft conviction that his undertaking would be crowned with fuccefs; it is no wonder, therefore, that his countenance threw off its former gloom, and that all his features brightened with the heart-felt thrillings of happiness and felf-applaufe. While his relations congratulated each other on this agreeable change, the exulting vifionary, without communicating his defign to any mortal, fet out for London, took his paffage, to Leghorn, and, in a fhort time after, arrived in perfect health of body, and in exalted fpirits, at Rome.

He directly applied to an ecclefiaftic of his own country, of whofe obliging temper he had previously heard, and whom he confidered as a proper perfon to procure him an interview neceffary for the accomplishment of his project. He informed

that

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »