Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 The village in the mountains
 Conversion of Peter Bayssiere
 The history of a Bible
 Back Cover

Group Title: village in the mountains
Title: The village in the mountains
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001774/00001
 Material Information
Title: The village in the mountains Conversion of Peter Bayssiere, and History of a Bible
Alternate Title: Conversion of Peter Bayssiere
History of a Bible
Physical Description: 108, 2 p., 2 leaves of plates : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bayssière, Pierre
Bayssière, Pierre
Wilder, Sampson Vryling Stoddard, 1780-1865
American Tract Society
Publisher: American Tract Society, 150 Nassau St.
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: [1851?]
Subject: Conversions -- Personal narratives   ( lcsh )
Protestant converts   ( lcsh )
Anti-Catholicism   ( lcsh )
Books -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Biblical teaching   ( lcsh )
Christian literature -- Publication and distribution   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
Summary: "The village in the mountains" is an account of an American's missionary activity in a French village, based on the letters of his widow, in French, deposited at the American Tract Society. Cf. P. 39. Attributed to S.V.S. Wilder in NUC Pre-1956 imprints.
Summary: "History of a Bible" is the story of a Bible's experience and influence on it's readers as it moves from owner to owner.
General Note: The American Tract Society was first located at 150 Nassau St., New York, in 1832. A new typeface was introduced in 1848. The Baldwin Library copy is printed in the new typeface. One copy bears an inscription dated 1851.
General Note: Double paging; each tract also paged separately.
General Note: Publisher's advertisement: 2 p. at end.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001774
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA1908
notis - ALH9774
oclc - 45651150
alephbibnum - 002239247


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
        Page 1a
    Title Page
        Page 2
        Page 3
    The village in the mountains
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Conversion of Peter Bayssiere
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 82a
        Page 82b
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    The history of a Bible
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 94a
        Page 94b
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
    Back Cover
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
Full Text

FTe Baldwin Library











VIL 19wjfl TIM f

M. -- a nehaiclat Iie~d~t-i e of the
first commercidliot-ses dre,_ hId occasion
to visit the manufacto W!o talished in the
mountainous tracts' i. tiA nts of the
Loire and the PqY de lD 'bbe toad that con-
ducted him back rlM i a country
rich in natural pft A glwing With all
the charms oftlfkadvainced ind promising spring.
The nvetWf view was unusually diversified not
only Vy the fantastic forms of buttams, the un-
cert in course of small and ttibutary steams,
and the varying hues of fields 6f pasture, corn,
vines, and vegetables, but by the combinations
and contrasts of nature and of Art, and the oc-
cupations of rural and commercial industry.
Factories and furnaces were seen. rising amidst
barns and sheep-cotes; peasants were digging,
and ploughs gliding amidst forges and founde-
ries; verdant slopes and graceful clAmps of
* An American gentleman then residiag tn thateapital.


trees were scattered amidst the black and ugly
mouths of exhausted coal-pits; and the gentle
murmur of the stream was subdued by the loud
rattle of the loom. Sometimes ]s- and his
friend halted midst all that ft delightful and
soothing; and sekort advance, found them-
selves amidst beatenness, deformity, and confu-
sion. The remoter scenery was not less impres-
sive. Behind them'Fere the rugged mountains
of Puy de DOme; th lofty Tarare lifted its ma-
jestic head beside thee, and far before appeared
the brilliant summit o ont Blanc.
In this state of e arrived at the skirts
of a hamlet placed o declivity of a moun-
tain; and being desirous Wt ending a shorter
and more retired track, he stopped at a decent-
looking dwelling-house to inquire the way. From
the windows several females were watching the
movements of a little child; and just as M. --
inquired for a road across the mountains, the in-
fant was in danger of being crushed by a coal-
cart which had entered the street. The cries
and alarms of the females were met by the ac-
tivity of the travelers, and the companion of
M. set off to snatch the infant from danger,
and place him in security. An elderly female,
from the second story, gave M. who was
still on his horse, the direction's he desired; and,
at the same time, expressed her uneasiness that



the gentleman should have had the trouble to
seek the child.
Madnm," interrupted M. "my friend
is only pbpnning his duty: we ought to do to
another as we ltql that another should do to
us; and in this wretc ~we are bound
to assist each other. You are enough to di-
rect us travelers in the right oad, and surely the
least we can do is to rescue your child from dan-
ger. The Holy Scriptures teach us these duties,
and the Gospel presents us the example of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were in igno-
rance and danger, came our world to seek and
to save that which ., kl
t Ah I sir," r$ the good woman, you are
very condescending, and what you say is very
true; but your language surprises me: it is so
many years since in this village we have heard
such truths, and especially from the lips of a
Madam," resumed M.- we are all stran-
gers here, and sojourners bound to eternity;
there is but one road, one guide, one Saviour,
who can conduct us safely; if we feel this, young
or old, rich or poor, we are all one in Christ;
and however scattered on earth, shall all arrive
at the heavenly city, to which he is gone to pre-
pare mansions for us."
These doctrines, sir," exclaimed the female,


" support the hearts of many of us, who have
scarcely travelled beyond our own neighborhood;
*s4 it is so rare and so delightful to hear them
from others, that, if it will not baS' abuse of
your christian politeness, I wMpM request you to
alight and viuit m e apartment." -
"I shall eet most cheer ly with your re-
quest," replied iML--; "for Sough time is pre-
cious, I shall be thankful to spend a few minutes
in these mountains, among those with whom I
hope to dwell for ever on Mount Sion."
M. mounted to the second story, followed
by his companion. b.J found the female with
whom he had conW. surrounded by her
daughters and her gters, all busily
employed in five looms, filled *witbgalloons and
ribbons, destined for the capital and *.te most
distant cities of the world. The good widow was
between sixty and seventy years of age; her ap.
pearance was neat and clean; and all the ar-
rangements of her apartment bespoke industry,
frugality, and piety.
Ah i sir," she exclaimed, as M. entered,
"how happy am I to receive such a visitor 1"
"Madam," replied M. "I am not worthy
to enter under this roof."
Why, sir," exclaimed the widow, you talked
to us of Jesus Christ and-"
. Yes, madam, but I am a poor guilty sinner


9) in VILLAGe m r W moozAms. 9
and hope only for salvation through the -croas
I.was yesterday at St. --, where they were
planting 4 cross with great ceremony were ytm
there 1"
"No, sir; for it is of little usetoetet croeses
in the streets, it we do nit 06usw jbeuss- in our
hearts, and are t4 crucified ti erld. But,
sir, if you will nufbe oflend4. may I ask what
you are called 1"
M. giving a generaklmse to the French
phraseology, answered, "My name, madam, is

Thank you, sir, I- shataot forget; but this
is not what I meant I ispi ad to know whether
you are protestasflt catholic, a pastor or a
priest 1"
Madam- I have not the honor to be either; I
am a ed*chant; I desire to be a christian, and
to have no other title but a disciple of Christ."
"That is exactly as we are here, sir," ex-
claimed the good widow, and added, "but, as
you are so frank, are you, sir, catholic, or pro-
testant 1"
"Catholic," replied M. --.
Madam looked confused, and observed, that
it was rare for the catholies to talk as her visitor
had done."
"I am a catholic," resumed M. "but not
a member of the Roman Catholic church. I love


all that love our Lord Jesus in sincerity. I do
not ask in what fold they feed, so that they are
guided and nourished by the good Shepherd and
Bishop of souls."
0 what a favor the Lord has granted us to
meet with a h stian like ourselves," said the
affected widow, looking round her: we desire
to live in charitymwith all mankind ; but, to be
frank also, sir, we do not go to mass, nor to
confession, for we do not learn from our Testa-
ment, which is indeed almost wora.out, that we
are required to confess to sinners like ourselves,
nor to worship the hct, nor to perform penance
for the salvation of e~ W es; and we believe
we can serve God aceepin a cave, or in a
chamber, or on a mountain."
I confess, madam, in my turn," said M. ,
" that I am exceedingly astonished to find such
persons on such a spot; pray how many may
there be of your sentiments "
Here, sir, and scattered over the mountains,
there are from three to four hundred. We meet
on Sabbath evenings, and as often as we can, to
pray to Jesus, to read the Testament, and to
converse about the salvation of our souls. We
are so much persecuted by the clergy, that we
cannot appear as publicly as we wish. We are
called beguines* and fools; but I can bear this,
Religious enthusiasts.

(10 j

11) Tu VILLAmO -IN THn MounTAns. 11
sad I hope a great deal more, for. Him who has
suffered so much for us."
While the conversation, .of which this is a
sketch; was passing, the rooms had filled; the
neighbors had been informed and introduced, at
the request of the worthy and as many
as could quit their occupation sed to hear
of the things of the king of God. L --X
desired to. see -ae New Te t. It was pre.
rented. The title page was itW leaves were
almost worn to shreds by th of the wea-
vers and laborers, and M. could not discover
the edition. A femaloef table appearance
approached M. id, Sir, for several
years I have sa 'ry where a New Testa-
ment, and Ibkawe offered any price for one in all
the n> roiing villages, but in vain. Could you,
sir1,jEsibly procure me a copy, I will gladly
fyou any sum you demand-"
"Madam, I will not only procure you one," re-
plied M. eagerly, but, in forty-eight hours
I will send you half a dozen."
"Is it possible 1" exclaimed the astonished vil-
lagers. ". May we, sir, believe the good news 1
May we rely on your promise 1 It appears too
great-too good-we will pay for them now, sir,
if you please."
"You may depend on receiving them," said
M. --," if God prolongs nry life. But I entreat

12 S5 maS INt 1 TSR MOU-rflAW6

(i J

yoe tWo do.meutheifor to accept them,as a proef
of my christian regard, and an expression *fay
gratitude for having been permitted to euoy~ in
this unpromisingspot, the, frefebshing iUpay ,
of the followers Cohristf .. .
The -c c riu turned *oa the -vale of
the sacred *tnal the sinfulness of those
who withheld u wm perishing and dejected
shmers. After -etime, the .hoss inquired,
* Pray, sir, ef tell us- if any thins eXammwo
dinary Is i the worli1 We awehVout
from all inte Ut we have an.iaepssion
that God is e filg a great *vAk the
earth, and that w m ete .emg n t

"Great events have taken pkbpn4, nero is
arriving every day," said M. --, art
of the world, of the progress of the G6kpmd
the fulfilment of the Holy Scriptures. He
gave to his attentive and enraptured auditory an i
outline of the moral changes accomplished by
the diffusion of the Bible, the labors of mission-
tries and the establishment of schools; but only
such an outline as was suited to their general
ignorance of the state of what is called the reli-
gious world. And when he had concluded, they
all joined in the prayer: Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth, as it is done in hea-
ven." Anxious as wts M. to pursue his jour.

18) M2s VfaLAZ DI TM E = WMSr e 13
ney, he devoted three hour to this iWterview.
Hw*shorted them to receive and practise only
what taey found in the Scriptures, and to cleave
to the Lord with full purpose of heart.
Tle termination ihis extam imeiy meeting
was most affecting: AS git4
and repestresam& fpc tha te msn
taineers; and th traveller, deeply
moved by bhving seen.a theo
allts swesese through whic went
6uhis wy rejoicing, and follo dbetiams
of te rpd widow, he artn a town of
S JA In this town edmnespendents
imsgrt principal a and authorities,
and under the i rfs of all he had witnessed,
he iviired t with the curiosity of a traveller,
the ~e hamlet- he had passed on the
m ~ ,and the nAture of the employment,
a Enabetharacter of its inhabitants.
"The men," said-. the mayor, "work in.. the
mines, drive the teams, and labor in the fields ;
and the women and children weave. They are
a very curious people, utdris illumind., (new
lights,) but the most honest work-people in the
country-probity itself. We have no occasion to
weigh our silk, either when we give it out or take
it in, for we are sure not to lose the value ef a
farthing; and the kindest creatures in the world:
they will take their clothes off their backs to give

14 as VnILLAGE 'IN THE MOuTAInW. (16

to any one in distress: indeed, there is no wretch.
edness among them, for, though poor, they are
industrious, temperate, charitable, and always as-
sist each other; but touch them on their religion,
and they are almost idiots. They never go to
mass nor confessio.--in fact, they are not chris-
tians, though the most worthy people in the world;
and so droll: imagine those poor people, after
working all the week, instead of enjoying the
Sunday, and ling to a f6te or a ball to amuse
themselves, m ing in each other's houses, and
sometimes in t16 mountains, to read some book,
and pray, and sing hyxns. They are very clever
work-people, but theyaMss their Sundays and
holidays stupidly enough. *
This testimony, so honorable to his new ac-
quaintance, was confirmed to M. ---4rom se-
veral quarters; and he learned from othe4M what
he had not been told by themselves, that, belUI
their honesty and charity, so great4,s their zeal,
&hat they flock from the different hamlets, and
meet in the mountains, in cold and bad weather,
at eight or nine o'clock at night, to avoid the in-
terruption of their enemies, and to sing and pray.
These accounts were not calculated to lessen
the interest excited in the breast of M. and
immediately on his arrival at Lyons, he dis-
patched six copies of the New Testament, and
some copies of the Tract entitled, Les Deux

15) Trn itanBz INx TrN 6btTAiN.

Vieillards," (The Two Old Men.) Some time
after his return to Paris, M. received,
through one of his correspondents at Lyons, a
letter from the excellent widow with whom he
had conversed. Of this letter a literal translation
is subjoined; the modesty, dignity, sad piety of
which not only evince the inflaenee of true reli-
gion, but will satisfy the reader, that in this nar*
ration no exaggerated statement has been made of
the character of these mountaineeitA

"Sir,-I have the hosr to write you, to ase
sure you of my very humble respects, and at the
same time to acknowledge-the reception of the
Mix copies of the New Testament which you had
the goodness and the generosity to send us. My
family, myself, and my neighbors know not how,
adegptely, to express our sincere gratitude; for
we have nothing in the world so precious as that
sacred volume, which is the best food of our
souls, and our certain guide to the heavenly Je-
"As we believe and are assured that the Spirit
of our Lord Jesus Christ could alone have inspired
you with the desire to distribute the sacred Scrip-
tures to those who are disposed to make a holy
use of them, we hope and believe that the Divine
Saviour will be himself your recompense; and
that he will give to you, as well as to all of us,



the grace to understand and to seek a part in his
second coming; for this ought to be our only and
constant desire in the times of darkaeJ s and tri-
bulation in which we live.
"It is with this view, sir, that I entreat you to
have the goodness to send six more copies of the
sacred volume for several of my friends, who are
delighted, not only with the beauty of the type,
but especially with the purity of the edition; for
it is sufficient to see the name of Monsieur le
Maitre de Sacy, to be assured that this edition is
strictly conformable to.the sacred text. Sir, as
the persons who alre charged me to entreat you
to send six more edpiw~of the New Testament
would be sorry to abuse your generosity, they
also charge me to say; that ifyote accomplish
their wishes, as your truly christian :lAdeess in.
dues them to hope, and will mark the ~ as on
the books, they shall feel it to be a pleasure ~il
duty to remit you the amount, when I acknow-
ledge the arrival of the parcel. Could you also
add six copies of the little Tract, entitled 'Les
Deux Vieillards V
"I entreat you, sir, to excuse the liberty I have
taken, and to believe that, while life remains, I
am, in the Spirit of our Lord Jesup Christ,
"Your very humble servant,
The Widow --



The reeejpton of this letter revived in M.---r
that lively interest which he had been constrained
to feel for the prosperity of these happy villagers.
Often had he called to niind the christian kind.
ness with which they received him, and often
had he presented his ardent prayer 4t the God
of grace, that he who "had begun a good work
in them," would carry it on to "the day fiesus
Christ." -
Instead of complying with the request of this
venerable woman to send her six copies of the
New Testament, he sent her twenty, authorizing
her to sell them to such as were abs to pay; but
to present them, at her own discretion, to those
who were desirous of obtaining them, and bad
not the means to purchase, "without money and
without prile." With these he also presented to
the wjdow, as a mark of his christian affection,
~ ble for her own use, together with a dozen
copies of the Tract which she had requested, and
several other religious books. In acknow edging
this unexpected bounty, she thus replied, in a
letter, dated July 17, 1821:

"Respected friend and brother in our Lord
Jesus Christ,-It is impossible to describe the
satisfaction that my heart experienced on the ar-
rival of the kind communications which you have
been pleased to send me. I could not help read-
ViL in Mountain. 2



ing over and over again the letters enclosed,
which afford fresh proof of the desire of your*
self and your friends to contribute to the ad-
vancement of the reign of the Divine Redeemer.
I cannot find words to express the happiness I
have derived from perusing the entire copy of
the Old and New Testament, which you beg me
to accept as an expression of your christian af.
fiction. I was more gratified and edified by this
mark of your regard, as it was -my intention to
have requested, in my last letter, some copies of
the Old Testament; but I dared not execute my
design, for fear of abusing your christian kind-
ness and charity. The Old and New Testament,
properly understood, are but one Testament; such
is the connection of the sacred books-for the New
Testament is the key to the Old, and the Old the
same to-the New. In innumerable pages of
the Old Testament, the birth, death, and kry
of our Divine Redeemer are announced, in term
more or less distinct. In reading the prophecies
of Jeremiah and Isaiah, we perceive that those
prophets spoke of our Saviour almost as though
they had lived with him on the earth. His second
coming is also foretold in many passages, espe-
cially in the prophecies of Ezekiel and DapieL
The box which your christian generosity has
sent, has excited universal joy in the hearts of
all our friends in this district. Immediately after



they learned the agreeable news, they flocked to
see me, and to have the happiness and advantage
of procuring the Testament of our Redeemer;
and in less than fie days the box was emptied.
I gave copies of the-Gospel of St. Mathew to
those who had not the satisfatiion, ands- oola
tion to procure a complete copy of the Testa-
ment, The whole was so soon distributed that
many could have nothing; and there are also
many who do.not yet know of the arrival of the
second box. I intend to lend the copy of the
Bible, and of the books which I have reserved
for myself, among our friends in the neighbor-
hood, in order that the books we have may be
as useful as possible.
"As I hope you will do me the honor and the
christian kindness to acknowledge the receipt of
this, I request you to inform me how I can remit
youatty francs, which I have received for fifteen
of the New Testaments. As our brethren and
sisters in Jesus Christ, who, through his grace
altogether free and unmerited, look for his se-
cond coming to salvation, are delighted and edi-
fled by the truly christian salutation which you
have sent through me, they desire me to express
their gratitude, and to request you to accept theirs
in the same spirit. I unite with them in beseech-
ing you and.your respectable friend and all
your friends, not to forget us in your prayers to



the Father of Lights, that he may give us grace
to persevere in the same sentiments, and grant-
us all the mercy to join the general assembly,
the heavenly Jerusalem. Amen. Expecting that
happy day, I entreat you to biive me your very
humble servant and friend in Jesus Christ,
"The Widow ."

It may well be supposed that the reception of
this interesting letter produced an effect on the
mind of M3. as well as on the minds of
many of his christian friends at Paris, of the
happiest kind. M. informed the widow of
the great satisfaction with which he had learned
the eagerness of the villagers to obtain the word
of God, and that he had directed his friend, the
publisher of the New Testament of De Sacy, to
send her fifty copies more; at the same time
promising her a fresh supply, if they should be
needed. He also expressed to her the hope, that,
as he expected his business would, within a few
months, call him again to S--, he should be
able, Providence permitting, to avail himself of
that opportunity and enjoy the happiness of an-
other visit at her residence. To this communi-
cation she some time afterwards returned the
following reply:

"Dear sir, and brother in our Lord Jesus


Christ,-May the grace and unmerited mercy. of
our Divine Saviour be our single.and only hope
in our pilgrimage here below. I beseech you and
your .dear friends to pray for us, that the celes-
tial Comforter ps tbied in the Scriptures, would
vouchsafe to visit our hearts and warm thenawith
his love; forwithout the aid of this Divine Light,
even though we should commit to memory bhe
Old and New Testament, it would avail us ao-
thing; but rather tend to our greater condemna-
tion in the sight of out Sovereign Judge.
"I am now able to acknowledge the receipt of
the box which you had the goodness and christian
charity to send me, containing fifty copies of the
Testament of our blessed Saviour, which did not
arrive until the 25th of last month, on account of
its having been detained in the public store at
6--* for several days without my knowledge.
As soon as I learned it was there, I sent one of
my daughters to inquire for it, as I was then so
ill as to keep my bed, and to induce a belief that
I was about to'quit this land of exile. I have felt
myself so much better for a few days past, that
I begin to think that my pilgrimage will be pro-
longed for some time, and that I may yet have
the pleasure and consolation of again seeing
you, and conversing with you upon. the things
which regard our eternal peace. It is with such
feelings that I would beg an interest in your


prayers, that the precious blood which the Di-
vine Saviour has been willing to shed for us and
other sinners, may be found efficacious to me in-
that moment when I shall depart from this vale
of tears; for my age admonti that this time
is not far distant. Believe me, my der brother
in Christ, that I shall never forget you in my
payers, however feeble they may bet for I can
itver forget the day when, urged by christian
friendship, you entered my house, and imparted
that truly spiritual nourishment which serves for
time and eternity, and we discoursed together
upon the second coming of our Divine Redeemer,
and the restoration of the covenant people.
I look forward to the happy moment when I
shall have the honor and pleasure of seeing you
again; and in the meantime beg you to believe
me your very humble and affectionate friend and
servant in Jesus Christ, i
The Widow .

In a letter received soon after the above, M.
- was informed that the Bibles and Testa-
ments had all been disposed of withijtwo days
from the time of their arrival, and tiht many,
who earnestly desired a copy, were yet uasup-
plied: the distribution having only created an
increased demand. M. resolved not to ne-
glect their wants, as long as it was in his power



to supply them; and theoday being not far distant,
when he proposed to repair to S-, and to make
a second visit to the Village in the Mountains, he
prepared a ease ofa hundred New Testaments
and a hundred oe Bibles, wih he forwarded
to Lyons by the rtuage cclerCtor baggage wag
on, to meet his arrival there; and soon after took
his departure from Paris.
There were some interesting incidents in the
progress of this tour, which so delightfullypoint
to the hand of God, that the reader may be grau
tified in becoming acquainted with them. On his
arrival at Lyons, M. -, finding no other way of
transportation except the common Diligence, a
public stagecoach, wvrbliged to resort to this
conveyance Theb case of Bibles and Testaments
which he had forwarded was sa large, that the
only method by which it could be carried was to
set it up on end in the basket attached to the
back oC the Diligence; and such was the weight
and size of the box, that it was with no small dif-
ficulty, and Lly the assistance of several men, that
it was safely adjusted. At first the passengers
objected to taking their seats with such a weight
behind,' lest they should meet with some acci-
dent, or be impeded in their progress. After
much persuasion, however, and after presenting
a number of Religious Tracts to each passenger,
aed requesting the conductor to drive slow, they


were prevailed on to proceed on their journey.
The course they were pursuing led through a
part of the country solely inhabited bty Roaas
Catholice, where, the. year ;before,. M.. -. had
distributed a Unmberef Bibles and Tracts, the
reading of which, he had subsequently ascer*
tainted, had been forbidden by the priests, who
had not only demanded them,but consigned most
or all of them to the flames.: M. thought ne-
cessary, in this journey,, to. suspend his distri-
butions in this immediate vicinity. But the pro.
evidence. of God had other views, and so ordered
it, that, without the instrumentality of men, the
sacred records should be scattered among that
people. On reaching theylace of l tination
at the foot of the mountains, and ji ting from
the Diligence, M. discovered that the case
had opened at the top, and that not a few Bibles
and Testaments had been scattered along the
way. Travellers were soon seen coming up,
some in wagons and some on horseback, some
with a Bible and some with a New Testament
under their arm. They informed him, that, for
eight or ten miles back, the inhabitants had been
supplied by the Diligence, as the books had fallen
out whenever they descended a hill, or travelled
over rocky and uneven ground.
While taking the case from the Diligence, se.
veral more persons came up, each bringing his



Bible or Testament, which they most readily of
feared to: return to M. --, but which he as
cheerfully requested them to accept, observing
to them, that they had been destined for their
perusal by that Providence wbie unseen hand
directs all human rents. Though ignorant of
the contents of the volume which God had thus
given them, they expressed many thanks to M.
- for his generosity, and were about to pro-
Sceed on their way, *laisntlty yrejoicinj, when
M dismissed them by saying: "My friends,
I feel peculiarly happy in thus being the instru-
ment of putting into your hands that volume
which contains the records of etetnal life, and
which pe m' ou tW bf Lamb of God, which
taketh awalile sin of the world.' If you faith-
fully-read it, and imbibe its glorious and precious
truths, and obey its precepts, it will render you
happy in this life, and happy during the endless
ages of eternity."
Having opened the case, M. found' that
forty-nine Bibles and Testaments had been thus
distributed. Some of his fellow-passengers were
ready to believe that-the box had been intention-
ally left open, but M. assured them that it
had been carefully secured in the usual manner,
and that not until his arrival at the spot where
they alighted, had he known that any had fallen



Having made arrangements to have the case
forwarded to the widow, and having addressed
to her a note informing her of his intention to
proceed to the large village of S--, where he
proposed tarrying a few days, during which time
he hoped once more to visit her and her friends,
M. resumed his seat in the Diligence, and
arrived at S-- the same night. On the next
day but one after his arrival, he was agreeably
surprised, at an early hour in the morning, to
find the hotel where he lodged surrounded by
fifty or sixty persons, inquiring for the gentle-
man who had, a day or two before, presented to
a number of their citizens TRE moo, .which, as
they said, "contained a true histor*of the birth,
life, sufferings, death, resurrection, and ascension
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." Others
of them called it by its proper name, the New
Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
All of them were anxious to purchase a edpy of
it. As soon as M- ascertained the object of
their visit, heappeared on the balcony, and ex-
pressed his regret that he had no more of those
interesting volumes with him; informing them
that, if it pleased God he should return to Paris,
he would forward a hundred to his correspondent
in that place, that each of them might be fur-
nished with a copy. This was accordingly done
immediately after his return to Paris. And during


27) an VILnxGa IXs Ta xotranAis. 27
his residence there, M --- had the satisfaction
to see, that more or less individuals from S-,
who came to solicit orders for their manufac-
turing establishments, also brought orders for an
additional supply of the sacred volume. And the
number of Bibles and Testaments which were in-
troduced into a dense catholic population, in con-
sequence of the-apparently trivial circumstance
of the opening of the case in the Diligence, will
probably never be ascertained until the great day
of account; nor will it be known to what extent
they have been instrumental in reclaiming and
saving the souls of deluded men.
On the day following M. -- received a dee
putation frithe Village in the Mountains, anx-
iously desiring to hear on what day and hour
they might hope to enjoy his long-expected visit.
He proposed to be at the widow's house the fol-
lo*iff morning, at 11 o'clock. Furnished with
a carriage and horses by one of his friends, he
set out accordingly; and, on reaching the foot
of the mountain, was met by a deputation of
twelve or fifteen of these faithful followers of
the Lamb, who greeted his approach with- de-
monstrations of joy. He immediately descended
from the carriage, and was conducted to the
house of the widow with every expression of
the most sincere christian affection, some taking
him by the sleeve, and others by the skiers of


his coat, some preceding and others following
him. But what was his surprise, on arriving at
the house, to find an assembly of from sixty to
eighty, who, with one voice, desired him -to
preach to them I M. -- observed to them, that
he was an unworthy layman, and totally unqua-
lified for such a responsible duty, and the more
so at that time, as his mind had been occupied
in his secular business; and he felt the need of,
hirpself receiving instruction, instead of attempt.
ing to impart it to others. But a chair had been
placed for him in a suitable part of the room,
and a small table, covered with, a green cloth,
placed before it, on which was laid the copy of
the Bible which M. -- had, some months be-
fore, presented to the widow. M. saw he
could not avoid saying something to this impor-
tunate company, and looking to God for assist-
ance and a blessing, took the chair which had
been set for him, and resolved to attempt to
draw from the Bible, for their benefit, such in-
struction and consolation as he might be enabled
to impart.
To-the eye of M.- every thing gave beauty
and solemnity to this unexpected scene. The
room into which he was conducted was filled
with the villagers, all conveniently accommo-
dated on benches. A large door opened, in the
rear of the house, and discovered the declivity



of the mountain on which it stood, skirted also
with listening auditors. While, at a distanee,the
flocks and herds were peacefully feeding, the
trees, covered with beautiful foliage, were waving
in the breeze, and all nature erbertnV be in hai-
mony with those sacred emotions which so ob-
viously pervaded this rural assembly..
After addressing the throne of grace, M. *
read a part of the fourth chapter of the Acts of
the Apostles. He turned their attention more es*
specially to that interesting passage in the twelfth
verse: There is none other name under heaven,
given among men, whereby we must be saved." He
endeavored to point out to them the exceeding
sinfulness of sin, the awful consequences of vio.
lating the law of God, the inefficacy of all those
expedients which the ignorance, the pride, or the
self-righteousness of men had substituted for the
"only name," Christ Jesus. He spoke of the ne-
cessity of this great sacrifice on the cross, of the
love of God in sending his Son into the world,
of the fullness and all-sufficiency of the mighty
redemption, and of the duty of sinners to accept
it and live. "It is through Christ alone," said
he, "that you can have hope of pardon and sal-
vation. You must take up the cross and follow
Christ. You must renounce your sins and flee
to Christ. You must renounce your own righte-
ousness, and trust alone in Christ. You must re-


80 Tras RLLAGE I THrn ourTAnrs. (30

nounce all other lords, and submit to Christ; t
you had offended an earthly monarchlto whom
you could have access only through his son,
would you address yourselves to his servats, ra-
ther than his sM ? And will you then, in the great
concerns of y6er souls, go to any other than the
Son? Will yea have recourse to the Virgin
Mary, or some favored servant, rather than ad-
dress yourselves to Him who is 'the way, and
the pmuth, and the life 1I and when God himself
aseurs us, that heree is none other name under
heaven, given among men, whereby we must be
saved ?' "
Having thus proceeded for the space of fifteen
or twenty minutes, and at a moment when the
greater part of his audience were in tears, the
widow suddenly came running to M. saying,
with great agitation, Monsieur! Monsieur "
"What, madam, what 1" said M. -.
"I perceive," said she, "at a distance, the
deputy mayor of a neighboring village, in com-
pany with several women, approaching with a
speedy step towards my house. These people
are among our greatest persecutors-shall I not
call in our little band of brothers and sisters, and
fasten the doors V'
No, madam," said M. ; "on the con-
trary, if it be possible, open the doors still wider;
trust in God our Saviour, and leave-to me the di-
rection of this matter."


2By this time considerable alarm seemed to
pervade the whole assembly, and some confusion
ensued, in consequence of several leaving their
seats. M. begged them to be composed,
and to resume their seats, saying,4hathe object
for which they were. assembled iah one which
God would accept of and approvjp whik angels
would delight in, and at which Satan trembled;
and that they had nothing to fear from the arm
of flesh. By this time the mayor made htIq
pearance at the threshold of the door, togimbr
with his attendants.
"Come in, sir," said M. "and be seated,"
pointing to a chair placed near the table.
Io, sir," said he, "I prefer to remain here."
"But I prefer," said M. "that you come
in, and also your companions, and be seated."
Perceiving M. to be firm in his determina-
tion, they complied, and were all seated among
hisnearest auditors.
M. then, without any further remarks,
having the Bible open before him, directed their
attention to those words in Christ's Sermon on
the Mount: Blessed are they which are persecw.
Jed for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the king.
dom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall re-
vile you, and persecute you, and shall say all man-
ner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Re-
joice and be exceeding glad; for great is your



reward in heaven ; for so persecuted they ite pro-
pAesd wAich were before you." Matt. 65 10, 12.
M. proceeded to set before them the suf.
firings of the apostles and primitive christians
for the truth asit is in Jesus, and the constancy
and firmness wiih which, in all circumstances,
they endured these sufferings, on account bf the
lo" which they bore to their Saviour; that they
had good reasons for so doing, for they were as-
sared by Christ, in the words just read, that
greatt should be their reward in heaven." M.
- then proceeded to show the immense re-
sponsibility which those assumed, and the enor
mity of their ggplt who, ignorantly or designedly,
persecuted the followers of Christ. That they
were but" heaping up to themselves wrath against
the day of wrath." That the day was not far dis-
tant, when the awful realities of eternity would
burst upon their view; and that eveyman would
then be judged according to the deeds done in
the body."
When M. had proceeded in this manner
for ten or twelve minutes, bringing the truth to
bear especially upon the minds of his new au-
dience, he perceived the mayor wiping his eyes
with the cuff of his sleeve, who, rising at tbat
moment from his seat, exclaimed:
Sir, I acknowledge that I have heretofore felt
an enmity towards many of the people whom I


88) m vrt ILAGZo : r xotrrarAZ U:
here see before me; and have, as far as my in*
fuence extended in my official capacity, endea.
vored to bteak up-what I have considered their
illl assemblies, and to coerce thenLbek wlth*
in the pals of the mother chrcWh, which one.after
another of them have been abandoning for years
past. But if a11 that you have expriud bdF
and is in conformity with the satred vnlae of
God's word, and if the book which ye hold ia
your hand is a correct translation af the orig
copy, 1 beg you to sell it qme, that I nmay pers
it myself, and give the reading of it to d.
better able to judge of i fl ,ann& if I
them And the promises t sIa tllW in1 as
stated by you to be correct, you may rely upon
it that, so far from persecuting these in other
respects harmless people, I will hereafter be
their friend."
On hearingthis, M. immediately requested
the widow to bring several Bibles from the' ease
which he brought with him in the. Diligence, and
which had reached the house according to his
direction; one of which he presented to the
mayor, and one to each of his catholic associates.
On the mayor's offering pay for the one put into
his hand, M. observed, that he had much
pleasure in presenting it to him, as well as to his
companions, in the hope that they would here-
after not only become the friends of this inte
VTL in Moesnts. 3

86 .wu ma ,az mI TM WEWRTA .


eating people, but, what was of more iwportance,
rte friends of Jesus Christ, who is the "' oly
Mediator between God and man." "
-JWidt:thisthey took their deputure: Mf. --
ob erving to them, ,that4t heart'e desire and
prayer to God was, that, by a canYlN, hmnbld,
idypupeuSIpps 4al of tbat suerea volkoie, tlreir
uieaststpdings migLt uriers enlightened, tut
si..e hiit imbued: with the riches of divide
. mice ththeah ight thereby be led hereafter
Wslgdha teLverp* cause *high they had hi-
At l t tempting t'" destroy; and that,
Mlretkr.byd :td ring God their Saviour
mher* loM eylt eight find: themselves amng
t-*a happy number 'whose names are written in
thd Lambns book of life*'
They left the house, all of them in tears, and
as it appeared, deeply impressed with the truths
which had been exhibited.
h: ethe he d concluded these remrlW M.1.-
requKted that some of the reinaniag .ibtle*and
Tesaments might be brought and laid before
him'on the table. These he distributed gratu.
Itously to'all present who had not' before been
supplied, and who were unable to purchase them.
While bhe was doing this, many who. had pre-
viously received the Sacred volume, came for-
ward and maifested their gratitude by laying
upon the table their various donations of from

5}) a TvnzaaB IX IsN UmTo.

two o .o ~sn.ranes each, till, in a few msemats,
the table was wall nigh covered. M. -- told
them he was unwillingsaireceive nmony in that
manner, and wished them to put their gifts into
the bhad at tskiM eleeaomppae d by the
names of tbh.donor* that they might be regp
larly accoanthd uthbe Bible.oeiety. This they
q9oaented to wi"tmi J elMesanee, W hbe the
widow bought from ee dma r a pau comntain-
ing a hundred sand sevnty frkno saying to M.
---,. that he w od not rebiw that -s 'a it
was the proceeds of ib qs and TestasM ds which
she had sok in coliam th his direbhs.
M. replied to her, tba had 'inded re-
quested her to sell these volumes to sae as were
able to purchase, that he sight aseertain whether
there were persona i& that neighborhood who
sufficiently appreciated the word of God to t ,
willing to pay for it; but, that object having been
accomplished, it was now his privilege, on hie
own personal responsibility, to place the hundred
aud seventy francs in the hands of the widow, to
be distributed, in equal portions, t he three un-
fortunate families whom they ha mentioned as
having recently lost their husbands and fathers
by.the caving in of a col-pit.
On hearing this, they together, spontaneously
a it were, surrounded M. and with tears
Five franc ae nearly equal to otn dollar.



streaming from their eyes, loaded him with their
expressions of gratitude and their blessings, ren-
dering it the most touching scene which M.--
ever witnessed.
Amidae4these tokens of their christian affec-
tion, M. -- was compelled to prepare for his de-
parture, and imploring the richest of heaven's mer*
cies upon them, bade them-n affectionate farewell.
The whole company followed him to the tar-
riage, and just as he had reached it, he once
more addressed them, saying, My dear friends,
if any of you have not yet submitted yourselves
to God, and are oeof the ark of safety, I be-
seechyou give not sleep twyour eyes, nor slum-
ber to your eye-lids,' until you flee to the Sa-
viour. And those of you who have tasted that
the Lord is gracious, live near to God, bear
cheerfully the cross of your Redeemer, follow
on to know the Lord and do his will, and by his
grace reigning in your hearts, you shall come off,
conquerors, and more than conquerors !"
When he had said this, and had again come
mended them to the God of all mercy through a
crucified ReAemer, he drove off amid their
prayers and blessings, to see them no more till
that day when they shall meet in the kingdom
of their Father, where sighs and farewells are
sounds unknown, and where God shall wipe away
all tears from every eye.



After M.---- return to Paris, he had the
pleasure to learn from the widow that all the Bi-
bles he had left with her were disposed of, and
that many, in various directions from the village,
were earnest to obtain them, but cpuid not be
supplied. In the meantime a deep interest in the
spiritual welfare of these villagers had diffused
itself beyond the limits of Paris, or even of
Franee. The'first sixteen pages of this Tract hav-
ing found its way to England, had been published
by the Religious Tract Society of London, and
had obtained a very wide circulation. A parish
in one of the interior towns of England had for-
warded to M. twenty pounds sterling for the
purchase of Bibles, to be presented to the widow
for gratuitous distribution; and a family of
Friends from Wales, having read the narrative,
visited M. at Paris, and proceeded thence
to the Village in the Mountains, where they tar-
ried no less than three'weeks, assuring M. -
on their return to Paris, that it had been the
most interesting three weeks of their lives.
As the proceeds of the twenty pounds, M. -
forwarded to the widow fifty Bibles and fifty
Testaments, with a selection of several other
choice books and Tracts. These Bibles, Testa-
ments, and Tracts, were all actually disposed of
in eight days, of which the widow gave early in-
formation, accompanied by letters to M. --



and to the benevolent donors in England~,ex-
pressing, in the most cordial manner, her grati.
tude, and that of those who had thus been sup-
plie*with the word of life. She gave 4 partica-
lar statement of the eagerness with which they
had been read; of their distribution in many
Catholic families, and the conversion of some to
the truth as it is in Jesus. She informed that
many individuals and families were still unsup*
plied; and for herself, and those around herL oe
pressed her thainksgivings to God fr the wotP
ders of his love in inspiring the Iarts of -his
children to unite their efforts in Bible and other
benevolent institutions, and to contribute of their
substance to extend to the destitute a knowledge
of the Gospel.
The last letter which M. received from
the widow, before he left the country, contained
two hundred francs, which she and her children
had contributed as a donation, in acknowledg-
ment of the Bibles and Testaments which he had,
from time to time, forwarded.
M. -- replied to her that it gave him more
joy than to have received twenty thousand francs
from another source, as it testified their attach.
meant to the word of God. He returned her the
full amount of theirdonation in Bibles, with two
hundred and fifty Testaments from the Society,
together with fifty from himself, as his last press.




ent before his departure, and also six hundred
Tracts and several other religious books. Point-
ing out to her an esteemed friend in Paris, to
whom, if further supplies should be needed, she
might apply with assurance that her requests
would be faithfully regarded, and exhorting her
to remain steadfast in the faith, and to fix her
eye always upon the Saviour, M. commend-
ed her to God, in the fervent hope, that, through
the unsearchable riches of his grace, he should
ker&fter meet her,and her persecuted associates
in tLat world where "the wicked ease from
troubling, and the weary are at rest."

NoTr.-The original letters of the widow, in French, are
deposited in the archives of the American Tract Society.







S Ii A UtrtE To ms canLDU .*

Mr DMaB- i~NI.D N-I purpose to give you, in
this letter, an account tf my conversion to the
true christian religion-that religion which was
established by our Lord and his apostles, pro-
fessed by their flowers during the first two cen-

This Narrative was originally entitled, "A letter to
my children, on the subject of my conversion from the Ito
mish church, in which I was born, to the Protesant, in
which I hope to die. By Peter Bayssiire, Montaigut, De-
partment Tarn and Gargnne." (France.) "As much of
the interest of this Narrative," says the preface to the Lon-
don edition, dependss upon its authenticity, the reader is
referred to the subjoined extract of a letter from the Rev;
Francis Cunningham, Rector of Pakdeield, dated May 90,
182S, which will probably remove any doubts on the subject.
"...... The autograph of Bayssi6re's letter I saw when I
was in the South of France, in the year 1836. It had just
then been received by M. Audebez, the minister of NBrac;
who, as appears by the Tract, was well acquainted both
with Bayssi6re and his circumstances. Confident of the
genuineness of the account, I am very glad it has been pub.
fished in Preach, and translated into English. It cannot
but be interesting and profitable to all lovers of the truth.
a"FRAXM CulQxCmonMl "

tries of the church, and which is now followed
by the protestant or reformed christians. I am
conscious that neither my abilities nor my edu-
cation qualify me for this task. A mere mechanic,
and possessing but few advantages of education,
I find it very difficult to express, as I could wish,
the thoughts and feelings which crowd upon my
mind. But how great and numerous soever may
be the difficulties which I inst encounter in such
an undertaking, I am impelled to it by the tender
affection I bear you, and by the earnest desire
and hope of being useful to you. May God be
my helper; may he not suffer me to be detefred
by any obstacle; and may he grant me the bless-
ing of accomplishing that which I consider as a
sacred duty.
It is my imperative duty to make you acquaint-
ed with the real motives which have produced
the most important, solemn, and decisive step Mn
my life.
It is my duty to give glory to God for the un-
speakable mercy which he has deigned to show
me, in calling me from darkness into his marvel-
lous light; in opening to me the treasures of his
infinite compassion, and in giving me the hope
of salvation by faith in his Son, who only has
the words of eternal life," being alone the way,
the truth, and the life.'
It is my duty to endeavor to render my expe-


0S) PBrsra saIBauR. i
$inme profitable to you, to show you the path by
which it has eased God to lead me to truth, and
to the fountain of living waters an above all,
to labor in prayer for you, that po imay be par-
takers of the peace and joy with ~klch my spi*
rit is filled under the influence of his blessed word.
Mq) this paper, my dear children, by the bless
ing of God, contribute to the triumph of the
Gospel, and to the glory of our great God and
Saviour Jesus Christ, by filling your hgiritwith
the love of truth, and by leading you in the way
ef true religion.
t was in the thirty-third year of my age, in
the present year, (1826t) that ; openly embraced
and professed the Protestant religion, after hav-
ing given it the most serious and attentive ex-
aminatiet, and being convinced that it was in-
.Jecl Ihe true religion: of Christ, agreeable, in
qery relist, to the revelations of his Gospel.
Like you, my dear children, I was born in the
Romish church; but birth has, in fact, very little
to do with religion; the utmost that it can effect
is to predispose the mind, or to serve as a pre-
text to timid, interested, or indifferent persons, to
justify their external adherence to a form of wor-
ship in which their hearts do not unite.
As our Saviour declares to his disciple Peter,
it is not flesh or blood that can make known to
us the true God, the Creator, Preserver, and Sa-

6 CONflsION S 4W

riour of men. Faith, through which alone we
can become children of *4 and true members
of the church of Christ, .r gift of the Holy
Spirit, and by no means-transmitted to us with
our existence by-our parents. St. John teaches
us this.when he says, As many as received him,
to them gave he powerto become the sons of
God, even to thel that believe on his name:
which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of
the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
John, 1: 12, 13.
Thus you see that we are neither Catholics nor
Protestants by birth; and it is a great error for
any one to feel himself bound to either chureb,
because h has been born within its pale. Re-
ligiocn like every thing else, must be studied and
examined; and no one is taiy a member -of a
church, further than as he understands and io.
knowledge its doctrines. is& adhere ma any
other ground only proves him credalous, igno-
ant, and superstitiousu the slave of prejudice
and habit.
As for me, my children, although born in the
Romish church, I can assure you that I never
participated in its belief. It would be foreign to
the end I have in view, to relate here the various
circumstances of my childhood and youth, which
preserved me from being brought into the bosom
of the Catholic church by the usual rites and

itia 1JS'atE.

ceremonies. God so ordered it, that I made no
vow by which I mig*ba have afterwards felt my-
self bound to the hftmh of Rome.
Unknown tbr me, that is, at an age when I could
have no idew of what was doa6to me, I was doubt.
less received into the church by the usual cere-
mony; hut as this act was performed without any
consent or cooperation on my part. have never
regarded it in the light of an engagement to bhe
Catholic church.
* With regard to what is called the first com-
munion," (which is considered as the public
ratification and confirmation of the vow of my
parent,) this I never received in the flsmiah

"J might Aas," &c. but I am far from supposing that I
ought to have felt my$U indissolubly tied to .he Roman
Catholic t norch by any sacrameat that I might have re-
oeived, *4y any engasarsit that I might bave entered
into: i"e contrary, I y i dowm as an inmestible prin-
ciple, that every vow and reery oath are nual, and neither
can nor ought to bind any one to a church in which he has
discovered errors, or doctrines and habits opposed to the
worn of God, and contrary to his own conscience. Truth
alone, and the full conviction of truth, eonstitute a tie which
can inviolably connect us with any church whatever. From
the moment that this conviction no longer exists, and that
error is discovered, it is an imperative duty to abandon a
mode of worship which does not accord with our true sen.
timents; and he who perseveres against this conviction be-
comes a hypocrite, contemptible in the eyel -of men, and
condemned before God.




church, nor did I receive what is called the Sa-
crament of confirmation.
Before I could be united by the -acred bond
of marriage to your virtuous and beloved mother,
it was necessary that I should confess. This I
did with extreme reluctance, feeling that nothing
could be at once more absurd, more tyrannical,
or more degradiag, than to oblige a man to pros-
H bimnlf at the feet of a priest, a mortal, a
sinner, a child of corruption like himself, and
there to make confessions to him, which offended
Deity alone could have a right to require ;and to
receive absolution from him for faults with which
he hM no concern. I could not, however, marry
without confession, and therefore I was obliged
to submit but no power on earth could have
constrained me to go further. The Sacrament,
as the Roman Catholics receive it, had, from in-
fancy, excited in me feelings of disgust. My
mind had always revolted at the idea, that the
great God of heaven could allow himself to be
edten by his creatures in the form of a little flour.
Under various pretences, therefore, I contrived
to avoid the ceremony, and obtained the nuptial
benediction without it.
The Lord, who never leaves himself without
the witness of his numerous mercies to us, even
when we are offending him in so many ways, was
pleased to bless our marriage. Your birth, my


dear .children, crowned our joy, and left us no-
thing to wish but to see you grow and prosper,
and to devote ourselves to your happiness. Alas
little did we suspect, whilst thus delightfully on
gaged, that this joy was to be so soon disturbed,
and that death would deprive us of her who had
given you birth. But our great God, whose ways
and whose designs, though often inaratable, are
always full of wisdom, saw good to aratstemij
you from a tender and excellent mother, and
me from a beloved companion and inestimable
friend. She died February 11, 1821, after a few
days' illness, leaving, me in a state of affliction
which it would be in vain to attempt o de-
Nevertheless, terrible as was the stroke, and
heart-rending as was the separation, I can now
acknowledge, my children, that it was a salutary
chastisement, sent by sovereign love; and one of
the links of that chain of Providence by which
the Lord saw good to deliver me from the mise-
rable state in which I was then living; and to lead
me to the fountain of grace and true peace.
In fact, the death of your poor mother gave
rise to a train of circumstances, which, by draw-
ing my attention to subjects that I had hitherto
totally disregarded, and by exciting in my mind
a degree of energy of which I could not have
supposed myself capable, ended by engaging me
ViL. it Mea. 4


most unexpectedly in the serious study of re-
ligion. The particulars I am about to give you
respecting these things, will convince you that
God can overrule the wickedness of men for
good, and will show you that a Romish priest
was the means of directing me to Mhe way, (I
mean the perusal and free examination of the
word of God,) which led me, eventually, to the
Protestant church. -
Your mother's funeral was conducted with Ca-
tholic ceremonies, and, according to my means,
I spared nothing to honor her remains. I like-
wise consented, either from conformity to eus-
tom, or from a wish to please my relatives, who
were influenced by the fear of purgatory, or per-
haps from participating myself in the false notion
that bought prayers can mitigate the sufferings
of the dead-from one or all of these causes, ag-
gravated by the sorrow which filled my heart and
inflamed my imagination, I consented to the per-
formance of the nine customary masses for the
rest of the soul.
The priest to whom I first went, told me that
he was too busy to undertake the whole, but that
I might depend upon him for three. From him
I went to another, who engaged to say the re-
maining six, and did so without delay. Sunday
after Sunday, for a considerable time, I went to
the first, to inquire whether my three masses



would be said in the following week. He always
found some excuse, saying that "there were others
more urgent than myself-that he was previously
engaged-that he had undertaken more than was
in his power to perform," &c. From February to
June, I was thus put off under various pretexts.
Worn out, at length, by so many fruitless efforts,
I resolved to put an end to them, and mentioned
the subject to your aunt, your mother's sister,
expressing to her my extreme annoyance. She '
asked me if I had" offered the priest the amount
of the masses which he had promised to say 1
"No,'" I said, "the idea never occurred to me;
but even if it had, I should not have dared to do
it, for fear of offending him. It is not usual," I
added scornfully, "to pay before one is served.
No one ever pays me for a saddle before I make
it." "No matter," replied your aunt, "my advice
to you is to return to the priest, and offer to pay
for the masses which you have ordered."
I did as she advised me, and this time my re-
quest was favorably received. The priest seized
the six-franc piece which I laid on the table,
looked at me and said, Do you wish me to say
six 1" "No," I replied, with a feeling of indigna-
tion which I could-hardly repress-" No, sir, I
only want three. Return to me the rest of the
money; poor folks cannot afford to spend so
much at once."



I left the priest, thoroughly ashame4rn having
contributed to gratify his cupidity, and very much
disposed to think the religion we were taught was
nothing but a tissue otfables and impostures,.to
which the thirst of gold and silver bad given
birth. I cannot tell you all the sad and painful
rdlections that occupied, my mind during the
remainder of that day; I was overcome by them,
and rejoiced to see the night, hoping to find relief
| in sleep. I went to bed, but could not close my
Eyes. Still haunted by the remembrance of what
had so disgusted me, a multitude of thoughts
crowded on my imagination. I knew that the
priests claimed the word of God as their autho-
rityfor all their doctrines and ceremonies, which
word I also knew was contained in the Old and
New Testaments, although, to my misfortune, I
-did not then regard them as a divine revelation.
In fact, I believed no more in the Holy Bible as
the word of God, than I did in the doctrine of pur-
gatory; still I felt a desire to search and to as-
certain whether this lucrative doctrine was con-
tained in the Gospel, and in what manner it was
there established: at the same moment I recol-
lected that there was, on the chimney-piece of
my room, a New Testament, in which I had
learnt to read, but which I had never opened
since I was nine or ten years old. I jumped out
of bed, and hastily dressing myself, resolved to



begin, Vitout delay, mt researches on the sub-,
ject of purgatory. .
With this sole object in view, I read through
the Gospels, the Acts of te Apostles, the Epis ;
tles,and the Revelation of St. John; confining,
my attention exclusively to those points that)
tended either to establish or controvert this d4 '
trine. This perusal of the New Testament, whieA,
from-my eagernesi to satisfy my curiosity and,.
resolve my doubts, I accomplished without oac.e
stopping, except-for refreshment, proved to mir
that the doctrine of purgatory was not to
found in the Gospel, but must have been' desivr
from some other source. .'
Indeed, my dear children, I did not find a sin-
gle passage which established it, either directly
or indirectly: on the contrary, I was struck with
many declarations completely opposed to it.
Thus I read in St. Matthew: "The wicked shall
go away into everlasting punishment, but the
righteous into life eternal." Matt. 25 : 46. This
absolutely destroys the idea of any intermediate
abode between heaven and hell.
I read the song of Simeon, by which it clearly
appears that the good old man had no idea that
he was to stop in the road to heaven, or that he
would have to undergo any purging fire before
he could get there; for he exclaims, holding the
infant Jesus in his arms, Lord, now lettest-thou



thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have
seen thy salvation." &c. Luke, 2:29, 30.
I read the promises which Jesus made to the
thief on the cross, when he said to him, t Lord,
'remember me when thou comest into thy king-
dom." Luke,,23: 42, 43. If there were such a
place as purgatory, and if any one were likely
to be subjected to its fires, surely it would hayv
been this malefactor, condemned by human laws,
S-and probably guilty pf many crimes: yet our Sa-
'viour replies, Verily, I say unto thee, to-day
'thou shalt be with me in Paradise."
SI read in the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans,
that there is now no condemnation to them
which are in Christ Jesus." Rom. 8: 1. A doc-
trine altogether opposed to that of purgatory,
which teaches that christians are, after this life,
subjected to a process of torments before they
are free from condemnation.
I read in the Epistle to the Hebrews, that "it
is appointed to men once to die, but after this
the judgment," Heb. 9 : 27, which clearly proves
that the destiny, both of the bad and good, is irre-
vocably fixed from the moment of their death; and
that there is no purgatory, from which masses,
prayers, or rather gold and silver, can deliver
any one.
I read also in the first Epistle of St. John, that
"the blood of Jesus Christ," the Son of God,



c eleauseth us from all sin," I John, 1 :7, which
excludes all other kinds of purification, and for-
mally contradicts the doctrine of purgatory.
Finally, I read in the book of Revelation, that
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord,
from'henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they
umy rest from their labdrs, and their works do
$olow them."
lHere is another declaration which confirms
what the preceding and many other passages
establish in so convincing a manner. Not having
discovered single text of the New Testament
which told in favor of purgatory; but, on the con-
trary, having observed and meditated on those
which I have quoted, and many other equally
opposed to this doctrine, I was fully persuaded
that it never had been thought of-by the writers
of the Gospel. You may easily believe, my dear
children, that this discovery in no way tended
to strengthen the bonds which held me to the
Bomish church, nor to confirm me in their faith.
Still, however, I was dissatisfied, and still longed
to know positively from whence the priests had de-
rived their vain system. This desire filled my
mind for some days, and at last it struck me that
the Pope must have been the inventor of it. I
then naturally began to wish to discover who the
Pope was, and what right he had to impose such
a doctrine. I had often read and heard, both in


conversation and from the pulpit, that St4 Peter
was the chief and head of the Apostles; that he
had been the first pope at Rome; and that all
succeeding popes had inherited his rights and
I conceived-a wish to know what the New
Testament said .upon this subject, and I immedi-
ately undertook a second perusal of it-; in the
same state of mind as befre, that is to say, ab-
sorbed by one sole object, and having nothing in
view but to find out whether St. Peter had really
been set over all the other apostles, and placed
at Rome as head of all the churches.
This examination, which was pursued with a
degree of attention of which I should now be
scarcely capable, ended in convincing me that
the supremacykof St. Peter was no better estab-
lished by the New Testament than the first doc-
trine which I had sought for, and that undoubt-
edly the papacy was without scriptural authority.
I found in St. Matthew the calling of Simon,
who was afterwards called Peter; Matt. 4 : 18,
19, 20; but it did not appear to me to differ from
that addressed to Andrew his brother, and all the
other apostles.
In the tenth chapter of the same Gospel, I also
observed that the first mission which Jesus Christ
gave to his apostles, was given to all, without
any particular prerogative to Peter. It is true


that Peter is the first named, but this is merely
an accidental priority, which implies neither dis-
tinction nor superiority; one must have been
mentioned first. I made the iame observation
qn the last mission which they received on the
day of their Master's ascension, and which-is re-
lated by St Matthew,.28: 19, 20; by St. Mark,
16 : 15; and in the Acts of the Apostles, 1 : &
This mission, though variously expressed in the
three places, is the same in substance. It is given
indiscriminately'to all; the promises by which it
is accompanied are for all; and on all, the same
powers are, equ"ly conferred.
The 18th and 19th verses of chapter 16 of St
Matthew, where it is said, "' Thou art Peter, and
on this rock I will build my church," startled me
for a moment, and I was on the point of mis-
taking the true meaning of this declaration. But
having reflected that Jesus Christ asked the ques-
tion in the 15th verse, of all his disciples, and
that Peter expressed the sentiment of all in his
animated reply in the 16th verse, I considered
that the words which Christ addressed to Peter,
were applicable to all disciples; and that no su-
premacy could be attributed to him from this
passage, more than from any of the preceding.
I was confirmed in this opinion, when I read
in the Gospel of St. John, that Jesus, speaking
to all, had made them nearly the same promise:



" Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted
unto them, and whose soever sins ye retain,they
are retained," (John, 20: 23;) and also by what
St. Paul says to' the Ephesians, Ye are built
upon the foundation of the apostles and pro-
phbts, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cor-
ner-stone; in whom all the building, fitly framed
together, growth unto an holy temple in the
Lord." Ephes. 2: 20, 21.
I was still more strengthened, when I found
in the Revelation, that St. John says, "the wall
of the city had twelve foundations, and in them
the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."
Rev. 21: 4,.
By these passages, and many others which I
think it unnecessary to quote, I discerned that
Jesus Christ is the true foundation, the corner
stone on which the christian church rests: that
all the apostles and prophets are indeed men-
tioned as its foundation, but only because all
their doctrines refer to Him; and I was con-
vinced that St. Peter was in no degree more dis-
tinguished or more elevated than his fellow-la-
borers. Although I did not then understand, at
least not so fully as I do now, the evangelical
meaning of the 18th and 19th verses of chapter
16 of St. Matthew, yet I was persuaded that the
papacy or sovereignty of St. Peter could not
reasonably be deduced from them.


Finally my conviction that St. Peter was not
above the other apostles, was completed by ob-
serving what he says, himself in his first epistle,
"The elders which are among you I exhort who
am also an elder," 1 Pet. 5 : 1; by what St. Paul
says to the Corinthians, I was-not a whit Se-
hind the very chiefest apostles," 2 Cor. 11: 5;
by noticing that St. Paul, according to his own
account, "withstood him to the face, because he
was to be blamed;" Gal. 2 :11; and that he
severely and publicly reprehended him, because
"he constrained the Gentiles to be circumcised;"
by seeing how the common disciples of the
church of Jerusalem made no scruple of reprov-
ing Peter, because "he went in unto men un-
circumcised, and did eat with them," Acts,
11: 3; how they required from him an explana-
tion of his conduct, and how the apostle hastened
to justify himself, by relating to them exactly
how the thing had happened. Finally, by ob-
serving that when the apostles which were at
Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the
word of God, they sent unto them Peter and
John." Acts, 8: 14.
There can be no doubt," thought I, as I pe-
rused and re-perused all these testimonies, "'that
Peter was in every respect equal to the other
apostles; that he had no superiority nor juris-
diction over them. Had he been, had he thought



himself, or had others thought him, the prince of
the apostles and sovereign pastor of the:church,
would he have called himself an elder like unto
the other elders I Is it possible that St. Paul
wold have declared himself to be 'not a whit
behind him;' that he would have 'withstood him
to his face,' and blamed him publicly 1 Is it pro-
bable that mere believers, common members of
the church, should have ventured to dispute with
him, to require an explanation of his conduct, or
that he should have thought it necessary to sa-
tisfy them by giving Sne 1 Is it likely that he
would have been sent by the othei apostles, pr
have received their orders, when it would have
been his part, had he been their chief, to coin-
mand aa4 to send them V"
I needed no more evidence to be thoroughly
convinced that all which is taught by the Romish
church of the supremacy of St. Peter, and of the
sovereignty of the popes, his pretended succes-
sors, was a fable destitute of the slightest foun-
dation; at all events, a doctrine no more to be
found in the Gospel than that of purgatory.
If I were surprised at this, I was no less so
when I observed, that in the whole New Testa-
ment there was not one word which gave reason
The popes, his pretended successors, have not been so
obliging; they have been always solicitous to make theii
authority felt.



to imagine that St.Peter had ever preached, or had
even ever beeb, at Jome, where the Roman Ca-
tholics assert, and believe ap an article of faith,
that he was the first -pope. The Acts of the
Apostles maintains the most profound silence on
this subject, and affords no ground whatever for
the supposition. All the Epistles leave it equally
in darkness. Those of St. Paul to the Galatians,
to the -Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Co-
lossians, the second to Timothy, and the Epistle
to Philemon, all written from Rome at different
periods, and that to the Hebrews, written from
Italy, make no mention of Peter's being there.
In the last four, the apostle speaks of his com-
panions in suffering, in labor, and in the work of
the Lord, but says not a word of Peter as being
with him. Undoubtedly he would live men-
tioned him, as he-mentions Tychicus, Onesimus,
Aristarchus, Demas, Prudens, Livius, Claudia, &c.
had he been at Rome; but neither his name, nor
any allusion to his abode in the capital of the
werld, is to- be discovered in any part of St.
Paul's Epistles. In my opinion, there is no proof
of his ever having been there, much less of his
having held the bishopric. Finally, his own two
Epistles furnish no evidence for such a supposi-
tion: the first, and in all probability, the second
also, is written from Babylon, 1 Peter, 5 : 13,
and addressed, not to the Romans, but "to the



strangers (that is to say, the converted Jews)
scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappado-
cia, Asia, and Bithynia," 1 Peter, 1 : 1, coun-
tries where, it would appear, that he exercised
his ministry, after, having for some years preach-
ed to the church at Antioch.
Thus, my children, I discovered that these two
primary doctrines of the Romish church, viz.
purgatory and the supremacy of St. Peter, had
not, at any rate, been inculcated by the writers
of the Gospel. I. cannot tell you what interest I
felt in the new ideas I had acquired, The New
Testament, which I was still far from regarding
as a divine revelation, appeared to me a collec-
tion pf precious documents, in whose authority
14hen began to feel some degree of confidence.
Th6ygh I found this study novel and difficult to
a poor uneducated artizan like myself, it was at
the same time so attractive to me, that I was in-
duced to continue my researches.
I have already mentioned to you, my dear
children, the invincible repugnance which I had
always felt to receiving the sacrament as admin-
istered in the Romish church. I have said that
nothing in the world could have forced me to
this act, by which it is profanely pretended that
the creature EATS tis Creator I! I could never
even think of it without shuddering. This doc-
trine, which asserts that Jesus Christ is present,


in body and in spirit, in the consecrated wafer,
and that every communicant is actually nourish-
ed by his flesh and blood, is, of all the tenets of
popery, that which contributed the most to alien*
ate me from the christian religion, to which I at-
tached it, and to drive me to infidelity.
SThis, therefore, now attracted all my attention;
and again I began to read the New Testament,
entirely occupied, as previously, by the one ob-
ject which I had in view.
I found-nothing in the three Gospels of St.
Matthew, St. Mark, or St. Luke, which gave me
the least reason to suppose that their author had
recognized the real and corporeal presence of
Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the holy sup-
per. The words of the institution, as related by
the first, Matt. 26 : 26, 27, 28, by the seoemd,
Mark, 14 : 22, 23, 24, and by the third, Luke,
22: 19, 20, reported with slight variations by
the three Evangelists, and which I took great
pains to collate and compare, conveyed no other
idea than that of a commemorative ceremony, de-
signed to preserve and call to remembrance the
sufferings, the passion, and the death of Christ.
In my then wretched condition of unbelief, the
magnitude, the sanctity, and the power of the
sacrament did not strike my mind; but, except-
ing that, I imbibed from the consideration of
these passages the views which I still hold. So





far, then, I had not discovered the doctrine of
the real presence; but I thought I had indeed
found it specifically established when I read these
words: I am the living bread which came down
from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he
shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give
is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the
world. The Jews, therefore, strove among them-
selves, saying, How can this man give his flesh
to eat I Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, ve-
rily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of
the Sop of man, and drink his blood, ye have no
life in you. Whoso eateth jny flesh and driuketh
my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him
up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed,
and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my
flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and
I in him." John, 6 : 51-56. These words ap-
peared to me to be undoubtedly the foundation
of the Romish faith on this head. I even thought
that the writer of them had the establishment of
this doctrine especially in view. At that moment
I was tempted to stop, and to carry no further
my researches on a doctrine which I thought I
had found clearly set forth, but the absurdity of
which had never appeared to me so palpable. I
then felt an utter disgust towards the Gospel;
nevertheless, internally spurred on by an invisi.
ble power, which was then unknown to me, but





which I now recognize to have been the Holy
Spirit, the author of all divine revelation; and
attracted, as it were, in spite of myself, by the
Spirit of God, who graciously purposed to teach
me to appreciate, and in time to receive, the'
truth of his word, I resumed my New Testament,
which I had for a moment thrown aside, a;c re*
commencing the perusal of the sixth chapter of
St. John, I read it to the end, which I had not
done before.
When I reached the sixty-third verse, I was
struck as by a flash of light, which instantane-
ously discovered to me the mistake that I had at
first made in the meaning of the six verses trans-
cribed above, and imparted a new value to the
Gospel. When I read It is the Spirit that quick-
eneth, the flesh profiteth nothing-the words that
I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are
Life," John, 6 : 63, I had, as it were, the key
of the chapter, and no longer discerned in it the
doctrine of the real presence. I perceived that
it in no way referred to swallowing and digest-
ing, with our corporeal organs, the body and
blood of Christ: I saw that the expressions of
eating and drinking were used figuratively, and
that they really signified nothing but knowing
Christ, coming to him, and believing in him, as
it is explained in the thirty-fifth verse of the same
chapter, where Jesus Christ says, I am the bread
V. itn Moan. 5

28 CONVEBSIOn or (oW

of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger,
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
It was, then, as clear to me as the day, that
Jesus Christ used the terms eating and drinking
only in a spiritual manner; aad (as I now under-
stand them) as referring to that faith, which,
while it is living and active in our hearts, unites
tie to him in an inexplicable manner, and clothes
us in his merits at the same time that it purifies
and sanctifies our views, our sentiments, and our
desires. After having thus discovered my error,
I found myself more than ever inclined to per*
severe in my reading, ahd to search and see whe-
ther the doctrine of the real presence would not
be better established in the subsequent parts of
the book. The further I advanced, my dear
children, the more reason I had to be convinced
that neither Jesus nor his apostles ever intended
to convey such an idea. I should be too tedious
were I to point out to you all the passages which
I found expressly contradictory to this revolting
tenet; it will be sufficient to quote a few.
I found in the Acts, that the apostles saw Je-
sus Christ ascend on high, carried upward by a
cloud which concealed him from their sight, and
that two angels appeared and said unto them,
"Men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into
heaven 1 This same Jesus which is taken up from
you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as


ye have seen him go into heaven." Acts, 1: 9, 1.
"There never was a priest," said I, "there
never was a Rotaa Catholic, administering or
receiving the sacrament, that ever saw Christ
descending from heaven, in this manner, to enter
into the bread.. Nevertheless, the angels declar-
ed that he should descend from heaven in the
same manner as he went up into heaven."
I found, in the same book, that the heavens
must receive Jesus Christ till the time of the
restitution of all things." Acts, 3 : 21. "He is
then," said I, "no longer corporeally on the
earth." I found, in the Epistle to the Coessians,
that "Christ sitteth on the right hand of God;"
chap. 3 : 1; from whence I drew the inference
that he certainly cannot be actually present on
so many altars, or in so great a number of wa-
fers, as the doctrine of the real presence neces-
sarily supposes.
I found, in the Epistle to the Hebrews, chap-
ters 9 and 10, the strongest declarations, not only
against the real presence, but against the whole
system of the mass, by which it is pretended
daily to renew the passion 'and sacrifice of our
Saviour. When the apostle says that Christ is
entered into heaven itself ;" Heb. 9: 24; when
he says that unto them that look for him shall
he appear the second time without sin unto sal-
vation;" ver. 28; lastly, when he says it is the



will of God to sanctify us through the offering
of the body of Jesus Christ once made," chap.
10 : 10, and that this man, after he had offered
one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down at the
right hand of God," ver. 12, having "by one
offering perfected for ever them that are sancti-
Sfied," ver. 14, it appeared to me to prove, with
the most unanswerable evidence, that the doctrine
of the real presence, and all connected with it,
was as far removed from-the creed of the apos-
tle as the east is from the west, or as heaven
from hell."
Finally, my dear children, the very woids of
the institution of the. Lord's Supper, related by
St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11, and to which I paid particu-
lar and repeated attention, did not leave a shadow
of doubt on my mind that the doctrine of the
Romish church, on the subject of the Eucharist,
is utterly devoid of any foundation in the Gos-
pel, and must, consequently, have been derived
from some other source. In fact, all that our Sa-
viour says on the occasion of instituting the
Lord's Supper, clearly shows that it was a memo.
rial of himself which he established, and which
he wished to leave behind him. After having
taken, blessed, and broken the bread, he com-
mands that it- should be eaten in remembrance of
him. Having given them the cup to drink, he
adds,," This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in re-



membrance of me." The words, "this is my
body-this cup is the New Testament in
blood," appeared to me only what they really
are, figurative expressions, signifying that the
bread represented his body, and the wine his
blood. These words do in no degree change or
modify the principal idea, that of commemoration,
which rims throughout this action of our Lord.
Had it even been possible, that these words
had deceived me ; had I taken them in their lite-
ral meaning, I should soon have been undeceived
by those which immediately follow, which in
themselves utterly overthrow the doctrine of the
real presence, and the whole system of the mass.
These are the words: "As often as ye eat this
bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's
death till he come." 1 Cor. 11 : 26. After this
declaration connected with so many others, what
further proof was wanting that St. Paul never
believed that the bread and wine contained the
actual body of Christ 1 I clearly saw that in this
passage he meant that it is really bread we eat,
and wine we drink, in the sacrament, and not the
actual body dnd blood of the Son of God. I per.
ceived that he taught that the Lord is not actu-
ally present in that ceremony according to the
sense of the Romish church, because he distinctly
says, thrtt by participating in it, we do show the
Lord's death till he come."




In short, I was convinced that, according to
St. Paul, it is not the body and blood of Jesus
Christ that the priests hold in their hands, and
which they offer as a sacrifice in the mass.
Here, my children, I suspended my researches,
convinced, as much as it is possible to be con-
vinced of any thing, that the doctrine of transub-
stantiation is not to be found in the New Testa.
ment. I concluded that it must have the same
origin as those of the papacy and of purgatory.
Diverted as I had been from my usual occupa.
tion, during the time that I had thus devoted to
study and meditation; obliged to maintain myself
andjyou by the sweat of my brow, and having no
other immediate subject of perplexity, I returned
to my daily labor, and discontinued the perusal
of the Gospel. My New Testament had certainly
gained much in my esteem; but without stopping
to consider exactly in what way I valued it, I
think I may say that it was not as containing the
Word of God, and the knowledge which is unto
Thus not being really or heartily interested in
it, I replaced it a second time on the spot it had
so long occupied on the chimney-piece of my
room, and eighteen months or two years passed
without my thinking of consulting it anew.
During this period I married again:. your ten-
der age, and the care you required, which my



business and absence prevented my giving you,
were the motives which induced me to take this
step. God in his fatherly kindness mercifully di-
rected my choice, though I had never thought of
asking him to do so; and you have found a se-
cond mother in her who has ever been to me the
most estimable and best of friends. During this
period also, I thought more of religion than ever
before. Though I hid read the Gospel only to
satisfy my curiosity on the three points of doc-
trine that I have mentioned, and although my
attention had been exclusively directed to these
points, it is probable, notwithstanding, that I had
almost unconsciously imbibed some of the im-
pressions which the word of God is calculated
to produce, and that even then I was in some
measure under its secret influence. One thing I
am sure of, that from that time some idea of re-
ligion, although then comparatively vague and
confused, never left me; I frequently caught my*
self musing on the origin of the universe, on the
vicissitudes of nature, and on the future condi-
tion of those numerous beings, who are seen for
a short time on the earth and then disappear.
My own destiny, also, frequently engaged my
thoughts. But I was far from referring it to Him,
on whom I now see that it entirely depends. In
all these thoughts God was excluded from the
place he ought to have held. With nothing but




false and uncertain notions of him, I. was far in-
deed from regarding him as the vivifying pribci-
ple, which, to the eye of the christian, animates
and embellishes every thing, and as that pure
light "which lighteth every man that coxmeth
into the world."
I am bound to tell you, my children, what was
the real state of my soul at that time. I was in
so deplorable a condition of blindness and igno-
rance, that sometimes I thought there lt no
Gad, but that he was an imaginary being; and
sometimes confounding him with the works of
his almighty hands, I attributed divinity to the
material world. The fool hath said in his heart,
there is no God," and I dare not deny that these
words of David were for a long time, and even
perhaps at the period of which I am speaking,
applicable to me. But while I acknowledge that
the natural corruption of my heart, and the bad
books I had read, were in part the causes of the
sad state I have described, I cannot help also at-
tributing the greatest part of them to the abuses,
the superstition, and the errors which disfigure
christianity in the Romish church, and which
had so disgusted me that they had driven me
into total infidelity.
Such, then, being in fact my religious state,
you may well believe, my children, that I was
not happy; for it is impossible to be so without



trusting in God, who is the source of supreme
good and true peace. I was assiduous in my oc-
cupation; I frequented the society of my friends;
but, my heart empty and incessantly craving after
something which I could not obtain, was never
content. My mind, restless and agitated, could no
where find an object to fix and satisfy it. Listless-
ness followed me every where, and seemed to in-
crease upon me. 0 how unhappy, and how piti-
able pre those, who are, as I.was then, without
God, without Christ, without hope in the world!
I was in this wretched state when it pleased
God to have pity upon me, and to cause a ray
of light to penetrate my mind. One evening,
after the labors of the day, instead of going as
usual to the club which I frequented, I went
alone upon the public walk, where I remained
till the night was far advanced: the moon shone
clear and bright; I had never before been so
struck by the magnificence of the heavens, and
I felt unusually disposed to reflection. No," I
said, (after contemplating for a long time the
impressive scene before me,) "no, nature is not
God," (for till then I had entertained this opin-
ion,) God is certainly distinct from nature: in
all this I can only recognize a work replete with
harmony, order, and beauty. Although I cannot
perceive the Author, whose power, intelligence,
and wisdom are every where so strongly in.-




printed on it; still, both my reason and my feel-
ing combine to convince me of his existence."
This conclusion, which I sincerely adopted,
was the result of the reflections in which I had
been that evening absorbed.
Some days after this, the examination of a
watch, its springs, its various wheels, and its
motions, brought me afresh to the same conclu-
sion, pnd for ever confirmed me in the belief of
a God, the Creator of all things. If this watch ,
I argued, could not make itself, and necessarily
lass us to suppose an artist who made each
part, and so arranged the whole as to produce
these movements-how much stronger reasons
have we for concluding that the universe has a
Contriver and Maker 1"
I was no sooner fully satisfied of the existence
of a God, than I trembled at the thought of his
attributes, and my relationship to him. The
sense of my unworthiness and sinfulness deeply
affected me. When I called to mind the many
years I had passed in forgetfulness of this great
God; in indifference to, or in a culpable unbe-
lief of his existence; I felt that I must indeed be,
in his sight, the most ungrateful, and the most
sinful of his creatures. My next feeling was an
anxious desire to amend my conduct, and I de-
termined to lay down such a plan for my future
life, as I hoped might not be unworthy of that

Being whose eye I then felt was upon me. After
having made many efforts to recall the best max-
ims of wisdom and rules of virtue that I had met
with in the course of my reading, I at length
came to a resolution of examining what moral
precepts the New Testament might contain, and
whether it might not afford me the rules I was
seeking for the regulation of my conduct.
This was the motive which brought me again
to the New Testament, and induced me to under-
take a fourth time the perusal of it. I wish it
were in my power to recount to you, my dwe
children, all the effects that the eternal word of
God produced upon my heart; for from that
time I recognized it to be, what it is in fact, the
revelation of sovereign wisdom; the genuine
expression of the Divine will; the message of a
tender and compassionate Father, addressed to
his ungrateful and rebellious children, soliciting
them to return and find happiness in him. Iwish
I could retrace all the impressions that this di-
vine message produced on my mind, the vivid
emotions I experienced, and the thoughts and
feelings (never, I trust, to be forgotten) excited
by that reading.
I was like a man born blind, who should sud-
denly recover his sight in a magnificent apart-
ment, splendidly illuminated. My feelings at
least corresponded with those of a man under





such circumstances, were they possible. How
glorious was the light of the Gospel to me! I
sought for morality, and I found there the most
simple, clear, complete, and perfect system of mo-
rality that could be conceived; and there I found
precepts suited to every circumstance that could
present itself in life, as a son, a brother, a father,
a friend, a subject, a servant, a laborer, a man, a
reasonable creature: my duty in every relation
of life I there found inculcated in the most adu
mirable manner. I could not imagine one moral
duty for which I did not there find a precept; not
one precept unaccompanied by a motive; and no
motive that did not appear to me to be dictated
by reason, or enforced by an authority against
which I felt that I had nothing to object. I ob-
served two kinds of precepts which, though tend-
ing to the same end, i. e. perfection, produced a
different effect upon me. The positive precepts
presented to my mind an idea of the high degree
of holiness at which that man would arrive who
could keep them without a single violation. The
negative precepts, by leading me to a close self.
examination, impressed me with a deep senseof
my corruption, and convinced me that the au-
thors of them must have possessed a profound
knowledge of the human heart in general, and of
my heart individually.
Who then," said I, were the writers of this



book V" And when I rejected that they were
poor, uneducated mechanics like myself, the ques-
tion immediately presented itself--how could
fishermen, tax-gatherers, and tent-makers, ac-
quire such extraordinary sagacity, penetration,
wisdom, and knowledge 1 Ah!" I exclaimed,
" this is indeed a problem, which can only be
solved by admitting their own assertion, that the
Spirit of God directed their pens, and that all
they wrote was divinely inspired." Such, my
children, was my conclusion after this examina-
tion of the morality laid down in the Gospel.
Thus I recognized the divine origin of the New
Testament, and took my first step toward chris-
When I had once acknowledged the divine ori.
gin of the morality of the Gospel, reason and per-
sonal experience combined to convince me of the
truth and divine source of the dctrines on which
it was founded.
If God inspired the apostles, and enabled them
to give to the world the purest and most perfect
system of morality that can be conceived, is it to
be supposed that in the remainder of their wri-
tings he would leave them to themselves, and
permit error or imposture to be mixed and con-
founded with truth V" No: from the same source
cannot proceed sweet waters and bitter. As the
moral precepts of the Gospel are divinely inspired,

38 CONVERSIOn o0 ('S

so, likewise, must be its doctrines. This iiason-
ing appeared to me incontrovertible, and I received
with full conviction the whole contents *fhe New
Testament, as dictated by the Spirit of truth.
From that time Jesus Christ, his history, his
divine character, his miracles, the end for which
he came into the world, his sufferingsnid death,
attracted and absorbed my whole attention. At
the account of his passion, which, till then, I had
read with indifference, my heart was melted, and
my eyes everflowed with tears. In short, I found
and felt such a suitableness between the wants
of my sinful soul, destitute as it was of all peace
and comfort, and the work which the Saviour had
accomplished by his death on the cross, that I no
longer doubted that the promises of the Gospel
were personally addressed to me. I believed that
Jesus Christ had offered himself a sacrifice for
me, to expiate my sins, and to reconcile me unto
God; and from that moment I have enjoyed an
inward peace, the source of which I believe to
be faith in Christ alone-a peace which the world
can neither give nor take away, and which, as I
myself have frequently experienced, istlone able
to support and strengthen us through all the suf-
ferings and afflictions of life.
In this manner you see how, a sinner and pro-
digal as I was, our heavenly Father met me, and
received me to the arms of his mercy; how he


madMlAnown to me his free grace and heavenly
gift, of which I was utterly unworthy. It is his
grace that has accomplished all in me. He it was
who began, who carried on, and who, I trunwill
perfect this work of salvation.
Without his intervention, that is to say,
out the Slt of his Spirit operating upon my heart,
it never tould have experienced a real conver-
sion. To him also do I ascribe, with gratitude,
my admission into the protestant church, of which
I have now the privilege of being a member-as
I shall proceed to tell you.
Having found, as I have already said, peace
and joy in that word of God which I had receiv-
ed with my whole heart, I immediately felt the
desire and the need of intercourse with gospel
christians; I was convinced that such there were,
because the Saviour had promised that the
powers of hell should never prevail against his
church." But not finding them in the Roman Ca-
tholie church, which presented to me nothing but
a religion of tradition, equally degenerate in doe
trine and worship, I was greatly at a loss where tc
find the real christians for whom I was in search
For the first time in my life the thought oc
curred, Is it possible they may be among the
protestants I But instantly I repelled an idea
which early prejudice had rendered revolting to
me.. In places inhabited exclusively by Roman



Catholics, where the doctrines and worship of
the protestant christians are little known, the
protestant is regarded by most as synony-
tLith heretic, blasphemer, and reprobate.
people generally are imbued with these pre-
ices, which are diligently kept up and dissemi-
atted by some among them, and I myself was at
that time too niuch under their influence to ad*
mit, at once, that the protestants could be the
true christians for whom I was seeking.
Soon, however, the thought returned; and as
I reflected on that declaration of St. Paul, "All
that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer
persecution," 2 Tim. 3 : 12, possibly, said I,
these protestants may be calumniated on the very
ground of their religion being more in accord-
ance with the Gospel. Many other passages of
Scripture presented themselves to my mind,which
led me to believe that this supposition might be
correct. I therefore determined to lose no op.
portunity of clearing my doubts upon this point.
As there were no protestants either in our
town or neighborhood, whom I could consult, 1
determined to write to the only one I knew;
and though but little acquainted with her, I ven-
tured to request that I might be apprised of,
her pastor's next visit, signifying that I was anx-
ions to consult him on a subject of importance.
Either she did not understand my letter, or from


81) PETsR BrAT srm. 41

tome other motive, her answer, though obliging
was not satisfactory onthat point which most
interested me.
I waited patiently for, some time, anad 'plled"
myself diligently to reading and meditating on
the word of God, which had become like neces-
sary food to my soul. In all my prayers I en-
treated the Lord that be would condescend to
direct me to those true christians of whom his
church was composed, and permit me to become
one of their number. I felt a confidence, from
all that I had experienced, that my divine Bene-
factor would grant my request whenever he saw
it good for me this confidence quieted me, but
could not remove my desire to ascertain what
the protestant religion really was.
One day, particularly, this anxiety became
stronger than ever, and degenerated, I acknow-
ledge, into real impatience. I was unhappy at
my lonely and isolated situation, without a friend
to whom I could communicate my dearest inte-
rests; I believe I could have gone a hundred miles
to have found any one who thought and felt as I
did. It was at this moment of perplexity and
weariness, on my return home, at the close of a
day's work, that the thought struck me of con-
sulting my wife, your present motherland I had
a presentiment that through her I should disco.
rer what I so long wished to know.
Vit in Moan. 6


42 OrNYoZvSxo o0r a (82

She is, as you know, a. native of Liboe, and I
remembered haring heard her say that there
ye arotestants residing in that town and neigh-
s When the supper was ended, and we were
seated by the fire, each in our chimney-corner,
she took her work, and I began the conversation
aetrly in the following words:
SAnnette," said I, "have I not heard you say
that there are many protestants in Libos and the
neighborhood 1"
Yes, BayssiPre," she replied, "there are a
great many, but they are a good dealecattered
about the country. They be l*o the church
of Roat Flanquin, where their est or minister
"And-do you know any of them 1I Jve you
ever spoken to them, or beeq;at their houses 1"
S0 yes, I was acquainted with many families;
I knew Mr. and Mr. -, &c. &c. (I sup-
press names.) I have been employed in their
houses, and seen them frequently."
"Well, then, can you tell me what drt of
people they are, and what their characters and
habits "
"0 yet, I can assure you that they are the
best set of people ia the world. Theyd~t es-
teemed, loved, and respected by every one: I
never heard any thing but good of those I knew,







1 ~
- ~ r I


I ~ -`~

PrTrB SBABwIn. 4

and they always appeared to me to conduct
themselves irreproachaOl." n,
I continued to quaslli yoir mother on the
manner in which the protestints brdAght up their
children ; how they treated their servants, stran-
gers, and the poor. I asked if domestic harmony
prevailed among them, and how they conducted
themselves as parents and children, brothers
and sisters.
All her answers tended to convince me that
pious protestants lived under the influence of the
word of God; and at each disclosure she mare,
(though unconscious of the value I attached to
it,) I said to myself, Tis is the morality of the
Satisfied on this point, I turned to another:
How do the protestants spend their Sabbaths
and festivals," I asked, "separated as they are
from each other and their church 1 Do they
ever assemble for prayer, or do they live without
worship 1"
O, no! they don't live without worship;
they have their divine services; they are at too
great a distance from their minister and each
other to meet every Sunday, but they have a
church in the country where they assemble many
times in a year, I believe once a month; and at
other times they meet for prayer at their own



Oh! then they have a church near Libos 1 I
should very much like to know," said I, how
they conduct their worship, and what they do at
their church 1"
"I can tell you perfectly," replied your mo-
ther, "for I was present at one of their assem-
blies. There is nothing grand or striking in their
churches; they contain neither altar, chapel,
images, nor any ornament whatever, but consist
simply of four whitewashed walls. At the lower
end is a pulpit, like that used by our priest, in
frt( t of which is a table, and around it are seats
occupied by the elders. The rest of the church
is- fitted up with benches, placed in order, on
which the congregation seat themselves as they
"I observed that most of them, before they
sat down, leaned upon the back of the seat be-
fore them, and seemed to be in the act of prayer.
Their service was as simple as the building, de-
void of ceremony. When the congregation had
assembled, one of the elders ascended the pul-
pit and prayed aloud in French; then he gave
notice that he was about to read the word of
God; and having requested their attention, he
did read, for some time, from a great book, which
they told me was the Holy Bible. He then offer-
ed prayers, and preached a sermon, which gave
me great pleasure at the time, but which I now


85) r2Ts anYSsERa. TO
forget. t well remember that throughout the
service there was no noise nor disturbance of
any kind in the church, and one feeling seemed
to pervade the whole: this struck me forcibly."
In this description of the protestant worship,
imperfect as it was, I thought I could recognize
those traits of simplicity that characterized the
worship of the primitive christians: and when
your mother had finished, I said to myself, This
is indeed like the worship recorded in the Acts
of the Apostles." But I added, without allowing
her to perceive the extreme satisfaction that *fw
information afforded me, "Is this all you know
of the protestant worship 1 Did you never see
them receive the sacrament V"
Yes, I have," she replied, on that same
day, which was the only time I ever entered
their church."
"Do tell me, then, how was it conducted 1"
"I told you, if you remember, that therenwas
a table in front of the pulpit : this table was their
altar; it was covered with a very white cloth:
in the middle of it were a plate of bread and two
chalices of wine. When the minister had finish-
ed preaching, he took a book, and read from it
some beautiful passages on the communion, suf.
ferings, and death of Christ; he also spoke of
the duty of communicants; then every one
stood up while he prayed: after which he de.


scended from the pulpit, and came in front of
the holy table; he here repeated aloud some
words which I have forgotten, and took a small
piece of bread and ate it ; this dofe, he took the
two cups in his hands, and again saying some-
thing that I did not hear, he drank some of the
wine. The elders then approached the table,
and each received a piece of bread, which they
ate, and drank a little of the wine from the cap
which was presented to them. The rest of the
congregation did the same, the women after the
men; and when all had communicated, the min-
ister re-ascended the pulpit, gave another ex-
hortation, offered a concluding prayer, and clos-
ed the whole by urging upon them the care of
the poor."
"This," thought I, "is indeed the supper of the
Lord !"
The conformity that I had already observed
between the practices of the protestants and
those of the primitive christians, created in me
feeling of joy which I had never before expe-
rienced. I desired, with renewed ardor, to search
to the bottom of their doctrines, and from that
time I anticipated that I might myself become a
decided Protestant. This expectation, my chil-
dren, soon increased into a certainty.
On the tenth of February last, two pamphlets
fell into my hands; one was published by a Ro.



man Catholic priest, and contained an attack on
the protestant religion: the other was an answer,
in defence of that religion, written by a protest-
ant minister: these were the first words of re-
ligious controversy I had ever read, and eagerly
did I devour these two little works. That of the
first (which had been written on the occasion of
a respectable family having recently embraced
the Protestant faith) contained nothing that was
solid, or that I could not have refuted in the very
words of Christ and his Apostles; therefore I did
not dwell upon it. But the second, under the title
of A Letter to .Malanie, was the very thing I want-
ed, and was so anxiously desiring to find-an ex-
position of the protestant creed, or at least of
its most essential points. It taught me that the
Gospel was their only rule of faith, worship, and
conduct: that they admitted all that they found
established by the Holy Scriptures, but rejected
every thing else, and especially prohibited the in-
vocation of saints, the worship of images, of re-
lics, and of the holy Virgin. It taught me that
they worshipped God alone, through Jesus Christ
his Son; that their only hope of salvation was in
his mercy, revealed in the sacrifice of the cross
of Christ; that they recognized no other Media-
tor, no other Advocate, and no other Intercessor
with God, than him who gave himself as such,
and who alone has the right of saying to sinrrs,


"Come unto me and I will give you rest." It
taught me that they believed no more than my>
self in purgatory, in the supremacy of the pope,
or in the real presence, &c. In short, it taught
me that the protestants received and professed
no other than primitive Christianity.
It would be impossible for me to tell you how re
joiced I was to find my most intimate feelings ex-
pressed by a minister of a religion founded on the
Gospel. From this, and from all that your mother
had told me, I clearly saw that the Protestants
were unjustly accused and misrepresented by the
wicked or the ignorant, and that they were in truth
those christians, according to the word of God,
to whom the promises of the Gospel are made.
From that time I acknowledged them as my true
brethren in Christ Jesus, and my chief desire was
to be admitted into their communion.
I clearly foresaw, my children, that by making
an open avowal of my religious principles, and by
publicly declaring myself a Protestant, I should
raise many violent passions against myself, and
expose myself to a thousand trials; but the truth
was dearer to me than life, and conscience spoke
louder than the fear of man. I resolved, therefore,
without hesitation, to confess my Saviour before
men, let the result be what it might, and I imme.
diately wrote to Mr.- the pastor at Nerac, and
thbeauthor of the letter I had read, requesting the



assistance of his experience and kind advice. In
short, after I had been eleven months in corres
pondence with this excellent minister of the
Lord; after I had visited him, in order to acquaint
him more fully with the state of my mind, and to
enjoy the privilege of his instruction; after I had
frequently attended the performance of Protes-
tant worship and their different religious ordinan-
ces; after I had carefully compared these, as well
as their doctrines, with the only standard of truth,
the word of God, and was fully convinced of their
perfect accordance, I no longer saw a motive for
delay, but requested admission, and was received
as a member of the Protestant church.
On the twenty-third of the December following,
I went to N6rac, and on Christmas day, in the
presence of the whole congregation, having, as
I trust, first given my heart unto the Lord, I be-
came publicly united to his saints, and received
the sacred symbols of the body and blood of my
Saviour at the Lord's Supper, and pledged myself
to remain faithful to him till death. I trust that
he will vouchsafe to me his assistance for the ful-
filment of this promise, and manifest his strength
in my weakness.
Thus it was, my beloved children, that I became
a member of the Reformed Church of Christ. I
have now explained to you the circumstances and
motives that have led me to its sanctuary. In the



presence of God I attest the truth of all I have
now written. The ranks of the true church are
not recruited by means of bribery, deceit, fraud,
false miracles, or compulsion t all means are re-
jected but instruction, reason, and persuasion.
This church has been formed, and still exists, not-
withstanding the blows that have been levelled at
it; and it will for ever continue, in spite of all
the rage of hell; sustained by the simple exhibi-
tion of that Gospel which is its only guide and
May it please that God whom I supplicate for
the salvation of all men, and more especially for
the conversion and prosperity of my enemies, to
give his grace to you, my children, that you may
he found among the number of those who shall
be saved. Happy should I be, not only to be
your natural father, but also your spiritual father!
Happy, indeed, should I be, if at that great day,
when we shall appear before God to receive the
sentence of our eternal destiny, I might be able
to present myself and you, without fear, and say,
"Here, Lord, am I, and the children thou hast
given me."
Mntaigst, Dec. 31, 1826.

op A

as aE a~s .


After remaining a close prisoner for some
months in a bookseller's shop, I was liberated,
and taken to the country to be a companion to
a young gentleman who had lately become major.
The moment I entered the parlor where he sat,
he rose up and took me in his hands, expressing
his surprise at the elegance of my dress, which
was scarlet, embroidered with gold. The who.
family seemed greatly pleased with my l
ance; but they would not permit ma to say one
word. After their curiosity was satisfied they
desired me to sit down upon a chair in the corner
of the room. In the evening I was taken up stairs,
and confined in the family prison, called by them
the library Several thousand prisoners were un*
der the e6me sentence, standing in rows around
the room; they had their names written upon
their foreheads, but none of them were allowed
to speak.
We all remained in this silent, inactive posture
for some years. Now and then a stranger was
admitted to see us: these generally wondered at
our number, beauty, and the order in which we


stood; but our young jailor would never allow a
person to touch us, or take us from our cell.
A gentleman came in one morning and spoke
in high commendation of some Arabians and
Turks who stood at my right side; he said they
would afford fine entertainment on a winter even-
4g. Upon this recommendation they were all
discharged from prison, and taken down stairs.
After they had finished their fund of stories, and
had not a word more to say, they were remanded
back to prison, and on, who called himself Don
Quixotte, was set at liberty. This rran, being ex-
tremely witty, afforded fine sport for William,
( that was our proprietor's name.) Indeed,
f onoe than a fortnight he kept the whole
house in. what is called good humor. After
Quixotte had concluded his harangues, William
ohose a "Man of Feeling" for his companion,
who wrought upon his passions in a way which
pleased him vastly. William now began to put a
higher value upon his prisoners, and 1t use them
much more politely. Almost daily he a ld a lit-
tle chit-chat with one prisoner or another. Mr.
Hume related to him the history of England
down to the Revolution, which he interspersed
with a number of anecdotes about Germany,
France, Italy, and various other kingdoms. Dr.
Robertson then described the state of South
America when first discovered, and related the

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