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with less attention than formerly, for he had begun to think himself a young man of some importance, quite competent to think and judge for himself, without her assistance ; that she was a kind and good mother, but did not know so much about the customs of the city and what was most becoming a young man in his situation, as he did himself.

About this time he fell in with some infidel writings. He at first hesitated whether to read them; but as he had attended the infidel meetings once or twice without experiencing any hárm, he thought there could be no danger in just seeing what they have to say, especially as it was his principle to examine all sides. He first read ; then doubted; then began to be more wise than all his teachers; and at length slid quite over into the yawning gulf! His seat in the church, at first only occasionally deserted, was at length quite forsaken.

He was now prepared for more desperate steps. For certain irregularities and vices, he lost his place of employment; and all know how difficult it is for a young man to obtain a second place, when he has lost the first by improper conduct. He at length succeeded in finding employment, but it was not such as he had lost. It was a much humbler and more menial condition, to which he found himself reduced. His ambition was broken down; he was mortified and discouraged. This subjected him still more to the power of the baser motives.



To these he continued to yield more and more ; losing of course what remained of self-respect, and falling under those severe lashes of self-reproach which, if they do not bring to repentance, drive to more desperate lengths in sin.

I will not detail the sad particulars respecting his subsequent course for four or five years. After several fruitless attempts to retrieve his circumstances, he changed his place of residence, hoping to do better. But his character and his habits went with him. For five years he did not write a single letter to his parents, and according to his statement they did not even know where he

was ;

although they were most of the time only about a hundred and fifty miles distant. But he had determined that neither they nor any of his former acquaintances, should know where he was, or what he was doing

He attempted to play upon the stage, but could not succeed. He even undertook to be a juggler, but soon found it quite out of his province. He gambled some; but usually lost when he had anything to lose. How he obtained the means of subsistence during those years of profligacy, they can tell who are acquainted with that manner of life better than I can. He wandered from place to place, prodigal, reckless, forlorn, rapidly wasting his health, till he at length came to the condition in which I first saw him.

One day an individual came to me and said, • There is a young man at my house, whom I am desirous to have you visit. We took him in some three or four weeks since, out of charity; for he is destitute, homeless, and sick, although he is a young man of respectable manners, and appears to have seen better days. But we cannot get much out of him. He does not incline to talk. The physician thinks that he is in a fixed and rapid consumption. He has a wasting cough, with night-sweats — seems to be very much dejected says but little — and is at times apparently in very great distress of mind. I asked him if he was willing to see a clergyman or some other Christian friend. He at first refused ; but has since consented.'

I of course, took an early opportunity to visit him, and found his condition even worse than had been represented. A wan, ghastiy countenance, sunken eye, a hollow voice, as from the tomb, an expression of intolerable anxiety upon his countenance-everything indicating extreme wretchedness and an opening grave. He was at first disinclined to converse ; he seemed to be shut up within himself, and no efforts could draw him forth. I addressed a few words to him, such as I thought best calculated to lead his thoughts to the Saviour, and with his permission offered a short prayer. On retiring I asked him if he would like to have me call again. He assented.





Soon after I renewed the visit. He was lying in bed, and had just recovered from a severe paroxysm of coughing. After a few moments he beckoned me to him, and with a low voice said he should like to see me alone a few moments. The nurse and lady of the house who were present, left the

When we were alone he fixed his eye upon me in silence for a moment. There seemed to be a conflict in his mind whether to speak or refrain. At length his struggling spirit burst its enclosure, and he began to tell something of his history.

'He was now in his twenty-sixth year. For nearly five years he had been, as he supposed, a confirmed infidel. He had become an alien from his parents - they did not even know where he was, nor was he willing to have them. He felt that he had ruined himself. He saw clearly where the work of ruin commenced; it was in his resisting his early convictions of truth and duty. His father was not a pious man; but his mother was pious, and he had no doubt she had wept rivers of tears over him.'

After a gush 'of emotion, which for a moment suspended his utterance, he proceeded. “It was not infidelity that ruined him; the procuring cause of his ruin lay farther back. He was virtually ruined before he became an avowed infidel. It was his resisting the admonitions of God and the striving of his Spirit, that made him an infidel;

but his infidelity had served to precipitate him into more open and desperate iniquities. Since he had embraced infidelity, he had committed vices at which his earlier youth would have shuddered fraud, gambling, drunkenness, seduction; he had led others into the same vices.'

But these,' continued he, are only the warts and excrescences of my ruined character; the ruin itself lies deep in the soul, and the misery with which it is overtaken here is only premonitory of the everlasting misery which awaits it beyond the grave. For several years I have tried to disbelieve the Bible. I have slicceeded. I have been a confirmed in fidel. More than that — I have been an atheist. I used to hear it said that no man can be a real atheist; but I know to the contrary. I have been an atheist. I have perfectly and fatally succeeded in becoming given over to a strong delusion to believe a lie that I might be damned, because I obeyed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But I am no longer an atheist. I am convinced that there is a God. I feel - I know that I am an accountable being, and that a righteous judgment awaits me in eternity.'

After a moment's rest, his countenance gathering more intensity of expression, he added, with increased energy, 'But the most terrible thing to reflect upon is that I have not only ruined myself, but have been the cause of leading others to ruin.

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