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prepossessing, to those who did not see beneath the surface of such things.

Wesley was much attached to him; he thought him humble and teachable, and in all manner of conversation holy and unblameable. There were indeed parts of his conduct which might have led a wary man to suspect either his sanity or his sincerity ; but the tutor was too sincere himself, and too enthusiastic, to entertain the suspicion which some of his extravagancies might justly have excited. He considered them as “ starts of thought which were not of God, though they at first appeared to be ;”, and was satisfied, because the young man " was easily convinced, and his imaginations died

away." Samuel formed a truer judgement. “ I never liked the man,” says he, “ from the first time I saw him. His smoothness never suited my roughness. He appeared always to dread me as a wit and a jester : this with me is a sure sign of guilt and hypocrisy. He never could meet my eye in full light. Conscious that there was something foul at bottom, he was afraid I should see it, if I looked keenly into his eye." John, however, took him to his bosom. He became a visitor at Epworth, won the affections of the youngest sister Kezia, obtained her promise to marry him, fixed the day, and then, and not till then, communicated the matter to her brother and her parents, affirming vehemently that “ the thing was of God; that he was certain it was God's will; God had revealed to him that he must marry, and that Kezia was the very person.” Enthusiastic as Wesley himself was, the declaration startled him, and the more so, because nothing could be more opposite to some of Hall's former extravagancies. Writing to him many years afterwards, when he had thrown off all restraints of outward decency, he says, “ Hence I date your fall. Here were several faults in one. You leaned altogether to your own understanding, not consulting either me, who was then the guide of your soul, or the parents of your intended wife, till you had settled the whole affair. And while you followed the voice of Nature, you said it was the voice of God.”

In spite, however, of the ominous fanaticism or impudent hypocrisy which Mr. Hall had manifested, neither Wesley nor the parents attempted to oppose the match: it was an advantageous one, and the girl's affections were too deeply engaged. But to the utter astonishment of all parties, in the course of a few days, Mr. Hall changed his mind, and pretending, with blasphemous effrontery, that the Almighty had changed His, declared that a second revelation had countermanded the first, and instructed him to marry not her, but her sister Martha. The family, and especially the brothers, opposed this infamous proposal with proper indignation ; and Charles addressed a poem * to

* TO MISS MARTHA WESLEY.

When want, and pain, and death, besiege our gate,
And every solemn moment teems with fate,
While clouds and darkness fill the space between,
Perplex th' event, and shade the folded scene,
In humble silence wait th' unuttered voice,
Suspend thy will, and check thy forward choice;

the new object of bis choice, which must have stung her like a scorpion whenever the recollection

Yet, wisely fearful, for th’ event prepare,
And learn the dictates of a brother's care.
How fierce thy conflict, how severe thy flight !
When hell assails the foremost sons of light !
When he, who long in virtue's paths had trod,
Deaf to the voice of conscience and of God,
Drops the fair mask, proves traitor to his vow,
And thou the temptress, and the tempted thou !
Prepare thee then to meet th’infernal war,
And dare beyond what woman knows to dare;
Guard each avenue to thy fluttring heart,
And act the sister's and the Christian's part.
Heav'n is the guard of virtue; scorn to yield,
When screen’d by Heav’n’s impenetrable shield:
Secure in this, defy th' impending storm,
Tho' Satan tempt thee in an angel's form.
And oh! I see the fiery trial near :
I see the saint, in all his forms, appear !
By nature, by religion taught to please,
With conquest flush'd, and obstinate to press,
He lists his virtues in the cause of hell,
Heav'n, with celestial' arms, presumes t'assail,
To veil, with semblance fair, the fiend within,
And make his God subservient to his sin !
Trembling, I hear his horrid vows renew'd,
I see him come, by Delia's groans pursued;
Poor injur'd Delia ! all her groans are vain !
Or he denies, or list’ning, mocks her pain,
What tho' her eyes with ceaseless tears o'erflow,
Her bosom heave with agonising woe!
What tho' the horror of his falsehood near,
Tear up her faith, and plunge her in despair !
Yet, can he think (so blind to Heav'n's decree,
And the sure fate of cursed apostacy)
Soon as he tells the secret of his breast;
And puts the angel off, and stands confess'd;
When love, and grief, and shame, and anguish meet,
To make his crimes and Delia's wrongs complete,
That then the injur'd maid will cease to grieve,
Behold him in a sister's arms -- and live ?
Mistaken wretch ! by thy unkindness-hurl'd
From ease, from love, from thee, and from the world,

all

of its just severity recurred to her in after-life. But these remonstrances were of no avail, for Hall had won her affections also.

“ This last error,' says Wesley, was far worse than the first.

But you was now quite above conviction. So, in spite of her poor astonished parent, of her brothers, of

your vows and promises, you jilted the younger and married the elder sister. The other, who had honoured you as an angel from heaven, and still loved you much too well, (for you had stolen her heart from the God of her youth,) refused to be comforted : she fell into a lingering illness, which terminated in her death. And doth not her blood still cry unto God from the earth ? Surely it is upon

your head.”

Mr. Wesley died before the marriage : it is not to be believed that, under such circumstances, he

Soon must she land on that immortal shore,
Where falsehood never can torment her more;
There all her suff'rings, all her sorrows cease,
Nor saints turn devils there to vex her peace,
Yet hope not then, all specious as thou art,
To taint, with impious vows, her sister's heart;
With proffer'd worlds her honest soul to move,
Or tempt her virtue to incestuous love.
No! wert thou as thou wast! did Heav'n's first rays
Beam on thy soul, and all the godhead blaze !
Sooner shall sweet oblivion set us free
From friendship, love, thy perfidy and thee:
Sooner shall light in league with darkness join,
Virtue and vice, and heav'n and hell combine,
Than her pure soul consent to mix with thine;
To share thy sin, adopt thy perjury,
And damn herself to be reveng'd on thee;
To load her conscience with a sister's blood,
The guilt of incest, and the curse of God !”.

}

would ever have consented to it; and it is possible that his strong and solemn prohibition might have deterred his daughter from so criminal an union. Samuel observed bitterly of this fatal connection : I am sure I may well say of that marriage, it will not, cannot come to good.” And he proposed that Kezia should live with him, in the hope that it might save her from “ discontent perhaps, or from a worse passion.” But, like most of her family, this injured girl possessed a lofty spirit. She subdued her resentment, and submitted with so much apparent resignation to the wrong which she had received, that she accompanied the foul hypocrite and his wife to his curacy. But it consumed her by the slow operation of a settled grief. Charles thus describes her welcome release in a letter to John : “ Yesterday morning sister Kezzy died in the Lord Jesus. He finished his work, and cut it short in mercy.

mercy. Full of thankfulness, resignation, and love, without pain or trouble, she commended her spirit into the hands of Jesus, and fell asleep.”

Till this time John Wesley believed that Mr. Hall was, “ without all question, filled with faith and the love of God, so that in all England,” he said, “ he knew not his fellow.” He thought him a pattern of lowliness, meekness, seriousness, and > continual advertence to the presence of God, and,

above all, of self-denial in every kind, and of suffering all things with joyfulness. “ But now," he says, “ there was a worm at the root of the gourd.” For about two years after his marriage there was no apparent change in his conduct; his wife then

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