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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,
the new object of bis choice, which must have stung her like a scorpion whenever the recollection
Yet, wisely fearful, for th’ event prepare,
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
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,
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