Page images

prisoners of war. I thought that I would not retreat far, but turn aside to a house near by, and hide myself there; but no sooner than entered the door, the woman who belonged to the house informed me, that she saw thro' the window an officer near the house. I discovered that he was an enemy, but I had not time to hide myself from him. I immediately threw off iny uniform coat, as I thought on a table, and threw some citizen's clothes (which lay by) over it, that it might not be seen. Having ridded myself, as I thought of my military marks, I took a small child in my arms and seated myself very demurely in a chair, assuming the place of a father. The officer soon came in and saw me affecting all the disinterestedness of a common citizen and my parental pretensions without mistrusting me to be any thing more, than the man of the house. After a little conversation he stepped to the table-moved a garment and discovered my coat; he seemed immediately apprised of all my intrigue, and demanded my surrender to him as his lawful prisoner of war. But so it was, (as I thought) at that moment I discovered a musket standing by, which I instantly seized,and demanded that he should surrender to me; looking him in the face at the same time with sternness, I threatened that if he should move one inch from his tracks without my consent, that I would blow him through.

He immediately put both hands behind hinı and advanced towards me,

whilst his countenance assumed the boldness of the sun and the beauty of an angel. He had no weapons himself, and he took mine from me.

When I saw the man as he was, I was overcome with his loveliness. I awoke with a sense that I was found not by my enemy, but by the best of all friends.

Several times within a few days, I imagined in the vision of the night, that I had deserted the army; and being taken I received nothing in return but forgiveness and love.-It was true that I had long been at war with the truth, and was about to be received and taken, by my best friend. I had many times hid my dress with the covering of others, whilst í ignominiously treated Christ with affection, and denied him with conviction in my own heart.

Though I was unusually visited by the visions of the night, my dreams were so very uncommon, they only left a singular impression on my mind, without my being able to put any meaning to them at ihe time. I reflected much on the condition of my soul, and the duty I owed to God; I felt an impression that something was about to take place which would very especially concern me, but what I could not tell.

At this time evening meetings were frequent in the neighborhood, and the mind of the people seemed inclined to attend; accorlingly, my wife asked me one evening if I would go to the conference with her. Jreplied,

that I was willing to assist her in getting to the place, but that I should not feel disposed to tarry there myself. I urged as a reason why I should not feel willing to tarry, that I was much fatigued with the labors of the day. That I was much fatigued was very true; but my principal reason why I would not tarry was, I had been informed that there were some prospects of a reformation in the place, and as I had seen religious commotions end, as they most always do, in disputes and contentions—a disgrace to the cause of God as well as civil community, I felt resolved in my own mind, that I would not have any thing to do with it.

My wife did not concede to go on such conditions as I proposed, so we both tarried at home. But as it is written, (Job xxxiii, 15, 16,)" In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men in slumbering upon the bed, then he openeth the ears of men and sealeth their instruction." So it was, the Lord shewed me in the vision of the night by a similitude all that which took place for four years to come.

I first found myself in my dream) on my knees,earnestly supplicating the Lord for

myself and others; my hands were raised heaven-ward, and my tears ran down to the ground. When I rose from the ground I discovered myself to be in an open and extensive field. The place seemed only to afford a gloomy aspect, with barrenness as far as my eyes could discover. Whilst I was looking round upon

the wide extended plain, I discovered several persons not far from me, these I solicited to journey with me, but they made no reply, but accompanied me without saying a word. When we had travelled a considerable distance I discovered that we were entering through the breach of a stone wall into a garden. When we had come within the walī

, my mind was led to notice the place. There seemed sometime to have been a piece of ground enclosed with a beautiful stone wall, built in the most elegant manner; the place was beautifully situated and it appeared that in a former day no expense had been wanting to make the place agreeable. Though there was no dwelling-house, nor any human residence to be seen; yet, the place appeared to have been a place where à nobleman had chosen to fix his residence for life. The selection of fruits and flowers, and the manner in which the place had been economised, all betrayed evident marks of its former grandeur. It appeared as if it had been a garden beautifully dressed-properly designed for retirement and delight.

The ground appeared as if it had been laid out in long alleys, forming right angles, with uniform beds on all sides, with earthen flower-pots in every corner. peared to have been made for beauty and admiration, with everything delightful and pleasant to the eye, and good for food. But

All ap

while every thing was in a state of the highest cultivation, and in midsummer bloom, it

appeared that untimely frost had brought all things to the ground ; and not only so, but the wall was broken down on all sides. The destroyers' went in and out at their pleasure, the flower-pots were broken in pieces, and all seemed now given over to destruction, being eaten up, and trodden under foot.

A vine that stood in the midst of the garden, attracted my attention next. This vine was very high extending upwards further than my eyes could possibly see. As to the vine of itself, it had not received the loss of a single branch, though its leaves had fallen off and łay on the ground in great abundance. I remarked to my companions that there was the appearance of fruit about the vine, and that it had probably borne fruit that season. Concluding that the fruit would be the first that would fall to the ground, I put about removing the leaves, and found ihat there was much fruit, but it appeared to be rotten, all but the heart, so that when the outside was separated from the inside a part was palatable. When I had made many remarks to my fellow travellers we passed through to the other side of the garden, and left the once delightful but now melancholy looking region.

I had not proceeded far when I came to a beautiful brook. It appeared to be about three feet from side to side-the water was clear as a crystal and made its way over a

« PreviousContinue »