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thority of scripture by evincing the truth of the declaration,-"If any man will live Godly in Christ Jesus, he shall suffer persecution." We need not be surprised, therefore, that Dr. Payson should have been wickedly assailed in his character, as a preacher of a kindred spirit was assailed before him. It is related of Richard Baxter, that when he was shaking the strong holds of error and iniquity at Kidderminster, a drunken slanderer reported concerning him, that he had been seen under a tree with a profligate woman, and thus he was made the song of the drunkards." But the defamer, being brought into court, was obliged to explain, that he had only seen Mr. Baxter, on a rainy day, on horseback under an oak, which grew in a hedge, while a woman was standing for shelter on the other side of the hedge.-A still heavier charge had been brought against one of his predecessors at Kidderminster, the Rev. John Cross. A wicked woman had been hired to bring the charge; but Mr. Cross, at her examination, placed himself amongst the magistrates, dressed as they were; and when she was asked, if one of them was the man, she looked at them and said, No; and thus her malice was defeated.
A wicked woman once brought against Dr. Payson an accusation under circumstances, which seemed to render it impossible that he should escape. She was in the same packet, in which, many months before, he had gone to Boston. For a time, it seemed almost certain that his character would be ruined. He was cut off from all resource, except the throne of grace. He felt, that his only help was in God; and to him he addressed his fervent prayer. He was heard by the Defender of the innocent. A compunctious visiting' induced the wretched woman to confess, that the whole was a malicious slander.
He was such a "terror to evil doers," that they seemed bent on destroying his reputation; and multiplied their malicious slanders, till they ceased to gain any credence even with the vilest. "It can't be true"-said an opposer, respecting a base calumny of Dr. Payson. "No" said another, "but I would give dollars, if it were." When these cruel and malicious designs upon his character proved abortive, their enmity manifested itself in other forms. He once alludes to this opposition in his letters.
It was in a year eminently distinguished by God's blessing on his labors.
July 4, 1816.
"Enemies rage most terribly. You have probably seen in the papers an account of the attempt to burn our meeting-house. We have not discovered the author; but there is no doubt thatare at the bottom of it. It was little less than a miracle, that the house was not burnt, with many others. Never, since I have been here, has the enmity of the heart been permitted to rage, as it does now. Every one, except my own people, seems ready to curse me; and I am weary of living in continual strife!"
The good man, at length, found rest from this strife. He came out of every trial untarnished—yea, the brighter for the ordeal. No charge could be sustained against him, but such as was urged against the prophet in Babylon; and the ultimate issue was not, perhaps, essentially different. It was, increased respect for him, and veneration for his God.
Further particulars relating to his personal history, and religious exercises, in connection with his pastoral labors and their results.
Ir was not thought desirable to interrupt a description of "the pastor in action," by frequent references to dates; or to pay any special regard to chronological order in a rehearsal of scenes and employments, which were more or less common to every year of his ministry. In this chapter, however, that order is resumed for the purpose of continuing the history of his religious experience through the various occurrences and vicissitudes of his life. The particulars will be given almost entirely in his own language, and in insulated extracts, which will be found, however, to possess the principal advantages of a connected narrative, besides several others, which no second-hand statements could secure. They were sketched at the time, and have the vividness of first impressions in view of truths and facts, as they were successively brought under notice, while the circumstances in which they were penned are a sufficient guarantee of their accuracy. The articles of intelligence and modes of elucidating and enforcing truth, which are interspersed, will enhance their value; while they will enable the reader to view the subject of this memoir in a greater variety of attitudes, and to learn his exercises and feelings in numerous circumstances-in prosperity, and under the rod; when borne along on the full tide of success, and when thwarted at every step; when religion was triumphant, and when "the ways of Zion mourned,"
"MY DEAR MOTHER,
"Portland, June 14, 1813.
"We arrived here last Friday, in safety, and found every thing had been preserved by our Merciful Protector.
We very soon had reason to acknowledge how much his protection is superior to ours; for the very night after our return, our garden was laid waste.
"For a few days after my return I was exceedingly unwell, and there seemed less prospect of my continuing in the ministry than ever. In addition, I was more severely exercised with spiritual trials, than I have been for two years past; so that the five days succeeding my return were, perhaps, as dark, as any five days that I ever experienced. But now, blessed be God, the scene has wonderfully changed. For three days, I have felt something more like health, than I have enjoyed for years; something of that spring and elasticity of spirit, which used to render life tolerable, and exertion pleasant. How long it will continue, I know not. It seems too good to last. I see, however, already, that if the burden of sickness is to be removed, some other burden, perhaps a worse one must be imposed in its place. I am ready to run wild with the pleasure of not feeling pain; though even now, I am not altogether free from it.-If my health should be restored, I shall consider it as little less than a miracle; and shall feel as if your deafness may be removed. Indeed, I think it will strengthen my faith, as much as it will my body. It will also remove some spiritual difficulties and doubts, which have been a terrible hindrance to me in my race, and given unbelief more advantage over me, than all other things united.-But how I ramble !
"We have little encouraging of a religious nature, though the church are, I believe, much engaged. They ought to be; for I find that "Portland Christians" have, at least, a name to live at the westward; a better name, Í fear, than they will ere long deserve, even if they merit it now."
Sept. 12, 1814.
"I engaged to go on a mission, if my people would consent; but they will not hear of it. The church would consent, but the parish will not. You will learn from the newspapers, that we are in a state of alarm here, or I should say nothing of it. Ever since our return, the streets have been filled with wagons, &c. carrying goods out of town, and the alarm continues and increases.
had hoped to have a quiet Sabbath, yesterday; but in the morning, the Chairman of the committee of public safety called and informed me, that the Committee had issued a handbill, requiring all the male citizens to work, through the day, on the fortifications, and stating that the usual religious services of the day must be dispensed with. With this order our church absolutely refused to comply, and we had divine service both parts of the day, as usual, and a considerably large congregation. This morning, all is bustle and confusion through the town. We have sent a few things to Gorham; and, in case of an attack, we can pack into the chaise and follow. You have no reason to entertain the smallest fears for our personal safety. In ten minutes, after an alarm is given, we can be safe out of town.-The church seem to feel in some measure, as I could wish. Strong confidence in God, mingled with a deep sense of ill-desert and submission to his will, is displayed by them. They have a prayer meeting, every evening; and, next Thursday, if circumstances permit, we are to have a fast. At our house, all is still and quiet. We hear little of the noise, and have slept undisturbed every night, till the last.-I cannot think we are in much danger. Not that great dependance is to be placed in our means of defence; but I cannot think God means to destroy this place. We needed something to rouse us, and to remind us that we were engaged in war, and to excite us to pray for the removal of God's judgments; and this effect the alarm has, I trust, produced. It tends powerfully to wean us from the world; so that, thus far, it has been a mercy."
"Nov. 14, 1814.
"We are going on as well as can be expected. L. is well; little L. better than for a year past; my own health slowly, but gradually, improving. Our souls, too, I hope, are not quite so far from prospering and being in health, as they have been; the church are reviving, and there are many hopeful appearances in the parish. But the best of all is, that we seem to be waking up in this part of the country, as well as in others, to the state of public morals. Delegates from nineteen towns in this vicinity met in this town, last week, and adopted a number of