On the twenty-third of the December following, I went to Nerac, and on Christmas day, in the presence of the whole congregation, having, as I trust, first given my heart unto the Lord, I became publicly united to his saints, and received the sacred symbols of the body and blood of my Saviour at the Lord’s Supper, and pledged myself to remain faithful to him till death. I trust that he will vouchsafe to me his assistance for the fulfilment of this promise, and manifest his strength in my weakness.
Thus it was, my beloved children, that I became a member of the Reformed Church of Christ. I have now explained to you the circumstances and motives that have led me to its sanctuary. In the presence of God I attest the truth of all I have now written. The ranks of the true church are not recruited by means of bribery, deceit, fraud, false miracles, or compulsion; all means are rejected but instruction, reason, and persuasion. This church has been formed, and still exists, notwithstanding the blows that have been levelled at it; and it will for ever continue, in spite of all the rage of hell; sustained by the simple exhibition of that Gospel which is its only guide and support.
May it please that God whom I supplicate for the salvation of all men, and more especially for the conversion and prosperity of my enemies, to give his grace to you, my children, that you may be found among the number of those who shall be saved. Happy should I be, not only to be your natural father, but also your spiritual father! Happy, indeed, should I be, if at that great day, when we shall appear before God to receive the sentence of our eternal destiny, I might be able to present myself and you, without fear, and say, “Here, Lord, am I, and the children thou hast given me.”
Montaigut, Dec. 31, 1826.
HISTORY OF A BIBLE.
After remaining a close prisoner for some months in a bookseller’s shop, I was liberated, and taken to the country to be a companion to a young gentleman who had lately become major. The moment I entered the parlour where he sat, he rose up and took me in his hands, expressing his surprise at the elegance of my dress, which was scarlet, embroidered with gold. The whole family seemed greatly pleased with my appearance; but they would not permit me to say one word. After their curiosity was satisfied they desired me to sit down upon a chair in the corner of the room. In the evening I was taken up stairs, and confined in the family prison, called by them the library. Several thousand prisoners were under the same sentence, standing in rows around the room; they had their names written upon their foreheads, but none of them were allowed to speak.
We all remained in this silent, inactive posture for some years. Now and then a stranger was admitted to see us: these generally wondered at our number, beauty, and the order in which we stood; but our young jailor would never allow a person to touch us, or take us from our cell.