The preacher noticed, in the second place, the nature of this change. It was spiritual, not physical,—a “revolution” (!) of the mind, rather than a mere change of opinion or of outward deportment. The third observation related to the evidence of the change. Its existence might be ascertained by our own experience, and by the Word of God. The former was not to be trusted without a reference to the latter. This change destroyed the love of the world. It led man to abandon his favourite sins, and to live and labour to do good. It also created in him new desires and enjoyments. These topics were variously and suitably illustrated, and the whole was a very good sermon on the subject.
At the close the man on the right offered an appropriate prayer. The pastor then made several announcements; among them, that a meeting to pray for the success of Sabbath-schools would be held on the morrow evening. In connection with that announcement, he said: “I am a very plain man, and my God is a very plain God. He is so in all his dealings with men. He always acts on the plain common-sense principle, that, if a favour is worth bestowing, it is worth asking for.” He also intimated that there would be a Church-meeting immediately after the service, preparatory to the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper in the afternoon, inviting at the same time any members of other Baptist Churches who might be present to participate with them in that privilege. This form of invitation led me to understand that they were “close communionists;” and such I have ascertained to be the case, not only with them, but also with all the regular Baptists in America. The influence of Robert Hall and others was not felt so powerfully on that side of the Atlantic as on this. I suppose that, while this worthy pastor would have freely admitted to the Lord’s Supper any immersed slave-holder, he would have sternly refused that privilege to me—a sprinkled missionary from a distant land. You will readily believe, however, that the anti-slavery missionary—the pastor of a large congregation of black and coloured people—was not very ambitious of Christian fellowship with slave-holders.
Interview with a Baptist Minister—Conversation with a Young Man in the Baptist Church—The Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Scott again—A Peep at the House of Representatives of Louisiana—Contrast between the French and the Americans in the Treatment of their Slaves—Dinner Table in New Orleans—American Manners.
The decided part acted by the Baptist missionaries in the British Colonies, in reference to slavery, made me anxious to know the whereabouts of the Baptist minister in New Orleans on that subject; and I therefore visited his place of worship again in the afternoon. They were engaged in celebrating the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper. A very clean and neatly-dressed black woman was standing in the portico, looking in,