’One Sunday morning, after I had said my prayers, I felt particularly joyous. I thought of the innocent and virtuous life I was leading; and when the recollection of the sin intruded for a moment, said, “I am sure God will never utterly cast away so good a creature as myself.” I went to church, and was as usual attentive. The subject of the sermon was on the duty of searching the Scriptures: all I knew of them was from the liturgy. I now, however, determined to read them, and perfect the good work which I had begun. My father’s Bible was upon the shelf, and on that evening I took it with me to my chamber. I placed it on the table, and sat down. My heart was filled with pleasing anticipation. I opened the book at random, and began to read; the first passage on which my eyes lighted was the following:—
’"He who committeth the sin against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven, either in this world or the next."’
Here Peter was seized with convulsive tremors. Winifred sobbed violently. I got up, and went away. Returning in about a quarter of an hour, I found him more calm; he motioned me to sit down; and, after a short pause, continued his narration.
Hasty farewell—Lofty rock—Wrestlings of Jacob—No rest—Ways of Providence—Two females—Foot of the Cross—Enemy of souls—Perplexed—Lucky hour—Valetudinarian—Methodists—Fervent in prayer—You Saxons—Weak creatures—Very agreeable—Almost happy—Kindness and solicitude.
’Where was I, young man? Oh, I remember, at the fatal passage which removed all hope. I will not dwell on what I felt. I closed my eyes, and wished that I might be dreaming; but it was no dream, but a terrific reality: I will not dwell on that period, I should only shock you. I could not bear my feelings; so, bidding my friends a hasty farewell, I abandoned myself to horror and despair, and ran wild through Wales, climbing mountains and wading streams.
’Climbing mountains and wading streams, I ran wild about, I was burnt by the sun, drenched by the rain, and had frequently at night no other covering than the sky, or the humid roof of some cave; but nothing seemed to affect my constitution; probably the fire which burned within me counteracted what I suffered from without. During the space of three years I scarcely knew what befell me; my life was a dream—a wild, horrible dream; more than once I believe I was in the hands of robbers, and once in the hands of gypsies. I liked the last description of people least of all; I could not abide their yellow faces, or their ceaseless clabber. Escaping from these beings, whose countenances and godless discourse brought to my mind the demons of the deep Unknown, I still ran wild through Wales, I know not how long. On one occasion, coming in some degree to my recollection, I felt myself quite unable to bear the horrors of