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promise to make workmen, that need not be ashamed. Yet at times, I think I have observed a very indiscreet zeal, in some of them, when they have said so many hard things, of what they called salary men, and hirelings, and they have carried their zeal so far as to say, they did not preach for money ; we make the gospel free.” Their meaning, in most instances, was probably good, but it was certainly ill timed, and ill directed.
There may be hirelings among those against whom this cry is raised; and there may be also such among those who raise it. It is certain there are good and faithful ministers on both sides, and it always grieves me to hear uncharitable censures from either. The head of your own sect has said, that “the barely taking hire does not denominate a man a hireling, but the working for the sake of the hire;" for adds he,“ St. Paul has said, a laborer is worthy of his bire.”
Mr. Ashton remarked, I have also noticed, that your denomination, addressing himself to Charles, has in its congregations a number of disaffected persons ; many of whom, have gone over to you, for no other reason than to avoid paying ministerial taxes; and it is not to be expected, such will bestow much for the support of the mivistry, under a system possessing so little energy as that of occasional contribution. Though I am far from supposing, that these men form the character of your denomination ; because I do not hesitate to believe, they have their proportion of good men and respectable ministers. And other denominations have more bad men, than they know how to manage ; although some of them may have fewer of such as have been just named.
I find, said the Gen. there are difficulties in regard to the support of the ministry among all denominations ; and yours, as well as the best of systems formed for that purpose, is liable to abuse. Where contributions alone are resorted to, the evils which our friend has named will be generally found to exist; hence it is the least productive of the end designed. But there are some exceptions to this, for in several congregations where I have the pleasure to be acquainted, this method is resorted to with ample success. And on the other hand, taxations have been abused to purposes of oppression; and the conscientious dissenter has sometimes been imorisoned, or had his property exposed to public sale, because he refused to pay where he did not choose to hear.
I am highly gratified, said Mr. Ashton, with this friendly conversation. How much more agreeable are such interviews, than those which serve no other purpose, than to generate and carry on bigoted, angry disputes. Candor will discover defects among ourselves, as well as among others; and the same candor will prevent the attempt of concealing our own, and uncharitably uncovering those of our brethren. In this imperfect state, defects are always likely to exist; and different denominations may conscientiously adhere to their own systems, notwithstanding the defects which exist among them ; because they may judge them less evils, than those of their brethren ; but they ought in such a choice not to fall on each other without mercy ; especially, while they can neither deny their owo fallibility nor conceal their imperfections. A charitable and tender method of treating each other, becomes those who profess to worship the same God, and hope to enjoy the same incorruptible inheritance.
The next morning the Gen. set off on his way home; but not till he had obtained a promise, that Mr. P. and his lady should accompany Charles on a visit to his house in September. The season of the year, said he, will then be fine and agreeable, and my farm is stored with a great variety of the richest fruits of this climate, which will then be ripe and regaling to the appetite.
After he was gone, Charles expressed a wish to see the town. Mr. P. observed, he was under engagements that day, but if he would wait till to-morrow he would bear him company. Charles replied, he had been several days in sight of the metropolis, and having never been in it since his remembrance, and having heard so much concerning it, he knew not how to restrain his curiosity for another day.
Being a stranger, said Mr. P. you will need some one to guide you; I will therefore send a servant with my horse and chaise, who will conduct you in, and afford you 'any assistance desired in walking about the town.
Charles was soon in the place he had so much desired to see. And though on his way thither, there might have been seen fine gardens, trees bending beneath their fruit, fields covered with luxuriant grain, meadows smiling with grass and flowers, and country seats shaded with the weeping willow, spiry poplar, or branching elm ; yet so stedfastly did he gaze on spires and cupolas, and a wilderness of chimneys, that he hardly knew but all was a desert as he passed.
Soon Billy, the servant, cried out, see dare Magsa, what a bridge dare be. But he had no eyes nor ears for any thing but the town. The servant drove on straight to the place where his master usually put up, and Charles getting out of the carriage prepared himself for a delightful walk. This is the metropolis, said he to himself, as he stepped on to the pavement ; at the same time sending his eyes along the street to spy out what was rare, beautiful, and grand. But they had not gone ten rods before a crook in the street brought them up. He turned the other way but met with the same disaster ; he walked into a number of streets and found them as diversified in their shape and direction as the letters of the alphabet, or as the figures of the mathematician. I wish to know, said he, if the town was laid out by a cross-eyed surveyor ; or whether the dispositions and dealings of the inhabitants are as crooked and ill directed, as their streets. It was not long, before he found himself under the necessity of stuffing into a close corner, to prevent having his legs broken by the axle, or being crushed to death with the wheel ; here he stood trembling, while a dozen bawling trucknen drove with a thundering noise and careless burry, through a narrow passage, and over a broken, muddy pavement.
He at length crept out of his retreat unhurt, and sometimes leaping like a man at the Olympic games, and at others almost disjointing bis hips, by long strides, to escape the mud ; he went on to take a further look of the town. Coming to a place which had a narrow side-walk, stolen out of a stinted street, he began to feel himself a little more safe from the attack of carts. But meeting soon with a sturdy fop who refusing to give him bis nine inches of the side walk, he was reduced to the alternative of contending for a part of that, which admitted of no division or of taking a leap into the mud. He chose the latter, and recovering again the covetous footway, he walked on some time unmo
lested ; till at length getting a little off his guard, he run foul of a man bound in an opposite direction. This, said Charles to himself, is a good lesson to me, I shall often run myself into difficulty, in passing through the world, unless I keep a good look-out, edge a little, step a little out of my course, and yield to the pushes of others as they pass.
He had scarcely done with these thoughts, before he saw another coming full in his face ; stepping aside to give him room, bis opponent stepped the same way ; he stepped back again ; the other did the same, and after thus opposing each other for some time, and every time drawing a little nearer, they met full in front; but getting by at last, Charles said, here is another lesson. Though I am ever so yielding and try ever so much to please, yet some will not be pleased; but meet me for the purpose of opposition, which ever way 1 turn. Wisdom will dictate me to leave such persons, to the enjoyment of their own contrary and quarrelsome dispositioas.
During this walk, he sometimes saw an elegant brick house, towering upward four or five stories, and a dwarfish building of wood not ten feet higb, crouching at its feet; or else surrounded with houses of antique form, bearing deep marks from the rude hand of time.
In the same street might be seen gentlemen and ladies with neat and modest apparel, graced with good manners; the strutting fop and mincing prude, hung over with as much rigging as a man of war; the intelligent stranger and the gazing country clown ; the butter seller with his clean white frock; the industrious wood sawyer busy at his work; the filthy scavenger with his nauceous cart; the rich merchant riding in his splendid coach; the unassuming porter puffing under his burthen ; the aged sire and the playful child; the scolding wench and the modest maid ; the reeling drunkard and the sober man ; in short, such a contrariety of age, character, size, appearance, and employment ; going in all directions, some swift and some slow ; that if one were to look at them and think of every object he saw, his thoughts would be as mixed and confused, as was “ the variegated gabble, whicb crazed the carpenters of Babel."
Charles found some streets swept from their filth, and the houses as well as the inhal'itants of a decent appearance. But he was not a little surprized, in other places, to hear small boys that could hardly talk plain, as familiar with
cursing and swearing as though that were their mother tongue ; venting their oaths in good nature, or cursing each other like angry devils. He noticed a man, in the nabit of a minister, walking the street, who no sooner approached them near enough to be heard, than they seemed ins ired from beneath, and belching out, among themselves, the most horrid blasphemies, and terrible imprecations, they continued till he was out of hearing; and addressing each other in the most frightful language, added, “ hold your tongue the minister is going by, he will hear you.” As he was still going on, he was overtaken by a shower of stones which Charles saw flying from the hands of the little rascals.
Surely, said Charles, is this the metropolis ; the place so famous for good manners ? What! do they curse their ministers and pelt them with stones ? But stop; I am too hasty, to judge of the character of a whole town from the conduct of a few unruly, ill educated, ruff-scuff boys.
By this time he was come up with the boys, and feeling hinaself a little lost, he said to one of the little fellows, can you show me the way to Mr.
's coffee house, yes sir, said he, readily, and ran with him as prettiiy as if he had never sworn, or treated a minister ill in all bis life. When he was at the place, Charles threw him a small piece of money and he scampered away.
Charles walked in ; the company had dined and gone ; victuals were still standing on the table ; he asked leave, and sat down to eat his dinner. The landlady seeing that Mr. P’s servant came with him, asked if he was acquainted with the family. Not till four days ago, replied he, and went on to inform her of his journey, and, that he never was in town since his remembrance before.
You have never seen a wessel then I suppose. Charles' thoughts were as busy as a bee in May, to know what wessel should mean; it popped into his mind, she means vessel, which
gave him a key to the metropolitan dialect. I never did. It would be quite a curiosity to go to the harbor and take a wiew of the wessels. Would you not like some winegar on your salad, said the landlady, very obligingly. Not any, replied Charles. We live here in a wicious place, said the landlady, with a long face and a deep sigh. So I should think, said Charles, from what I have seen in my walk to-day. Mr. P's family, said the landlady with an air of pride, often wisit here, and they have three wery wirtuous daugtr