The Ayrshire Legatees (Chapter 6, page 2 of 14)


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Chapter 6

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They first sung a hymn together very decently, and really with as much
civilised harmony as could be expected from novices; indeed so well, that
I thought them almost as melodious as your own singing class of the
trades lads from Kilwinning. Then there was one Mr. Braham, a Jewish
proselyte, that was set forth to show us a specimen of his proficiency.
In the praying part, what he said was no objectionable as to the matter;
but he drawled in his manner to such a pitch, that I thought he would
have broken out into an even-down song, as I sometimes think of yourself
when you spin out the last word in reading out the line in a warm summer
afternoon. In the hymn by himself, he did better; he was, however,
sometimes like to lose the tune, but the people gave him great
encouragement when he got back again. Upon the whole, I had no notion
that there was any such Christianity in practice among the Londoners, and
I am happy to tell you, that the house was very well filled, and the
congregation wonderful attentive. No doubt that excellent man, Mr. W---,
has a hand in these public strainings after grace, but he was not there
that night; for I have seen him; and surely at the sight I could not but
say to myself, that it's beyond the compass of the understanding of man
to see what great things Providence worketh with small means, for Mr.
W--- is a small creature. When I beheld his diminutive stature, and
thought of what he had achieved for the poor negroes and others in the
house of bondage, I said to myself, that here the hand of Wisdom is
visible, for the load of perishable mortality is laid lightly on his
spirit, by which it is enabled to clap its wings and crow so crously on
the dunghill top of this world; yea even in the House of Parliament.

I was taken last Thursday morning to breakfast with him his house at
Kensington, by an East India man, who is likewise surely a great saint.
It was a heart-healing meeting of many of the godly, which he holds
weekly in the season; and we had such a warsle of the spirit among us
that the like cannot be told. I was called upon to pray, and a worthy
gentleman said, when I was done, that he never had met with more
apostolic simplicity--indeed, I could see with the tail of my eye, while
I was praying, that the chief saint himself was listening with a curious
pleasant satisfaction.

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