Robert Smith.

The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

. (page 28 of 154)
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that I might do something when I was old ;
but at this time of my life these things were
impossible; and if I did but go to confession
before I died, all would be well. I believed
him, and gave myself liberty to follow the
devices and desires of my heart ; — a willing
servant I became to satan, following him
almost wherever he led me. I began to see
that some of the priests were knaves and
cheats, and far from what I once thought them
to be ; so I despised both them and their reli-
gion, and became a libertine. In this manner

i took off

my religion at once, reserving to

myself the intention of going to confession
before I died, though I had a very mean
opinion of that forgiveness, but I so quieted
my mind for the present ; but the Lord fol-
lowed me by His reproofs and terrors in my
conscience, and I was many times condemned
fur wickedness. I took to drink, company,
and cards again, and many other ways did I
try to stifle this faithful and true witness of
God in my heart ; yet the Lord still found me
out — there was no hiding from Him. Js'o rest
had I for many years — no place was easy to
me ; my very delights were made bitter to
me, and I could truly say, " There is no peace
to the wicked :" for wherever I went, sorrow
and trouble were my portion.

I served out my time, and soon after mar-
ried a S(jber, honest woman ; but before I had
been married two years, many troubles, disap-
pointments, and losses were our portion. All
this was but the beginning of sorrows. We
took a house, and entered into business. In a
few years, through continual disappointments
and losses, we were obliged to give it up, not
having enough left to pay our creditors, by
about forty pounds.* I was thus driven from
my wife and children, and forced to seek my
living in a foreign land, where I was reduced
to live without bread for days together ; and
to many other hardships was I brought, having
neither money, business, nor friend. This
was a time of great distress to me, who had
till then lived in fulness ; and it was by the
good hand of Providence I was preserved
from being forced into the military service, of
which I was in great danger several times.
At length I found means to return to England ;
and after begging my way for nearly two
hundred miles, I came into the North, where
my wife was with her relations, who used her
but indifferently, by reason of our misfor-
tunes; consequently, she was not in a capa-
city to help me much. After staying some
lime with her, bewailing our trouble, we again
parted. I went northward to seek for busi-

In tlic scq

he seen, he afterwards

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 28 of 154)