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minister for his clothes. Is the sermon good ? — that's the main p'int.
But the consultations among the leading members of the society, gathered in little knots under the trees about the church, resulted, it appeared, in the conclusion not to hire him. This information was distinctly but courteously conveyed to him, after the afternoon service, by his landlord, who advised him (having been a little disappointed himself, that his distinguished clerical guest had not received a call ') to make application to a Mr. Baldwin, a minister at Palmer, a town twenty miles distant, for a knowledge of, and an introduction to, vacancies for a ministry. He does so: and Mr. Baldwin, after examining him in orthodoxy, and scrutinizing his ministerial garb rather closely, is at last satisfied, and gives him a letter to one Deacon Gray, at Pelham, eighteen miles farther
Here he is hired for four Sabbaths, at five dollars a Sabbath : not a large price, as ministers go’now-a-days; but as the old Indian preacher said: 'Poor pay, poor preach.'
The town of Pelham was settled with the straitest sect' of New-England Presbyterians, very orthodox, very critical upon ministers; and when once disturbed, violent and overbearing in their passions and their opinions. They had called and discharged several clergymen, and with the last two had had almost pitched battles.
After his first two Sabbaths, young Burroughs had borrowed enough to add to his 'salary' wherewith to endow himself with a habit suited to his calling. After the four Sabbaths were over, they engaged him for sixteen more.
One day he was called upon, in a private house, to preach a funeral sermon. The notes of this sermon, as of the others, were those of his father's old sermons, which he had taken with him from home. In the pulpit, it was all well enough; but being in a private house, the faded manuscript was over-looked: suspicions were excited; he was called upon to explain ; and confessed ingenuously, that being suddenly called upon, and having no time to prepare a discourse, he had used the sermon of another
person, an aged evangelical friend, rather than refuse to preach. But the suspicion was not allayed, that Mr. Davis' was preaching somebody else's sermons; and it was determined to test him, on short notice. So one Saturday morning, he was waited upon by one of the suspicious deacons, and requested to deliver, the next morning, a sermon from the first clause of the fifth verse of the ninth chapter of Joshua :
Old shoes, and clouted on their feet.' He promised to do it: but the study of it was at first rather unpromising: at length, however, the matter opened upon his mind,' and he conceived, and delivered the next morning, the discourse; which, for ingenuity and adaptation, is a very remarkable production. The synopsis which he gives of it is as follows:
'In handling this discourse, the exordium consisted of a description of the Gibeonites: the duplicity which they practised upon the Jews: the nature and
general tendency of deceit, etc. After I had gone through with the introduction, I divided my discourse into three general heads, namely, to consider in the first place, of Shoes ; ' secondly, of Old Shoes;' and thirdly, of' Clouted Shoes.' In treating of the first general head, namely, shoes, I considered them in a metaphorical sense, as showing our mode of conduct in life. We are all, said I, sojourners in this world, but for a season, travelling to another country, to which we shall, ere long, arrive: we must all be shod, in order to enable us to travel the road before us. We find the good man represented as having his feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. All mankind are in a state of motion ; none remain inactive on this stage of probation ; all are moving forward with rapidity, and hastening to their final end. Not only the natural world, but likewise the mental, is filled with briers and thorns, stone, and rubbish, which wound us at every step, when we are not shod to guard us from those injuries, we should otherwise receive from those impediments. Mankind, finding this to be the case, have immediate recourse to such coverings for their feet, as they imagine will protect them from the injuries to which they are exposed, etc., etc.
'In treating the second head, namely, of old shoes, I endeavored to show, that they represented those who had been hewing to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, which can hold no water.' We find, said I, from the earliest ages of the world, mankind practising upon that system. They have continued ever since to tread in the steps of their predecessors, and to wear the same old shoes. The old shoes represent old sins, which mankind have made use of from old times, down to the present day. And would to God, they had been worn until mankind had been ashamed of them. A spirit of jealousy and discord, perhaps, may be accounted as old as any shoes now worn. How soon after the creation do we find this same destructive principle raging in the little family which then composed the whole human race. Murder was the consequence; revenge and hatred were perpetuated by it. Now I am possessed with this accursed passion, said Cain,
whoever shall find me, shall slay me.' The direful infuence of this passion spreads its dismal effects among all mankind, when it once prevails. SOLOMON, viewing the operation of this principle upon the human heart, says : ‘Jealousy is more cruel than the grave.' It deluges countries, destroys societies, and renders man hateful to man. All civil and religious bodies are destroyed, when once this hateful monster is allowed an entrance. Ministers and people, parents and children, husbands and wives, fall a sacrifice to the influence of jealousy, that green-eyed monster, which makes the meat it feeds on.' Therefore, wo be to that people who cherish the seeds of jealousy, or practise after her counsels, etc., etc.
• In considering the last general head, namely, of clouted shoes, I observed that those who wore those old shoes, and practised upon a system of jealousy, were sensible of its odious and hateful nature, and, of consequence, ashamed to be seen by Gon, man, or the devil; nay, they were ashamed to be seen by themselves; therefore, they had recourse to patching and clouting themselves over with false and feigned pretences, to hide their shame and disgrace. This vice has been considered, by all wise men, as the most destructive to human felicity, and the least excusable and most unreasonable, of any passion incident to the human heart. It is a passion which debases the kuman character to its lowest ebb, as says a noted author: 'Where I see a jealous people, I expect, likewise, to see every thing base and sordid among them.'
• Look around, my hearers, and judge for yourselves ; whenever you have felt this first-born son of hell triumphing in your bosoms, how soon has joy and comfort fled from your hearts ? how soon has this doleful monster turned all the sweets of life into wormwood and gall? etc., etc.
'I concluded this discourse by an application of the subject, after the following manner: My hearers, where shall I apply this doctrine ? Is it calculated for å people only at some great distance ? Can we not bring it home, even
to our own doors? Search and see. Try yourselves by the sanctuary, and if there your garments are not washed in innocence, you will find, · Mene, Mene, Tekel Upharsin,' written on your walls. Will you suffer this hateful monster to rage among you ? Will you wear these old, filthy, clouted shoes any longer? Will you not rather put on that charity which endureth all things, which hopeth all things ?' Will you not rather be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace ?' etc., etc.
This sermon satisfied his congregation of his ability as a sermonizer : but, unfortunately, there was one of his hearers who had known him and his pranks in Coventry; and he felt quite confident his identity had been discovered. He was right in his conjecture, as he found by throwing himself in his way on the following day. He frankly told him all, and entreated him not to expose him, at a time when he had changed his course of life, and was, he hoped, engaged in doing good.
In the mean time, it must be premised, that the pseudo-minister had formed an acquaintance with a man of 'fine information, manners,' etc., with with whom and his “ amiable family' he became very intimate. One day this most agreeable man' tells him of a person in an adjoining town, 'a money-maker, known throughout all New-England as having the art of transmuting copper into silver, which would stand the test of the severest assay. He becomes 'interested in the experiments,' and accompanies his friend, who is an accomplice, to the workshop of the counterfeiters. The experiments were performed : every thing was 'fair and aboveboard, (of course!) and Burroughs returned to Pelham, having promised to enter the business, in which he saw, in his imagination, a splendid fortune already made. The gang concluded to charter a vessel, load her with copper, coal, provisions, etc., and retire to the Isle of Sable, where they could pursue their plans uninterrupted.
Such was the state of affairs when it was discovered by several persons who had known him in Coventry and elsewhere, that Mr. Davis was an impostor, and something worse, and he was compelled to take a horse and leave the house of his landlord in the night, the last before the conclusion of his ministerial contract. He says:
“The next morning Mr. Davis was not to be found. My landlord was almost frantic with surprise and grief. The town was alarmed, and suddenly was all in a flame. About eleven o'clock p.M., a man came from Belchertown with information respecting the character who had exhibited among them as a preacher: this blew the flame into a ten-fold rage. No pen can describe the uproar there was in the town of Pelham. They mounted hue-and-cries after me in every direction, with orders to spare not horse-flesh. They perambulated the town, and anxiously asked every one for some circumstance which would lead to a discovery where I
All this took place while I lay snug in the corner, observing their operations. In holding a consultation upon these disagreeable matters, every one was anxious to clear himself of being the dupe to my artifice as much as possible. 'I never liked him,' says one. 'I always thought there was something suspicious about him,' says another. He ever had a very deceitful look,' says a third. In fine, it had come to this, that not one now could discern any thing which ever appeared good or commendable about me, except one good old lady, who said: "Well, I hope they will catch him, and bring him back among us, and we will make him a good man, and keep him for our preacher.''
He escapes, however, and takes refuge in the town of Rutland, Mass., where he is pursued by the Pelhamites: arrested as a swindler: he places himself in a room in the second story, and locks the door. His luck at escaping holds good as yet :
"When they came after me, they found my door locked, and immediately determined to break it open. They sent some of their number after an axe. Hear
ing this, I jumped out of the window, on to the horse-shed, and off that on to the ground, close by those who were after the axe.
* Coming so suddenly among them, they had not time to recollect themselves, so as to know what this meant, till I had run the distance of twenty rods, when they started after me; but one of their number much exceeded the rest in swiftness, so that in running sixty rods, he was twenty rods before the others. By this time I was out of breath by running, and coming to a high wall, made of small stones, I jumped over it, and sat down behind it, by a tree standing against the wall. I took a stone in my hand as I went over, intending to knock down the foremost man, when he came up to me, which I supposed would be easy to do, as I should take him by surprise, and execute my plan before he could defend himself; after this should be performed, I could easily out-run the rest, as I should by this time be rested and be forward of them. An alder swamp, about half a mile distant, was my object.
When the foremost man came up to the wall, I heard him panting and puffing for breath, and, instead of being able to leap over, he ran against it, and threw it down in such a manner as to cover me almost entirely from sight, the stones falling against the tree in such a manner as to do me no injury. The man ran through the breach of the wall, and continued his course about fifteen rods beyond me, and stopped until the others came up, who anxiously inquired what had become of BURROUGHS? The other replied, that he had run like a deer across the meadows, and gone into the alder-swamp!''
He waits in the swamp until opportunity presents, when he gets away: and we next find him preaching in Attleborough, Mass., nine miles north of Providence, Rhode Island, under his own proper name. His call' was for four Sundays; having finished which, he returns in a long and gloomy night (moved by the ties of a generous friendship and speculation) to his amiable friend, “
’ the counterfeiter, and his charming family at Pelham, where his reception was equal to his most sanguine anticipations.
A long dissertation is given upon the necessity of living ; upon being deceived by his accomplice; upon the art of making good counterfeits, etc. ; but the result is, that Burroughs takes some twenty dollars of the good money to pass for goods; is arrested at... Springfield, Mass., where he had passed some of it; is recognized by a Pelhamite post-rider, and exposed; then committed to jail. He was soon after tried, convicted, and sentenced to an hour in the pillory and three years' confinement in the House of Correction.
The jail in Springfield being thought insecure, Burroughs was removed to the jail in Northampton. How much crime may have been prevented, by a perusal of his sufferings and painful adventures in this at that time inhuman prison, will perhaps never be known. We shall let him tell his story in his own words, omitting much irrelevant matter in relation to his jail-companions, 'moral reflections, etc. Portions of his adventures are equal to any thing in the Life of 'Baron Frederick Trenck, that remarkable history of imprisonment:
'I was confined with a large chain around my legs, secured in the most critical manner, and then bound fast to the wagon in which I was transported; it being twenty miles between the two places. In this situation I was carried through the country. It was Sunday, and in the room of attending the usual solemnities of the day, people thronged the roads to see this procession : when we passed, the people would inquire with eagerness, who was the minister, being known more by that appellation than I was by my own name. When the minister was pointed
out to them, some would shout with joy, considering that I was now detected, notwithstanding that amazing fund of subtilty, which I could use when I had occasion. Their ideas of their own judiciary became highly exalted, in their opinion, for, said they, 'this man has been all over the world, playing ranks in all countries, but could never be brought to justice, owing to his amazing subtilty, until he came among us, and we have showed him what is what; he finds by this time that we are not such fools as he thought for.' Some examined my looks with great attention, to see if they could distinguish where that depth of knowledge lay which had set the world in an uproar. Some few dropped the sympathetic tear over our wretched state, apparently sensible that we belonged to the same human family with themselves, and were capable of suffering equally with others.
* About sun-set we arrived at Northampton, and were consigned to the abodes of misery. The ponderous doors growled on their reluctant hinges! The rattling of bolts, bars, and locks, reverberating through the hollow apartments of this dreary abode, made such an impression on my mind, that with difficulty I supported myself under this situation. The appearance of the CERBERUS, of these infernal abodes was equal to every poetic description of the Janitor of hell. Hail, ye infernal Powers! said I, who inhabit these regions; assemble your forces, gather your strength, and keep high carnival to-day, in consideration of those vietims, which have now fallen a sacrifice at your shrine.'
Burroughs goes on to describe, that he was confined in a room on the ground-floor, and proceeds to give portraits of the three or four companions in crime and misfortune who were incarcerated with him :
“The scanty allowance of provision which we received at this place, made us feel severely the pains of hunger. Those who had friends near them commonly received an additional supply from them, but those who had only what our keeper allowed us, to supply the calls of nature, often felt the griping hand of hunger, in addition to other inconveniences. All these circumstances made me feel an inconceivable uneasiness at my confinement. I would walk backward and forward across the room, by the whole day together, ruminating upon the possibility of making my escape. How I longed to be at liberty, is beyond my power to tell. Often would I wish that I was possessed with the ability of passing from place to place with the same facility, that we could discern objects at a distance in this place and that place. How quick would I then leave these hateful abodes, and wanton in the sun-beams of liberty! How easily could I then elude the iron grasp of this petty tyrant, who triumphs over the miseries of the wretched few under his control.
Often would I contemplate upon the situation of the beggar, who gained his daily bread by the cold hand of charity, and yet walked at liberty, free as the air in which he breathed, capable of going to any place to which his fancy directs him, without let or hindrance; I compared his situation with mine, and in the comparison, I fell infinitely short of his state of happiness.
"I was determined to try some measure for my escape from this place. I peeped into every corner of the room; I surveyed all the barricadoes with which I was environed; I contemplated every possible measure which occurred to my imagination. I at last concluded to begin my operation upon the chimney-way, hoping that I could, by taking up the foundation of the chimney, get to the ground, and by that mean undermine the jail, and make my escape that way. We were determined to make the attempt immediately after the approach of night, as that was the only time in which we could work, without an immediate detection. Therefore, after the time of retirement, we pulled off our coats and went to work with a great degree of energy upon the stones in the chimney. We soon almost filled our room with stones and rubbish. In this situation we experienced great inconveniences for the want of light, being obliged to have recourse to pine slivers peeled off from a board, which kept one hand constantly employed in feeding the blaze, lest it should be extinguished, which would at once defeat all our purposes.
“As I was the strongest of the two, I kept WARNER feeding the light, while I labored like Sisyphus in rolling huge stones out of the chimney-way. Happy