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POOR CALE B.
An Answer to Prayer. Doctor Joseph Stennet married a lady up, he heard a knock at the door. He in Wales, in consequence of which he went to see who was there, and saw a resided there some years, and several of man standing with a horse loaded, who his children were born there. Не asked if his name was Caleb ? He preached with great acceptance to the answered in the affirmative. The man Baptist congregation in Abergavenny. then desired him to help him to take There was a poor man belonging to that down the load. Caleb asked what meeting, generally known by the name it was? He said, provisions. On his of Caleb ; he was a collier, and lived inquiring who sent it, the man said he among the hills between Abergavenny believed God had sent it. No other and Hereford. He had a wife and se- answer could he obtain. When he came veral small children, and walked several to examine the contents, he was struck miles every Lord's-day to hear the doc- with amazement at the quantity and the tor; the weather seldom preventing him. variety of the articles. There was bread, He was a very pious man, and his know- four, oatmeal, butter, cheese, salt meat, ledge and understanding were very re- and fresh neats' tongue, &c., which markable, considering the disadvantages served them through the frost, and some of his station and circumstances. The remaining until that present time. doctor was very partial to him, and The doctor was much affected with pleased with his conversation. As before the account, and mentioned it in all stated, bad weather seldom hindered companies where he went, in hopes of Caleb's attendance on the word ; but finding out the benevolent donor, but in there was a severe frost one winter, vain --until about two years afterwards, which lasted many weeks, and blocked he went to visit Dr. Talbot, a celeup the way, that he could not possibly brated physician in the city of Hereford. pass without danger. Neither could he This Dr. Talbot was a man of good work for the support of himself and fa- moral character, and a very generous mily. The doctor and many others disposition, but an infidel in principle; were much concerned, lest they should his wife was a good woman, and perish for want; however, no sooner ber of the Baptist church at Abergawas the frost broken, but Caleb appeared venny, but could not very often attend, again. The doctor, when he was in the on account of the distance. Dr. Stennet pulpit, saw him ; and as soon as the used to go and visit her now and then, service was over,
went to him, and said, and Dr. Talbot, though a man of no “O Caleb, how glad I am to see you ; religion himself, always received the how have you done during the severity Dr. with great politeness, and he geneof the weather?" Caleb cheerfully an- rally staid a night or two at his house swered, “Never better in my life ; I not when he went. As they were cononly had necessaries, but lived upon dain- versing very pleasantly one evening, ties, during the whole time, and have Dr. Stennet thought it his duty to insome still remaining, which will serve us troduce something that was interesting some time to come." The doctor ex- and profitable ; he spoke of the great pressed his surprise, and wished to be efficacy of prayer, and instanced the cirinformed of particulars. Caleb told cumstance of poor Caleb. As he was him, that one night, soon after the com- relating the affair, he observed Dr. mencement of the frost, they had eaten Talbot smile, and said, “Caleb : I shall all their stock, and had not one morsel never forget him as long as I live." left for the morning, nor any human “What, did you know him?" said Dr. probability of getting any; but he found Stennet. “ I had but little knowledge his mind quite calm and composed, re- of him," said Dr. Talbot, “but by your lying on a provident God, who neither description, I know he must be the same wanted power nor means to supply his man you mean." Then was Dr. Stennet wants. He went to prayer with his very urgent to hear what account Dr. family, and then to rest, and slept Talbot had to give of him, and Dr. soundly till morning. Before he was Talbot freely related the following cir
cumstances. He said, that the summer previous to the hard winter above-mentioned, he was riding on horseback for the benefit of the air, as was his usual custom when he had a leisure hour. He generally chose to ride among the hills, it being very pleasant, rural, and romantic, there being a few farm-houses dispersed here and there, and a few little
As he was riding along, he ob. served a number of people assembled in a barn; his curiosity led him to ride up to the barn-door, to learn the cause of their assembling, when he found, to his surprise, that there was a man preaching to a vast number of people. He stopped until the service was ended. The people, he observed, were very attentive to what the preacher delivered. One poor man, in particular, attracted his notice, who had a little Bible in his kand, turning to every passage of Scrip. ture the minister quoted. He wondered to see how ready a man of his appearance was at turning to the places. He likewise noticed, that his Bible was full of dog's ears; that is, the corners of the leaves were turned down very thick. When the service was over, he walked his horse gently along in order to observe the people, and the poor man, whom he had so particularly noticed, happened to walk by his side. The doctor entered into conversation with him, asked him many questions concerning the meeting, and the minister. He found the poor man to be more intelligent than he could have expected. He inquired, also, about himself, his employment, and his name, which he said was
Caleb. After the doctor had satisfied his curiosity, he rode off, and thought no more about him, until the great frost came on in the following winter. He was then one night in bed, and said he could not tell for certain, whether he was asleep or awake, but thought he heard a voice, saying, “ Send provision to Caleb.” He was a little startled at first, but concluded it to be a dream, he endeavoured to compose himself to sleep. It was not long before he heard the same words repeated, but louder and stronger. Then he awoke his wife, who was in a sound sleep, and told her what he had heard, but she persuaded him that it could be no other than a dream, and she soon fell asleep again. Yet the doctor's mind was so much impressed, that he could not sleep, but tumbled and tossed about for some time; also, he heard the voice so powerful, saying, “Get up, and send provision to Caleb,” that he could rest no longer. He got up, he called his man, bid him bring his horse, and went into his larder, and stuffed a pair of panniers as full as he possibly could, of whatever he could find; and after having assisted the man to load the horse, he bid him take that provision to Caleb. “ Caleb," said the man, “what Caleb, sir ?" “I know very little of him," said the doctor“ but his name is Caleb; he is a collier, and lives among the hills. Let the horse go, and he will be sure to find him." The man seemed to be under the same influence as his master; this accounts for his telling Caleb, “God sent it, I believe."
REMARKABLE ESCAPE FROM LEGAL PUNISHMENT.
About the year 1774, a remarkable very serious regret to many careless revival of religion took place in Ame- worldlings, who placed all their happi.. rica. Towards this Mr. Tennent was ness in the enjoyment of temporal obconsiderably instrumental ; and Mr. jects, and considered and represented David Rowland, brought up with him at Mr. Rowland and his brethren as fana.' the Long-College, (over which Mr. Ten- tics and hypocrites. This was especially nent's father presided,) was also very re- applicable to many of the great men of markable for his successful preaching the province of New Jersey, and partiamong all ranks of people. Mr. Row. cularly to the Chief Justice, who was land, possessing a commanding elo- well known for his disbelief of revelaquence, and other estimable qualities, tion. became very popular, and was much There was at that time prowling about celebrated throughout the country. His the country a noted man, going by the celebrity and success were subjects of name of Tom Bell, whose understand.
ing and knowledge were very considerable, and who greatly excelled in low art and cunning. His mind was totally debased, and his whole conduct betrayed a soul capable of descending to every species of niquity. In all the arts of theft, robbery, fraud, deception, and defamation he was so deeply skilled and so thoroughly practised that it is be. lieved he never had his equal in the country. He had been indicted in almost every one of the middle colonies, but his ingenuity and cunning always enabled him to escape punishment. This man unhappily resembled Mr. Rowland in his external appearance so as hardly to be known from him without the most careful examination.
It so happened that Tom Bell arrived one evening at tavern in Princeton, dressed in a parson's dark grey frock. On his entering the tavern about dusk, the late John Stockton, Esq., of that town, a pious and respectable man, to . whom Mr. Rowland was well known, went up to Bell, and addressed him as Mr. Rowland, and invited him to go home with him. Bell assured him of his mistake. It was with some difficulty that Mr. Stockton acknowledged his error, and then informed Bell that it had arisen from his great resemblance to Mr. Rowland.
The hint was sufficient for the prolific genius of that notorious impostor. The next day Bell went into the county of Hunderton, and stopped in a congregation where Mr. Rowland had formerly preached once or twice, but where he was not intimately known.
Here he met with a member of the congregation, to whom he introduced himself as the Rev. Mr. Rowland, who had preached to them some time before. This gentleman immediately invited him to his house, to spend the week; and begged him, as the people were without a minister, to preach to them on the next Sabbath, to which Bell agreed ; and notice was accordingly given in the neighbourhood.
The impostor was treated with every mark of attention and respect; and a private room was assigned to him, as a study, to prepare for the Sabbath. The sacred day arrived, and he was invited to ride to church with the ladies in the family waggon; and the master of the house accompanied them on a fine horse. When they had arrived near the church, Bell, on a sudden, discovered that he
had left his notes in his study, and proposed to ride back for them on the horse, by which means he should be able to return in time for the service. This proposal was instantly agreed to; and Bell mounted the horse, returned to the house, rifled the desk of his host, and made off with the horse. Wherever he stopped he called himself the Rev. David Rowland.
At the time this event took place, Messrs. Tennent and Rowland, with Mr. Joshua Anderson, and Mr. Benjamin Stevens, who were both members of a church contiguous to that where Bell had practised his fraud, had gone into Pennsylvania, or Maryland, on business of a religious nature. Soon after their return, Mr. Rowland was charged with the above robbery ; he gave bonds to appeal at the court at Trenton, and the affair made a great noise throughout the colony.
At the court of Oyer and Terminer, the judge charged the grand jury on the subject with great severity. After a long consideration, the jury returned into court without finding a bill. The judge reproved them in an angry manner, and ordered them out again. They again returned without finding a bill; and were again sent out with threatenings of severe punishment, if they persisted in their refusal. At last they agreed, and brought in a bill for the al. leged crime. On the trial, Messrs. Tennent, Anderson, and Stevens appeared as witnesses, and fully proved an alibi in favour of Mr. Rowland, by swearing that on the very day on which the robbery was committed, they were with Mr. Rowland, and heard him preach in Pennsylvania or Maryland. The jury accordingly acquitted him, without hesitation, to the great disappointment and mortification of his prosecutors, and of many others who were enemies to the great revival of religion that had recently taken place, but to the great joy of the serious and well-disposed.
The spirits hostile to the spread of the Gospel were not, however, easily overcome.
In their view, an opportunity was now presented favourable for inflicting a deep wound on the cause of Christianity; and, as if urged on by the malice of man's great enemy, they resolved that no means should be left untried, no arts unemployed, for the destruction of these distinguished servants of God. Many and various were the
circumstances which still contributed to ployed to conduct the defence. As Mr. inspire them with hopes of success. Tennent was wholly unacquainted with The testimony of the person who had the nature of forensic litigation, and did been robbed was positive, that Mr. Row- not know any person living who could land was the robber; and this testimony prove his innocence, (all the persons who was corroborated by that of a number of were with him being indicted,) his only individuals, who had seen Tom Bell per- resource and consolation was to commit sonating Mr. Rowland, using his name, himself to the Divine will; and if he and in possession of the horse.
must suffer, to take it as from the hand These sons of Belial had been able, of God, who he well knew could make after great industry used for the pur- even the wrath of man to praise him; pose, to collect a mass of evidence of and considering it probable that he might this kind, which they considered as es- suffer, he had prepared a sermon to tablishing the fact ; but Mr. Rowland be preached from the pillory, if that was now out of their power by the ver- should be his lot. dict of “ Not Guilty.” Their ven- His affectionate congregation felt geance, therefore, was directed against deeply interested in his critical situathe witnesses, by whose testimony he tion, and kept a day of fasting and had been cleared, and they were ac
prayer on the occasion. On his arrival cordingly arraigned for perjury before a at Trenton, he found the famous Mr. court of Quarter Sessions in the county ; Smith, of New York, father of the late and the grand jury received a strict Chief Justice of Canada, one of the charge, the plain import of which was, ablest lawyers in America, and of a rethat these good men ought to be in- ligious character, who had voluntarily dicted.
attended to aid in his defence; and also After an examination of the testimony his brother Gilbert, who was now settled on one side only, as is the custom in in the pastoral charge of the second such cases, the grand jury did accord- Presbyterian church at Philadelphia, and ingly find bills of indictment against who had brought Mr. John Kinsey, one Messrs. Tennent, Anderson, and Ste- of the first counsellors of that city, for vens, for wilful and corrupt perjury.
the same purpose. Their enemies and the enemies of the Messrs. Tennent and Stevens met gospel now began to triumph. They these gentlemen, at Mr. Coxe's, the gloried in the belief that an indelible morning before the trial was to come stain would be fixed on the professors of Mr. Coxe requested that they religion, and, in consequence, on reli- would bring in their witnesses, that gion itself; and that this “ new light,"' they might examine them previously to by which they denominated all appear- their going into the court. Mr. Tenance of piety, would soon be extin- nent answered, that he did not know of guished for ever.
any witnesses but God and his own conThese indictments were removed to science. Mr. Coxe replied, the supreme court; and poor Mr. An- have no witnesses, sir, the trial must derson, living in the country, and con- be put off; otherwise you certainly will scious of his entire innocence, could not be convicted. You well know the tes. brook the idea of lying under the odium timony that will be brought against you, of the hateful crime of perjury, and de- and the exertions that are making to acmanded a trial at the first court of Oyer complish your ruin.” Mr. Tennent reand Terminer. This proved most seri- plied, “ I am sensible of all this, yet it ously injurious to him ; for he was pro- shall never be said that I have delayed nounced“ Guilty," and most cruelly and the trial, or been afraid to meet the jus. unjustly condemned to stand one hour tice of my country. I know my own on the court-house steps with a paper on innocence; and that God, whose I am his breast, whereon was written, in large and whom I serve, will never suffer me characters, “ This is for wilful and cor- to fall by those snares of the devil, or by rupt perjury;"' which sentence was exe- the wicked machinations of his sercuted upon him.
vants ; therefore, gentlemen, go on to Messrs. Tennent and Stevens were the trial.” summoned to appear at the next court; Messrs. Smith and Kinsey, who were and attended accordingly, depending on both religious men, told him that his the aid of Mr. John Coxe, an eminent confidence and trust in God, as a mi. lawyer, who had been previously em- nister of the Gospel, were well founded,
and, before a heavenly tribunal, would be all-important to him, but assured him they would not avail in an earthly court, and urged him to consent to put off the trial.
Mr. Tennent continued inflexible in his refusal ; on which Mr. Coxe told him, that, since he was determined to go to trial, he had the satisfaction of in. forming him, that they had discovered a flaw in the indictment, which might prove favourable to him on a demurrer.
He asked for an explanation ; and, on finding that it was to admit the fact in a legal point of view, and rest on the law arising from it, Mr. Tennent broke out with great vehemence, saying that this was another snare of the devil, and before he would consent to it he would siffer death. He assured his counsel that his confidence in God was so strong, and his assurance that he would bring about his deliverance some other way was so great, that he did not wish them to delay the trial for a moment.
Mr. Stevens, whose faith was not of this description, and who was bowed down under the most gloomy apprehensions of suffering as his neighbour Mr. Anderson had done, eagerly seized the opportunity of escape that was offered, and was afterwards discharged on the exception.
Mr. Coxe still urged putting off the trial, charging Mr. Tennent with acting the part rather of a wild enthusiast, than of a meek and prudent Christian ; but he insisted that they should proceed, and left them in astonishment, not knowing how to act, when the bell summoned them to court.
Mr. Tennent had not walked far in the street, before he met a man and his wife, who stopped him, and asked him if his name was not Tennent. He an. swered in the affirmative, and begged to know if they had any business with him.
The man replied, “You best know." He told his name, and said, that he was from a certain place, which he mentioned, in Pennsylvania or Maryland ; that Messrs. Rowland, Tennent, Anderson, and Stevens, had lodged either at his house, or at a house wherein he and his wife had been servants, (it is not now certain which,) at a particular time, which he named ; that on the following day they had heard Messrs. Tennent and Rowland preach ; that some nights before they left home, he and his wife had waked out of a sound sleep, and each
told the other a dream which had just occurred, and which proved to be the same in substance; namely, that he, Mr. Tennent, was at Trenton in the greatest possible distress; and that it was in their power, and theirs only, to relieve him. Considering it as a remarkable dream only, they again went to sleep; and it was twice repeated, precisely in the same manner, to both of them. This made so deep an impression on their minds, that they set off, and here they were, and would know of him what they were to do.
Mr. Tennent went with them immediately to the court-house; and his counsel, on examining the man and his wife, and finding their testimony to be full to the purpose, were, as they well might be, in perfect astonishment.
Before the trial began, another person of a low character, called on Mr. Tennent, and told him that he was so harassed in conscience, for the part he had been acting in this prosecution, that he could get no rest till he had determined to come and make a full confession. He sent this man to his counsel also.
Soon after, Mr. Stockton, from Princeton, appeared, and added his testimony. In short, they went to trial, and, notwithstanding the utmost exertions of the ablest counsel, who had been employed to aid the AttorneyGeneral against Mr. Tennent, the advocates on his side so traced every move. ment of the defendant on the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in question, and satisfied the jury so perfectly on the subject, that they did not hesitate ho. nourably to acquit Mr. Tennent, by their unanimous verdict of
“ Not Guilty,” to the great confusion and mortification of his numerous opposers.
Mr. Tennent assured the writer of this, that during the whole of this business, his spirits never failed him ; and that he contemplated the possibility of his suffering so infamous a punishment as standing in the pillory without dismay, and had made preparation and was fully determined to deliver a sermon to the people, in that situation, if he should be placed in it.
He went from Trenton to Philadel. phia with his brother, and, on his return, as he was rising the hill at the entrance of Trenton, without reflecting on what had happened, he accidentally