Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/127

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9
THE READING-CLUB.

"Mr. Moderator, I'll tell you all I know. It won't take long," and down his head went into his hands again. A smile went around the assembly.

Moderator. Mr. Leland, do you believe that God had a people, chosen and elect before the foundations of the world?

Leland. I don't know what God was doin' before he made the world. Don't know any thin' about it. I a'n't a educated man.

Moderator. Yes, but you must understand me. You certainly believe that God had a people chosen and elect from all eternity?

Leland. No. I don't believe that. They couldn't a' been our kind o' folks, anyway; because ours are made out of the dust of the earth, you know.

Moderator. Mr. Leland, we have heard of your Christian life, of your efficiency and your success, and we are met to ordain you to the ministry of the gospel. This is a solemn occasion, and you must not make light of the questions. Now, I want to know if you believe in the total depravity of mankind?

Leland. No, I don't, if you mean by that that men are as bad as they can be; for the Devil a'n't any worse'n that, you know.

Moderator. Do you believe in imputed righteousness, and that it is sufficient to save all who have faith?

Leland. I don't know any righteousness that will save a man who won't do right himself.

Moderator. Do you believe in the final perseverance of the saints?

Leland. I don't know what that means.

Moderator. Well, you believe that all who are converted will be kept, and not fall away?

Leland. Oh, I don't know how it is down in the settlements, among the educated; but I tell you up where we live, we have the awfulest cases of backsliding.

Moderator. But, Mr. Leland, you certainly believe that when a man is converted he will be kept in some way, and finally saved?

Leland. I cannot tell much about that, till I am saved myself. Don't know any thing about it now.

Moderator. You feel that you are called to preach the gospel?