A YOUNG DISCIPLE
Caleb Vernon, was the son of Mr. John Vernon, a Baptist minister, who, during the civil wars, preached the Gospel in Ireland. He was a member of the Church in Dublin, and probably an elder at the time when John Thomas was pastor; and in the year 1653, was the bearer of some interesting letters to the Baptist Churches in London. It is not known where Mr. Vernon exercised his ministry in England, but we find that soon after the Restoration in 1660, he was a prisoner with many others for the cause of Christ in Newgate. After his liberation he resided at Epsom, where he practised as a physician for the support of himself and his family, but was soon obliged to leave on account of the persecutions he endured. He then settled at Ewell for some time, and afterwards he moved to Newington. During the time of the plague in 1665, he was much employed in his profession in London.
Caleb was born in the Inns at Dublin in 1653. His parents gave him this name to express their desire that, like the son of Jephunneh, he might follow the Lord fully in this period of general defection. A very timid child, he was not sent to school till he was seven years old; yet so much had he profited by instruction received at home, that at the age of four years he could read the Bible distinctly; and when but six, was well acquainted with many parts of its history; while a constant regard to divine precepts and an affectionate attention to the will of his parents, even at this early period, marked his character and regulated his behaviour.
Soon after he went to school in the year 1660, he was greatly afflicted with ague. His father’s imprisonment also greatly distressed him; and it was thought that the terror occasioned by the soldiers who had apprehended his father, increased his affliction.
It was now that he began to feel a deep sense of the solemnity of death, and much feared, if he should die, that his soul would be miserable. As his illness increased, convictions of his lost and sinful state by nature increased also, and for several months he showed great concern about his eternal welfare. When he was about ten years of age, he began in earnest to approach God in private, earnestly seeking the salvation of his soul. His sentiments and feelings will be best judged of by the following letter:-
To Mr. D…April 1663
I received your kind letter, for which I thank you, and desire the book you sent me may be made of good effect to my soul, and that my soul may be filled with the love of God; being ready for the day of His coming to judge the world in righteousness, when the kings of the earth shall tremble, and the rulers be astonished at the brightness of His coming; when He shall come with His holy angels in power and glory, to judge the earth in the valley of Jehoshaphat. Oh that my soul was fit for His coming, that I may be like a flourishing flower in the garden of Eden, prepared for the Lord Christ! This is a trying day; the Lord is searching Jerusalem with
candles, to find out professors, who do make clean the outside of the cup and platter, when their hearts are full of deceit. Oh that we might be comforting one another with His coming, putting on the breastplate of faith, and laying aside the traditions of men! Oh, how near is His coming, even at the door! therefore we should be watching, for we know not what hour He will come.
Thank you for your letters.
Mr. D…was so surprised at the Scripture knowledge which was shown in this letter, that he suspected it could not be the writer’s language. He therefore sent him the following answer:-
I received your letter without date, but not without serious desire of the best things, and of your beginning to be instructed in them; which made your letter very acceptable and welcome to me, being willing to hope that what comes under your hand, is not only notions in the head, but something of the truth in your heart, which I desire may be more and more wrought in you. Your lines savour of an honest heart, and seem to come from an older head than yours. Yet being informed, from such as I can credit, that it was your own writing, I shall make no further inquiry than to have it confirmed from yourself in the next to me, whether you indeed had not private help of another before the writing of your above mentioned letter to me. It is a large desire expressed in yours, to be filled with the love of God; and my heart’s desire for you is, that the Lord will fulfil that petition for you, together with that, Ephesians 3.16-19, which I desire you may often ponder, and be helped to pray in the same spirit of truth. The coming of Christ is hastening indeed, as your letter expresses. ‘It is but a little while, and He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry’. And it is worth all our inquiry, ‘Who may abide the day of His coming?’ Many there are that shall not, and few there are that will be found blameless and harmless and without rebuke at that day, which yet is and shall be that portion of some. I shall at present only desire your answer to a few brief questions:-
1. What do you understand by the coming of Christ?
2. What you understand by His judging the earth?
3. What is it to be an outside professor?
4. What the traditions of men are?
5. Whether the answer you shall return to the above said questions are your own apprehensions, without any help from others?
A true and plain answer to these things will be a further satisfaction about your last letter, and I hope no disadvantage to you who, by the serious thought of these things, may be brought to a better understanding in them. Thus with my love to you, desiring you may be taught and instructed in the truths of Christ as they are in Him, whom to know aright is eternal life.
I remain your assured friend, that desires your spiritual and temporal welfare. London, 1668.
To these inquiries Caleb Vemon immediately replied, without any study or assistance:-
I received your kind letter, wherein you have desired me to write you an answer to some questions, which I shall answer as I hope the Spirit of grace shall declare to me; for I know, and am assured, that the Lord will declare His Spirit to them that love Him, which indeed I may truly say I have not done, but have erred against His Word, for which I have great cause to mourn; but I hope He may be my God, who will be a God to them who truly seek after Him in spirit and in truth, who did put those words in my mouth which you desired me to send you word of, and nobody else. But as for the coming of Christ, I understand it to be two ways. First, His coming into the hearts of His people, to purge and purify them;
secondly. His coming on the earth, when He shall set all His people at liberty, and shall destroy all kingdoms that will not obey Him, and He shall set up Himself a kingdom. By His judging the earth I understand, when all, both quick and dead, shall be before His presence; when He shall sever the bad from the good; and shall say to them on His right hand, ‘Come, ye blessed of My Father;’ but unto them on His left hand, ‘Go, ye cursed, into hell fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.’ To be an outside professor, I understand to be one who makes a show of Christ, but they are not so in their hearts. I understand the traditions of men, to be following after the lusts of the devil, rather than the commands of God, which things I have been told of. I would desire you to excuse me for not dating my letter; and desire you would write to me to unfold them to me more than I can do, which I hope may be made of use to my soul.
So I remain, your much obliged friend.
About this time, his father removed from Ewell to Newington. Here, being delivered from the hostility the family had experienced, Caleb went more cheerfully to school, where he made considerable progress in Latin, and began to learn Greek. But as the opportunities of hearing the Word were uncertain in the winter at Newington, and his father’s employment being much in London, the family moved there. Caleb being now provided with able teachers, made such progress in the above languages, that all his masters said they had never a scholar at his age more apt to receive instruction, nor had they ever occasion to use any correction.
Enjoying greater opportunities of hearing the Word in London, Caleb grew up in divine knowledge, as a tender plant by the rivers of water. In his reading he manifested an enlightened mind and a tender conscience; he was disgusted with the absurdity and fiction respecting God and a future state, which he met with in heathen authors at school, and he was uneasy and distressed till, at his father’s request, the master permitted him to read others.
For some time after this he manifested great delight in learning, but a circumstance happened which abated all his zeal in these pursuits. Being employed by his master to write an English poetical exercise, wherein he had pertinently introduced some Scriptural expressions, his master wished him to expunge them as inelegant. This so astonished and discouraged the child, that he never took any delight in those exercises, but earnestly entreated his father that he might be brought up in his profession. With this his father intended to comply, but the design was prevented by the affliction which now seized his son, and which terminated in his death.
He was soon after removed to Battersea, for the benefit of his health; and now his spirituality of mind began eminently to abound. The savoury manner in which he conversed with those about him of the love of Jesus Christ, constrained them to admire the grace of God which had been displayed toward him. And though at this time the plague raged in London, with very little abatement, yet he desired to be moved back again, that he might enjoy the precious Word of God; and, as he said might sympathize with the Lord’s poor and suffering people who were visited by that fatal malady.
A circumstance which happened on his return very much increased his seriousness. The honest waterman who took the children in his boat to the City, carried Caleb in his arms from the water to the house; in doing this he caught the distemper, fell sick, and in a few days died of the pestilence.
The same day in family worship his father read the ninth chapter of Ecclesiastes, and made some pointed remarks on the tenth verse – “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest.” This was attended with such effect, that the minds of Caleb, his brother, and his sister, were greatly impressed by it. Caleb being desired to ask a blessing on his food, refused, saying he feared he could not perform it acceptably. But immediately his heart smote him, and the next day, with great humility, he offered to do it as well as he could; thinking as he said, that it belonged to the adoption to cry, “Abba, Father” and to a Christian, not to be ashamed of Christ.
His conduct in this instance produced a very humbling effect on his brother and sister, who were older than himself. They concluded that the first fruit of true conversion was to call on the Lord in truth, and not to be ashamed to confess Him, and they soon after gave proof of faith in Jesus, made a public profession of love to Him, and were, with great pleasure, received members of the Church.
Caleb now entreated his parents that he might have a little closet to himself, that he might more uninterruptedly seek the Lord in secret. This, to his great satisfaction, they complied with; but his affliction increasing, he was prevented from frequenting it, for from this time he was confined to his bed, there to enjoy that divine support and those consolations which alone could cheer the wearisome nights and days that were appointed him. His mind was now so spiritual that his mother, admiring his knowledge of divine
things, resolved to write some of his conversations without his observing it.
“Mother,” said he, “I begin to see the vanity of all things in this life; it is a troublesome world, and if I were assured of the love of God, I would choose rather to die than live.”
About the beginning of Nov: 1665, the month in which he died, after having intermitting fits during the night, he said to her in the morning, “Mother, I have seen the face of God; and God hath, as it were, taken me into His arms, and assured me of His love”. He mentioned these Scriptures as the source of his enjoyment; ‘Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.’ Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils;adding, God had showed him that he should not trust to man for his healing, but look unto Him and trust in Him. He then said, “Before this enjoyment I was restless, and could not lie still in one place; but afterwards I had great ease, and could lie very quiet, though I had no sleep.” He appeared to feel deeply on account of his vileness, and exclaimed, “I see now how I was by nature plunged in sin and iniquity, but my Lord Jesus Christ has been a ransom for me.” This last sentence he uttered with the greatest earnestness. During one of his fits, he exclaimed, “This is my comfort in my affliction, thy Word hath quickened me.”
He had many fainting fits on the 5th of this month, but his faith and hope were so powerfully supported, that he joyfully said, “Mother, ‘my flesh and my heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever'” He rejoiced exceedingly in the idea that God was his God, saying, “How sad would it have been with me now, if God were not my God!”
On the 7 November his fits were as violent as before. He once exclaimed, “What shall I do?” But he immediately checked himself, saying “I know God will help me, and I will trust in Him.” Calling his mother to him, he said “I am very sick, but God makes it very easy for me. I am made so joyful by the light of God’s countenance, that though I am as weak as ever in my body, yet I can lie still and magnify the Lord greatly for His grace, in choosing me who was so vile by nature.” He added Â“God has taken away all my slavish fears; and whereas it was so that I could not endure to be in a room by myself, I care not now how long I am left alone.” He blessed God for his afflictions, saying, “These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” And he added, “These are they which came out of great tribulation”. The tenderness of his conscience was now so apparent, that he lamented in a conversation with his mother that once, when he lived at Ewell, he refused going to bed as she commanded him, and earnestly entreated her forgiveness. She replied, she had both forgiven him and forgotten it; and she hoped God had pardoned it, and all his other sins, through Christ, by whose blood sin was washed away on behalf of those who believed on Him.
The servant of a worthy friend of his father, who was in prison, coming to see him, Caleb desired she should tell her master that he loved him as the Lord’s prisoner, and he was sure God would deliver his prisoner. Being asked how he knew that, he replied, ” ‘He will bring them from the East, and from the West, from the North, and from all places whither they have been carried away captives,’ and I am sure not a tittle of His Word shall fail, till all be accomplished.” He was sure the enemies of the Lord would be destroyed and mentioned part of the forty-seventh chapter of Isaiah to prove it, desiring her to tell her master that he was in the place where God would have him to be, and desired him to stand fast in the Lord, and not give way to any adversary; and also to desire her mistress to be content, and not faint, but consider that the Lord was able to make up to her all her losses.
His father having provided two larks for him, he invited his parents and brother and sister to sup with him; asking his father whether it was not Levi that made a feast to invite his kindred to Christ when he was converted? Caleb gave thanks before and after supper in a very savoury manner, and his father took this opportunity to ask him when he had first known convictions of sin. He replied that he thought the work was never effectual till the time of his last coming to London. He had prayed many times before, yet he thought he was not right, but since he had spoken with him and prayed for him, of late he was fully convinced of his undone state by nature, and had been much supported by the gracious declaration, “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out”. “Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden”. “And sinners shall be converted unto thee”.
About this time, his eldest brother and sister were proposed to the Church in order to communion. This appears to have led Caleb to think on the subject, and often in the course of the week, he mentioned his desires of being baptized and admitted to Church fellowship. He lamented that no one would take him to the congregation, being persuaded that he would be able to bear the fatigue, and to witness for the Lord before His Church. But this was refused, as he had not been well enough to sit for an hour at a time for many days past.
Being disappointed in this desire, Caleb wished his father would propose that some of the congregation might be appointed to hear him as he lay in bed. In compliance with his wish, twelve faithful brethren were appointed by the Church to attend him, and hear him relate his experience of a work of grace upon his heart, giving liberty to as many of the members as chose to accompany them. Before they arrived, which was 12 November 1665, his mother went to tell him of their coming. earnestly addressing her, she said, “Mother, I pray you, do not hinder me, for I know God will be with me, and enable me to be baptized; and I do not think I shall be worse, but rather better in my body, for I am assured God will not suffer any to receive hurt in doing what He commanded them. However, if I should die in it, I would not omit it, for I would do what I could.” On
coming up to him again, he said, “Mother, I think I have seen a vision since you went, and God has exceedingly comforted me and given me such strength, that if the maid would have suffered me to rise, I am persuaded I could have come to the congregation myself.”
When about twenty of the members came to him, he said that he much wished to have come to them, being persuaded he should have more strength for that than common occasions. Whilst sitting up in bed, and all the friends standing around it, he spoke as follows. “God speaketh once, yea, twice yet man perceiveth it not. Thus it had been with me in two sicknesses in London, about five years ago, and afterwards at Ewell, about two years since, when I grew serious, and it stayed with me some time. I betook myself to prayer in private, and think I had some communion with God. But after I came to Newington and went to school, I fell into company, and lost those convictions, falling to play among my school fellows, as if those convictions had never been. Now you see that which Job experienced, ‘The bones which were not seen stand out.’ Since which time God hath more than ever set me into a serious consideration of my condition, which began when I was at my father’s house, before I went into the country; but I had not so much the savour of it there, though I was not without some thoughts of it, and I think I had some communion with God there, yet I lost much of that time. But since I came to London, things have been more powerfully revived upon my soul, and when I heard that word from my father, speaking from that Scripture, ‘What thou findest in thy hand to do, do it with all thy might,’ he set me afresh into a pursuit after God, and I have been seeking after Him, and desire to follow Him fully.”
Here he paused, and the following conversation took place between him and the company present:-
Q. What have you to say to us by which we may judge of your true faith in Jesus Christ, as a qualification for the Lord’s ordinances?
A. God hath said, “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast
Q. What do you understand by coming?
A. To Christ, by believing.
Q. How will you come, and what need do you see of Christ?
A. I know I am a lost and undone sinner by nature. That Scripture hath much been on my heart, “And are by nature children of wrath, even as others”. Also, “In Adam all die;” “I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance”. I am sensible of this. That verse in Psalm 51 has been of great use to me, “And sinners shall be converted unto Thee”. And if sinners shall be converted unto Him, there is hope for such a one as I, and it is my encouragement to expect good from God.
Q. What sin are you sensible of, that you should make use of that
word, “Sinners shall be converted unto Thee?
A. I saw I was a sinner in Adam before, and had spent my time very childishly, and played away my convictions, and had been
light and trifling, which was my sin.
Q. What did you do when you saw you were a great sinner?
A. I applied to God by prayer as well as I could, as a poor soul that
Q. What was the effect of that?
A. God relieved me, and directed me to Christ.
Q. How long were you under a sense of sin, before you received
this satisfaction in Christ?
This he answered by repeating much of what he had said when
they first entered the room. He was further asked,
Q. To what extent have you received Christ?
A. As King, Priest and Prophet.
Q. What have you received from, and expected of Christ as a
A. He has been an acceptable sacrifice for me, and interceded for
Q. What do you expect from Him as a King?
A. To rule me and defend me.
Q. Will you be subject to Him in all things?
A. I desire to do so, for I am sure it is my reasonable service.
Q. What do you expect from Him as a Prophet?
A. That He and none else, may instruct me and guide me.
Q. Why do you make a profession of faith to the brethren?
A. That I may be baptized, and be joined to Christ’s fold.
Q. What views have you of Baptism?
A. That Scripture has been made of use to me, “He that believeth
and is baptized shall be saved.” Christ’s example is a pattern to
us, as is also that of Philip and the Eunuch. Philip said, “If thou
believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” The case of the
Jailor also has instructed me.
Q. How can you think of engaging in such a work in such a
A. I will trust in God and do what I can.
Q. What if you should die? It may be you may die in the water.
A. Death is mine if I die in it; it is the work of God, and I shall
make it known that Christ has those that will follow Him in
Father. Though, child, it will be so easy to you, it will be a trouble to us; we cannot so easily part with you.
Child. If I should die, God can make it up to you, and I shall go to
F. The Lord will accept a man according to that he hath, and not
what he hath not.
C. I am sure I have strength to be baptized, and God will give me
F. The same promise that was made to them that prayed in the
temple, when God gave them ability to be there, was made to
them that had respect thereto, when His hand hindered their
attendance. And that which might justify Timothy, being a
member, to be at Miletum, when he was sick, might excuse
others who are unable to do what they would, wherein God will
accept the will for the deed.
C. Indeed, father, I know I have strength, and could have come
down today, it any one would take me up, and God will give me
F. What do you propose by baptism?
C. I would obey all the commands of Christ. It is said, “Repent,
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for
the remission of sins.”
F. Do you expect righteousness by baptism?
C. Oh, no!
F. What do you intend by being baptized?
C. To put on Christ, and be obedient to Him in all things, that I
might be buried with Christ in baptism, as an evidence of my
dying to sin and living to righteousness.
It being declared by all that heard him that they were satisfied in the point of his faith, it was agreed to spread the difficult case of his baptism before the Lord in solemn prayer.
On 13 November Caleb was much better, and said, “God had more strengthened him in order to doing his duty;” and, “God bade me go forward.” Though he seemed very weak, yet he desired to be laid in bed in the room, where prayer was to be made all that day. He attended with great reverence, enduring his fits with great patience, and usually indeed when he was worse in body, he would forget the sense of it, by remembering how well he was made in his soul, admiring much that God was his God.
In the evening he eagerly inquired, “Father, pray have you come to any conclusion today about my being baptized?” Fearing to discourage him his father replied, “Child, we have not been without some serious thought of it, and some do much incline to it, we intend yet to consult about it seriously, if you cannot be satisfied to defer it.” “I pray you, father, do,” said he, “for indeed I cannot be satisfied, I would fain be in Christ’s fold.”
On 14 November he was much weaker, but was still very desirous of being baptized, though he had not been up many days before, except he was removed from one bed to another. His father asked him how he could think to set about such a work, seeing he was not able to be out of his bed for a moment? Though he was reduced to a mere skeleton, he cheerfully answered, “He did believe that God would help him to rise, and do that work, and give him strength; and he had some already, so that he was able to rise now if his father would have him.” Thinking it might convince or refresh him, his father consented, and he was taken up in warm blankets, and sat upright, supported by pillows nearly two hours, in which time he had a very gracious converse, and with cheerfulness said, “Father, the Lord is my strength, of whom should I be afraid? Indeed you are my dear father, but I have a dearer Father in heaven. How great mercy I should have such a tender father on earth, and in heaven also!” Seeing his little sister before him of five years old, he said to her, affectionately, “Nancy, the Lord make you a mother in Israel.
Oh, how I long to see Christ formed in you!” And looking to his father he said, “Why, indeed, father, she had very many expressions in the country, and would say to the maid in the morning, ‘What a mercy it is that we are alive, and so many thousands taken away at London, and so many little children!”
On 15 November his father went into the country, and meeting some Christian friends, he took the opportunity of consulting them about the propriety of baptizing him, telling them of his great concern in the case. These friends (one excepted, who desired that he might be persuaded from it by his father) were, unanimously of opinion that his desire should be complied with, leaving the issue with the Lord, as no reasonable objection could be brought to oppose it. His father, after much serious consideration respecting it, that the child would not die comfortably, resolved to yield to his request.
Mr. Vernon accordingly employed a person to search diligently for a house near the river, where the baptism might on the next day be conveniently performed. He tried again to persuade Caleb to defer it. On entering his room for this purpose, though he was much weaker during the day yet he was increasingly impatient to perform this duty before he died, and had been ardently wishing his father’s return. He eagerly desired to know from his father whether he had consented to his request, and when he was informed that both himself and many others countenanced it, he rejoiced greatly, and smiling upon his mother said, with great ardour, “Mother, tomorrow I shall go abroad to the glory of God, and I know He will strengthen me.” One worthy friend still dissented, who would come presently and confer with him. On hearing this, Caleb’s rejoicing was checked, but he readily consented that he should come. Being arrived, he expressed himself satisfied with Caleb’s faith, but mentioned some reasons why he thought it right to defer his baptism. When Caleb thought that some of the company were still opposed to his being baptized, he wept and said, “Well, if father is not satisfied that I am a proper subject, I will not.” Finding him discouraged, the gentleman said, “Well, we will wait till tomorrow, and it the weather be as tempestuous as it is today and you find you have not strength to go, you will then be satisfied.” To which he replied, “Yes, if I have not strength; but I know God will give me strength.” His father noticing Caleb’s deep dejection, assured him that they had no desire to put it off, and desired him to commit the matter to God in prayer. Sitting up in bed, he prayed very pertinently to the occasion, beseeching the Lord to strengthen him, His poor unworthy servant, to perform His will to His honour, and help him against all temptations of Satan. He prayed also for Zion’s prosperity, for the revival of the cause of the Lord, that those that professed His name might maintain a good profession, and if it were His will to give him tomorrow to witness to Him, and order it for His glory.
On 16 November, the morning appeared calm and the sun shone, contrary to expectation, which gave Caleb great pleasure, and he was very impatient to go. A person said in his hearing that at the
place where he was to be baptized, an aunt of hers had been stoned by the soldiers upon a similar occasion, but this by no means discomposed him, and he appeared to be humbly and composedly trusting in the Lord, and resolved to do His will. Soon after Caleb was placed in a coach lent by a friend for the occasion, accompanied by his father and mother. Two other coaches besides many persons on foot followed. When he arrived at the place with his brother, who was to be baptized with him, he found himself much refreshed, having had some food by the way. Whilst he was getting ready, his father spoke to the company from Acts 21.14. “And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying. The will of the Lord be done.”
Caleb being ready, was carried down into the water to the administrator, who received him into his arms. Feeling him so light, as he was reduced to a mere parcel of bones, the minister felt somewhat alarmed. But Caleb, addressing him, said, “I am not afraid.” He was very speedily and conveniently baptized, and was received by his father, who was standing with a warm blanket, in which he was wrapped. As soon as he could speak, he said “I am very well father.” About half an hour after he sat up very cheerfully, and solemnly returned thanks to God before them all, for assisting such ‘dry bones’ in His service, alluding to the dry bones mentioned in Ezekiel.
He was very comfortable in the morning, and during prayer he appeared to be much filled with the love of God; oftentimes saying to his mother, “God loves me, mother” and sometimes, “I love the Lord.” After supper he earnestly prayed that God would strengthen him. His poor creature, and that he might not be ashamed to confess Him before men. Addressing the little ones, he said, “O, my dear sisters, I long to see you converted. O, think of the damned in hell! Seek the righteousness of Jesus Christ. O, that you knew the sweetness of the love of God as I do.” Then he repeated:
“If comeliness I want
His beauty I may have;
I shall be fair without compare,
Though crippled to my grave.
And if above it all,
To Christ I married be,
My living springs, O King of kings,
Will still run fresh in Thee.”
Now we will come to Caleb’s last day. He was very weak and not willing to eat. In the night, after a fit of coughing, he said, for the first time, “Now I think I shall die.” He consented that his father might be called about three in the morning, and said to him, “Father, God be with you; I am going now.” Observing his father weep, he said, “Father, do not weep, but pray for me; I long to be with God.” He desired his father to pray with him, and seemed to join fervently in his petitions. His mother