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"My dear Friend,
Though I am in a very low and sorrowful state, from the pressure of a troublesome memory upon a broken heart, I am not insensible to the expressions of your kind consolatory letter; for which I heartily thank you, and pray that the effect of it may remain with me. The prospect which has been before me for several weeks past has kept my mind (too weak and soft upon all tender occasions) under continual, and, as I feared, insupportable agitation; till, after a painful struggle, no relief could be found but by bowing my head with silent submission to the will of God; which came to pass but a few days before the fatal stroke. I have found it pleasant in time past to do the work of God; to demonstrate his wisdom, and to defend his truth, to the hazard of my quiet and my reputation; but, O my dear friend! I never knew till now what it was to suffer the will of God; although my life has never been long free from great trials and troubles. Neither was I sensible of the evil of Adam's transgression, till it took effect upon the life of my blessed companion, of whom neither I nor the world was worthy. If I could judge of this case as an indifferent person, I should see great reason to give thanks and glory to God for his mercies. We had every preparatory comfort; and death at last came in such a form as to seem disarmed of his sting. A Christian clergyman of this neighbourhood, who is my good friend, administered the communion to her in her bedchamber while she was well enough to
kneel by the side of him; and he declared to me afterwards, that he was charmed and edified by the sight; for, that the peace of Heaven was visible in her countenance. I saw the same; and I would have given my life if that look could have been taken and preserved; it would have been a sermon to the end of the world. On the last evening, she sate with me in the parlour where I am now writing; and I read the lessons of the day to her as usual, in the first of which there was this remarkable passage-" and the time drew nigh that Israel must die." Of this I felt the effects; but made no remarks. On her last morning, we expected her below stairs; but, at eleven o'clock, as I was going out to church to join with the congregation in praying for her, an alarming drowsiness had seized upon her, and she seemed as a person literally falling asleep; till, at the point of noon, it appeared that she was gone; but the article of her dying could not be distinguished; it was more like a translation.
“I have reason to remember, with great thankfulness, that her life was preserved a year longer than I expected; in consequence of which I had the blessing of her attendance to help and comfort me under a tedious illness of the last summer, under which I should probably have sunk if she had been taken away sooner. It so pleased God that when she grew worse, I became better, and able to attend her with all the zeal the tenderest affection could inspire. But how different were our services! She, though with the weakness of a woman, and in her seventy-fifth year, had the fortitude of a man, I mean a Christian-and all her conversation tended to lessen the evils of life, while it inspired hope and patience under them. The support which she administered was of such a sort as
might have been expected from an angel; while I, was too much overwhelmed
when my turn came,
My loss comprehends every thing that was most valuable to me upon earth. I have lost the manager, whose vigilant attention to my worldly affairs, and exact method in ordering my family, preserved my mind at liberty to pursue my studies without loss of time, or distraction of thought. I have lost my almoner, who knew and understood the wants of the poor better than I did; and was always ready to supply them to the best of our ability. I have lost my counsellor, who generally knew what was best to be done in difficult cases, and to whom I always found it of some advantage to submit my compositions; and whose mind, being little disturbed with passions, was always inclined to peaceable and Christian measures. I have lost my example, who always observed a strict method of daily devotion, from which nothing could divert her, and whose patience, under every kind of trial, seemed invincible. She was blessed with the rare gift of an equal chearful temper; and preserved it, under a long course of ill health, I may say for forty years. To have reached her age would to her have been impossible without that quiet humble spirit which never admitted of murmuring and complaining either in herself or others; and patient quiet sufferers were the favourite objects of her private charities. It might be of use to some good people to know, that she had formed her mind after the rules of the excellent Bishop Taylor, in his Holy Living and Dying; an author of whom she was a great admirer in common with her dear friend Bishop Horne. I have lost my companion, whose conversation was sufficient of itself, if the world
was absent to the surprize of some of my neighbours, who remarked how much of our time we spent in solitude, and wondered what we could find to converse about. But her mind was so well furnished, and her objects so well selected, that there were few great subjects in which we had not a common interest. I have lost my best friend, who, regardless of herself, studied my ease and advantage in every thing. These things may be small to others, but they are great to me: and, though they are gone as a vision of the night, the memory of them will always be upon my mind during the remainder of my journey, which I must now travel alone. Nevertheless, if the word of God be my companion, and his Holy Spirit my guide, I need not be solitary-till I shall once more join my departed saint, never more to be separated; which God grant in his good time, according to his word and promise in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. From your faithful and afflicted, W. J."
The following INSCRIPTION and EPITAPH to the memory of two eminent persons, the particular friends of Mr. JONES, were thought worthy to be preserved among his other works.
INSCRIPTION to the memory of the Rev. ALEXANDER CATCOTT, intended to be placed in the Library of the City of Bristol, to which that learned and laborious Naturalist, and sound Divine, had presented his invaluable Collection of Fossils.
Multiformia hæc et pretiosa Fossilium Exemplaria Terræ Adamiticæ Reliquias,
Ac indubitata Diluvii Universalis Monimenta, Magno Labore (non sine periculo) undique eruta et
Scriptis suis illustravit
Et Posteritati, Rerum naturalium studiosæ dicavit
Ecclesiæ de Temple in hâc Urbe,
Vir Vitæ integer, Moribus simplex, Pietate insignis; Sacrâ Theologiâ, quam, ex fontibus Græcis & Hebraicis, A primâ Juventute hauserat, eruditissimus; Philosophiâ Mosaica nulli secundus ;
Doctis legendus, Bonis omnibus venerandus.
Hæc scias, Hospes, æquum est de Viro optimé merito Tu vero, Ipsius Voti, et Exempli memor,
Utere his, cum illo, ad Gloriam Dei.