Page images

But the information was, that in a little was something in her appearance which journey she had made to bid a friend firewell

, usually procured her favour at first sight. she had caught a violent cold, which brought She was honoured by the notice of several on a fever and a cough, with other symptoms, persons of distinction, which, though I thankwhich, though she described them as gently fully attribute in part to their kindness to as possible, that we miglit not be alarmed, me, I believe was a good deal owing to some. obliged me to give up instantly the pleasing thing rather uncommon in her. But her hope of seeing her. Succeeding letters con- principal endearing qualities, which could be firmed my apprehensions; her malady in-only fully known to us who lived with her, creased, and she was soon confined to her were the sweetness of her temper, and a bed. Eliza was at school at Musselburgh. heart formed for the exercise of affection, Till then she had enjoyed a perfect state of gratitude, and friendship. Whether, when health ; but while her dear mother was at school, she might have heard sorrowful rapidly declining, she likewise caught a tales from children, who having lost their great cold, and her life likewise was soon parents, met with a great difference, in point thought to be in danger. On this occasion, of tenderness, when they came under the that fortitude and resolution which so strongly direction of uncles and aunts, and might marked my sister's character, was remark- think that all uncles and aunts were alike, I ably displayed. She knew that her own know not; but I have understood since from race was almost finished; she earnestly de herself, that she did not come to us with any sired that Eliza might live or die with us. highly raised expectations of the treatment And the physicians advised a speedy removal she was to meet with. But as she found (the into the south. Accordingly, to save time, Lord in mercy to her and to us having opened and to save Eliza from the impressions which our hearts to receive her) that it was hardly the sight of a dying parent might probably possible for her own parents to have treated make upon her spirits, and possibly appre- her more tenderly, and that it was from that hensive that the interview might make too time the business and the pleasure of our lives, great an impression upon her own; she sent to study how to oblige her, and how to allethis her only beloved child from Edinburgh viate the afflictions which we were unable to directly to London, without letting her come remove; so we likewise quickly found, that home to take a last leave of her. She con- the seeds of our kindness could hardly be tented herself with committing and bequeath- sown in a more promising and fruitful soil. ing her child to our care and love in a letter, I know not that either her aunt or I ever saw which I believe was the last she was able a cloud upon her countenance during the to write.

time she was with us. It is true we did not, Thus powerfully recommended by the pa- we could not unnecessarily cross her; but if thetic charge of a dying mother, the dearest we thought it expedient to over-rule any friend we had upon earth, and by that plea proposal she made, she acquiesced with a for compassion which her illness might have sweet smile; and we were certain that we strongly urged even upon strangers, we re- should never hear of that proposal again. ceived our dear Eliza as a trust, and as a Her delicacy however was quicker than our treasure, on the 15th of March. My sister observation; and she would sometimes say, lived long enough to have the comfort of when we could not perceive the least reason knowing, not only that she was safely arrived, for it, “I am afraid I answered you peevishly; but was perfectly pleased with her new situ- indeed I did not intend it; if I did I ask your ation. She was now freed from all earthly pardon; I should be very ungrateful, if I

She suffered much in the remaining thought any pleasure equal to that of enpart of her illness, but she knew whom she deavouring to please you." It is no wonder believed; she possessed a peace past under that we dearly loved such a child ! standing, and a hope full of glory. She en Wonderful is the frame of the human tered into the joy of her Lord on the 10th of heart.— The Lord clains and deserves it all; May, 1783, respected and regretted by all yet there is still room for all the charities of who knew her.

relative life, and scope for their full play; I scon perceived that the Lord had sent me and they are capable of yielding the sincerest a treasure indeed. Eliza's person was agree pleasures this world can afford, if held in able. There was an ease and elegance in subordination to what is supremely due to her whole address, and a gracefulness in her him. The marriage relation, when cemented movements, till long illness and great weak- by a divine blessing, is truly a union of ness bowed lier down. Her disposition was hearts, and the love resulting from it will lively, her genius quick and inventive, and admit of no competition in the same kind. if she had enjoyed health, she probably would Children have the next claim; and whether have excelled in every thing she attempted there be one, or two, or many, each one that required ingenuity. Her understanding, seems to be the object of the whole of the particularly her judgment, and her sense of parent's love. Perhaps my friends who have propriety, was far above her years. There I children, may think that I who never had


any, can only talk by guess upon this subject. I blessing of the Lord on his skill and endes I presume not to dispute the point with them. vours, I ascribe the pleasure of having her But when it pleased the Lord to put my dear continued with us so long; nor can I suffi. Betsey under my care, I seemed to acquire ciently express my gratitude for his assiduous a new set of feelings, if not exactly those of unwearied attention, nor for his great tendera parent, yet, as I conceive, not altogether ness. She is now gone, and can no more unlike them. And I long thought it was not repeat what she has often spoken, of the possible for me to love any child as I did her. great comfort it was to her to have so affecBut when Eliza came, she, without being tionate and sympathizing a physician; but her rival, quickly participated with her in while I live, I hope it will always be my the same affection. I found I had room pleasure to acknowledge our great obligaenough for them both, without prejudice to tions to him on her account. I should be either. I loved the one very dearly, and the ungrateful, likewise, were I to omit mentionother no less than before; if it were possible ing the kindness of Dr. Allen, of Dulwich, still more, when I saw that she entered into who attended her daily during her last stay my views, received and behaved to her cousin at Southampton. He was so obliging, likewith great affection, and ascribed many little wise, as to visit her, and to meet Dr. Benaindulgences and attentions, which were mor upon her case, after her return to Lonshown her, to their proper ground, the con- don. Their joint prescriptions were carefully sideration of her ill state of health, and not followed. But what can the most efficacious to any preference that could operate to her medicines, or the best physicians, avail to disadvantage. For the Lord was pleased to prolong life, when the hour approaches, in answer my prayers in this respect so gra- which the prayer of the great Intercessor ciously, that I could not perceive that any must be accomplished, "Father, I will that jealousy or suspicion took place between them they whom thou hast given me, may be with on either side, from first to last.

me where I am, to behold my glory.” This The hectic fever, cough, and sweats, which was the proper cause of my dear Eliza's Eliza brought with her from Scotland, were death. The Lord sent this child to me to be subdued in the course of the summer, and brought up for him; he owned my poor enthere appeared no reason to apprehend that deavours; and when her education was comshe would be taken off very suddenly. But pleted, and she was ripened for heaven, he still there was a worm preying upon the root took her home to himself. He has richly of this pretty gourd. She had seldom any paid me my wages, in the employment itselt, severe pain till within the last fortnight of and in the happy issue. her life, and usually slept well; but when Dr. Benamor advising a trial of the salt awake she was always ill. I believe she water, we passed the month of August, 1784, knew not a single hour of perfect ease; and with her, partly at Mr. Walter Taylor's, at they who intimately knew ber state, could Southampton, and partly at Charles Etty's, not but wonder to see her so placid, cheerful, Esq. of Priestlands, near Lymington. While attentive when in company, as she generally she was with these kind and generous friends,

Many a time when the tears have she had every accommodation and assistance silently stolen down her cheeks, if she saw that could be thought of or wished for. And that her aunt or I observed her, she would the bathing was evidently useful, so far as to wipe them away, come to us with a smile give some additional strength to her very and a kiss, and say, “ Do not be uneasy, I weak and relaxed frame, which assisted her am not very ill, I can bear it, I shall be better in going more comfortably through the last presently,” or to that effect.

winter. We were therefore encouraged and Her case was thought beyond the reach of advised to repeat our visit to Southampton medicine, and for a time no medicine was this autumn. But the success was not the used. She had air and exercise, as the same. Iler feet and legs had already begun weather and circumstances would permit. to swell, and the evening before she set out For the rest, she amused herself as well as she caught cold, which brought on a return she could, with her guitar or harpsichord, of the fever and cough: and though Dr. with her needle, and with reading, she had Allen was successful in removing these a part likewise, when able, in such visits as symptoms in about a fortnight, and she we paid or received. And our visits were bathed a few times, she could not persevere. generally regulated by a regard to what she However the advantages of situation, air, and chall bear. Her aunt especially, seldom exercise, being much greater than she could went abroad, but at such times, and to such have in London, and as we were with friends places, as we thought agreeable and con- whom she, as well as we dearly loved, she venient to her. For we could perceive that continued at Southampton six weeks. But she loved home best, and best of all when we she was unable to proceed to Mr. Etty's, who were at home with her.

was very desirous of repeating his former In April, 1784, we put her under the care kindness, The Lord strengthened her to of my dear friend Dr. Benamor, To the l perform her journey home without incon.


venience. She returned the 16th of Septem- a long and languishing illness, was not so ber; then she entered our door for the last capable of supporting pain. It did not occatime, for she went out no more, till she was sion any improper temper or language, but it carried out to be put into the hearse. wore her away apace.

Friday, the 30th of I have thus got together, in one view, a September, she was down stairs for the last brief account of what relates to her illness, time, and then she was brought down and till within the last three weeks of her pil- carried up in arms. grimage. I now come to what is much more It now became very desirable to hear from important and interesting. Her excellent herself a more explicit account of the hope parents had conscientiously endeavoured to that was in her ; especially as upon some bring her up in the nurture and admonition symptoms of an approaching mortification, of the Lord, and the principles of religion had she appeared to be a little alarmed, and of been instilled into her from her infancy.- course not thoroughly reconciled to the 'Their labours were thus far attended with thoughts of death. Her aunt waited for the success, that no child could be more obedient first convenient opportunity of intimating to or obliging, or more remote from evil habits, her the probability that the time of her deor evil tempers; but I could not perceive, parture was at hand. The next morning when she first came to us, that she had any (Saturday the 1st of October) presented one. heart-affecting sense of divine things. But She found herself remarkably better, her being under my roof, she of course, when her pains were almost gone, her spirits revived, health would permit, attended on my minis- and the favourable change was visible in her try, and was usually present when I prayed countenance. Her aunt began to break the and expounded the scriptures, morning and subject to her by saying, "My dear, were evening, in the family. Friends and minis- you not extremely ill last night!" She said, ters were likewise frequently with us, whose "Indeed I was.” “Had you not been recharacter and conversation were well suited lieved I think you could not have continued to engage her notice, and to help her to form long.” “I believe I could not.” “My dear, I a right idea of the christian principles and have been very anxiously concerned for your temper. Knowing that she was of a thinking life.” “But I hope, my dear aunt, you are turn, I left her to make her own reflections not so now.” She then opened her mind upon what she saw and heard, committing and spoke freely. I cannot repeat the whole: her to the Lord, from whom I had receiyed the substance was to this effect.“ My views her, and entreating him to be her effectual of things have been for some time very difteacher. When I did attempt to talk with ferent from what they were when I came to her upon the concerns of her soul, she could you. I have seen and felt the vanity of give me no answer but with tears. But I childhood and youth.” Her aunt said, “I soon had great encouragement to hope that believe you have long made conscience of the Lord had both enlightened her under- secret prayer." She answered, “Yes, I standing, and had drawn the desires of her have long and earnestly sought the Lord heart to himself. Great was her delight in with reference to the change which is now the ordinances, exemplary her attention approaching. I have not yet that full assurunder the preaching. To be debarred from ance which is so desirable, but I have a hope, going to hear at our stated times, was a trial, I trust a good hope, and I believe the Lord which, though she patiently bore, seemed to will give me whatever he sees necessary for a tect her more than any other; and she did me, before he takes me from hence. I have not greatly care what she endured in the prayed to him to fit me for himself, and rest of the week, provided she was well then, whether sooner or later, it signifies but enough to attend the public worship. The little.” Here was a comfortable point gained. juricious observations she occasionally made We were satisfied that she had given up all upon what had passed in conversation, upon expectations of living, and could speak of incidents, books, and sermons, indicated a her departure without being distressed. sound scriptural judgment, and a spiritual It will not be expected that a child at her taste. -And my hope was confirmed by her age should speak systematically. Nor had whole deportment, which was becoming the she learnt her religion from a system or form gospel of Christ. So that had she died sud- of words, however sound. The Lord himself denly, on any day within about a year and a was her teacher. But from what little she half past, I should have had no doubt that she had at different times said to me, I was well had passed from death unto life. But I could satisfied that she had received a true conseldom prevail with her to speak of herself; viction of the evil of sin, and of her own if she did, it was with the greatest diffidence state by nature us a sinner. When she spoke and caution.

of the Lord, she meant the Lord Jesus Christ, Soon after her return from Southampton, the Great Shepherd, who gathers such lambs she became acquainted with acute pain, to in his arm, and carries them in his bosom. which she had till then been much a stranger. She believed him to be God and man in one Her gentle spirit, which had borne up under 'person; and that hope, of which she shall

never be ashamed, was founded on his atone-coagulated phlegm, which she had not the ment, grace and power. As I do not intend strength to bring up, made her rattle violentto put words into her mouth, which she ly in the throat, which we considered as a never spoke, I mention this, lest any person sign that death was at hand: and as she should be disappointed at not finding a cer- seemed unwilling to take something that tain phraseology, which they may have been was offered her, we were loth to disturb her accustomed to.

in her last moments (as we supposed) by Her apparent revival was of short duration. pressing her. I think she must have died in a In the evening of the same day, she began to quarter of an hour, had not Dr. Benamor just complain of a sore throat, which became then come into the room. He felt her pulse, worse, and before Sunday noon threatened and observed that she was not near death by an absolute suffocation. When Dr. Benamor, her pulse, and desired something might be who the day before had almost entertained given her. We was perfectly sensible, hopes of her recovery, found her so suddenly though still unable to speak, but expressed and greatly altered, he could not, at the mo- her unwillingness to take any thing, by very ment, prevent some signs of his concern from strong efforts. However she yielded to enappearing in his countenance. She quickly treaty, and a tea-spoonful or two of some perceived it, and desired he would plainly liquid soon cleared the passage, and she tell her bis sentiments. When he had re- revived. Her pain however was extreme, covered himself he said, “ You are not so and her disappointment great. I never saw well as when I saw you on Saturday.” She her so near impatient as upon this occasion: answered, “that she trusted all would be as soon as she could speak she cried, “Oh well soon.” He replied, “ that whether she cruel, cruel, to recall me, when I was so lived or died, it would be well, and to the happy and so near gone! I wish you had not glory of God.” He told me that he had come; I long to go home.” But in a few much pleasing conversation with her that minutes she grew composed, assented to morning, some particulars of which he had what the Doctor said, of her duty to wait the committed to writing, but he lost the paper. Lord's time; and from that hour, though her -From that time she may be said to have desires to depart and to be with her Saviour, been dying, as we expected her departure were stronger and stronger, she cheerfully from one hour to another.

took whatever was offered her, and frequently On Monday, the 3d, she was almost free asked for something of her own accord.— froin any complaint in her throat, but there How often, if we were to have our choice, was again an appearance of a mortification should we counteract our own prayers! I in her legs, which was again repelled by the had entreated the Lord to prolong her life, means which Dr. Benamor prescribed. I till she could leave an indisputable testimony recollect but little of the incidents of this behind her, for our comfort. Yet when I day. In general she was in great pain, saw her agony, and heard her say, “Oh! sometimes in agonies, unable to remain many how cruel to stop me!" I was for a moment minutes in the same position. But her mind almost of her mind, and could hardly help was peaceful; she possessed a spirit of re- wishing that the Doctor had delayed his visit collection and prayer: and her chief atten- a little longer. But if she had died then, we tion to earthly things seemed confined to the should have been deprived of what we saw concern she saw in those who were around and heard the two following days, the reher. That she might not increase their membrance of which is now much more prefeelings for her, she strove to conceal the cious to me than silver or gold. sense of her own sufferings. It pleased the When the Doctor came on Wednesday, Lori wonderfully to support my dear Mrs. she entreated him to tell her how long he Newton, and she had a tolerable night's rest, thought she might live; he said, “ Are you though I did not expect the child would live in earnest, my dear ?" She answered, " Intill morning. On Tuesday the 4th, about deed I am.” At that time there were great nine in the morning, we all thought her appearances that a mortification was actually dying, and waited near two hours by her bed begun. Ile therefore told her, he thought it sivie for her last breath. She was much possible she might hold out till eight in the convulsed and in great agonies. I said, “My evening, but did not expect she could survive dear, you are going to heaven, and I hope by midnight at farthest. On hearing him say the grace of God, we in dne time shall follow so, low as she was, her eyes seemed to you." She could not speak, but let us know sparkle with their former vivacity, and fixing that she attended to what I said by a gentle them on him with an air of ineffable satisniod of her head, and a sweet smile. "I re- faction, she said, “Oh that is good news peated to her many passages of scripture, and indeed!” And she repeated it as such to a verses of hymns, to each of which she made person who came soon after into the room, the same kind of answer. Though silent, and said with lively emotions of joy, “ The her looks were more expressive than words. Doctor tells me I shall stay here but a few Towards eleven o'clock, a great puantity of hours more.” In the afternoon she noticed

and counted the clock, I believe, every time, the Lord enabled her to speak in the course it struck, and when it struck seven, she said, of the day, though she was frequently in“ Another hour, and then.” But it pleased terrupted by pains and agonies. She had the Lord to spare her to us another day. something to say either in the way of ad

She suffered inuch in the course of Wed- monition or consolation, as she thought most nesday night, but was quite resigned and suitable, to every one whom she saw.

To patient. Our kind servants, who from their her most constant attendant she said, “ Be love to her and to us, watched her night and sure you continue to call upon the Lord; and day with a solicitude and tenderness which if you think he does not hear

you now, be wealth is too poor to purchase, were the only will at last, as he has heard me." She spoke witnesses of the affectionate and grateful a great deal to an intimate friend, who was manner in which she repeatedly thanked with her every day, which I hope she will them for their service and attention to her. long remember, as the testimony of her dying Though such an acknowledgement was no Eliza. Amongst other things, she said, "See more than their due, yet coming from herself, how comfortable the Lord can make a dying and at such a time, they highly valued it. bed! Do you think that you shall have such She added her earnest prayers that the Lord an assurance when you come to die!" Being would reward them. To her prayers my answered, “ I hope so, my dear," she replied, heart says, Amen. May they be comforted But do you earnestly and with all your of the Lord in their dying hours, as she was, heart pray to the Lord for it? If you seek and meet with equal kindness from those him, you shall surely find him.” She then about them!

prayed affectionately and ferventiy for her I was surprised on Thursday morning to friend, afterwards for her cousin, and then for find her not only alive, but in some respects another of our family who was present. Her better. The tokens of mortification again prayer was not long, but her every word was disappeared. This was her last day, and it weighty, and her manner very affecting—the was a memorable day to us. When Dr. purport was, that they might all be taught Benamor asked her how she was? She ans- and comforted by the Lord. About five in wered, “ Truly happy, and if this be dying, the afternoon she desired me to pray with it is a pleasant thing to die.” [The very her once more. Surely I then prayed from expression which a dear friend of mine used my heart. When I had finished, she said, upon her death bed a few years ago. She Amen. I said, “My dear child, have I exsaid to me about ten o'clock, “ My dear pressed your meaning ?" she answered, " Oh uncle, I would not change conditions with yes !" and then added, “I am ready to say, any person upon earth. Oh how gracious is Why are his chariot wheels so long in comthe Lord to me! Oh what a change is being! But I hope he will enable me to wait fore me!" She was several times asked, if his hour with patience.” These were the she could wish to live, provided the Lord last words I heard her speak. should restore her to perfect health; her Mrs. Newton's heart was much, perhaps answer was, “ Not for all the world," and too much, attached to this dear child; which sometimes, "Not for a thousand worlds."* is not to be wondered at, considering what a “ Do not weep for me, my dear aunt; but child she was, and how long and how much rather rejoice and praise on my account. I she had suffered. But the Lord graciously shall now have the advantage of my dear supported her in this trying season. Indeed Miss Patty Barham (for whom she had a very there was much more cause for joy than for tender affection, and who had been long in a grief: yet the pain of separation will be felt. languishing state,) for I shall go before her.” Eliza well knew her feelings, and a concern We asked her if she would chuse a text for for her was, I believe, the last anxiety that her own funeral sermon? She readily men- remained with her. She said to those about tioned, “Whom the Lord loveth he chasten- her, “ Try to persuade my aunt to leave the eth. That,” said she, “has been my experience; room; I think I shall soon go to sleep, I my afilictions have been many, but not one shall not remain with you till the morning." too many; nor has the greatest of them been Her aunt, however, was the last person who too great; I praise him for them all.” But heard her speak, and was sitting by her bed after a pause she said, “Stay, I think there when she went away.

A little past six, is another text which may do better; let it hearing that a relation who dearly loved her, be, Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord. and was beloved by her, and who had come That is my experience now.” She likewise daily from Westminster to see her, was bechose a hymn to be sung after the sermon. low stairs, she said, “ Raise me up, that I Olney Hymns, book II. hymn 72.

may speak to him once more." Her aunt But I must check myself, and set down said, “My dear, you are nearly exhausted, I but a small part of the gracious words which think you had better not attempt it.” She

smiled, and said, “It is very well, I will * The last time she was asked this question, she said not.” She was then within half an hour of (as I have since been informed,).“I desire to have no

her translation to glory, but the love of our


« PreviousContinue »