« AnteriorContinuar »
Forbid it resignation! forbid it filial affection ! No! let me not sorrow as one without hope. I lately had a parent languishing under continual pain; I have now á parent whom no disquietude approaches. I lately had a parent in a world of distress and danger; I have now a parent in a world of glorified spirits. I saw her lately on earth, fainting and expiring; I see her now in glory, alive for ever. I have now another attachment to the skies. 0! never, let me think of her, but as in the immediate presence of her God, uniting with the countless number of the redeemed, in the eternal anthem of triumph, gratitude, and praise !
Thus, sir, I have given you a few particulars respecting my dear parent. I flatter myself that they will afford you some degree of pleasure and satisfaction. I remain, reverend and dear sir, With the greatest respect and affection, Your sincere and obedient servant,
February 10, 1799. My dear friend,
Though I am in a very low and sorrowful state, 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 The prospect which was before me for several weeks, kept my mind under continual, and, as I feared, insupportable agitation: till, after a painful struggle, I could find no relief but by bowing my head with silent subinission to the will of God; which took place only 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 : but, O my dear friend! I never knew till now what it is to suffer the will of God; though my life has never been long free from great trials and troubles. Nor was I fully 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 my 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 pious clergyman of this neighbourhood, who is my good friend, administered the communion to my wife, in her bedchamber, while she was well enough to kneel by his side: and he declared to me afterwards, that he was charmed and edified by the sight; for the peace of Heaven was visible in her countenance. I observed the same : and I earnestly wish that look could have been taken and preserved; it would have been a sermon to the end of the world.
On the last evening of her life, she sat with me in the parlour where I am now writing. 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 seized upon her, and she seemed as a person literally falling asleep. At the point of noon, it appeared that she was gone: but the moment of her dying could not be distinguished; it was more like a translation.
thapliness, I have reason to remember, with great! that her life was preserved a year longer than I expected: in consequence of which I the blessing of
last summer; under her attendance in a tedious illo which I should probably e sunk, if she had been
pleased God that when she grew taken away sooner,
åter, and able to attend her with all worse, I besch the tenderest affection could inspire. the 28 different were our services! She, though with,
& weakness of a woman, and in her seventy fifth year, had the fortitude of a man, I mean of 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 such as might have been expected from an angel; while I, when my turn came, was too much overwhelmed with the affliction of a weak mortal.
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 stadies without waste of time, or distraction of thought.--I have lost my almoner who understood the wants of the poor, better than I did; and who was always ready to supply them to the best of our ability.--I have lost my counsellor, who generally knew what was proper 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 ever inclined to peaceable and Christian measures. I have lost my example, who ob
LETTERS &c. served 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 ratu rift of an equal, and a cheersul temper ; and preserved it, nder a long course of ill health, I may say for forty yu
To have reached her age would to her have been..
nssible without that quiet, humble spirit, which never au. complaining. It might be of useid of murmuring or know, that she had formed her mind a food people to rules of the excellent bishop Taylor, in his to the Living and Dying ;” an author of whom she was a gly admirer, in common with our dear friend, bishop Horne.--I have lost my companion whose conversation was of itself sufficient for me, to the surprise 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 were so well selected, that there were few 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 blessings are gone as a vision of the nights the memory of them will always be upon my mind, during the remainder of my journey; through which I must now travel alone. But I need not be solitary, if the Word of God be my companion, and his Holy Spirit my guide, till I shall once more join my departed saint, never more to be separated; which God grant in his own good time! I am your faithful and afflicted friend,
WRITERS FROM WHOM THE LETTERS ARE SELECTED.
ARBUTHNOT, John,-a celebrated physician, scholar, and wit, was born, soon after the Restoration, at Arbuthnot, near Montrose ; and died in London, on the twenty seventh of February, 1735.
Dr. Johnson, in his life of Pope, describes the character of Dr. Arbuthnot in the following striking terms. - Arbuthnot was estimable for his learning, amiable for his life, and venerable for his piety. He was a man of great comprehension, skilful in his profession, versed in the sciences, acquainted with ancient literature, and able to animate his mass of knowledge by a bright and active imagination : a scholar with great brilliance of wit; a wit, who, in the crowd of life, retained and discovered a noble ardour of religious zeal.” He was much beloved and esteemed by the most eminent persons of his time. “He has more wit than we all have,” said Swift, “and his humanity is equal to his wit.”
His principal work is “ Tables of ancient Coins, Weights, and Measures." He published also some professional treatises ; and several pieces of wit and humour. ---His letters, contained in Pope's Epistolary Correspondence, are written with ease and beautiful simplicity. His thoughts seem to drop from his pen as they rise into his mind. “One of the most interesting and manly letters in the collection addressed to Pope,” says Mr. Hayley, " is the last of Arbuthnot's,” (inserted in this volume,) "containing the dying advice of that genuine, accomplished friend, to the too irritable poet.”