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motives. I know that I must expect to be accused of impiety where most I would be pious, of hypocrisy where most I would be sincere, of inconsistency where most I would be consistent, of unkindness where most I would be kind, of narrow-mindedness and uncharitableness where most my spirit yearns to live in unity and love, of setting an evil example where most I strive to 'let my light shine before men to the glory of Thy holy name of the want of all religion where most I would be religious, at the very time when I am making to religion a most difficult, however imperfect sacrifice. I ask Thee not to save me from this : in Thy strength I will try to bear it, if it must be my portion. The blessed Jesus and thousands of his followers have borne it before me; and am I better than the least of them, that I should claim exemption from their cross? But if it might be, I would ask thee to save me from bringing trouble on those I love, to spare me the anguish of beholding their unhappiness, with the knowledge that I could not remove it without sin. Do with me what seemeth best unto Thee. On my head let all the scorn, disgrace and trouble rest; but O, spare them! But if even this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it,' give me strength even to bear this without failing in my loyalty and submission to Virtue, Truth and Thee! May I even then say with the blessed Jesus, .Thy will be done,' and firmly trust that even this trial, severe as it may be, must be for the best, both for myself and them.”—November 2, 1827.
“0, Thou great Omniscient God, who didst foresee my humble being long before Thou didst call me from the dust of earth, and who hast in mercy sustained me through so many years of existence, with a grateful heart, although in much trouble and weakness, I bow down before Thee this day. Thou alone knowest what another year will bring forth; whether it will find me still paying Thee a cold and heartless and hypocritical service, in compliance with the evil maxims and customs of a mistaken world, or enduring anguish and worldly reproach as the price of integrity and consistency; whether it will find me shut out from Thy courts, from all public acknowledgment of Thy name, or going up into Thy sanctuary with joy to pay Thee the sincere and cheerful offering of a free-will heart.' As yet, darkness and doubt and perplexity are before me. Oh, let Thy light shine in upon my clouded soul, and guide me to unutterable peace! Forgive me if I have erred, and do still err, in granting some space to the tears and anxieties of others, as well as to my own fearfulness of taking a rash and irretrievable step, uncalled for, unsanctioned by Thy command. Forgive me if I err in not daring to trust my own judgment, and in seeking for further counsel and assistance before I adopt my final resolution. But when that resolution is once formed, on full conviction of its righteousness, may I have strength to accomplish it, even though it involves the most severe and painful struggles! Let not another year find me hesitating on the brink of my duty, or wavering between my ease and my obedience. Yet were it my ease only, 0 Thou Searcher of hearts, Thou knowest how gladly I would sacrifice that, if it could save one hour of suffering on my account, to those to whom, under Thee, I owe my being and every earthly comfort. Thou knowest the agony of my spirit at the thought of what they do and may suffer. Oh that Thou wouldest send forth Thy light and truth to guide and comfort them !"
The following has no date, but appears to be a natural sequel to the last: the latter part of it, being in short-hand, is not legible.
“ Blessed be Thy name, 0 Thou God of strength and consolation, that on this evening, which completes another year of my existence, I appear before Thee in peace of mind so far beyond the state in which this day found me in the year that is past. Then I trembled and wept as I prayed, and my soul could find no comfort, for I was in the midst of trial, temptation and sin, and I had not found courage to trust myself and all I loved to Thee, and at once reso
lutely to choose the good and reject the evil. I then continued to transgress against my better knowledge, to dissemble in the sight of man, and, as it were, mock Thine all-seeing Power. I thank Thee, fervently thank Thee, that Thou hast brought me out of this snare. Bitter was the conflict; but Thy strength hath supported me, and removed to a distance the evils which I so much dreaded. Yet, while I rejoice in the victory attained, let me not be lifted up as though I had done some great thing; but let me reflect with shame how long I delayed to do right, and how weakly I dared to doubt Thy power to
And o forgive Thy servant if even yet she scarcely can exult in a triumph obtained at the cost of so much suffering to those she loves, if she even still at times looks forward with anxiety to the [result?]; but 0, let me learn more and more to cast all my care upon Thee, and to remember that as Thou hast, so Thou canst support me through every trial; that Thine ear is not yet heavy that it cannot hear, nor Thine arm shortened that it cannot save."
The three pieces which I shall now quote shew how ardently she longed for the privilege of a worship congenial to her newly adopted faith, and how bitterly she reproached herself for even a partial and occasional conformity.
“Having been long accustomed to dwell with an admiration almost amounting to enthusiasm on the exalted piety, virtues and usefulness of such characters as L--y, J---b, P--ley, Mrs. C. C---ppe, B-m, and others, either their personal friends or their fellow-labourers in the cause of truth and virtue, I have formed around me, as it were, a little world of my own, within which, when oppressed by the consciousness of knowing no human being with whom I can hold a perfect communion of sentiment on important religious subjects, I can retire for a while and escape the solitariness of the feeling. The enjoyment of this fancied intercourse is indeed mingled with regret that the greater part of them, as far as this world is concerned, are for ever beyond my reach, and cannot know how I have sympathized in all their feelings, in all their ardent researches after truth, in their sufferings for its sake, and in the unspeakable happiness they derived from that simple and despised form of Christianity which they embraced. One glorious consolation indeed remains, that if I emulate their virtues, if their God be indeed my God, if my life and my
death be like theirs, I shall meet them hereafter in the society of all the wise and good, purified from every earthly imperfection, and taste with them that communion of spirit which could not be my portion here.
“Great God! if Thou shouldst see fit that during the remainder of my pilgrimage here I should continue my course alone, if it should not even be expedient for me [permitted me?] ever to associate with those who have lived with these eminent followers of their blessed Master, or share in the privileges of Christian worship possessed by them, grant that I may at least profit by the trial thus allotted me, that I may at least endeavour to render myself less unworthy of such blessings, and, meekly bowing to Thy decrees, may be ready either to receive with gratitude the accomplishment of my prayers, or await their fulfilment in that state where the wisdom of all Thy dispensations shall be fully acknowledged, and I may confess and adore Thee without constraint as the only God over all, blessed for ever!"
“Grant, O my Heavenly Father, that I may learn more completely to resign myself to Thy will
, and to await with greater patience the appointed time, when .in mercy Thou shalt return and visit me,' and recompense me according to the years wherein I have suffered adversity; wherein I have been excluded from Thy courts, and from all outward encouragement in the ways of truth. Though hope should indeed be deferred, and Thy mercy appear far distant, yet let me not murmur as though I was utterly forsaken, but remember that Thou art not slow as men count slowness; but that past, present and future are alike unto Thee, and alike fraught with blessings, though we in our blindness perceive them not. Oh, let me reflect upon the mercy which has guided me from my youth upward even until now; that when I, young, foolish and inconsiderate, thought but little upon Thee, or upon the path which might lie before me in life, Thine eye was upon me, and Thou wast even then perhaps preparing me a way to escape from future troubles and perplexities of which I never dreamed. That what I then, and have ever since, looked on as an evil and affliction, was perhaps destined to prove one of my greatest blessings. That Thou didst make my bodily infirmity and imperfection the means of leading me where a haven of rest might be prepared for my soul, and my spiritual and everlasting interests promoted.
“Let it not be presumptuous thus to trace Thy guiding hand in the events of my past life, or to endeavour, in a spirit of submission unto Thee, to follow that guidance in my future course. Let it not be unlawful to beg Thy blessing on the bright gleam of hope which opens before me, nor to seek, by every innocent means, that happiness which it seems to promise. But if even this should fail me, and the blessing at which I aim should recede before me even to the confines of eternity, let me still bow with meekness beneath the disappointment. Or, rather, if this hope should fail me, let me not distrust Thy power, as though Thou hadst but one means by which to accomplish Thy purposes and my deliverance; my deliverance from the burden of dissimulation, from the toils which the evil customs of the world, and my own folly and weakness, have spread around me. So may I at length triumph over every obstacle in my Christian course, and stand boldly forth as the candidate for an immortal prize, instead of being contented with a lower place in those
mansions of the Father' which the blessed Jesus has promised in Thy name to his faithful servants. Amen."
"Twelve times the sun his annual rounds hath told,
So may I hope the prayer so long preferr'd,
Where all shall mingle in one strain of love." These papers bear no date, but it was not, I believe, till about the year 1837, that is twenty years after her first change of sentiment, that she succeeded in establishing a Unitarian chapel in her native village. In the mean time it was her wont to retire on the Lord's-day to her own chamber, and there to offer to her God the worship of a devout heart, in that mode and in those terms which best accorded with her convictions. Would that there were many who would imitate her example, rather than join in the offices of a church, from the doctrines of which they cordially dissent! Would that there were many who would make the personal and the pecuniary sacrifices which she did, to obtain for herself, and for others who thought with her, the opportunity of worshiping their God in the way that their consciences approve! Honour be to her memory; and may her example operate as an encouragement and a stimulus to all those who feel that it is at once irrational and unscriptural to believe in a Triune God, and that, to use her own words, “ it is more honourable to the character of the Deity, when we consider him as a kind Father, who, when we have sinned, requires at our hands nothing but repentance and reformation to restore us to his favour, than as an inexorable Judge, whose anger was only to be appeased by the sacrifice of his only Son."
I cannot close this notice without stating that the means of giving effect to the dying wish of this excellent woman, " that all should go on as it used to do” with the church and school which she had founded, have been generously furnished by her surviving sister, who, though herself attached to a different form of faith, has most honourably and conscientiously placed in the hands of trustees a sum of money, the interest of which will be applied to this purpose. If not sufficient to defray all the necessary expenses, it will at all events go so far towards them, that but little further assistance will be required. The administration of this fund is intrusted to Mr. Fox, of York, to Dr. Hutton and myself, and we are preparing a declaration of trust, by which we bind ourselves, and certain others to be associated with us, to devote the proceeds to the keeping up of the school and chapel at Welton; or if, after a fair trial, the cause do not prosper there, to employ it in the promotion of Unitarian Christianity elsewhere, this provisional latitude being quite in accordance with the wishes of the deceased. London, June 4, 1849.
LAYARD'S NINEVEH." We feel unwilling to dismiss Mr. Layard's volumes without some specific notice of his spirited and lively sketches of the several interesting tribes and sects now existing around the scenes of his labours. At the close of our previous notice we referred, in what might seem rather an ungracious spirit, to the merely speculative interest and obsolete character of the object to which Mr. Layard principally devoted himself, and with which his volumes are mainly occupied. We seem bound, therefore, in common fairness, to exhibit more in detail the subjects of present interest with which the work abounds, and to shew that Mr. Layard is no less distinguished as a keen and sympathizing observer of living men than as an indefatigable explorer of departed ages. His work is the production of an eager and adventurous traveller, as well as of an enthusiastic and persevering antiquary.
Among the many details of Arab life and character which are interspersed through the volumes, the author records a visit which he paid to Sofuk, the Sheikh of the great Arab tribe of Shammar, which occu. pies nearly the whole of Mesopotamia, and relates the dark and tragic close of his career. The whole chapter breathes the spirit of the Desert, with its wild enchantment and passionate romance. The following extracts shew how keenly Mr. Layard felt the charm of life in the desert, and how vividly he depicts it to his readers.
“On the following morning we soon emerged from the low limestone hills; which, broken into a thousand rocky valleys, form a barrier between the Tigris and the plains of Mesopotamia. We now found ourselves in the desert, or rather wilderness; for at this time of the year, nature could not disclose a more varied scene, or a more luxuriant vegetation. We trod on an interminable carpet, figured by flowers of every hue. Nor was water wanting, for the abundant rains had given reservoirs to every hollow and to every ravine. Their contents, owing to the nature of the soil, were brackish, but not unwholesome. Clusters of black tents were scattered, and flocks of sheep and camels wandered, over the plain. Those of our party who were well mounted urged their horses through the meadows, pursuing the herds of gazelles, or the wild boar, skulking in the long grass. Although such scenes as these may be described, the exhilaration caused by the air of the desert in spring, and the feeling of freedom arising from the contemplation of its boundless expanse, must have been experienced before they can be understood. The stranger, as well as the Arab, feels the intoxication of the senses which they produce. From their effects upon the wandering son of Ishmael, they might well have been included by the Prophet amongst those things forbidden to the true believer."-Vol. I. pp. 84, 85.
" It was one of those calm and pleasant evenings which in spring make a paradise of the desert. The breeze, bland and perfumed by the odour of Howers, came calmly over the plain. As the sun went down, countless camels and sheep wandered to the tents, and the melancholy call of the herdsmen rose above the bleating of the flocks. The Arabs led their prancing mares to the water; the colts, as they followed, played and rolled on the grass. I spread my carpet at a distance from the group, to enjoy uninterrupted the varied scene."-Vol. I. p. 88.
"There is a charm in this wandering existence, whether of the Kurd or the Arab, which cannot be described. I have had some experience in it, and look back with pleasure to the days I have spent in the desert, notwithstanding