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FUTURUS; EPAPHRODITUS; M. G.; PHILALETHES; THEOGNIS; A CYPHER, are under consideration.
CHARITATIS AMICUS, we think, must change his name before he can become the advocate of Dr. Butler's sermon. In another and the main point of his letter, we deny the charge. He has quoted, as our language, words which we never used.
Our present limits would not suffice for correcting the misapprehensions of AN IMPARTIAL OBSERVER. Referring him to what we have already written, we have now only to say, that he has totally misapprehended us.
We are of opinion, that the time is past for the publication in the Christian Observer of the Letters of A LAYMAN on Mr. Stone's sermon.
SOPATER'S note has been received.
We must request THE AUTHOR who has written to us, not to consider our silence respecting his publication as any mark of disrespect. We have it not in our power to notice one twentieth part of the books which are sent to us.
STAFFORDSHIRE'S request as to his lines is complied with.
No. for January, p. 44, col. 2, lines 15 and 16, for 5, in three places, read s.
SOME MEMORABLE THINGS, ESPECIALLY wisdom without her knowing how:
OF THE LAST YEARS AND HOURS OF
(Concluded from p. 69.)
BOUT six or seven days be
her children, that she might give them her last advice and blessing. To her son, my Lord Deskfoord, she said, that he must be as a mother to the rest, and see to their education; and prayed that God would bless him and direct him in all his actions. If there was any worldly thing she desired, it was that the family might stand in his person. But, checking herself, she said, we ought not to seek worldly things of God, and that she was not worthy that there should be the least remembrance of her after her death.' She only begged, therefore, that God would give him a heart in every thing to love and fear him. To my Lady Betty she said, she had been her idol from her infancy, and that she had loved her but too well. As she must now be mistress of the family, she bid her labour for a serious and composed temper of mind. She urged it upon her never to be idle, but always to be employed, and to spend much of her time in praying and reading devout books. She bid her also be kind to her sister, as, notwithstanding the badness of her temper, she had a particular kindness for her. Above all things, she charged her continually to love and fear God, and both in great things and in small to seek counsel from Him; and she would see that all her difficulties, on all occasions, would vanish, and God would give her CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 123.
and this, she said, she had proved by her own experience. To my Lady Janet she said, that she had to complain of her temper as stubborn and perverse. She charged her to more gentle
in particular to be affectionate and attentive to her sister, and to seek God with all her heart, and to look on all the advice given to her sister as given to herself. To Master George she said, that as he could not understand any advice she could give him, she should only pray God to bless him, and to make him a good man; and, calling for his governor, she charged him to instruct him in spiritual as well as temporal things, and earnestly to inculcate them on him. Then, looking on them all, she said, Ye are no more mine; ye are God's.' After which, turning towards her mother, who was leaning on the back part of the bed, and observing her very sorrowful, and bitterly lamenting her approaching death, she said,Mother, part willingly with me, for you see I have parted willingly with mine.'
"She was very anxious that her heart should have no attachment but to God. When some inconsiderate person told her hastily, that my Lord Seafield would be there in a few hours, she felt considerable emotion; but, recovering herself, she said,
What! shall the creature yet interpose between me and God? Begone, all ye creatures. I have vowed it. I have renounced you all, and given up myself to God. I have vowed, Q Lord, that I will be entirely thine. Lord, take thou the full possession of
my heart: fill every part of it with thy love.' Formerly, when her husband had returned home after a long absence, at the first meeting her spirits would have been in such a commotion that she would have fainted away. She was afraid lest any such weakness should have seized her now, and therefore still lifted up her heart to God, begging that he would permit no creature to share in it. When her husband came first into the room where she lay, she received him in a manner which did not discover any emotion, asked him of his welfare, excused herself as to conversation because of her deafness, and entreated him to retire to his chamber to refresh himself after such a wearisome journey; and when he had retired, she renewed her ejaculations to Heaven, and said, Lord, strengthen my spirit, and preserve my heart from straying one hair-breadth from thee to any created thing; from thee, my God, my all.' She would often say, The day of my union with thee is at hand; Lord, make me ready. If I perish, I will perish at his feet. I will hold him fast. Though he should slay me, yet will I love him. My tongue shall never cease to praise him while I have a being.' The second time her lord came to see her, she held out her hand to him with a smile, and said, I am no longer your's; I am God's: God bless you, and make you entirely his,'
"She was still affected with a
deep sense of her having been wanting in due compassion and charity towards the poor. She therefore begged of her husband that he would be pleased to erect a hospital for the maintenance of four poor widows, of good reputation, who had children, where they might be maintained, and live with their children till those were capable of being put to service or a trade; and on the decease of any one of them, another might be put in her room. To this he readily consented, which gave her no small satisfaction. She blessed God, who had disposed him to
consent to it so readily. She was in great hopes that her husband, through the Divine grace, should become truly good, which she earnestly begged of God; and to this end she urged him to be rid of all public affairs, and attendance on a court, as being the bane of all inclinations to true and solid virtue.
"Her heart was now wholly turned to God and to eternity; and day and night, while she waked, for she slept but little, she spent her time in ardent ejaculations, or in reading or hearing some portion of the Holy Scriptures with great devotion. Her son, having about this time read a letter concerning the love of God, was desirous it might be read to her, as being well suited to the present disposition of her heart. Having heard it with great attention, she said she had read it over two several times before, and wished nothing more than to have her heart wholly moulded into the love of God: she had always regarded the love of God as the essence of religion.
"Her fever increasing much at night, on Thursday night she could get no sleep, and so fell into a little delirium. After a time, however, she fell asleep, and awoke free from any delirium. Expressing the sense she had of her unworthiness and ingratitude to God, a lady who was present said, she could see no reason why she should have so ill an opinion of herself, as all who knew her were persuaded that she had led a very good life. To this she replied, that that arose from their not knowing her. She could wish that all might know her real character, and might learn, from her example, not to defer their repentance, but to turn unto God while in health. same lady observing that she had great reason to bless God who had given her such a son, she replied, that she did bless God for what he was, and prayed that he might be made better, and not be as those who put their hand to the plough and look back again. While she was speaking of her approaching
end, and that it was now not far off, hermother said, she hoped she might still recover. She answered, God forbid that I should flatter myself by thinking either that I shall live long in this world, or that I have a full assurance of a blessed eternity; for I stand I know not how.' And turning to her younger sister she said, O Jean, Jean, be wise; deny yourself, take up your cross, and foljow Christ.'
"That night she caused them read to her our Saviour's farewell sermon, and then said, I shall shortly bid farewell to the vanities of the world, and enjoy him whom my soul loveth.' When she awaked from her slumberings, during which she had been troubled with vain dreams, she said she should shortly behold the glory of God; and she begged earnestly that she might have no thought but of him; and that he would inspire her with his Holy Spirit, that, neither sleeping nor waking, she might have any unholy or unprofitable thought.
"Friday night, the fever still in creasing, she fell again into a little delirium, sleeping none that night However, in the morning the delirium left her, and she became quite composed. She had before been much affected with the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, and was sensible that God did not always bestow on those he most loved plenty of the good things of this life, and that she had not made that good use of them that she might and ought to have done; and therefore, thinking that the meanest things were too good for her, she desired to be buried in the meanest manner that is used in this country.
"In the afternoon, her fever still increasing, she was seized again with a slight delirium. During its continuance, prayers were made for her, of which she seemed insensible. A little time after, one prayed over her, blessing God that he had turned her heart wholly unto Him, and had taken possession of it, and begging ear estly that God would rebuke
Satan, and cause him to depart from her. Her spirit was immediately composed, and she broke forth into a most devout prayer and ardent adoration of God, at which all who were present were greatly surprised. Her husband drawing near to her, she held forth her hand to him, and then fell into a little delirium again. It was thought that she was calling for the young infant; but when brought, she took no notice of him. She was heard to say, Come, shew me the way.' One present reminded her that Jesus had said, I am the way, the truth, and the life;' and added, that He was now come to lead her to the Father, and to guide her through this dark path. And then he earnestly prayed, that Almighty God, the Creator of the world, would have mercy on the work of his own hands; that Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, would save the soul that he had bought; that the Holy Ghost, the Comforter,would support and comfort her in this her last agony. When he had ended, she broke forth into a divine rapture of adoration and praise with her last breath: My Redeemer liveth: praise to the Lord, Amen. Thou hast promised mercy; thou wilt not leave me praise to the Lord, Amen. Take me by the hand, O my Saviour, and lead me through the dark path unto the Father. O my God, leave me not. I know, O Christ, thou wilt not leave mie. Thou never didst forsake a soul that was wholly given up to thee: praise to the Lord, Amen. Heavenly Father, into thy merciful hands I commend my spirit. Thou knowest that I have forsaken the world, and given my heart wholly unto thee. Come, and take possession of it. All I had in the world, they are thine: I give them unto thee; do thou accept of them. I trust only in thy mercy, and in the merits of my blessed Redeemer : praise to the Lord, Amen. Come, Lord Jesus, and lead me to the Father. Heavenly Father, into thy merciful arms I commend my spirit
heart wholly devoted unto God. How much did she abhor herself! How profoundly penitent was she for her sins! How was her heart totally weaned from this world, and wholly resigned unto God! How ardent were the breathings of her soul to him! How humble was ber hope
Amen.' With these words she closed her eyes, and seemed to all present to be yielding up her last breath; and thus she continued for some time, her pulse being quite gone. But in a little time she opened her eyes again, and with an air, as it seemed, of joy and wonder, she continued looking upwards with a/in his infinite mercy! How often fixed gaze for near half an hour. By degrees she let her eyes fall, shut them, and yielded up her last breath. Those who were present were not a little affected both with her last words and her last looks, which they all beheld with silent admiration; and they were led to think that God had been pleased to grant her the desire of her heart, some special mark of his favour, in her passing out of this world, and that she was entered into the joy of her Lord."
From the funeral sermon which was preached on the occasion of this lady's death, I shall extract a few concluding observations.
"Adored be the infinite mercy and goodness of God for this fresh instance of a sinner who hath caused joy in heaven by true penitence. She was a great ornament to her family, sex, and country; a virtuous woman, whose price was far above riches;-the heart of whose husband might trust in her;-who looked well to the ways of her houshold, and ate not the bread of idleness; whose children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her;--who was not vain of her favour, which is deceitful, and beauty, which is vain; but truly feared the Lord, and therefore ought to be praised;-but who, especially in her latter years, and in the last days of her life, gave such evidences of a truly penitent spirit. She then felt the difference between that virtue which has a vain shew in the world, and yet is founded too much on selflove and self-seeking; and that which is founded on a deep and true humility, divine love, and self-contempt;-between a heart divided between God and the world, and a
did she say, 'I will cast myself at his feet: if I perish, I will perish there!' And what an earnest had we of her blessed acceptance with her hea venly Father and Redeemer, in her last joyful and rapturous breathing out of her spirit into the hands of her heavenly Father. O may we be stirred up to follow such a blessed example of true penitence! May the children trace this path of their excellent mother! May they ever remember and practise her last dying counsel! May her widowed husband give joy to her spirit, by being united to her in this spirit of true penitence! And may we all forsake our evil ways and unrighteous thoughts, and turn unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon us; even to our God, for he will abun dantly pardon. Amen."
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
Ir the following interpretation of Exod. xxviii. 30, does not appear to you to add to the number of unsatisfactory ones, you will perhaps allow it a place in your valuable miscellany.
I am disposed to consider the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, engraven on the twelve precious stones, as what alone was meant by the lustre and perfection, the Urim and the Thummim, which was appointed to be put in the breast-plate of judgment;-(which command,ver. 30, I take to be an explanatory repetition of that contained in the preceding verse);-Urim denoting the glory of the visible church, as bearing the light of truth (signified by the lustre of the precious stones); and Thummim, the unity of all its