« PoprzedniaDalej »
her grandmother did greatly comfort When he first addressed her, she her; and when she would be in the gave him no other return but that greatest anguish, these two passages she was to obey her parents, and be of holy Scripture gave cure and re- directed by them. When all was Jief to her spirit: One day with agreed unto, he made her a present of the Lord is as a thousand years; and a rich diamond ring, but she would a thousand years as
one day.' by no means accept of it till the • When the wicked turneth away marriage was solemnized; she confrom his wickedness which he hath sidering, that many have been concommitted, and doth that which is tracted, who have not been married lawful and right, he shall save his together; and that if it should so soul alive.' However, the deep happen with her, such a present impression of this threatening, re- could not be kept, and therefore she mained on her spirit for several chose rather not to accept of it. years.
• The entering into the married “When she was with her parents, state so young, where she foresaw so her mother happened to be visited many difticulties, made her very with a severe and long sickness, du- thoughtful, and therefore she had ring which she constantly attend. recourse to God; and begged eared her, and ministered to her in nestly, counsel and direction from every thing, sitting up by her in him. And this she said she did afthe night to serve, her; and the terwards in all her difficulties, and seeing her mother sa afficted, and that she found God was pleased to the apprehensions of her death, and direct her and bring her through the solitary nights she spent in at- them she knew not how. tending her, made her very thought- “ When she was first married, her ful; so that she employed them husband had no plentiful fortune in much in reading the Scriptures and the world, although he had the devout books, and came ihereby to prospect of being his father's heir, have a deep sense of her duty to (his elder brother, though alive, being God, and received her parent's very infirm); yet the estate of the blessing for her so pious care of her; family was under such burdens, that of the good of all which she was at. it was scarcely better than none at terwards very sensible.
all. This made her give great ap“ In the sixteenth year of her plication to a careful and prudent age, she was married io the Hon. management; and their worldly James Ogilvie, second son to the wealth still increasing, and God Earl of Findlater, who was after-. blessing them with a plentiful forwards created Earl of Seafield, and tune, and her husband being for whose eminent parts appeared in the most part from home, and comthe discharge of two great offices of mitting to her the care and managestate ; that of secretary of state, and ment of his own estate, she did it that of lord high chancellor, to with great application and fidelity: which he was advanced in this and She looked on herself as the steward the last reign; first to the one, and of it for ber husband, and that she then to the other; and that for two was obliged to be faithful to her several times, continuing in the last trust. till the late union of both king- • When her first-born son was doms into one, of Great Britain. born, being of a thin body, she was
" When he came first to ask her prevailed with to give him to be for his wife, her father having told nurst by another woman, who, provher of it the night before, some of ing a very bad nurse, occasioned her acquaintances pressed her to much sickness to the child; which look out of her window to see him brought him to the gates of death, while he alighted (for she had never for which the mother had deep reseen him), but she would not do it. morse, and having met with the
Same affliction in her second child, heaven and hell, as made him to for which she was touched with like tremble, and gave him a deep sense trouble, she resolved afterwards to of that charity and compassion which nurse her own children, which she we ought to have for the poor and accordingly assayed in the next miserable. There was noihing she child, her present eldest daughter; was more careful to curb in her but after two months' suckling, she children than the least inclination became so weak that she was forced to lying or deceit. She was also careto give it over.
ful to suppress in them the least in“ Though her husband was, for clination to pride and self-conceit. the most part, always abroad, being And when she found them lifted up, employed in the public affairs, yet she would take occasion 10 humble sbe kept still at home, being careful them, and so to point out to them to educate and bring up her children their
faults as to mortify their pride. in virtue and piety, and looked well Though it was still her care to to the ways of her household, and make no shew in her devotion, and ate not the bread of idleness: a rare not to be seen of men, yet, for the example for the ladies of this age. most part, she constantly retired
“She was most careful to nip the thrice a day for prayer and medifirst buds of vice that appeared in tation on the holy Scriptures; and her children, and to pull them up in particular on the Lord's day in by the root. She still inculcated to the afternoon; and frequently took them the heinousness of their dis- in some one of her children with her, obedience to God, and their sinning keeping her child under her arm against him, and would not forgive while she prayed with great devothem the offence they had done, till tion; and afierwards would set down they had first earnestly begged par- and speak seriously to the child of don of God. And she made them the obedience and love he owed to still conceive that the reason of their God, the duty of depending upon obedience to her commands, was be- bim, and having recourse to him by cause it was the will of God, and he prayer on all occasions, repenting commanded it. Her eldest son, in and confessing his sins before him. his childhood, when about five or And she would then reprove him six years of age, having learned mildly of any particular faults she from the servants to take the name thought he was guilty of, and reof God in vain, she wrought in him commend to him the particular du: such a sense of the baseness and lies he ought to perform; and espeheinousness of that crime, that ever cially to employ the Lord's day in afterwards he had a horror of it. At reading and meditatiog on the holy another time, about the eighth or Scriptures and in prayer. She ninth year of his age, she having would then dismiss the child to get given him a little money to carry to by heart a portion of a psalm or a beggar whom she saw at the gate, some other part of the holy Scriphe was tempted by a boy, of the same ture; and after : she had ended her age with himself, to buy figs with it. own devolions, would call in the This coming to her ears, she so laid child again, and take an account of before him the heinousness of this .it. She accustomed the children, sia ; the greatness of the theft he from their infancy, to pray morning had committed in robbing the poor; and evening, and recommended to the dreadfulness of the account he them, before they fell asleep, to call must have to give at the last judg- to mind some passage of Scripture,' ment for this oncharitableness, when and meditate upon it; and when they we shall be judged by Jesus Christ awoke in the morning, to do the same. according to our charity or want of.“ About a year after their marit; and did so inculcate upon bim riage, they came to live with the the thoughts of death and judgment, Earl of Findlater, her husband's
father, at his house of Cullen, where she did not appear at all affected the Countess of Findlater being de- with the novelty of things. When ceased, the whole care of the family the ladies and others came to visit was committed 10 her; in the maó her, they were surprised to find how nagement of which she discovered a much they had been mistaken in wonderful prudence and discretion, their opinion of her, and that, infar beyond what could have been stead of rural manners, they beheld expecied from a young lady of a lady endued with all the valunble eighteen years of age. There were accomplishments of the breeding of in the family, besides the lady and a court and city, and tainted with her own husband, the Earl of Find- none of their vices. Her behaviout later, his eldest son, the Lord Desk- towards others was so courteous, foord, the earl's two daughters, both that never any one who saw her, of of them older than herself, and a what quality soever, thought her younger son: and these were of wanting in the respect due to them. such different tempers and interests, Whatever occasions offered of doing that it was not easy to oblige one good offices to others, she was ready without disobliging the other: and to embrace them. In conversation yet this young lady so lived among she had an easiness of expressing them, as to obtain the esteem and herself in proper words, without the good will of all, and to avoid a con- least affectation. She was so well cern in their little quarrels and re- versed both in ancient and modern sentments. She heard them com- history, and in the present state of plain of each other without offend. Europe, and in matters of religion, ing the person complained of, and that no subject of conversation did was displeasing to none of then.. usually occur to which she was a
“The Earl of Seafield had been stranger. She had nothing of the in public office several years, both coquetry of the age; her behaviour in Edinburgh and London, before in all things was perfectly modest be obliged his lady to leave her and unaffected ; and both in Scotcountry-house to come to live with land and England, in the opinion of him at court or in the city. The the most discerning persons, she ladies were wont to express their obtained the character of one of the surprise why she lived still in the most accomplished ladies in Britain, country; and concluded her lord and had the good wilt and esteem of was ashamed to bring her to the all ranks of people. court and the city, because of her “ The Earl of Seafield being enrural breeding. They earnestly gaged in the interest and service of pressed him to bring her up, and the court at the time when the disconThey pleased themselves with the tents of the nation swelled to a great fancy of the sport and divertisement height, he became one chief butt of they should have in the manners, their displeasure which is the ordispeech, conversation, and behaviour nary fate of ministers of state. His of a country lass; and how odd lady on all occasions stood up for the she would look when she was out of honour and interest of her husband, her element. She knew not what it and to vindicate him from the rewas to disobey her husband; and proaches cast upon him; and yet, as she was well pleased to live in nevertheless, retained the general the country so long as he saw it fit, good will, so that when the rabble 80 she made no scruple, upon his arose at Edinburgh with respect to call, to come to the city. Before Darien, and broke the glass winshe came first to Edinburgh, she had dows and did other indignities to Rever been in a town so remarkable houses which wanted illuminations; as Aberdeen, and therefore one though there were none in the would think every thing might seem Earlof Seafield's house where his lady swange to her; but, on, the contrary, then was; and though they were on
their march to commit insolences if it were his holy will, that he would there ;--yet upon a suggestion made be pleased to spare ber yet awbile, them that none was there but this even but for one year more. The Lord virtuous lady, and that it would be heard her prayer, and beyond the exungenerous to treat her indiscreetly, pectation of all she was restored 10 they turned their course another health, and had the least she desired way.
granted her, so that her soul was - In the year 1706, ber lord being full of devout adoration. And in then Chancellor of Scotland, and this divine frame and disposition of about to return from court, and have spirit, she wrote meditations on the ing desired her to meet him at Edin- Lord's prayer, which, when she peburgh against such a time; while rused them, served to enkindle har she was making ready for the jour- devotion." ney, she was seized suddenly in her The whole of these meditations closet, at the moment that she was are inserted in the manuscript. A employed in preparing to receive the few extracts from them will serve to sacrament on the next Lord's day, mark their character. with a violent vomiting of blood, " O holy Lord God, come then which returned more than once, and and rule in my heart. Be my king, brought her to the very gates of and establish thyself a throne in my death. God was pleased to call her, affections; and govern my will, that not only by this sudden and unex- I may be a most obedient subject pected stroke, but by the checks unto thee. hasten the day when and motions of his Holy Spirit; and all knees shall bow before thee, and she was struck with a deep sense of all tongues shall confess thy name; God's wonderful mercies to her, and when the Gospel shall shine gloof her abuse of them. She had be- riously, and Jew and Gentile shall, fore her the prospect of death and in their beart and practice, acknoweternity, and felt how unfit she was ledge the Messiah, and turn their to enter into it. On the review of affections to the great and mighty her whole life, though she had not God.” been guilty of what the world would “ () God, I desire to give up my account heinous crimes, yet she found will unto thee; and let thy will be that she had been seeking herself done in and by me, and not only in and her own reputation more than me, but in all that is mine. O pull God; and saw what a difference there down every thought that raiseth itself was between that virtue which is in disobedience to thee, and every founded on true humility and the base imagination, that thy will may sincere love of God, and is the work be fully obeyed not only by me, but of his grace and Spirit, and that in all the earth. Give thy enlightwhich is only the effect of self-love. ening Spirit, that thy will may be She was struck with deep remorse known, and that it may dissipate that in all things she had sought the thick clouds of iniquity that herself more than God, and by ar- darken or go between thee and us." dent prayers implored his mercy and “Lord, let me no longer satisfy mycompassion for Christ Jesus' sake, self with praying, Thy will be And while she was in the extremity done; but by an actual giving myof weakness, she caused her eldest self to be guided by thy revealed daughter to read to her the fifth will, and by submission to thy prochapter of Matthew, and made so vidential will, may I follow thee in excellent a discourse on the eight all thy steps.” beatitudes, therein contained, that it “ Lord Jesus, thou art the bread greatly affected and left a deep im- of life: give me that bread which pression on the spirits of all who shall feed me to life everlasting; and were present. She devoted herself grant, that as I cannot live without a wholly to God, and begged earnestly, dependence on thee, so may I never desire to live without it, but that any place there. Nothing of this the eyes of my soul may be always was known till a few days before Jooking towards thee, and receiving her death, when she desired one of with thankfulness my temporal and her maids to look for such a paper spiritual food from thy hands.” “O in her cabinet, and bring it to her, that I could give my heart entirely that some parts of it being read to to thee! Lord, I am a poor defiled her, she might the more reproach wretch; but it is by thy blood I must herself for not having walked an. be cleansed, whose I am, and to swerably to such powerful calls, and whom I do resign myself, soul and such solemo engagements.” body, and all that is mine. This is
(To be continued.) but what gratitude obliges me to, since he gave himself for singers, of whom I am the chief.”
Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer, “ O holy Lord Jesus, grant that So much has been said of late remy passions may be subdued to thee, specting Gospel preaching and Goand that all my revenge and anger spel ministers ; and those wbo are may be against sin; that I may most frequent in the use of the strive through thy strength to root terms seem to understand so little it out of my heart; that I may be a of their real import, that I must look declared enemy to the devil, the upon it as an essential service to the world, and the flesh, whom I ren cause of religion, to endeavour to nounced in my baptism, and have communicate precise and just views declared war against often in the on the subject. What, then, is it to Tows which I have made to thee." preach the Gopsel? And who are
“ O keep me from relying on any they who may be considered as thing but Christ and him crucified, fairly entitled to the appellation of and on thy abounding mercy. O evangelical ministers? These quesholy Lord God, purge me from sin, tions appear to me to be satisfacand pardon the sins of my holy du- lorily answered in the inclosed paties, my wandering and vain thoughts per; with the insertion of which I in prayer. O take away my hard. should be glad to see you open your ness and stopidity of heart; possess new volame. This paper is the my will, and fill my affections. Thou production of a friend whom I most art the only object that is worthy of highly value, but whose modesty all love! Thou only canst satisfy a would not permit bim to see in it right-placed affection !"
any thing which was calculated for “ 'These," the writer of the paper the general benefit. My opinion is observes, “ are the excellent medi- certainly widely different from bis; tations which this lady then formed and I have prevailed with him to on this divine prayer; and they submit it to the test of your judga manifest not only the clearness and meet. Should your opinion coinexactness of her thoughts, but also cide with mine, I sincerely hope the deep sense and feeling of her that it will serve to encourage the beart with respect to the greatness author of it (who entertains great and goodness of God, and the infinite respect for your decisions in general) obligations she had to love him with to become a niore frequent contriall her heart, and her great unduti- butor to your work. I am well fulness to so good a God, and the persuaded that he could not write hopes she had in his mercy through without interesting and enlightenJesus Christ, to which she flies, yield-ing your readers. I am, &e. ing up her will wholly unto his, and
S. resolving in the strength of bis grace to live from henceforth wholly unto
ON PREACHING THE GOSPEL him, that he might reign and rule in The Gospel is stated by St. Paul, her heart, and no idol might fiuď to be " the power of God unto sal