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[1762.] Lord Glenorchy, the year after his marriage, succeeded to the estate and mansion of Great Sugnal in Staffordshire, which he derived from his mother, the heiress of John Pershall, Esq. There Lady Glenorchy and he sometimes resided. Lord Breadalbane had a house in London, and magnificent apartments in the Abbey of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, besides the celebrated Castle of Taymouth in Perthshire. His Lordship generally resided during the winter in London, and Lady Glenorchy with him. After Lady Breadalbane's death, he resigned to Lord and Lady Glenorchy the establishments of Edinburgh and Taymouth. Although, therefore, Lord Breadalbane was generally with them wherever they were, Lady Glenorchy had the direction and command of the whole establishments.
[Aged 21.] Soon after Lady Breadalbane's death, which took place at Bath, September 1. 1762, Lord and Lady Glenorchy, accompanied by Lord Breadalbane, went abroad, intending to make the usual tour of Europe. They had spent some time in France, and had proceeded to Nice, when Lord Breadalbane left them, being called home by the death of his sister, who was maid of honour to the Princess Amelia. Lord and . Lady Glenorchy pursued their journey to Italy and Rome; and after spending about two years on the continent, they returned home.
[1764. Aged 23.] Lady Glenorchy was now about twenty-three years of age, and during all that time “ had walked according to the course of this world, without God, and without hope.” This is the account which she herself gave about two years afterwards in her Journal, which shall presently be brought before the reader.
On their return to Britain, Lady Glenorchy, like the bulk of young people in her circumstances and present state of mind, entered with ardour into the pomp and splendour of high life, and frequented public places and fashionable amusements. But among these she found no place on which she could rest the sole of her foot. In the full possession of all those things which are objects of envy to the worldling, she was wretchedly forlorn. O! what a hard and deceitful task-master is this present evil world!
That the health of a young and delicate female should suffer from such a mode of life, is not uncommon. And so it was with Lady Glenorchy. The seasons of indisposition, however, were seasons of reflection : she thought of God and religion, became sensible that she was not in spirit what she ought to be, and formed resolutions of abandoning her present pursuits, of returning to God, and living a devout and religious life. But, alas! when the dawn of health and spirits appeared, as is usual in such cases, the dew of good intentions evaporated.
Great Sugnal, where Lord and Lady Glenorchy sometimes resided, was at no great distance from Hawkstone, the celebrated seat of Sir Rowland Hill, Bart. At this time, several of the younger branches of this family, Mr Richard Hill, the Rev. Rowland Hill, Miss Hill their eldest sister, and another sister, afterwards Mrs Tudway, were of a decidedly pious character, and bore the reproach ordinarily connected with it, from the thoughtless, the formal, and the profligate. Lady Glenorchy visited this family, became intimate with it, revered and loved its members, and secretly wished that she was like them. Happily the time was at hand in which God fulfilled these desires of her heart.
Early in the summer of 1765 she was at Taymouth. While there, she was seized with a dangerous putrid fever, and confined to her bed in the melancholy state of mind to which reference has already been made. On her convalescence, by a singular circumstance in Providence, a train of serious thoughts and reasonings was produced, and was followed by convictions and purposes which ended in a complete renovation of heart and conduct. To this she beautifully adverts in her Journal.
Lady Glenorchy was not yet twenty-four, and Miss Hill was about her own age, perhaps somewhat older. They had before been intimate, but from this time they became bosom friends. The goodness of God was very evident in providing for Lady Glenorchy an adviser so well informed, so wise and prudent, so faithful and affectionate. The judicious and pious reader will be struck with wonder and admiration at the religious knowledge and experience of so young a person, and at the ease and clearness, as well as decision, with which she in ber letters conveys her ideas; and at the integrity and truth, the simplicity, fervour, and good sense, with which she expresses herself on various, and even mysterious subjects.*
The correspondence between these friends, from 1765 to 1768, was frequent, and did it exist entire on both sides, would be very valuable. Miss Hill survived Lady Glenorchy only a few years, having died about 1793, and most probably had destroyed the letters of her friend, as they contained much delicate communication ; for her niece, to whom her papers were committed, could find no vestige of them. The original letters of Miss Hill, the author of these Annals thinks, were also restored to her by Lady Maxwell, Lady Glenorchy's executrix, soon after Lady Glenorchy's death ; for he is in the possession of a letter froin Miss Uill, requesting him to apply to Lady Maxwell to restore them. However, a very considerable number of them has been preserved, in a very neat and
Whilst Lady Glenorchy was sinking in the deep waters of conviction of sin, and her strength and hope were about to perish, she received the following letter from her friend Miss Hill.
“ July, 1765. “ It gives me great pleasure to hear that your illness has been so sanctified to you, as to shew you in any measure that in yourself, to which before you confess you were a stranger ; that is, that you had too great an attachment to this vain unsatisfying world, the most pleasing appearances of which are nothing more than transparent baubles, which present gay colours that will soon fade. Allow me to congratulate you on this discovery; and may He, in whose band our breath is, shew you more and more of the uncertainty of all earthly happiness, and convince you more of the substantial joys that are to be found in him alone. It is a common and no less dangerous prejudice which many entertain against the ways of true evangelical holiness, that they are dull, forbidding, and melancholy, and that to live godly in Christ Jesus is to exchange every enjoyment for austerities and mortifications; whereas, on the contrary, none enjoy so much inward peace and security, none have so much cause for cheerfulness and joy, as those who seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. It is indeed the interest of the grand enemy of our salvation to pervert the good ways of the Lord, to frighten us from pursuing them by lying suggestions, and, like the spies who went to view the promised land, to
clean copy, written by Lady Glenorchy's own hand, which has been found among her papers, and from which we shall be able to gather some idea of the state of her Ladyship's mind during this period.
bring against it an evil report; and to insinuate, that instead of flowing with milk and honey, it devoured the inhabitants thereof. But surely God never intended that religion should lessen our enjoyments, or make over to a world living in rebellion against himself, a happiness greater than his own children should possess. No; the ways of religion are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. You say. you wish to overcome the fear of death. In order to this, I would advise you to examine whether you are really building upon the only sure foundation of hope; and what that hope is, the apostle expressly declares in the following words: • Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.' Try then, whether, as lost and undone in yourselfdeeply sensible of the natural apostasy of your heart from God-weary and heavy laden with the burden of sin-and renouncing all hope and help in your own righteousness, repentance, resolutions, &c.—try if you really rest upon Christ as your only Saviour, relying solely upon his blood applied by the Spirit to pardon you, his righteousness imputed to justify you, and his grace to be given to sanctify you. It was Ile who came to seek and to save that which was lost, and we must see and feel ourselves thus lost without him, before we can in earnest seek an interest in that salvation which he hath purchased, for “ther that are wbole need not a physician, but they that are sick. So long as, either in whole or in part, we cleave to our oun doings, and are not brought off from all dependance on the covenant of works one or other of these two things must happen; either we shall have so high a conceit of ourselves as to think lightly of, and greatly undervalue the redemption that is in Jesus, or else we shall walk in continual darkness and want of comfort,