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first visited his own family at the Vicarage, he next went to the Hall, to communicate what had passed. No wonder that the disconsolate widow had not sufficient strength and spirits to hear the narration of these events. After she had retired out of the room with her mother, the following conversation thus commenced between the before-mentioned gentleman with Mr. Sprightly, who in consequence of the death of Mr. Merryman, came to transact some business at Brookfield Hall.
Wor. O Sir ! I almost tremble to ask what you must have felt in performing the last office for my dear departed son-in-law.
Lovey. In all my life time I was never more affected and overcome.
Bri. I should suppose so; for since my short residence at Sandover, I have discovered that there never was a man more beloved, or more deserving of it; for ever since it has pleased God to change his heart, what a character he has sustained! He was the father of every dejected widow, and the parent of every orphan child. The pains and care he took in the instruction of the children of the poor, especially in a religious point of view, were beyond all praise ; even while he reproved them, he constrained them to love him, forgiving them tenderly, rewarding them freely, provided they would do better for the time to come. There was not a cause of distress that he would not with the greatest assiduity seek out and relieve. In short, a spirit of universal humanity seemed to occupy all the feelings of his heart. And as a minister, I hope I have been taught of him what I never shall forget. It seemed almost impossible for
any person to be more devoted to the salvation and good of souls. His conduct was one perpetual sermon :
THE FUNERAL OF MR. MERRYMAN. Worthy.-But how did you get through the service? Lovegood.-Indeed, Sir, I could not get through the service: and the children who were appointed to sing a funeral hymn, as he was carried from before the reading desk to his grave in the Chancel, could not finish their office, before they were so overcome that many of them actually wept aloud, and I was so overpowered by the sight that I could not speak nor read another word.
even the very enemies of religion, who hated him as a prophet, arc ready to garnish his sepulchre now he is gone.
Loveg. No wonder that a man like this was so honoured when he was taken to the grave. The hearse was met by crowds full two miles out of town, all dressed in mourning, singing as far as they could sing, solemn and penitential hymns, for having forfeited by their unprofitableness, so truly good a man; and when the corpse arrived at the Church, oh! what a scene !
Wor. I suppose the Church was much crowded at the funeral ?
Loveg. Beyond all description. And when I began reading those solemn sentences appointed for the funeral service, every eye seemed floating in tears, and many wept aloud : indeed my own feelings were so overcome, that I could scarcely utter one word after another; and the people seeing me so much affected, were the more affected still.
Wor: I can easily imagine what your feelings must have been, for I know how you loved him.
Loveg. Yes, Sir; I did love him, and who could help it; the sight of him, the very mention of his name, at all times did me good. He lived for the best of purposes ; and the surprising change that the grace of God had accomplished upon his heart, has surprised thousands, and dethroned prejudice astonishingly.
Wor. But how did you get through the service ?
Loveg. Indeed, Sir, I could not get through the service: and the children who were appointed to sing a funeral hymn, as he was carried from before the reading desk to his grave in the chancel, could not finish their office, before they were so overcome, that many
of them actually wept aloud, and I was so overpowered by the sight, that I could not speak, nor read another word: and when I requested Mr. Slapdash, who was one of the
pall bearers, to finish the service, dear old man, he seemed to be more affected than myself, so that the lot fell upon Dr. Orderly, (who attended as another of the pall bearers,) to finish the service; and he also found it a difficult task.
Wor. I hope you will let us see a copy of the hymn that was sung on that occasion.
Loveg. O Sir! you must not ask to see my poor poetry.
Mr. Sprightly. As far as the hymn was sung, I have a copy of it.
Wor. Then I beg we may hear it.
If ever on a mortal bier