Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

ace, un

[ocr errors]

Tience. I 35 9001 ty of being brought into the favour illness, she told me, witli indescribafoundia of God, and living in his fear, whilst ble expression of countenance and rested, 3 she was tormented by the convic- voice, that she would rather, far rahaplos

: tion of having lived entirely veglect- ther, go through all her bodily suf. Dessedful of his claims; and that, even ferings again, than endure the agony glory ex since awakened to a sense of her of a wounded spirit.-During the sainted obligations to love and serve him, summer, when deprived of the pubben in t she was continually sinning against lic means of grace, she devoted hert ten la him. But, under this sermon, she self to reading her Bible, and other bad boy was brought to perceive the situa. religious books which she was able'

tion in which she was placed by the to obtain. In the month of July she her s preaching of the gospel : she now was seized with her last illness, ok saw that the condemnation consist- which consisted in a complication

ed in a rejection of the salvation of of disorders, tltat terminated in a me De

the cross. Her anxiety now was to decline. The progress of the disice, in ascertain whether she was the sub- ease, though extremely painful and houseal. ject of that faith which worketh by debilitating, was very slow. About er, which lose, purifies the heart and life. She the middle of October she was con

wished to ascertain, whether she fined to her hed, from whicli she her til felt real love to the Redeemer. Her never more arose. Her resignation distas anxiety on this subject was so in- to the Divine will was now severely Beide tense, that it deprived her of sleep, tried. During the summer she bad

and she could seldom obtain rest been anxiously longing for the re

till exhausted nature sunk into re- turn of the public means of grace, of liter pose, when the morning was far ad- and now that desired period was stres ! tanced. A sermon, preached from just at hand, she was confined 10

Jobo xiv. 21, was blessed to the re- her bed. Her neighbours would the car

moval of her uncertainty, and to the again be able to attend that minisfar be great relief of her mind; but she try which was endeared to her by vlogen

still felt burthened under a load of its usefulness to her soul, whilst slie
conscious guilt, which rendered her would be entirely excluded. This
life miserable. The last sermon she spoke of as ber most painful
preached in the hall that winter, trial : but this, as well as every other
from 1 John i. 7, was the happy affliction, she was enabled to endure
means of bringing her to joy and with unwavering patience and re-
peace in believing. In one part of signation.
the sermon, an attempt was made to After I had once been to see her,
describe the unbearable sufferings of my visits became a continual source
1 wouuded spirit. She then felt (as of pleasure and support to my mind,
she expressed herself,) as if her own Oni entering Gilnerton, I was ac-
feelings had been laid bare, and customed to proceed directly to her
when the blood of atonement was cottage, and sit by her bed-side till
brought forward, as speaking peace it was time to commence the service
to the troubled conscience, and at the hall. The conversation of
cleansing the soul from the pollution this dying saint was an admirable
of sin, she felt that she had found preparative for the services of the
the balm and the fouylain which she sanctuary. O! when shall I realize
needed, whist Jesus Christ was re- those feelings in their full extent
ceived as her all-sufficient and again, which occupied my breast
only Saviour. The relief which she whilst preaching at Gilmerton! The
enjoyed was inexpressibly sweet. death-bed of my friend was, to me,
After months of severe and painful the portal of eternity; and I preach-

me, she ropa be se

[ocr errors]

he di the it

SOUNT

aching

[ocr errors]

noch

1. A

[ocr errors]

been dis

ed as if standing on the briok of the jects of her earnest solicitude. She grave. It would be a vain attempt, was always anxious to know if they my friend, to endeavour to present attended the means of grace, and you with a detailed account of her had frequent opportunities, which all continued meetening for glory. Her she eagerly improved, of cultivating humility led her to regard me as an serious impressions, which had been instructor; but, I assure you, that made upon their minds. I remem. her dying-bed was to ine a school of ber well, when she was drawing toChristian experience; and may I wards the last stage of weakness

, 20 ls never forget the lessons which were and her sufferings were most acute

, there taught me. Her patience and opium had been prescribed, as the best ca faith increased in power and splen- only means of affording her any dour as she approached the termi- respite from pain. The next time per God, nation of her sufferings. Her resig- of my visiting her, on hearing that may be nation was upwearied; never was a she could obtain but little sleep, I fi teni

, no murmur heard from her lips. Those inquired about the effects of the ban al in who knew her only as the subject opium, and found that she had reof a protracted and painful sickness, fused to take it a second time. She ta prop might think of her with pity; but said, that though it deadened the statii none of those who visited her in her sense of pain, and procured her t ledaffliction, could long consider heras sleep, yet its influence so skupified red

. O an object of compassion. She had her mind, that she could not ibink *** at be her enjoyments, and her pleasures collectedly, nor could she converse were both ratioual and scriptural, with ber neighbours who came to though highly exalted in their na- see her; and that she had rather entrerad bong ture and degree. Whilst conversiog dure the continuance of her bodily on religious subjects, she seemed sufferings, than be precluded from almost insensible to pain, and when meditation on religious subjects, left alone, her time never passed and from attempting to do some heavily away, for her mind was oc- good to those who visited her. Thus cupied with devout meditation. I she continued to the end. have told you of her being resigned know that I did not stay long to the Divine will, in all the afflic. enough in Scotland to close her tions she was called upon to en eves: 1 left about a week before she dure; but resignation appears al- died. I cannot write an account of most too feeble a word to express my taking leave of her it was most what was the predominant state of affecting. O that my God may hear her mind. Gratitude to God seemned her parting prayers for me, which to be the prevailing disposition. She subdued, whilst they exquisitely spoke of judgment only as it afford- gratified, my heart, ed her an opportunity of speaking I received the account of her in more exalted terms of mercy. death, in a letter from my highly Often has she expatiated to me on valued friend A-, of Edinburgli

, a her obligations to her heavenly Fa- short time after my return to Eng. ther, who removed some sources of land. What I now write will be an trouble, of a family nature, before extract from his letter. " With rethis, her last great affliction, began. gard to news, 1 begin with the spot

She was an affectionate wife, and where the Divine Spirit, through a tender mother, and her soul was your instrumentality, breathed upon bent upon promoting the best in- ihe dead in siu, "You remember terests of those wbom she loved. how ill you left one of them, and Her neighbours, too, were the ob- may, on this account, be prepared

a hope

[ocr errors]

But you

f grace, a nities

, FL

Lich bad

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ects of

[ocr errors]

as you

adened. cured

[ocr errors]

to hear of her transition to a world my mind, as to render it no easy licitudes of bliss. It was on the following undertaking to fulfil your wishes. If know it's Tuesday to that on wbich we part. what has been written, however,

ed, at about eleven at night, that should increase your faith in the she exchanged a life of faith and pa- grace of the Redeemer; if it should tience for the full fruition of the render the interest you have exworld of glory. Miss W— was with pressed in my departed friend her at the time of her decease. In abiding-if it should enable you to

a note to Miss M-, Miss W— says, sympathize more closely in the tenof weale Mrs. Ramsay is now no more.

I der affection with which I must ever feel a strange want this morning; pronounce the name of Gilmerton, Fibed, 3

her heavenly conversation was a you will richly repay
great pleasure to me. She died Your truly affectionate friend,
praising ber God. I would not have

exchanged my feelings at that so. X. ttle slent

lemn moment, no, not for this vain
world, and all its empty nothings.

ON THE EXERCISE OF LOVE.
I could wish Mr.

knew, but do
think
tice

proper.

Her love continued for him till the last moment.'

The scriptures emphatically deOn the Lord's-day following, she clare, for our confidence and encouwas interred. Our friends A— and ragement, that“GODIs Love;"love N- were at her funeral, wbich, inits very essence, love that "passeth N-said, ' was indeed an affecting understanding." It is higher than one.--In a letter which I bave mye heaven what can we know? Here

self received from Miss W-(a most we are compelled to pause, wouder, ribers

interesting young woman, the first admire, and adore. For, if the most
in Gilmerton to whom I had good profound philosophers are obliged
reason to hope that the blessing of to acknowledge that they can com-
God had made me useful;) she says, prehend but little of causes separate
"When Mrs. Ramsay died, then i from their effects ;-if the most acute
could have wished to have told you metaphysicians cannot understand
all her hopes, and how much she or explain abstract qualities, prin-
was indebted to you. The last ciples, or ideas; either as to the
words she spoke were, If ever you mode of their existence or opera-
see Mr. -, tell him, through our tion; and, if the most skilful ana-
Lord, he saved me from endless mi. tomists are at a loss to account for
sery—likewise, I die in the fullest many of the phenomena of the
hope of being with my dear Saviour human frame, things with which we.
for ever. May the Lord for ever are all, more or less, familiar; with
bless him! Little more could she how much greater force will the
speak, in low accents praising her remark apply to the contemplation
Redeemer she adored. Wben her of the nature, attributes, and per.

pure spirit left its earthly dwelling, fections of Him who is “ The King erek

I stood Jonely, I lost a dear friend Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the
I could have followed.""

only wise God.“Such knowledge
Thus bave I brought the parra- is too wonderful for us, it is high we
tive of Mrs. Ramsay to a close. The cannot attain unto it.” “Who would
sketch of her soul's history, which is not fear thee thou King of Saints,
bere given you, rapid and imperfect for unto thee doth it appertain.”
as it is, has excited such a crowd of It must then be with the cbaracá -
pleasing and painful recollections in ter of God as discovered in his

[ocr errors]

ber. The

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

works, as developed in his ways, have each their respective attraco and as revealed in his word, that we tions; and declare in unambiguous, please finite creatures have principally to yet sublime language, the faithful. do; here we can trace his love in ness, power, and love of God. " He some of its modifications, and there. hath not left himself without witby ascertain something of its excel- ness in that he hath sent us rain lent nature and wonder-working from heaven, and fruitful seasons, power. Let us reflect on it first, filling our hearts with food and as manifested in creation. We are gladness." He hath this year also told by the sacred historian, “And reserved unto us the appointed God saw every thing that he had weeks of harvest," and our garners made, and behold it was very good.” are again filled with plenty, afford

rebesked Of this we have abundant proof. ing all manner of store.” The eyes Contemplate the world itself as it of all wait upon thee, and thou came fresh from the hands of its givest them their meat in due sea. Maker, how magnificent, yet how son. Thou openest thine band, useful! and although siu has de- and satisfiest the desire of every formed and subjected it to a curse, living ibing. There is nothing so still it retains vestiges of its former diminutive as to be beneath the grandeur, and marks of its pristine notice of divine love, nothing so beauty. “O Lord how manifold great or exalted, as to be indepenare thy works, in wisdom bast thou devt of its influence. “O that men

a teglib made them all; the earth is full of would praise the Lord for his goodthe riches of thy glory, and so is ness, and for his wonderful works

penge from the great and wide sea.

to the children of men." “ These are thy glorious works, Parent of But, it is in redemption that the Good!

love of God appears pre-eminent. Almighty! thine this universal frame

Here mercy and iruth meet together, Thus wondrous fair! Thyself how won.

rigliteousness and peace embrace drous then!

each other. “ God so loved the Happy those who so study nature world, that he gave his only begotten as to “ lead them up to nature's

Son, that whosoever believeih on
God."
The love of God is also displayed everlasting life.” The love of “God,
him should not perish, but have

an from ju the kingdom of providence. He manifest in the flesh, was stronger it is who causeth his sun to shine than death, more powerful than the upon the evil and good, and sendeth Jis rain upon the just and the up

grave, which many waters could just. The verdure of Spring,

not quench, nor the floods drown."
It was love ibat pitied

" man in his • When love warbles in the vocal groves, low estate,” it was love that promptAnd vegetation plants the plain,"–

ed a way for bis recovery, it was the beauties of Summer,

love that executed the “ wondrous • When the green ibow'r with

plan,” and it is to love that we look crowned, In showers its fragrant foliage sheds,

for the full and final consummation ibe fruitfulness of Autumn, when of all that pertains to our eternal her

salvation. May we, by beholding “ Yellow lustre gilds the world,

the exhibition of the unparalleled And tempts the sickled swain into the love of our Divine Surety, be field,"

changed into the same image and the sterility of Winter, from glory to glory, as by the Spirit “ The Icalless wood, the naked field,

of God." The show.topt cot, tho frozca rill," Having feebly glanced at some of

[ocr errors]

mbetos

14

roses

[ocr errors]

God's

without e

that the 而健,

the excellencies of love, as displayed will 'necessarily include enemies as nambico

by the ever-blessed God, let us ad- well as friends. And here it is, that the faili

vert to it as obligatory on us in the religion of the Bible infinitely return. Natural religion teaches us transcends all others, inasmuch as that we are bound to love Him in it teaches us to love our enemies; whom we live, move, and have our a peculiarity demonstrative of its being; and that we ought to be very divine origin. " Ye have heard grateful, seeing he “ daily loadeth that it haib been said, Thou shalt

us with benefits.” Every moment love thy neighbour, and hate thine appola

comes to us richly laden with good, enemy: But I say unto you, Love Our Fun and every moment should bear away your enemies, bless them that curse

some acknowledgment of our obli. you, do good to them that hate you, The re

gations to him; some humble con. and pray for them which despiteand they

session of our dependence on him, fully use you and persecute you.” a dies and some expression of grateful And, " if ye salute your brethren onine bax emotions towards him.

ly, what do ye more than others? do The moral law requires, that we not even the publicans so?" The potkisz" should love God with all our exercise of this grace is fraught with

heart

, with all our mind, with all so many advantages to ourselves as olding of our soul

, and with all our strength, well as to others, that it is astonishindepen

and our neighbour as ourselves ;" ing, selfish as we are, that we are not

so that obedience, to be acceptable, found more in the cultivation of it. his post

must spring from a principle of love Like mercy (an emanation thereof) to God; and it may well be asked, it is twice blessed. Fuilh is indiswho is sufficient for these things, pensable, for without faith it is imfor "all have sinned, and come possible to please God. Read its short of the glory of God.” Here glorious achievements as recorded then, redeeming love comes in to in the 11th chapter to the Hebrews. our aido

, Jesus, our great High Hope is to the believer's soul, as an Priest

, has " magnified ihe law and anchor both sure and steadfast, and made it honourable;” and by be. entereth into that within the vail :

lieving in Him we are justified from but these will one day cease, faith har

all things from which we could not will give place to sight, and hope to be justified by the law of Moses,” fruition; but there is that in this Therefore, " we are not without law “more excellent way" which far to God, but under the law to Christ.” surpasses the other graces, for Dehased as is human nature, there “charity never faileth," that which are fes who do not feel a spark of possesses a power next to Omnipogratitude towards a fellow-creaturé, tent; it disarms revenge of its sting, when a signal favour has been re- and lays prostrate the very worst ceived. " The ox" also « kpoweth passions of man in his very worst

owner, and the ass bis master's state. “ Amor vincit omnia." Ge. crib, but Israel doth not know;" nuine love stays not to ask, “Am God's people " do not consider, nor I my brother's keeper," nor is it at return unto Him according to the a loss to ascertain “And who is benefits done unto them.”

my neighbour;" but casting its beLove so amazing, so divine,

nignant eye around, it perceives Demands our souls, our lives, our all.” wretchedness and woe in various Reflect on the excellency of this forms, and proceeds to alleviate the heaven-born principle in reference one, and mitigate the other as opto its exercise between man and portunity offers and ability serves. man, in the world at large; which The cause I knew not, said Job, I

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

his

« PreviousContinue »