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recommended to me. The burden exceeds my strength; and the expense of coach-hire, which I am unwilling to charge, is not inconsiderable ; but what I can, I will cheerfully do. I have heard nothing of your brother, Mr. Ebenezer's design of a Society for Tracts to Ministers : the proposal should be published in the Magazine.
“ The other matters respecting the Nonconformist's Library, &c. I shall attend to; but, in my opinion, the shorter way will be to submit the hint to all in the Magazine. Mrs. W. joins in love to Mrs. Brown and Mr. Gilfillau, with, my dear brother, your affectionate friend."
Dr. Waugh hastened to visit the distressed and the dying, not only in his own circle, but beyond it. Though frequently called to public meetings, he never resisted an application to minister in the house of mourning; and even amidst the pressure of his own infirmities, he was eager to strengthen the weak hands, and to comfort the feeble-minded. His forte lay in speaking to the heart; he delighted to contemplate and to exhibit religion in its softer aspects; and its tenderness was felt more sweetly when it was seen lifting his quivering hand in earnest entreaty, and heard softening his voice in mild admonition.
Having been called upon, during one of the earlier years of his residence in London, to visit ministerially a gentleman of property, not one of his own congregation,-after praying with him, he was about to take his leave, when two guineas were placed in his hand. He asked, “ For what is this, my dear sir ?” “A small acknowledgment of your kind services,” was the reply. Mr.
Waugh immediately returned the money, and said, with great solemnity, “ My prayers are not to be bought, sir.” Some time after this, he was again solicited to call on the same person, when, on leaving the house, the servant placed a sealed letter in his hand; he took it, the door was closed, and, after walking a few steps, he opened it, and found its contents a bank-note for five pounds. He hesitated— he felt that in his circumstances, with a large and young family, and very limited means, this sum would be of essential use at home; but his conscience smote him - he returned to the house, and placing the money on the table, beseeched the gentleman never again to acknowledge in such a manner any services which his imperfect attentions might, by the blessing of God, be privileged to perform. It deserves to be particularly noticed, that in after-years, this same gentleman proved to Dr. Waugh a most considerate and libéral friend.
The following is a letter written by him to a brother minister in Scotland, relative to the death of one of his elders, who had come to London on business, and been taken ill far from his relatives and his home.
“ February 10th, 1821. “ MY DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER, “ Last night, Mr. R., the intimate friend of your worthy elder, Mr. H., called on me with a request that I would visit him as soon as possible, in the alarming state of his illness. We set off this morning, and have just now arrived. But the Messenger of the Covenant was beforehand with us, and, obedient to the prayer of the Advocate, (John, xvii. 24), had, about four o'clock this morning, carried away the immortal soul to the bosom of his Father and his God. Every aid that the first medical skill could afford was afforded; but the Lord taketh away, and who can hinder him?—who in such a case would wish to hinder him? The Lord here seems to say to the widow and fatherless children: “Suffer your beloved husband and parent to come unto me, and forbid him not.
“The trial is overwhelming to nature; but it is in such desolating strokes that the power of God in supporting, and his grace in comforting, his bereaved people, are gloriously displayed. Alas, for the poor widow ! But you will tell her that the Redeemer liveth, and that over his love disease and death have no power, and that in his guidance, in the sad evening of life, when her feet stumble on the dark mountains, she will find more safety in his arm, and in his bosom more tender meltings of sympathy, than she could have enjoyed in her beloved husband in the most advanced state of religion in his soul.
“The good pious people in the house inform us that he expressed a deep concern about his absent family, and hoped that they would not murmur nor find fault with the arrangements of Divine Providence in calling him away when separated far from his beloved home. He died in the Lord. He said that God had been a refuge in time of trouble, and he trusted he would continue to be so. It is all,' he added, of sovereign mercy.' He anticipated his departure, and gave directions about his funeral, which he desired might be decent, but plain and simple. The disorder was inflammation in the bowels, and proceeded rapidly. All things were put up, and ready to be carried to the wharf. O, how true is it, that there is but a step between us and death! I feel, on this dark occasion, as walking among the dead. The pious and excellent Dr. Nicol, my worthy brother in Swallow Street, lies a corpse at this hour : he departed yesterday morning about four. Every thing, for months, had been in heaven but his
shattered frame. O, to be ready! I trust you may be able to decipher this hurried scrawl. My hand shakes. I need not say, you will hasten down to the afflicted widow. Ever and very affectionately yours.”
His letters to his friends who had been bereft of relatives by death shew the tenderness of his sympathy. It was, perhaps, as a comforter that he was most distinguished. His knowledge of the true sources of consolation was most extensive and experimental, and the warm interest which he took in the house of mourning gave an energy and a soothing power to the comfort he administered, for which the sorrowing heart often blessed him. His consolations were not the suggestions of a cold and stern philosophy, which would have all governed by reason, and would not leave for nature a sigh to heave, nor a tear to shed; nor did he address the mourner with the cant of enthusiasm, which represents the sacrifice of the tender affections as the due tribute of piety; but it was with the consolations that flow from the cross and throne of our Lord, the promises of his grace, and the hopes of his mercy. In reading his letters, it was felt that they came from the heart of sympathy, nay, that the comforts they presented were drops from the Balm of Gilead : they were singularly suited to the nature and severity of the trial. He laboured to evince that religion had power to lift the heaviest pressure from the heart, to brighten the gloomiest prospect to the eye, and to surround the loneliest couch with ministering spirits of mercy.
He writes to a friend who had been bereaved
of a number of children, and whom God had broken with breach upon breach :
“ Salisbury Place, Feb. 17, 1803. “ MY DEAR Madam, “ The God of mercy, whose bosom is the dwellingplace of pity, support your sinking spirits under the pressure of this very heavy and unlooked-for trial! Remember, my dear friend, that the Lord may pluck the fairest flower in your garden or mine without asking our leave. He who grudged not his only-begotten Son at the call of our salvation, is certainly entitled to the humble and ready surrender of whatever we deem precious, when His providence makes the demand. Could our tenderest sympathy effectually soothe your distressed mind, your mind should be soothed ere these lines are put into your hand; but our gracious Redeemer hath assured you, that in all the afflictions of his people he himself is afflicted ; and his sympathies are ever under the regulation of infinite wisdom. Let this minister consolation to your broken spirit. You have an additional reason, now, to long to be in heaven, where you will see your dear child, possessed of angelic knowledge, but still retaining the simplicity of the child. Plead with God that he may fill the vacuity in your heart, not with any other fleeting earthly good, but with himself, as your all-sufficient portion, over which disease and death have no power.
“ Your worthy, intelligent, and kind husband will suggest other and every way suitable sources of abiding consolation to your mind. We do not forget you in our prayers. The broad hand of the Almighty be spread over your habitation! I am, my dear madam, most affectionately yours.”
The following is the affecting statement of one who had felt the value of his sympathy in the