Abbildungen der Seite

whatever storms the ill tempers of our minds may raise, he rules the storm, and can cause its fury to abate. In the hollow of his hand is her refuge and hiding-place. What he is to the church in general, every individual Christian will find him to be to himself in particular. He hath been to you and me, my dear, our best friend -- the Angel which hath redeemed us from all evil, the God who hath fed us all our life long, to this day. Let us, therefore, cleave to him with growing eagerness of heart. When earthly props are withdrawn, let us acknowledge God's justice in the withdrawment-for we have probably leaned intemperately on them — and take the firmer hold of His arm, who cannot disappoint the confidence that is placed in him. In this gracious God, my dear, let us repose confidence for ourselves and our rising family. In a land of strangers, God hath raised up frequently unexpected friends; and the love God hath manifested to us, I hope he will continue to our children, whom we have offered up to him in baptism, and whom it will be our earnest care to bring up in the knowledge of Christ, and in habits of sober industry. Take them, my love, to your arms, and lift up your heart to God for their salvation. I shall not put my name to this paper, till I have bowed my knees to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in your behalf and theirs."

It is delightful to compare the ardent attachment and hopes of his youth, with the tenderness and the gratitude which he felt, when far advanced in years, to her whose excellence bad honoured, whose care had cherished, and whose affection had blessed him. The cheek may lose its bloom, but it is as lovely as ever to the tender heart; and the eye may become dim, but there is a power in its fading lustre, when lighted by kindness, which delights the evening of life.

[blocks in formation]

Sheerness, August 5, 1803. “ Though I have little to say, I cannot resist the inclination to write to you. You are ever uppermost, of all earthly beings, in my thoughts. I can truly say, with Goldsmith to his brother :

• Where'er I go — whatever realms I see,

My heart untravell’d fondly turns to thee;
Still to my Mary turns, with ceaseless pain,
And drags at each remove a lengthening chain.'

My anxieties, fears, hopes, and wishes, all hover around you and the children whom God has given to us. How much need have we to cast all our care upon God, whose power alone can support, and whose bounty alone can supply us and ours! To him let us raise our eyes ; him let us take hold of with our earnest prayers; in his wise management let us leave all our concerns. Bid - read tonight, among other passages, the 90th and 121st Psalms. Good night, my dear wife. I shall not sleep till I have bowed my knees to our heavenly Father for you and our dear children.”

Harrowgate, August 4, 1825. “ My spirits sink when the dark images which the season awakens in my mind rise before me. On the 2d of this month, last year, we lost our beloved Alexander; on this day thirty-six years, my dear mother; and on Monday next five years, my honest and affectionate brother. But the 10th* I shall never pass over without devout gratitude to God, and the exercise of the tenderest and most grateful feelings towards the most faithful wife and affectionate parent. I can assure you, my best beloved and most endeared wife, I shall carry to the grave with

* The day of his marriage.


me a deep and lively feeling of all the kindness and care you have for these nine-and-thirty years employed towards me, and my last prayer shall be that Heaven may abundantly reward you in the growing and well-rooted hope of a better life. *

“ — is an evangelical preacher, and has here a large field of usefulness opened to him among a genteel people, who have hitherto enjoyed the pure administration of the Gospel. 0! had it been the will of God to have introduced our dear departed darling into such a sphere! But, not one murmuring word!-he is spending his Sabbath in sublimer service, and with more sacred delight, than the most devout below can partake of. Let the hope of being soon united to him reconcile our hearts to his absence.

On the anniversary of their marriage :

“ Let us bless God, who has lengthened out the period of our union to such a space; who hath so long borne with us, so long supplied our wants, protected us amidst many dangers, raised up many friends, and enabled us to bring up our dear family in useful learning, in good habits, and in respectable callings. Let us bless God for the encouraging appearance of true religion which they have been enabled to give ; and especially for the faith, patience, and heavenly hope, which our beloved son illustrated in his long illness, and at the close of his days. Let us deeply mourn over our own manifold deficiencies, and implore aid from Heaven to fill up the short space of our appointed time with suitable exercises of mind towards God, our dear children, and one another.

“ I am sitting in our parlour ; and a more lovely scene can scarcely be presented than that before me. O that I could give you and our dear invalid the wings of a dove, as you already have its innocence, to bring you, by the time the sun sinks behind the Craven mountains, to our healthy and peaceful habitation !

He mentions to her in these letters the state of his health, about which she felt the most affectionate anxiety. He was subject to frequent internal disorders, and to attacks of gout in one of his feet, which required great caution on his part, and excited the tenderest solicitude on hers. When he went to watering-places for the benefit of his health, she accompanied him, if the state of the family permitted ; and how touching is this allusion to her in a letter to one of his daughters !

“ Your other friends are well, and, as an evidence of spiritual health, are at the kirk, though strangely divided ; some being at Lady Huntingdon's chapel, others at Dr. Styles', and the lads at the Church of England sanctuary, hearing the Archbishop of Canterbury preach for the national schools. But your mother stays at home, and reads the Bible to me. With her ceaseless care I feel myself at all times happily surrounded. I myself can never repay what I owe her, and must crave the aid of my children's filial affection to lessen the debt.”

He ever informs her of the kindnesses he met with. He notices in one letter the rude and ungrateful conduct of a person whom he had laboured” hard to serve, and who, in his absence, had behaved most insolently to his family:

“ I am grieved, my love, that you should have been Aurried so much with his rudeness. One would think that I had gotten ungrateful returns sufficient to cool my Quixotic disposition of interfering in other people's distresses. But you know who says, “ Be not weary in welldoing.' Yes, you say; but we should also be cautious in well-doing. Admitted : I am done.”


It is a very interesting circumstance, that Dr. Waugh, extensive as his kindness was, seldom met with ungrateful returns: there was that in his manner which touched the hearts of the objects of his bounty, and made ingratitude to a man so good appear doubly criminal. Few whom he obliged had it in their power to requite him ; but Providence raised up friends who delighted to honour him, and he felt in this the agency of that God who fulfils the wishes of the grateful, and shews to them the benefactor, whom they wish to be happy, blessed, though not by their requitals, yet blessed for their sake. Providence loves to pay the debt of gratitude, and to the merciful it will shew itself merciful. In his letters to his partner, he delights to trace the bountiful dealings of God with him and his.

Woolwich, May 7, 1812. “ This is our dear —'s birth-day. I hope you will give all the young folks a glass of wine to its memory; and if you add a quarter of an hour's devout supplication to God for his divine blessing on his person and prospects, so much the better. But I know you will not forget him. We cannot lay up any earthly good for our dear children; therefore the more let us lay up a stock of humble and earnest prayers before the Throne on their behalf.

“ This day will also bring to your grateful remembrance the unceasing care of Providence about ourselves, since God made you the joyful mother of a first-born son. How kindly and seasonably hath he supplied our wantsremoved mountains of difficulties, which our feeble arms

« ZurückWeiter »