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pity to me. I was indeed beyond expression wretched; it was the first calamity of the kind, which I had ever been called to suffer, and my agonies were in full proportion to the strong affection, which I had conceived for the deceased. Society no longer possessed a charm for me, and yet the parents of the dear departed never willingly permitted me to quit their presence; indeed, the love they had borne their son, seemed to be entirely transferred to me; but their sufferings were incalculably augmented, when, in a few succeeding weeks, their eldest and only surviving son, fell a victim to the same fatal malady which had deprived them of his brother: Never before did I witness such sad and heart-affecting sorrow! a gloomy religion is always increased by scenes of melancholy; hence the horrors of my mind were beyond description. Everything I had done, every word I had uttered, not strictly conformable to the rule of right, returned upon my mind with redoubled terror, and in the midst of these agonizing fears, I was violently seized by the same fever, which had destroyed my friend. I was, upon the first appearance of this mortal disease, exceedingly alarmed, but in a few hours it prostrated my reason; my mother appeared to me as a stranger, and although I recognized my father, I was not afraid of him. I understood everything which was said by those about me, and I suffered much in consequence of their expressed apprehensions and predictions: and I have often thought, that attendants in the chamber of sickness do not sufficiently consider the situation of the suffering patient, or the possibility, that the freedom of their remarks may augment his depression. I continued to linger, in the midst of extreme torture, through many weeks; and so high and unremitted was my delirium, that my parents, from a persuasion, that, should I be restored to health, my reason was forever lost, were reconciled to my departure. One particular I consider as astonishing; every thing, which passed in my mind through the whole of this protracted delirium, I can, to this day, recollect as well as any event which has taken place in any part of my life. Contrary to the expectations of surrounding friends, I was gradually restored to perfect health, when I became still more endeared to the parents of my deceased companions; they would have laid me in their bosoms, gladly cherishing me as the son of their affection. The old gentleman visited my father every day, and his lady was equally intimate with my mother. I wept with them, I prayed with them, and every day our mutual attachment acquired new energy. They expressed their wishes to my father, that I should become a permanent resident in their family. My father, apparently terrified, was unqualified in his rejection! It would injure me by too high-raised expectations; it would give me indulgences, fatal to my future peace and happiness. For myself, I had recently entertained an exalted opinion of my father; and for his repeated, and, as I once believed, severe chastisements, gratitude glowed in my bosom; consequently I was not inclined to act contrary to his wishes in any respect, and he had sufficient address to
avoid offending his friends. In fact, so exalted was their opinion of his wisdom and piety, that they would have considered it criminal to censure him.
I was now the very shadow of my father: I visited, it is true; but it was always under his guardian care. He began to derive pleasure from conversing with me, and our satisfaction was mutual: still, however, I experienced, in his presence, more of reverential awe, than filial tenderness; yet I gained more from his society in the last six months of his existence, than I had for many preceding years. His gradual decline, at length rapidly advanced; suddenly he became too much enfeebled to go abroad; his friends, who were numerous, visited him frequently. Mr. Little, and lady, were almost constantly with him: they congratulated him, that God had heard his prayers, and given him a son to supply his place, when he should be called home; this, indeed, he considered as a great consolation. Often with tears of pleasure has he wept over me, solemnly consecrating me by fervent prayer and devout supplication. His devotional exercises, in his family, were continued until the last week of his existence; even when his voice was so low, that he could scarce articulate a word, we were drawn around him, when in whispers, as it were, he would, in the most moving manner, address the throne of grace in our behalf; and for me, as his first-born son, his orisons were still more frequently offered up, and always with tears. For many years my father had lost his apprehensions of death; but he always suffered more or less in the dread of dying. The taking down the house of his earthly tabernacle,the agonies of dissolving nature,-these anticipations frequently appalled his soul. We had got into Passion Week; my father was taken from his bed every day, until Good Friday, when it was impressed upon his mind, that he should be with his Redeemer upon Easter Sunday. He indirectly communicated this assurance to my mother; commanding me to be immediately summoned to his presence, when he thus addressed me: My son, the object of my soul's affection, for whom, during many years, I have wept and prayed, you see your weeping, praying father, now totally unable to utter a prayer, nor shall I ever pray in this dear family again. Let me, my dear, before I leave you, have the felicity of seeing, and hearing you take upon you the character you will very speedily be called to sustain ; let me hear you pray in the family, before I depart.' There was something terrible in the thought of his departure, though we had for many years been taught to expect it, not only by his declining health, but by his conversation, which had rendered us familiar with death. I cannot remember a day, on which he did not, on his first appearance in his family of a morning, say, Blessed be God, we are one day nearer our eternal rest :' yet the thought of assuming his place in his family, in his presence; this was more terrible to me than death itself. I became convulsed; a cold perspiration was diffused over my frame; my father saw my agony, and bidding me sit down, took my hand, and
addressing me in the language of sympathy, most affectionately, most tenderly said: 'You have, my poor boy, often addressed your heavenly Father, and have not felt abashed: ought you to venerate your feeble, earthly father, more than the God who made you? At the throne of grace I am upon a level with my son, and I need redeeming mercy as much as yourself. Let me, my dear child, be blessed with the privilege of seeing, and hearing you, in your new, and highly responsible character, this night.' I was dumb, I could not speak my mother was requested to summon the family. Come,' said my father, 'come near me, my children. God is about to remove from you your father, your supplicating father; but my God, your God, will never leave you, nor forsake you. He will give you, in your brother, a friend, a guide, a father; you must consider him, when I am gone, as in my stead; you will unite with him in prayer, you will follow his direction, and God will abundantly bless you together. My prayers on his behalf are graciously answered; they will, my beloved chlidren, be answered on your behalf also; for He, who hath promised, is faithful, your father hath proved Hi faithful. Our God is indeed worthy to be trusted, His service is perfect freedom; serve the Lord, my children, and be happy; obey your dear mother, strengthen the hands of your brother, and felicity will be your portion.' He would have proceeded, but weakness prevented; recovering himself, he called upon me to make good his expectations; I kneeled down by his bedside in convulsive agony, my mother kneeling upon the opposite side; my brothers and sisters forming a circle which surrounded it, while the domestics kneeled near us. I prayed, I wept, I audibly sobbed while my, only not divine, father, was in ecstacy. When I had finished, 'Now, O Lord,' he exclaimed, 'let thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen, for my ears have heard, for my heart has felt, thy salvation. Come near me, my darling boy.' Instantly I ran, and again I kneeled by his bedside; he drew my head to his bosom, he wept over me, but his tears were tears of transport, when, laying his dying hand upon my head, he thus fervently supplicated: 'O thou, Almighty God, who hath thus blessed, greatly blessed thy poor servant: Thou who hast been my God, and my guide, even unto death, bless, oh! bless this son, with whom thou hast blessed thy feeble supplicant: Give him thy supporting presence through life, direct him in the way he should go, and never leave him, nor forsake him: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, thou covenant-keeping God, bless, bless, O! bless this lad-' Here his heart swelled too big for utterance; after a few moments recovering himself a little, he mildly requested me to place him properly in his bed. I was beyond measure shocked to see what a skeleton he had become, his bones in many places through his skin. It was my wish to tarry with him through the night, but I could not obtain permission. 'Go, my dear son,' said he, 'go to rest, and the God of your fathers be ever with you.' This was the last time I ever heard his voice; before the morning dawned, I was summoned to
attend not a dying, but a deceased parent, whose value, until that agonizing moment, I had never sufficiently appreciated. My moth er continued by his bedside, overwhelmed by sorrow; the slumbers of my father were sweet, calm, and unbroken, until near midnight, when she perceived he was awake, and believing him to be speaking, she inclined her ear to his lips, and heard him say, while his heart, his full heart, seemed nearly bursting: 'The souls of believers are at their death made perfectly holy, and do immediately pass into glory; but their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resurrection.' After a pause, he resumed : At the resurrection, they shall be openly acknowledged, and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God through eternity: Blessed, perfectly blessBlessed, he would have said, but he breathed no more. When I approached the bed of death, I beheld the remains of the departed saint, precisely in the position in which a few hours before I had placed him. Not a single struggle had the dear, apprehensive man, during those expiring moments, which, through his whole life, he had expected would be productive of such extreme torture. He slept in Jesus, in full confidence of a glorious resurrection.
From this hour, until the interment, our house was thronged; but of all our numerous friends, who by their presence expressed their sympathy, no individuals appeared more deeply affected than my future patrons, Mr. and Mrs. Little. My father was very dear to Mr. Little; he mingled his tears with the widow, and her orphans. It was unnecessary to tell me I had sustained an irreparable loss; my heart, my pierced heart, was every moment making the avowal; I could now fully appreciate my father's worth; I felt I was bereaved, miserably bereaved; left to myself, and I knew myself well enough to justify the most spirit-wounding apprehensions. I retired to my chambe to my closet, ecretly indulging my overwhelming sorrow, and if I ever experienced the fervor of devotion, it was then, when, throwing abroad my supplicating hands, I petitioned the God of my father to be my God also, entreating that he would graciously vouchsafe to preserve me from myself, my sinful self: all the bard, undutiful reflections, which I had secretly tolerated against this good, this honored man, while he was enduring exquisite sufferings for the purpose of preserving me from evil, rush ed upon my recollection, and an innate monitor seemed to say: 'You may now, ungrateful boy, go where you please; the prying eye of a father will no more inspect your conduct.' It was now, in these moments of torture, that my father, as it should seem, first became known to me. It is true, he was severely good, his conscience was indeed sorely tender; but, as far as he knew, he performed the will of God, at least in as great a measure as he was able, and when he believed himself deficient, as he almost always did, it gave him great pain. The uniform sanctity of his life commanded the respect, the esteem, the affection, and even the veneration of all who knew him. He possessed an uncommon share of
natural abilities, and his acquirements were very respectable. He had read much; History, Natural Philosophy, Poetry, these were all familiar to him; but the sacred Scriptures, and books of devotion, were his delight. Human productions constituted his amusement, but the word of his God was his food. He was so acute a reasoner, that it was difficult to gain any advantage over him in argument; yet he was easily provoked, but inmediately sensible of error; every deviation from propriety was marked by tears. He had so much self-command, as never to strike a child in a passion; this he denominated a demoniac sacrifice; he would first correct the angry man: but however painful the act, he never omitted what he conceived it his duty to bestow. He was a very tenderhearted man, and his prayers were rarely unaccompanied by tears. He mourned with the mourner, for he was himself a man of sorrow. Being for the last nineteen years of his life a confirmed invalid, he was constantly and fervently looking toward his heavenly home-sometimes with impatience, when, correcting himself, he would say, 'Well, well, heaven is worth waiting for; one hour, passed in the courts of my God, will be a rich remuneration for all terrestrial sufferings.'
It is the custom in Ireland, when any person of distinction or respectability is called out of time, to watch around their remains, night as well as day, until the body be entombed. The remains of my father were affectionately attended, but they were attended in an uncommon manner; as he differed from others in life, so these last honors differed from those usually bestowed. The morning immediately succeeding his demise, our friends and neighbors assembled in our dwelling, when Mr. Little thus addressed them: My friends, it hath pleased God to take unto himself the soul of our beloved brother; as he lived, so he died, a pattern of excellence; we know, we feel, that he has not left his equal. We unite with this dear family in sensibly lamenting the departure of our experienced friend, our guide, our comforter.' Here he mingled his tears with those of our attendant friends. After a long pause, he proceeded: Fellow mourners, the greatest respect we can pay to the remains of our inestimable, our heavenly guide, is to pass our time together in this house of mourning, not only for him, but for ourselves, in the way which would be most pleasing to him, were he present; we will therefore appropriate our hours to reading, and to prayer. One of our brethren will address the throne of grace, after which I will read a sermon, the production of Mr. Erskine, of whose writings the dear departed was remarkably fond.' The prayer, the sermon, the concluding prayer, deeply affected every one; and the evening witnessed a renewal of these pious exercises. Thus were our nights and days devoted, until the interment. On that day the throng was prodigious. The worth, the good actions of my father, were the theme of many a tongue; his praises were echoed, and re-echoed, while tears of sorrow moistened many an eye. Every one bore in his, or her hand, to the gravc-yard,