Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

life; and had long fixed on one spot, which was overshadowed by a large oak tree, as the place of her interment. This spot she had partially enclosed with shrubs which she had removed from her own garden ; 'with a few which Mrs. Stevens once sent her from the villa ; though she did not know to what purpose they were appropriated, till she saw them intermingling their branches with those raised under the care of her departed sister.

“I should like," said Mr. Lewellin, "to invite the Rector to attend my mother's funeral, because she was much attached to his ministry; and it would af ford us pleasure to see those ministers of a different communion meeting together at'her grave,who had often met under the roof of her lonely cottage.” “If you please," I replied, “I will present the invitation; and I have no doubt but it will be accepted.”

In the evening I took a walk with this good minister of Jesus Christ; and on our return home, we passed near the grave-yard in which Mrs. Lewellin was to be interred; when I invited him to go and look at the spot which she had been tastefully adorning against the day of her burial ;--- You see, Šir," he said, “how instinctively we love immortality, and as we cannot live here always, we wish life to flourish over the tomb in which our body is decaying. This is simple. This is beautiful. Yes, Sir; she was a woman of a fine taste, and a Christian of fine principles. Her knowledge of the gospel was clear, comprehensive, and profound; and she displayed, during her residence with us, a spirit as froo from the ordinary imperfections of the human character, as I have ever beheia. “ I am requested, Sir, to ask you

if
you

will attend her funeral." "Certainly, Sir, if the family wish it. i respected her. I loved her. She was an Israelite Indeed. I often retired from the labour and perplexity of the study, to pass an hour in her society, and always found her conversation of such a spiritual, catholic, and heavenly cast, that I never failed to . derive great benefit from it.

The seventh day after her death, the hearse came to carry her to the tomb; and almost every inha bitant of the village attended to pay the tribute of

[ocr errors]

respect to her memory. The corpse was taken into the chapel ; and after the minister had read the fifteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, and delivered a very simple, yet impressive aration, and offered up a most solemn prayer to "the God of the spirits of all flesh," it was interred amidst the sighs and tears of a large concourse of spectators, Some of them were attired in full mourning :-many were in half mourning; but the majority had merely put on their sabbath dress, being too poor to purchase mourning. There was one female, about the age of thirty, with an infant in her arms, whose appearance and whose manners indicated the most poignant grief. During the time the minister was conducting the service, the tear stole silently down her cheek, which gave her relief; but when the corpse was,let down into the grave, she wept no more; her eyes moved about with awful rapidity, she appeared convulsed, and then advanced to the brink of the grave; andafter looking with intense eagerness for some seconds, she'sighed, “ Lover and friend hast thou taken from me," and then fell senseless on the ground. On inquiry, I found this was the widow of a poor woodman, who was killed by the falling of an elm tree; and who was left with three children, and another was born three months after his father's decease. She' lived about a quarter of a mile from the cottage; and as Mrs. Lewellin used to pass by her residence, when taking her solitary walks, she often called to see her. On one occasion, (the poor woman told me the next day,) after giving her weekly donation, she gave her a tract, and requested her to read it. * I did read it, Sir," said the weeping widow," but I could not understand it. When she called the next time, she asked me if I had read it, and when I told her I could not understand it, she said, " Read it again ; but before you read it the second time, go and

pray to God for wisdom to enable you to understand it. He can give it; and he will give it to those who ask him.' I did, Sir. The Lord has answered my prayer, and made me, I trust, wise to salvation. But he has taken from me my guide, my counsellor, and my friend. The death of my husband, which threw me on the charity of the parish, and deprived my dear

babes of a father, was a great trial;—but O! Sir, it did not pierce my heart like this. I sometimes think my heart will break; but then I go and pray to the Lord for submission to his holy will, and I find myself better ; but it will be a long time, indeed, before I hall be able to get over it."

I related this tale at the Rectory, and was happy to find, that the poor widow was a regular attendant at the church, and was considered decidedly pious. Mrs. Stevens, having ascertained the amount of her departed sister's weekly donation, engaged the pious Rector to become her almoner, and the usual payment was continued. Mr. Lewellin was so powerfully affected by this overflowing of grief to the memory of his mother, that he augmented the sum; and before he took his final farewell of the village in which he had passed" from death to life,"* he called to see the bereaved sufferer, and gave her several articles of furniture, which once adorned the lonely cottage of her, whose remains we had just committed to the silent tomb.

The evening before our departure I retraced the steps I had trodden on my former visit to this village; and fixing on the same hour for my ramble into the valent I anticipated another interview with the pious shepherd. As I walked on, I heard the bleating of the sheep, and saw them at a distance ascending the steep path whichi led up to their fold in a neighbouring field. I heard also the barking of the dog; and soon afterwards the shepherd made his appearance, but I knew him not. is Is the old man dead," I asked, “ who kept this flock about six years ago ?” Yes, Sir; he died about Christmas." know him ?” “Yes, Sir; he was my

father; and a better father never lived." “ He was a religious man ;' was he not ?" “ Yes, Sir; and he died in the faith of Christ.", “I hope," I replied, " you are following in his steps.” “İt is, Sir, my wish and my prayer to be a follower of them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises."

• See No. 3, of this series, page 7.

+ See No. 1. of this series, page 5. Printed by MILXE and BANFIELD, 76, Fleet-street.

“ Did you

[No. 29.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]

“ I feel that I have lost a sister ; and I could bedew her grave with my tears, from opening morn till evening shade ; but I would not recall her from her celestial mansion, and the visions of glory in which she is entranced, even if it were in my power. This bitter cup I have no disposition to refuse ; but would rather say, in the language of my Lord,— The cup whieb my Father bath given me, shall I not drink it ?? ??

See Page 10.

[ocr errors]

London: PRINTED FOR FRANCIS WESTLEY, 10, STATIONERS

COURT, AND AVE-MARIA-LANE.

WILL.

SUBMISSION TO THE DIVINE WILL.

PART II.

It is a glory peculiar to the Christian religion, that it is capable of yielding joy and triumph to the mind, amidst cała. mities, in which the strength of nature, and of a philosophy which has po higher a support, can hardly give it serenity, or even patience. Those boasted aids are but like a candle in some tempestuous night, which how artificially soever it may be fenced in, is often extinguished amidst the storm, in which it should guide and cheer the traveller' or the mariner; whom it leaves on a sudden in darkness, horror, and fear; while the consolations of the gospel, like the sun, make a sure day even, when hehind the thickest cloud, and soon emerges from it with an accession of more sensible lustre.”

DODDRIDGE.

[ocr errors]

On the sabbath morning after the interment of Mrs. Lewellin, we had the melancholy pleasure of hearing the pious Rector preach her funeral sermon from the following words, And she was a widow. Lukę vii. 12, After raising from his text many striking and appropriate observations; and illustrating and enforcing them with considerable energy and warmth of feeling, he concluded his discourse by describing her peaceful and triumphant death.

During her residence in this sequestered village,” he remarked, “ she moved on in the peaceful serenity of her mind, towards that country from which the traveller never returns. Unobtrusive in her manners ; amiable and benevolent in her temper and disposition ; possessing and displaying a most catholic spirit; and employing her influence and her time in promoting the temporal and spiritual happiness of those around her; she occupied a high place in our confidence and esteem; and now she has left us, we all feel the acuteness and extent of our loss. Many of the daughters of Zion have done virtuously, but she excelled them all. Like the sun, she illumined her own course, while she appeared unconscious of the lustre which she threw around her; and when fallen beneath the horizon of mortality, to shine in the firmament of a brighter and a better world, no rough tempestuous storm, or darkening cloud, obscured her setting glory.

As she was distinguished while living by the superior elevation of her piety, so she was pre-eminently favoured with the divine presence during her

« EdellinenJatka »