Sivut kuvina

mined at all adventures to follow it; and he entertained some feeble hope of its efficacy.

He thus expresseth himself in a letter to a friend from Falmouth; "I am upon the whole, better than could be expected after such a journey. Let us thank God and take courage. We may yet know many chearful days. We shall at least know (why do I say, at least ?) one joyful one, which shall be eternal." After having written to another of his correspondents from thence, upon necessary business, he adds; "I have trespassed a great deal on your time and a little on my own strength. I say, a little; for when writing to such a friend, as I seem less absent from him, it gives me new spirits and soothes my mind agreeably. Oh, when shall we meet in that world, where we shall have nothing to lament, and nothing to fear, for ourselves or each other, or any dear to us! Let us think of this, as a momentary state, and aspire more ardently after the blessings of that. If I survive my voyage, a line shall tell you how I bear it. If not, all will be well; and (as good Mr. Howe says) I hope I shall embrace the wave, that, when I intended Lisbon, should land me in heaven. I am more afraid of doing what is wrong, than of dying."- -Much civility was shewn him at Falmouth by several persons, to whom his friends had wrote for | that purpose. He parted from them with the utmost gratitude and tenderness, and went on board the packet on Monday, September 30th. As its captain did not go this voyage, he had the convenience of his cabin, which was a peculiar comfort and advantage to him in his declining state.

No sooner had the vessel sailed, but the new and wonderful scene which opened upon him, the soft air and fresh breezes of the gave him new life and spirits. The sea-sickness, which almost incapacitated his wife and servant from giving him any attendance and assistance, was so favourable to him, that he needed them less than before. The captain's cabin was to him a bethel, as the house of God, and the gate of heaven. There, in an easy chair, he generally sat the greatest part of the day. He several times said to Mrs. Doddridge, "I cannot express to you what a morning I have had: Such delightful and transporting views of the heavenly world, is my Father now indulging me with, as no words can express." There appeared such sacred gratitude and joy in his countenance, as often reminded her of those lines in one of his hymns, No. 71.

When death o'er nature shall prevail,

And all its powers of language fail,
Joy through my swimming eyes shall break,
And mean the thanks I cannot speak.

The vessel was unhappily becalmed some days in the Bay of Biscay; and the weather proved so intensely hot, that his colliquative sweats returned, attended with such faintness, as threatned his speedy dissolution. But providence yet lengthened out the feeble thread of life. When the vessel came to the desired haven, and was waiting for the usual ceremonies before it could enter, the fineness of the day, the softness of the air, and the delightful prospects that surrounded him, gave him a fresh flow of strength and spirits, He went on deck and staid about two hours which afforded him such sensible refreshment, as raised a flattering hope of his recovery.

He landed at Lisbon, on Lord's-day, October 13th. The next day he wrote to his assistant at Northampton, and gave him a short account of his voyage, the magnificent appearance of Lisbon from the sea, and what he observed in passing through it; which shewed the composure and chearfulness of his mind: And after mentioning his great weakness and danger, he adds; "Nevertheless, I bless God, the most undisturbed serenity continues in my mind, and my strength holds proportion to my day. I still hope and trust in God and joyfully acquiesce in all he may do with me. When you see my dear friends of the congregation, inform them of my circumstances, and assure them, that I chearfully submit myself to God. If I desire life may be restored, it is chiefly, that it may be employed in serving Christ among them; and that I am enabled by faith to look upon death, as an enemy that shall be destroyed; and can chearfully leave my dear Mrs. Doddridge a widow in this strange land, if such be the appointment of our heavenly Father. I hope I have done my duty, and the Lord do, as seemeth good in his sight."

At Lisbon he was kindly received and entertained at the house of Mr. David King, an English merchant. His mother was one of the Doctor's congregation at Northampton; and he had now an opportunity, which he little expected, but chearfully embraced, of repaying the many services, which the Doctor ́had done for his relations at Northampton. In this worthy family he found the most cordial friendship, and every desireable accommodation to alleviate his disorder. Here he met with Dr. Watts's treatise on "The Happiness of Separate Spirits," and told his wife, with the greatest joy, that he had unexpectedly found that blessed book; and in reading that book, Dr. Watts's Hymns, and especially the sacred volume, he used to einploy himself as much as his strength would admit. Still his mind enjoyed a delightful calm, full of joy and thankfulness, which was often expressed by his words and always by his

looks. Here he found a family related to Mrs. Doddridge, and other kind friends, who having heard of his character and received letters of recommendation, sent, unknown to him, by his friends in England, shewed him all the civility in their power, and seemed to strive who should discover the most assiduous and tender regard. Their company gave him pleasure, though mingled with this painful circumstance, that he could not converse with them, as he would have done. The Reverend Mr. Williamson, then chaplain to the British factory there, often visited him, with the temper and behaviour of the gentleman, the christian and the minister. About a week after his arrival, on Monday October 21st, he was removed into the country, a few miles from Lisbon, by the advice of his physician Dr. Cantley, who generously attended him, and refused the usual fees.

The rainy season, which in that climate usually sets in about the end of October, coming on with uncommon violence, cut off every hope his friends had entertained from air and exercise; and by the manner in which it affected him, seemed the appointed instrument of providence to cut short his few remaining days. On Thursday October 24th, a colliquative diarrhoea seized him, and soon exhausted his little strength. This night, which seemed the last of rational life, his mind continued in the same vigour, calmness and joy, which it had felt and expressed during his whole illness. Mrs. Doddridge still attended him; and he said to her, that he had been making it his humble and earnest request, that God would support and comfort her; -that it had been his desire, if it were the divine will, to stay a little longer upon earth to promote the honour and interest of his beloved Lord and Master; but now, the only pain he felt in the thought of dying was, his fear of that distress and grief, which would come upon her in case of his removal. After a short pause, he added; "But I am sure my heavenly Father will be with you. It is a joy to me to think, how many friends and comforts you are returning to. So sure am I that God will be with you and comfort you, that I think my death will be a greater blessing to you, than ever my life hath been." He desired her to remember him in the most affectionate manner to his dear children, his flock, and all his friends; and tell them of the gratitude his heart felt, and the blessings he wished for them all, on account of their kindness and goodness to him; nor was the family, where he lodged, nor even his own servant, forgotten in these expressions of his pious benevolence. Many devout sentiments and aspirations he uttered; but her heart was too much affected with his approaching change, to be able to recollect them. After lying still sometime, and being supposed asleep,

congreg. them, t may be

ing Ch




The vessel was unhappily b Biscay; and the weather pros quative sweats returned, ate. ned his speedy dissolution. the feeble thread of life. haven, and was waiting enter, the fineness of t delightful prospects t of strength and spiri hours which afforde flattering hope of b He landed at next day he wre him a short acc of Lisbon from t it; which show

And after e "Neverthele continues in day. I s. he may


upon d

fully !.



in hi

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

ng his covenant engagements ad not felt all that delight and joy, ret he was sure the Lord was his well grounded hope, through the to his everlasting mercy. following day, and continued so ⚫ed; when in his last struggle he eral deep sighs, and quickly after burthen of the flesh, on Saturday,


-..ut three o'clock in the morning: ET, to which he had been long

which had given him such strong and decay. The concern and even their servants upon this his worth and of the greatness a circumstance, which afforded dge and her Lisbon friends, last scenes, as they feared a aracter would have been, by any the church of Rome; who, it truding on such occasions, and to the distress of many protestant virons, during the sickness, and at When his body was opened as by gs were found in so ulcerated a derful to the physician, that both not more difficult and painful d so little acute pain to the last. Soserved and acknowledged the lovn and them.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

his desire of being buried in his on, with his children and so many ...but during his illness he spoke of it

to him, and desired to be buried, she would not increase the distress of it was found upon enquiry, that red would have been attended with a as judged most prudent to decline it. were interred in the burying ground actory at Lisbon, with as much decency

ces and the place would admit. Most he factory attended his funeral, and did On the following Lord's-day, Mr. ain, preached a funeral-sermon for him, iness is profitable unto all things, hav

ig promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. He gave him a high and honourable character, founded on what he had heard from many, of his worth, and seen of it, during the opportunities he had of conversing with him. A handsome monument was erected to his memory in his meeting-place at Northampton, at the expence of the congregation (who also made a generous present to his widow after her return) and the following epitaph was inscribed upon it, drawn up by his much esteemed friend Gilbert West, Esq. and L. L. D.

To the memory of

Twenty-one years pastor of this church,
Director of a flourishing academy,
And author of many excellent writings;
By which
His pious, benevolent, and indefatigable zeal
To make men wise, good and happy,
Will far better be made known,
And perpetuated much longer,

Than by this obscure and perishable marble;
The humble monument, not of his praise,
But of their esteem, affection and regret,
Who knew him, lov'd him and lament him;
And who are desirous of recording,
In this inscription,

Their friendly but faithful testimony

To the many amiable and christian virtues,
That adorned his more private character;
By which, though dead, he yet speaketh,

And, still present in remembrance,
Forcibly, though silently, admonisheth
His once beloved and ever grateful flock.

He was born June 26, 1702,
And died October 26, 1751,

Aged 50.

Though Mrs. Doddridge returned without a friend and in these destitute and melancholy circumstances, yet she preserved the fortitude and serenity of her mind; and was, through the voyage and upon her return to her family, strengthened and supported beyond what could have been expected. Her friends could not but see and adore that kind providence, which sustained her amidst the excessive fatigue, anxiety and distress, which these scenes, especially the last, occasioned.* She yet

* What the state of her mind was, is finely represented in a letter from Lisbon, a few days after the Doctor's decease.

Lisbon, Nov. 11, N. S. 1751.

"My dear Children,

How shall I address you under this awful and melancholy providence! I would fain say something to comfort you. And I hope God will enable me to say something that may alleviate your deep distress. I went out in a firm dependence, that, Bb


« EdellinenJatka »