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shall we say to him who was oppressed for our sake in the days of his flesh, who took on him all the waves, all the billows of Almighty wrath, that we might be delivered from them, and who now shines for our everlasting light, our God, our glory.
Let us then look unto the Author and Finisher of our faith. Let us believe that his eye is on us, pondering all our paths, caring for us even to the numbering of the hairs of our head, and thinking towards us thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give us an expected end. All things are delivered unto him of the Father. Will he not acquiesce? Will we not say amen and amen? Yes, we will : through his grace, you will join with yours in all affection, &c.
A LETTER WRITTEN TO A LADY ON THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND, BY THE REV. JOHN SUMMERFIELD, A.M.
My dear Mrs. W. must not suppose, that, because I have not broken silence until now, I had no sympathy with her under her late bereavement. Job's friends “sat by his side upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him ; for they saw that his grief was great.” But then surely there is a fit time when the minister of peace should break the seal of his commission, and fulfil its mandate, “ Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” It would indeed be impertinent in any other than the Prince of life, who was about to give back to the disconsolate widow her greatest earthly treasure, to say “weep not ;" oh no! it is permitted to us to weep, and even to sorrow many days; but then “let us not sorrow as do others; for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so also them that sleep in Jesus shall God bring with him ;" “ he is not dead then, but sleepeth ;” and Jesus will yet awake him out of sleep. He has long known
that his Redeemer liveth, and that in the latter day, he should stand again upon the earth, and see him eye to eye-him whom he loved, though he saw him not, and in whom he long rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Oh, how I should have desired to have been with him, when the shadows of time were flitting away, and the glories of eternity bursting upon his open vision ! Oh, how I should have longed to have witnessed in him with what peace a Christian can die! I might have learned a lesson, which is now lost to me for ever. But you witnessed it; nay, you were the witness of life, which was a daily lesson; the last chapter of which might be summed up in one line, “ I live; yet not I,but Christ liveth in me." He felt that for him to live was Christ; but now he finds that to die is gain. Happy soul! thy days are ended. He will not return to us, but we shall go to him; he has gained the prize before us; but then, although we have it not as yet, “there is laid up for us a crown of righteousness, which the Lord will give at that day.” And though we should long be kept out of the possession of it, rust will not corrupt it; it is a crown of glory that fadeth not away! Oh, that you and yours may gain the blissful shore as safely as he has done, without any shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience! and oh, my God! remember me! When your feelings will permit, I should be glad to hear some particulars of the last moments of niy much beloved and never-to-be-forgotten friend. He was among the first of my friendships in New-York, both as to my early acquaintance with him, and the value I placed upon his disinterested kindness to me! bereaved indeed; one after another is summoned away, and I am left to hear tales of wo. It sounds like a knell unto myself, “be ye also ready, for at such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.” Farewell, my dear friend, and may he, who knows how to comfort them that are in trouble, pour in the oil and the wine into your broken, bleeding heart. Yours in the Lord,
DR. LETTSOM'S LETTER TO LADY ANN ERSKINE,
DEAR LADY ANN ERSKINE, I deeply sympathize with thee and all the family in Christ, in the removal of that evangelical woman, so lately among us, the Countess of Huntington. Your souls were so united, and your affections so endeared together, that I cannot but feel in a particular manner on thy account; lest the mournful state of thy mind may undermine thy constitution, and endanger a life spent in mitigating the painful sufferings of the body of our deceased friend while living. Her advanced age and debilitated frame had long prepared my mind for an event, which has at length deprived the world of its brightest ornament. How often have we, when sitting by her sick-bed, witnessed the faithful composure with which she has viewed this awful change! Not with the fearful prospect of doubt—not with the dreadful apprehension of the judgment of an offended Creator: hers was all peace within ; a tranquillity and cheerfulness, which conscious acceptance alone could convey. How often have we seen her, elevated above the earth and earthly things, uttering this language—“My work is done; I have nothing to do but to go to my heavenly Father!" Let us, therefore, under a firm conviction of her felicity, endeavour to follow her as she followed the Redeemer. Let us be thankful that she was preserved to advanced age, with the perfect exercise of her mental faculties; and that, under long and painful days and nights of sickness, she never repined; but appeared constantly animated in prayer and thankfulness for unutterable mercies she experienced. When I look back upon the past years of my attendance, and con. nect with it the multitudes of others whom my profession has introduced me to, I feel consolation in acknowledg. ing, that of all the daughters of affliction, she exhibited the greatest degree of Christian composure that ever I witnessed ; and that submission to divine allotment, however severe and painful, which nothing but divine aid could inspire.
In her last illness, I never heard her utter a desire to remain longer on earth. A little before she died, she repeatedly said in a feeble voice, just to be heard, “ I shall go to my Father this night!" adding, “ Has God forgot to be gracious ? or is there any end of his lovingkindness ?" On this day she conversed a little on the subject of sending missionaries to Otaheite, in the South Seas, in the pious hope of introducing Christianity among that mild but uninformed race of people; indeed, her whole life seemed devoted to one great object-the glory of God and the salvation of his creatures.
J. C. LETTSOM.
REV. DR. DODDRIDGE'S LETTER TO A LADY, ON
THE DEATH OF HER BROTHER.
My heart is so full of the thought of your dear brother's death, that I know not how to command my pen to any other subject. Believe me, madam, I see that heavy affliction in many of its most aggravated circumstances. But need I mention them to you, who have, no doubt, a much tenderer sense of them? Or need I mention those common consolations which Christianity affords us under all our calamities, or those which the circumstances of the case before us do most peculiarly admit? I know you have already given them their weight, and are well furnished with consolations on this head; having been obliged, by such afflictions, frequently to have
recourse to them. No doubt, you have often been thinking, that, as we are Christians, we are not to be so much concerned about the different kinds of providential dispensations which we are now exercised with, whether of a prosperous or a calamitous nature, as about the correspondency of our behaviour to them. The law of Christianity, not to say of nature itself, requires that we should not only be silent and composed, but cheerful and thankful under our afflictions. This, indeed, is what the generality of Christians are wanting in; but that is no proof that it is an irrational or impossible demand, but rather a sublime attainment in religion. It is evident that nothing can be more grateful to God, and edifying to the world than to see that a Christian, under the heavy pressure of calamity, can not only restrain the excess of sorrow, and suppress those indecent complaints which the corruption of nature would be too ready to suggest, but can mingle praises with his tears, and love and rejoice in his heavenly Father, even when he feels the smart of his correcting rod. Let me suggest a few hints upon this head, which you will easily enlarge upon in your own thoughts to greater advantage. God hath seen fit to take away your brother; and is not this a proper season to be thankful that you so long enjoyed him? No doubt, you have been thinking of his character in the most advantageous particulars of it; and perhaps have considered it as a great aggravation of your affliction, that you have lost so excellent a brother. But may you not now press in each of these afflicting thoughts to subserve the purposes of thankfulness and joy? Do not you reflect, that the more excellent he was, the more surprising was the goodness of God in bestowing him upon you, and continuing him so long to you? When you say, it may be with tears in your eyes, “How few are there in the world that could have sustained such a loss !" what is it but to say in other words, how few are there in the world, on whom God ever bestowed so valuable a friend as he gave to me? Let common sense judge, whether that be matter of