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“ I have never had but one opinion So to a friend, on the subject of these prostitutions “ What is inorally and religiously of religion and music, at these theatrical, wrong, can never become right through and, as I think, unwarrantable medleys. the error of youth. And it would be a I wish you had the good sentiments of strange departure from every moral and dear John Newton, on the public Ora- religious principle, to say, I know an torio of the Messiah,' at hand. I act to be wrong in itself, but my child deeply lament that any, who in other has not grace enough to see it as I do; respects, so justly deserve the name therefore, I may lawfully permit him to of consistent Christians, should so little do what I know to be wrong.' Would fathom the corruptions of their own not this open a door to every species hearts, and be so insensible to the dan- of sin and error? gerous tendency of public amusements “ As to examples of good people :which unite all the levity of the world Sin does not cease to be sin, because with the professed sanctity of religious some good people unhappily fall into performances. Think not that I blame any snares which the great enemy of souls one but myself, for not long since spreads for their delusion. It is, and it making my sentiments on this ensnaring shall be for a lamentation, that good subject better known to those so near men err so deplorably, and thereby and dear to me. It is somewhat sin- countenance what, eventually, their gular, that I should, with many Christ- principles condemn, and what they may ian friends of all ranks in Edinburgh some day have deep cause to regret. and Scotland, be making a firm stand “ No man in England loves musicagainst the principle and the practice sacred music-better than I do; thereof a musical festival held here, at the fore my sacrifice to principle and convery time that I must also make as firm science is far greater than that of many a stand against the same thing in the others. I ought to have the greater South. It is contrary to every feeling credit for my self-denial; but I dare not I can entertain on the subject. We have countenance sin and danger, because it forsworn all these things on principle; is clothed in the bewitching garb of good and what is religious character and music and pretended sanctity. Let credit worth, if consistency is to be not my soul come into their assembly!' sacrificed ? Numerous as my faults and Tender and affectionate husband and errors may be, I hope to be preserved father, as I hope I am, however I somefrom ever deliberately consenting that times may be misapprehended, and my children, of whatever age, should consequently sorry to interfere with the enter into societies, intimacies, or what comfort of those most near and dear to I deem forbidden amusements, so as to to me; yet I rejoice fiom my heart, in wound my conscience.
having prevented the sanctioning any “ I write with the most affectionate part of so promiscuous and unjustifiable feelings of a husband, a father, and a à medley, by the attendance of the Christian ; and at this distance, we must members of my dear family ; and they not encounter the chance of reciprocal will one day thank me. When the uneasiness, from any dubious discussion object is avowedly an act of worship, I will only add, that I have not the least all is right, let who will sing and play; objection to dear Mrs. M. knowing my but when it is avowedly an act of amuse. whole mind on the subject, which is, ment, religion, rightly felt and underand has been for many years, perfectly stood, forbids the profane performance decided. God will ever bless those of singing-men and singing-women, who sacrifice worldly interest to pure trifling with the things that belong to conscientious motives : I have no fears our everlasting peace, and turning them on that head.
into mockery.”—Pp. 387, 8. « Our journey is very active, and full
The thirteenth chapter contains of mercies. I conclude that Mary tells you of the beauties and kindness of
an interesting, though unfinished Scotia. She is here forming truly
tribute of affectionate veneration Christian acquaintances and friendships. for the memory of his deceased I pray for, and think of you much. mother, but from which we cannot God bless you! Take this as the hearty quote; the following letter to his prayer and desire of
son must not be omitted : “ Your affectionate
“ It is high time that you and I L. RICHMOND." should communicate frequently, intimately, and confidentially. If this is loving brother, a grateful worshipper, a not to be expected by the time you arrive simple-hearted Christian. And I must at fifteen, when is it to be looked for? feel comfortably satisfied that you are On one account, I have more solicitude, so; or with wbat conscience, with what and even dread, on your behalf, than hope, with what satisfaction, with what for any of my children. Earnestly as I peace of mind, can I consent to devote should wish a son of mine to be a minis- you to the most sacred, the most importer, yet I tremble at the idea of educating tant, the most responsible of all offices and devoting a son to the sacred pro- within the compass of human existence ? fession, without a previous satisfactory “Now, I will not, and ought not to evidence that his own soul was right conceal from you, that, however accuswith God. Without this, you and I tomed we may all have been to talk of should be guilty of a most awful sin in you as a future clergyman, I dare not his sight. To any, and every other good decide upon any such plan without a profession, trade, or occupation, it may much more clear evidence than I have be lawful and expedient to fix with yet seen, that your actual state of feelsome degree of determination, long ings and conduct, temper and conversabefore entering upon it; but the ministry tion, habitual and permanent thoughts, is an exception." Even St. Paul himself are such as will justify me in coming to trembles at his responsibility, and ex- so solemn a determination on my own claims, ólest, when I have preached to part. others, I myself should be a cast-away.' “I say this with anxiety, and write I consider personal religion, accompan- it with fear, as my pen proceeds; but I ied and evidenced by personal conduct, to say it with earnest prayers for the real be indispensable in the individual, conversion of your soul to God, and before either he, or another for him, fixes with some hope that He will hear the on the ministry for his profession. And petitions which I have offered up for I will not hesitate to say to you, that, you through many a long year. I still honoured and happy as I should feel, repeat it, that I never can consent to put in being permitted to see you a faithful my seal to the question of the ministry, preacher of righteousness, adorning the unless, and until I have some satisfacGospel which you would proclaim to tory proof of your heart being turned to others ;-yet without this, I would God, in holy consistency and permarather a thousand times see you a mason, or in the humblest capacity in life. Í “Let these pages be a testimony know what the office is; and a penitent before God-and keep them as a sign sense of my own deficiencies teaches me between you and me that I am in to be fearful, and to tremble for those earnest, as to a subject where indifferof others : how much more so in the ence would be sin. case of my own child ?
“I have long been studying your “The national church groaps and character in the hourly events of each bleeds, 'from the crown of its head to day, in immediate reference to this the sole of its feet,' through the daily point. - -- Remember, they that intrusion of unworthy men into its are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with ministry. Patrons, parents, tutors, col. its affections and lusts :' crucify yours, leges, are annually pouring a torrent of Pursue your studies with diligence : incompetent youths into the church, and you may do great things for yourself, loading the nation with spiritual guilt. even without help-although I grant, Hence, souls are neglected and ruined much better with it. But 'work while
- bigotry and ignorance prevail — it is day; the night cometh when no church pride triumphs over church god man can work.' liness—and the establishment is despised, deserted, and wounded. Shall
Other letters of a similar and you and I deepen these wounds ?- equally interesting nature occur, shall we add one more unit to the num- but we pass over then, and also bers of the unworthy and traitorous the interesting account of his son watchmen on the towers of our British Wilberforce, and hasten at once to Jerusalem ? God forbid ! But to avoid so sad a departure from every principle
the closing scene, as contained in a of sacred order and conscience, you
most valuable letter of Miss Richmust become a humble, seriously-mind. mond : ed, consistent young disciple of Christ: “You wish me to give you an account a diligent student, an obedient son, a of the closing scene of my beloved
parent's life. This will be attended with happy in domestic affection, had not our some difficulty; for though I was his beloved father so carefully trained us in friend as well as his child, and the the religion of Jesus Christ. This was endeared companion of his retired hours, his chief concern, his hourly endeavour. -and though many events and conver- He did not talk much with us about sations, full of deep and affecting inter- religion; but the books, studies, and est, are indelibly engraved on my even amusements to which he directed memory, yet as I did not anticipate the us, showed that God was in all his mournful bereavement, and omitted to thoughts, and that his great aim was to make memoranda at the time, I find prepare his children for heaven. Relinow that much of the detail is irrevoca- gion was practically taught in all he bly lost, and I should be afraid to write said and did, and recommended to us, any thing which was not strictly and in his lovely domestic character, more literally true.”-P. 594.
powerfully than in any other way. He “I cannot express the veneration and had a thousand winning ways to lead love with wbich he was regarded by our infant minds to God, and explain to every one of his children. With an us the love of the Saviour to little chilunderstanding of the very first order, a dren. It was then our first impressions mind elegantly refined and polished, were received ; and though for a time and feelings of the most delicate suscep they were obscured by youthful vanities, tibility, he had a heart overflowing with they were never totally erased; he lived intense affection towards each of them, to see them in some instances, ripened which was shown by daily and hourly into true conversion. It was his cusattentions of the most winning nature; tom, when we were very young, to and they found in him not only a coun pray with us alone: he used to take us sellor and instructor, but a companion by turns into his study; and memory and bosom friend. They clung to him, still recalls the simple language and indeed, with an almost idolatrous fond- affecting earnestness with which he ness. Each of my brothers and sisters pleaded for the conversion of his child. will agree with me in the sentiment of I used to weep because he wept, though dear Wilberforce (it was one of my I understood and felt little of his meanbrother's remarks a little before he closed ing; but I saw it was all love, and thus his eyes upon his weeping parent) my earliest impression was associated
when my heart feels too cold to thank with the idea that it was religion which God for any thing else, it can thank him made him love us so tenderly, and that for giving me such a father.' Surely the prayer was an expression of that love. I world does not contain a spot of more was led in this way to pray for those sweet and uninterrupted domestic hap- who were kind to me, as dear papa did. piness than Turvey rectory presented, “In conversation he did not often before death entered that peaceful dwel urge the subject of religion directly on ing. It was ever the first wish of my our attention, or question us much as beloved father, that our home should be to our personal experience of it. He happy; and he was never so pleased as has sometimes regretted this, and called when we were all sitting around him. it his infirmity; but I think he adopted Both in our childhood and youth, every a more successful plan. He used to innocent pleasure was resorted to, and watch over us most cautiously, and exall his varied attainments brought into press his opinion in writing : we conexercise to instruct and amuse us. He stantly found letters left in our rooms, was the sun of our little system, and with directions to think and pray over from him seemed to be derived the light them. Reproof was always conveyed and glow of domestic happiness. Like in this way; and he also took the same the disciple, whose loving spirit I have method of questioning us on experimenoften thought my dear father's resem tal religion, and of beseeching us to bled, his motto was, little children, become more decided for God. Somelove one another;' and he taught this times he required an answer; but genemore effectually by sympathy than even rally his only request was, that we by precept. Religion was unfolded to would spread his letter before the us in its most attractive form. We saw Lord, and think over it.' that it was a happy thing to be a Chris- “His reproofs were inexpressibly tian. He was exempt from gloom and tender. He was never angry with us; melancholy, and entered with life and but when we displeased him, be shewed cheerfulness into all our sports.
it by such a sad and mournful counte“ But we should not have been thus nance, that it touched us to the very heart, and produced more effect than to be the life of many souls; and, in any punishment could have done, for my father's own language, they were we saw that it was our dear father who the spiritual roses blooming around the suffered the most. In this way he grave of his Willy.'"-.... gained such an ascendency over our “It was a few days after Willy's affections, that none of his children could death, that my own mind was in a state feel happy if his smile was withdrawn, of agitating anxiety-thirsting for the and all regarded that smile as a rich knowledge of God and his holiness, yet, reward.
feeling so ignorant, dark, and helpless, “The anniversaries of our birth-days that I knew not where to look for enwere always seasons of festivity amongst couragement or assistance. My ignous. We were generally awakened with rance was my great burden. I felt as his congratulations and blessing. 'He if I never could understand religion, and rose up early in the morning, and with these feelings I went into the offered sacrifice, according to the pum- study, where I found my beloved ber of them all: thus did he conti- parent in deep meditation. He seemed nually. I love to recall those happy to perceive at one glance what was the and innocent days, when our dear matter. In his engaging manner he father, even in our childish sports, was took me on his knee, and folding me to the mainspring of our joys, and the his heart, begged me to tell him all I contriver of every amusement. We felt. This was the first time I had always found a birth-day present for opened my mind to him on the subject us, often accompanied by an affectionate of religion. I tried to tell him my note.”—,...
feelings, dwelling particularly on my “We returned home in October, with ignorance and total blindness in spirino material benefit to our dear invalid tual things. With striking humility and (Wilberforce, Mr. R's second son); condescension, he replied, "well, my and in January, 1825, after a happy and dear child, we will begin religion togeeven triumphant experience of the ther. We will set out in the first step, power of religion, my brother breathed for I have as much need as you to begin his last gentle sigh in the arms of his all again. We must go to Jesus Christ afflicted father, who had been, in God's to be set right. We will ask to be bands, his sole teacher, comforter, and taught the first lesson in his religion, and supporter. He was ever at the dying wait in the ignorance of babes for his pillow of his suffering child, reading, instruction.'"-.... praying, and comforting him, by day “In the following winter, my dear and by night. Before us, he appeared father's failing spirits sustained another composed and tranquil; but in his severe shock. We were expecting every retired moments, I have heard him give week our eldest brother from India. He vent to his feelings, with strong 'crying left home at the age of fifteen, and eleven and tears. I remember, on the even years had now elapsed since his father ing of Wilberforce's death, after he had had seen him. Many singular and yielded to the first burst of grief, he affecting circumstances had occurred clasped the inanimate form to his heart, during this interval. He was thrice laid it down, dried his tears, and collect- shipwrecked; and on one occasion, ing us together in the study, he knelt with only a few others, he got safe to down, and uttered only the language shore. In his early youth he had been of praise and gratitude. For a little a source of much sorrow to his parents, moment he seemed not only to follow, but in a far distant land his heart was but to realize his child's flight and wel turned to the God of his father; and come to the realms of glory. His whole we received the most satisfactory testiconduct seemed to express, though I monies to his conversion.--..... should see his hand lifted to slay me, “ He used to be much alone at this yet from that same band will I look for time, communing with his own heart, salvation.'
in his chamber, in silence: and no “He was much comforted, at this doubt it was his fervent and frequent time, in his parish, and in his own devotion which strengthened and enfamily. In the parish there appeared a abled him to comfort those who were remarkable revival of religion, particu in trouble, by the comfort wherewith he larly among the young people. It himself was comforted of God.' might be truly said, there were added “He had shut himself up for six to the church daily, such as should be weeks, and never appeared in public, saved.' This dear boy's death appeared except on the Sunday; but when he
heard of the anxiety of the people to see he was safe in heaven, and that to him him, and share the sorrows of their death had been victory : but that the beloved pastor, he desired them to thought painfully harassed him-shall I assemble in the school-room; and he ever meet him in heaven ? shall I indeed went there to meet them. It was evi- ever get there? Friends try to comfort dently too trying and exciting for his me, by saying, (as if they took it for weak frame. For some time he could not granted) that sorrow is unnecessary ; speak ; but when he recovered himself, for the separation is very short, and we his address was inexpressibly touching, shall soon meet again in heaven. But, and yet comforting. The people wept alas ! there is that inward consciouswith him, and felt his sorrows as their ness of sin, and that perplexing conown. He told them, that, conscious of flict, that I cannot take it for granted ; their interest in him, and of their and the thought is now sinking me in anxiety to know his state of mind under the very dust, shall I indeed meet him this afflicting rod, he had come on in heaven ?-am I sure eternity will purpose to tell them what God could do unite us? And I often shudder, and for the soul that looked to him for help; fall down confounded, at the possibility that they might magnify the Lord with that, after all, I may come short, and him, and exalt his name together. He our separation be eternal. said, that while he had been shut up in “ This was an affecting and important the solitude of his study, for the last lesson. I saw that the most holy and six weeks, in silent communion with established Christian is still a sinner, God, he had learnt to feel, it is good and feels himself such; that, however for me that I have been afflicted,'—that high his spiritual attainments in this the experience of his soul during that life, the flesh still weighs down the trying season bad been, in the mul- spirit. I had heard and seen my dear titude of my thoughts within me, thy father so strong in faith, that heaven comforts have refreshed my soul.
seemed realized, and victory obtained ; “He then expounded the 107th and I fancied he could never have a Psalm, with reference to poor Nugent's doubt of his salvation. But I found case; and expressed himself with more that the father in Christ could weep and than ordinary energy and freedom. He tremble like the babe, because of the had been tried, but he came forth as sin that dwelleth in him. gold. His heavenly Father seemed to “My dear father's cough continued, say to him, 'My son, give me thine and he became very thin ; and every heart;' and the answer of bis soul was one remarked how ill he looked. But - There is none upon earth I desire in he appeared not to notice it, and we comparison of thee.' While fainting thought he did not apprehend danger: we beneath the heavy load of suffering, he have since found that we were mistaken, tried to say, like his blessed Master, and that he always looked on the
the cup which my Father hath given cough as a summons from above. He me, shall I not drink it?'...... abated nothing of his work, and still
“ His mind was often for days peace- continued his visits to the poor. It ful and tranquil. At such times he was in the cottage of sorrow, and by never spoke of Wilberforce's death, but the bed of the dying, that my beloved in terras of gratitude and praise for his parent's character appeared the brightest. happy end: but at other times, the He was the father as well as the minisvivid remembrance of his bereavements ter of his people ; and they brought all seemed to overwhelm him, and to occa- their difficulties and troubles to him, sion new conflicts. I have heard his and ever found in him a tender and convulsive sobs and his heart-touching judicious adviser. He had particular prayers, as I sat in the room beneath pleasure in conversing with ihe pious the study. I remember on one day in poor, and said he had learnt some of particular, he had been a long time his best lessons from them; that the alone, wishing to be undisturbed; and religion of the poor in general was more When I went to him, I found him in spiritual and sincere than that of the deep sorrow. Willy's papers were rich; that they lived more simply the lying before him, and he appeared in life of faith on the Son of God. I have great agitation of mind. In what fol seen my beloved father in public, when lowed, I was struck with the deep the gaze of admiration was fixed on him, humility of his feelings. He said, “it and in the private drawing-room I have was not unmingled grief for Wilberforce beheld him the delight and entertainwhich was then uppermost; he knew ment of the company, and my heart