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In 1747 our author issued a work of great interest entitled, “Some Remarkable Passages in the Life of Col. James Gardiner, who was slain by the Rebels at the Battle of Preston-Pans, Sept. 21, 1745." In this publication he designed not merely a tribute of gratitude to the memory of an invaluable friend, but of duty to God and his fellow-creatures, as he had a cheerful hope that the narrative would, under the divine blessing, be the means of spreading a warm and lively sense of religion. He thought the Colonel's character would command some peculiar regard, as it shone amid the many temptations of a military life.
The correspondence in relation to this work, and the remarkable subject of it, partly from the pen of Col. Gardiner himself, cannot fail to be read with interest. It will be observed that some disparaging strictures had been indulged in by writers of a worldly spirit, who, nevertheless, had admired the learning and ability of the author.
It will prepare us to read the correspondence with deeper interest, if the admirable sketch of Colonel Gardiner, from the "North British Review," first receive attention.
"Among the visitors at their father's house, at first to the children of Dr. Doddridge more formidable than the doctor, Dr. Stonehouse,] and by and by the most revered of all, was a Scotch cavalry officer. With his hessian boots, and their tremendous spurs, sustaining the grandeur of his scarlet coat and powdered cue, there was something to youthful imagination very awful in the tall and stately hussar; and that awe was nowise abated when they got courage to look on his high forehead, with overhung grey eyes and weather-beaten cheeks, and when they marked his fine and dauntless air. And then it was terrible to think how many battles he had fought, and how in one of them a bullet had gone quite through his neck, and he had lain a whole night among the slain. But there was a deeper mystery still. He had been a very bad man once, it would appear, and now he was very good; and he had seen a vision; and altogether, with his strong Scotch voice, and his sword, and his wonderful story, the most solemn visitant was this grave and lofty soldier. But they saw how their father loved him, and how he loved their father. As he sat so erect in the square corner seat of the chapel, they could notice how his stern look would soften, and how his firm lip would quiver, and how a happy tear would roll down his deep-lined face; and they heard him as he sung so joyfully the closing hymn, and they came to feel that the Colonel must indeed be very good. At last, after a long absence, he came to see their father, and stayed three days, and he was looking very sick, and very old; and the last night before he went away, their father preached a sermon in the house, and his text was, 'I will be with him in trouble: I will deliver him, and honor him. And the Colonel went away, and their father went with him, and gave him a long convoy; and many letters went and came. But at last there was war in Scotland. There was a rebellion, and there were battles. And then the gloomy news arrived-there had been a battle close to the very house of Bankton, and the king's soldiers had run away, and the brave Colonel Gardiner could not run, but fought to the very last; and alas for the Lady Frances, he was stricken down and slain scarce a mile from his own mansion door."
From Col. Gardiner.
“ LEICESTER, July 9, 1739. “MY DEAR DOCTOR-I know not how the reading of my letters may move you, but I am sure I never receive any that have a greater influence on me than yours; and much do I stand in need of every help to awaken me out of that spiritual deadness, which seizes me so often. Once, indeed, it was quite otherwise with me, and that for many years.
666 Firm was my health, my day was bright,
And I presumed 't would ne'er be night:
•But I forgot Thine arm was strong,
Here lies my sin and my folly. And this brings to my mind that sweet singer in our Israel, I mean Dr. Watts; for you must know that I have been in pain these several years lest that excellent person should be called to heaven before I had an opportunity to let him know how much his works have been blessed in me, and of course to return him my hearty thanks; for though it is owing to the operation of the blessed Spirit that any thing works effectually on our hearts, yet if we are not thankful to the instrument which God is pleased to make use of, whom we do see, how shall we be thankful to the Almighty whom we have
not seen? Therefore, dear doctor, I must beg the favor of you to let him know that I intended to wait upon him when I was in London, in the beginning of last May, but was informed, and that to my great sorrow, that he was extremely ill, and therefore I did not think that a visit would have been seasonable, especially considering that I have not the happiness to be much acquainted with the doctor; but well am I acquainted with his works, especially with his psalms, hymns, and lyrics. How often, by singing some of them when by myself, on horseback and elsewhere, has the evil spirit been made to flee away,
*** Whene'er my heart in tune was found,
Like David's harp of solemn sound.' I desire to bless God for all the good news of his recovery, and entreat you to tell him that although I cannot keep pace with him here in celebrating the high praises of our glorious Redeemer, which is the great grief of my heart, yet I am persuaded that, when I join the glorious company above, where there will be no drawbacks, none will outsing me there; because I shall not find any who have been more indebted to the wonderful riches of divine grace than myself.
“Give me a place at thy saints' feet,
Or some fallen angel's vacant seat;
Who sit above in brighter day.' I know it is natural for any one who has felt that almighty power which raised our glorious Redeemer from the grave, to believe his case singular. But I have made every one in this respect submit, as soon
as he has heard my story; and if you seemed so surprised at the account which I gave you, what will you be when you hear it all?
Oh, if I had an angel's voice,
'Dear doctor, if you knew what a natural aversion I have to writing, you would be astonished at the length of this letter, which is, I believe, the longest I ever wrote. But my heart warms when I write to you, which makes my pen move the easier. I hope it will please our gracious God long to preserve you a blessed instrument in his hand of doing great good in the church of Christ."
A CONVERSATION WITH COL. GARDINER, AND HIS
"I have this evening, August 14, 1739," says Dr. Doddridge," been conversing with the ingenious, polite, judicious, and eminently pious Colonel Gardiner, and have again been receiving from his own mouth the extraordinary story of his conversion; and therefore think it proper, while it continues fresh in my memory, to write it down for further reflection, with all the exactness of which I am capable.
This worthy gentleman and brave soldier was the son of a very religious mother, and educated with great care; but soon outgrew all the influence of a religious education, and lived from his childhood to the thirty-first year of his age without reading the word of God, without prayer, abandoned to all the