Personal Recollections
by
Charlotte Elizabeth

Part 3 out of 3



the astounding fact that pennyworths of heresy were circulated within
the range of his pastoral charge: the matter was reported at head-
quarters, taken up with due seriousness, and a Sunday appointed, on
which, no doubt, I was quietly worshipping in the college chapel at
Sandhurst, wholly unconscious that my name was then being proclaimed at
a hundred Italian altars, with a denunciation against all who should
read, circulate, or possess any book, tract, or treatise penned by me.
One instance was particularized: a poor priest had himself given numbers
of these translations to his flock; and after mass, he stood before them
deeply moved, telling them he had a painful duty to perform. That he had
received from the highest authority a command to proclaim what he held
in his hand, and which he proceeded to read to them--a copy of the
fulmination above-mentioned. Having done so he folded the paper, and
resumed, saying he had given and recommended the little books to them,
because he had read them himself and found nothing but what was good in
them: however, the church, which they were all bound to obey, judged
otherwise; "and now." he added, "you must bring them back to me, or burn
them, or in some other way destroy them wholly: nevertheless, I declare
in the sight of God I found no evil in those dear little books, but the
contrary--they are full of good." He burst into tears, and many wept
with him; and not a few of the proscribed productions were wrapped up
and buried in the earth, or otherwise put away till the search should be
over. Who knows but that very priest was led to the Bible and to Christ
through such humble means? I would not exchange for the value of the ten
kingdoms ten times trebled, the joy that I feel in this high honor put
upon me--this rich blessing of being under the papal curse. * * *

With what fondness does memory linger over those delightful days of
sojourn under the sheltering roof of my brother, so soon, to be for ever
parted in this world. Another boy had been added to our happy little
circle, and Jack's warm heart seemed to receive an accession of love,
that he might have it to bestow on the "beautiful baby small," which
claimed so much of his thoughts and prayers. Indeed, his thoughts were
always prayers, for God was in all. He made but little progress in
language, having a great dislike to learning beyond what was needful for
communicating his thoughts to me, and as he was then obliged to be more
with servants than I liked, I was not anxious to extend his facilities
of communicating with them; nor did he at all desire their society. He
had a little room of his own, to his great delight, over the coach-
house; and when not employed in his work, or talking with me, he was
most happy with the pencil. He gave a strong and beautiful proof of the
dread with which God inspired him as to ensnaring company; and I cannot
pass it over.

My brother declared his intention of keeping a horse, and of course a
groom. Jack came to me with an earnest entreaty that he might be the
groom, saying he could do it so well. The reason he gave to me,
confidentially, was, that men were very wicked; that the man-servant
would often shake hands with the devil--his usual mode of expressing
wilful sin--and that if Jack shook hands with him, he would some day
draw his hand till he got it into the devil's; meaning, that an evil
companion would by degrees induce him to become evil too. He also said,
Captain B---- was very kind to Mam, and that a servant would cost him
money, and eat a great deal; but Jack would take no money, and only eat
"small potato, small meat," because he loved Captain B----. When I
communicated the request to my brother he laughed, saying such a boy
could never groom a horse; but Jack had been privately to a kind friend
of his, a retired non-commissioned officer of cavalry, who had the care
of some horses, and got him to give him instruction, succeeding so well
in his attempt that the serjeant told my brother he really thought him
competent to the office. He consented to try; and having purchased his
horse, tied him up at the stable-door for Jack to commence operations,
while we all assembled to see him. I was apprehensive of a total
failure, but he did it admirably, and my brother declared he only wanted
a few inches in height to be one of the best grooms in the kingdom.
Jack's exultation was very great. When we were alone, he went up to the
horse, kissed it, and after telling me how pleased he saw his master
look, he added, "No man; all one Jack. Devil cry--go, devil!" and
snapped his fingers at the invisible enemy.

His greatest security next to his love of God was his constant fear of
Satan. Yet it was rather a fear of himself, lest he should yield to his
temptations, for he was perfectly aware Satan would not force him to do
any thing. Hence his extreme caution as to what associates he had, and a
reserve with those whom he did not know to be Christians, which was
sometimes mistaken for pride. He invariably asked me, of every person
who came to the house, whether that person loved Jesus Christ; and if I
could not give a positive answer in the affirmative, he stood aloof,
always most courteous, but perfectly cold, and even dignified in
repelling any advance to sociability beyond common politeness. He did
not know the meaning of a single bad word, and God kept him so that the
wicked one touched him not. I used every means, of course, to this end.
I watched him most narrowly, and always interposed if he was required to
do any thing, or to go to any place, in which I apprehended danger. My
vigilance extorted smiles from those who considered it must all be in
vain when he grew a little older; but no obstacle was placed in my way;
and I bless God I never relaxed that care, nor did the boy ever depart
from his holy caution; and he died at the age of nineteen, a very tall
and fine-looking young man, with the mind of a little babe as regards
the evil that is in the world. Oh that parents knew the importance of
thus watching over their boys.

Soon after the first horse was established in his stall, my brother
purchased a second for my riding, saying he should now, of course, get
an assistant in the stable; but Jack burst into tears, and himself
pleaded with him for leave to do all. My brother greatly delighted in
his broken language, and caught exactly his phraseology, so that they
conversed together as well as with me; and he told me he could not stand
Jack's entreaties. "He is a fine little fellow," said he, "and if you
will watch and see that he is not overexerting himself, he may try for a
while: he will soon be tired." But far from it; Jack was proud of his
two horses; and none in the place were better kept. When a cow was
added, a young person came to milk her; but Jack was outrageous, talked
of his mother's "Kilkenny cows," and "cow's baby," and expressed such
sovereign contempt for the stranger's performance, and such downright
hostility against the intruder, that we had no peace till he got the cow
also under his especial care. Often afterwards did he talk of that time,
saying he was "well Jack," when he had two horses and a cow, and almost
crying over his loss. He grew rapidly, and the doctors told me that such
a life would have kept him strong to any age.

One day he came and asked me to let him have a large hoop, to make him
go faster on messages. I thought it childish, and did not regard it; so
he went to my brother with the same request, who inquired his reason.
Jack told him the stage-coaches that passed our gate went very fast,
because the four horses had four large hoops, meaning the wheels, and if
he had a large hoop he could go as fast as the horses. Diverted beyond
measure at such an original idea, my brother sent to Reading for the
largest and best hoop that could be got; and many a laugh we had at
seeing Jack racing beside the London coaches with his wheel, nodding
defiance at the horses, and shouting aloud with glee. He often went six
miles with his wheel, to bear messages and notes to our valued and much-
loved friend General Orde, whom he idolized almost, and who looked on
him as one of the most lovely instances of divine grace he had ever met
with. On the first formation of the British Reformation Society, General
Orde wrote to me, with a prospectus of the intended work. I told it to
Jack, who in rapturous delight gave me his whole worldly fortune of two
shillings, bidding me give it to put it in their pockets, and to bid
good General Orde tell gentlemen to send much Bibles to Kilkenny, that
his father and mother and all the poor people might learn to break the
crucifixes, and love Jesus Christ. I wrote this to the general, who sent
to me for the identical two shillings, which Mr. Noel produced on the
platform, with the dumb boy's message, and I believe it drew many a
piece of gold from the purses of those who saw the gift, which stands
enrolled the very first in the accounts of that noble society's
receipts. Jack often prayed for the Reformation Society, and I believe
his blessing helped them not a little; there was so much faith in all
that he did, such as God alone could give, and he never seemed to
entertain a doubt of obtaining what he asked. Many a sweet instance of
his childlike confidence in the Lord is engraven on my memory, at once
to stimulate and to shame me. His whole experience seemed to be an
illustration of the word of promise, "Ask, and ye shall receive."

One of the things that struck me as being referable to nothing but the
teaching of the Holy Spirit, was the interest manifested by this boy for
the Jews. His active Protestantism was easily accounted for; but to give
him an idea of Judaism would have been impossible. He could not read.
His knowledge of language did not go far enough to enable him to
understand the construction of a sentence; and though he spelled
correctly, and wrote readily whatever he wished to say, and his mode of
expression was generally quite intelligible to others, he did not
comprehend what was spoken or written in the ordinary way. Accustomed to
attach a distinct meaning to every word, and acquainted with very few
besides nouns and a few verbs, which he only used in the present tense,
independent of the pronouns, and without reference to number, he was
quite lost among the other parts of speech. For instance, if I had
wanted to say, "You must go to the village and buy me a small loaf of
bread," I should have expressed it thus: "Jack, go village, money, bread
small, one." Grammatically expressed, the order would have been
unintelligible to him: but few would have misunderstood it in the
uncouth phrase last instanced. He would have gone to the shop, and
writing down, "Bread small, one," would have held out the money, and
made a sign to express what size he wanted. It was this very fact of the
impossibility of conveying to his mind any clear notion of things
invisible and spiritual, that so gloriously manifested the power and
goodness of God in causing the light to shine into his heart. To a
reader who never witnessed the attempts of an intelligent, half-taught
deaf mute to express his meaning and to catch that of others, much of
what I state respecting Jack may and must appear, if not incredible, at
least unintelligible; yet none who ever saw and conversed with him would
fail to substantiate it, and they were very many. That zealous
missionary, Dr. Wolff, visited my brother's cottage when he and I were
both absent, and no one could assist Jack in conversing with him; yet so
great was his delight, that he wanted to take him to Palestine, to
instruct the deaf and dumb in the doctrine of Christ. The Rev. H. H.
Beamish is another who cannot, without emotion, recall his intercourse
with that dying Christian. General Orde, who saw him very frequently,
regarded him as a wonder of divine grace; and the Rev. W. Hancock, his
beloved pastor, who for four years observed him closely, often said he
derived greater encouragement from the experience and the prayers of
that poor boy, than from almost any other earthly source. Unbelievers
will doubt; but those who know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ will
adore.

Still it will be evident that Jack could not read the Bible. He took
great delight in copying it out, dwelling on such words as he knew; but
I have seen him turn over two leaves and go on wholly unconscious, of
any mistake: and I have found among his papers whole pages, composed of
half sentences and single epithets from Scripture, put together in
unbroken paragraphs, without any meaning. With all this, he was ardently
attached to the Jewish cause, and always told me "Jesus Christ love poor
Jew; Jew soon love Jesus Christ." When speaking of them, he would look
very tender and sorrowful, moving his head slowly from side to side, and
his hand as if stroking some object in a caressing way. At such times it
was curious to mark the effect of naming a "priest Roman" to him. In a
moment his aspect changed to something ludicrously repulsive: he stuck
his hands in his sides, puffed out his cheeks to their full extent,
scowled till his brows overhung his eyelids, and generally finished by
appearing to seize a goblet and drain off the contents to the last drop,
inflating his body, stroking it, smacking his lips, and strutting about.
This he did, not as imputing drunkenness to the priesthood, but their
denying the cup to the laity, and swallowing the contents themselves.
Though his acting was laughably comic, his feeling was that of serious
and severe indignation; and he would reprove us for the laughter it was
utterly impossible to restrain, saying, with triumphant confidence, "God
see." * * *




LETTER XI.

SEPARATION.


The two shortest years of my life were now drawing to a close. My
brother had completed his studies, passed his examination, and was under
orders to join his regiment in Ireland. Oh how my heart rose in prayer,
that where I had found a spiritual blessing he also might receive it. I
could not understand the state of his mind on the most vital of all
points: he had imbibed a prejudice so strong against the class of people
called evangelical, that nothing but his generous affection for us would
have induced him to receive under his roof two of that proscribed body,
to say nothing of Jack. He confessed to me, laughing, not long after we
became his inmates, that he supposed we should be falling on our knees
half a dozen times a day, singing psalms all over the house, and setting
our faces against every thing merry or cheerful. He had never been
acquainted with any serious person before going to Portugal, nor during
his short leaves of absence at home: none of that class ever crossed his
path abroad, and he came home prepared to believe any thing that was
told him of the supposed fanatics, whom he understood to be a sort of
ranting dissenters. At Clifton, extremes then ran far; the gay people
most violently denouncing their sober neighbors, and making up all sorts
of scandal concerning them. Hannah More was pointed out as "queen of the
Methodists," and a most infamous lie, wholly destructive of her moral
character, circulated among a narrow but dissipated clique as a known
fact; while the small fry of fanatics were disposed of by dozens in a
similar way. The faithful clergyman, whose ministry we attended, was
absolutely persecuted; and his congregation could expect no better at
the same hands. I am very far from charging this upon the generality of
even worldly people there; but it did exist, visibly and sensibly; and
my dear brother evidently had fallen in with some of these wholesale
calumniators, before he could possibly judge for himself. A visit to
Barley Wood, and a very prolonged interview with the "queen," greatly
staggered his prejudices; he was perfectly charmed with her, and
remarked to me that if all her subjects were like her, they must be a
very agreeable set of people. Still he apprehended an outbreak of
extravagance when we should be fairly installed in his abode; and though
he soon became undeceived, and learned to take the greatest delight in
the society of General Orde, Mr. Sandford, and others equally decided;
though he punctually attended the faithful ministry of Mr. Hancock at
the college chapel, besides his regular appearance at the usual military
service, and would not allow one disparaging word to be uttered in his
presence of that zealous preacher or his deeply spiritual discourses;
though he chose from among his brother officers a bold, uncompromising
Christian as his most intimate associate, and gave many unconscious
indications that he had received the doctrine of man's total corruption,
and the nothingness of his best works; though he became the warm
advocate of a scriptural education for the youthful poor, whom he had
always before considered most safe and happy in total ignorance--still,
with all this, I could not see even in his beautiful devout bearing in
public worship where the reverse so sadly prevailed, and where every
thing approaching to seriousness became a matter of suspicion, that he
was really seeking God. In fact, I had been too much in the trammels of
a system which lays down arbitrary rules, and will not admit that God is
working unless his hand be immediately and openly apparent to all. I
would not believe that what looked green and beautiful was a blade of
corn, just because it had not yet grown to an ear: and I refrained from
speaking when perhaps speech on such subjects would have been more
welcome than he wished to acknowledge, lest the remarks that I longed to
utter might prove unpalatable, and produce the contrary effect to what I
desired. He was only going for a little while: an appointment on the
home-staff was promised, and then I was to live with him again, and I
would zealously pursue the work. Alas, what a rod was prepared for my
unbelief and presumption! The present was slighted, in the confident
expectation of a future that was never to arrive.

We were almost always together out of his college hours. My window
commanded a view of the distant building, and when I saw the preparatory
movement to breaking up, I rose from my desk, tied on my bonnet, and ran
off in sufficient time to meet him very near the college. Both let loose
from six hours' hard work, we were like children out of school, often
racing and laughing with all the buoyancy of our natural high spirits.
The garden, the poultry-yard, and all the little minutiae of our nice
farming establishment, fully occupied the afternoon, while the children
gambolled round, and Jack looked on with smiles, often telling me how
much he loved "beautiful Captain B----," as he constantly called him. At
ten o'clock we parted for the night, I to resume the pen till long after
midnight; he to rest, whence he always rose at four o'clock, devoting
four or five hours to study before we met in the morning. We visited
very little, domestic retirement being the free choice of every one of
us; and nothing could have induced my brother to banish his children
from the parlor or drawing-room. Few things excited his indignation more
than the nursery system: his little ones were the pride of his heart,
the delight of his eyes, the objects of his fondest care. He often said
he intended his boys to be gentlemen, and therefore would not allow them
to imbibe the tastes and habits of the kitchen. The consequence is that
his boys are gentlemen.

Thus dwelling in love, united in every plan and pursuit, our time fairly
divided between diligent work and healthful recreation amid the delights
of rural life, do you marvel that I call this period my two shortest
years? Had no previous circumstances given tenfold brilliancy to these
lights by casting a depth of black shadow behind them, or no menacing
future hung over the present enjoyment, still there was enough to make
it indeed an oasis; but it was more. I cannot doubt that the Lord
mercifully gave me a foreboding of what was to come, in the intolerable
anguish of what seemed to be but a very short parting, with a delightful
prospect of renewed domestic comfort just beyond. Yet so it was: I
almost died under the trial of that farewell; and for three weeks
before, and as long after, I never had a night's rest. Visions of terror
were constantly before me, among which a scene of drowning was so
perpetually recurring that I have often started from my bed under the
vivid impression. This was the more strange because we had always been
so fearlessly fond of the water: in our early days we had a little boat,
just big enough for him to row and me to steer, in which we used to take
excursions on the river Wensum, and never thought of danger. At
Sandhurst too we were frequently upon the lake, and had both become
familiarized with ocean, until of all perils those of the water were
least likely to daunt me, either for myself or him: yet in most imminent
peril we had once been placed; and at this time it would recur to my
memory with tormenting frequency.

I was about seven years old, and he though younger was much the larger
of the two, a stout hearty boy, and I a very frail delicate little
creature, thanks to the doctors and their pet drug. Our parents went out
for a day's excursion with a friend, and of course we accompanied them.
The place was one celebrated for good fishing, and the gentlemen having
enjoyed a long morning's sport, remained in the house with my mother,
sending us out to play. We had strict charge not to go too near the
water, nor on any account to get into a boat, of which there were
several on the river. We strolled about, and at last came to the brink
of this river, to admire a barge or wherry which lay close to the little
pier; for it was a public ferry, and the depth very great. A small boat
just by attracted my brother's attention, who wished to get into it,
until I reminded him of the prohibition, when he said, "I wont get into
it, Char., but I will sit down here and put my two feet in the little
boat." He did so: the boat moved, and in his alarm trying to rise, he
fell and disappeared.

I perfectly remember the scene; I have also heard it described many a
time by others, but I cannot understand how it was that I, stooping from
the shore, with nothing to hold on by way of support, seized the little
fellow by the collar as he rose, and firmly held him in my grasp. He did
not struggle, but looked up in my face, and I down in his, and as I felt
my puny strength rapidly failing, the resolution was firm on my mind to
be drawn in and perish with him. There was not a question about it; I
can recall the very thought, as though it was of yesterday, and I am
positively certain that I should have tightened my hold in proportion as
the case became more desperate. It pleased God that, just then, some men
returning from work descried the figure of a little child stooping in a
most dangerous position over the deep water: they ran up, and while one
held me the other rescued the boy. My grasp was not unloosed until they
had him safe on shore: he was then insensible, and I lost every
recollection until I found myself still in the arms of the man who had
carried me in, while my mother and the rest were stripping the rescued
boy and chafing his limbs before a fire. It was much talked of, and many
a caress I got for what they considered heroism beyond my years; but
what heroism is like love? "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can
the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of his house
for love, it would utterly be contemned."

When my brother departed for Ireland, we left that sweet cottage and
went to reside in the village, in one better suited to the size of our
diminished family party. I had several young friends among the cadets,
in whom I took a warm interest, and whose occasional visits I endeavored
to make as profitable to them as might be. It is a sad thing to see a
boy, perhaps most carefully brought up by tender, and even Christian
parents, watched and kept as far as possible from all evil
communication, then thrown at once into a large public institution, and
exposed to every danger that can assail the youthful mind. A little
insight into human nature must show any candid person the extent of
mischief to be expected. Rarely do we find a case of conversion, with
establishment in grace, very early in life; and where it exists as
remarkably as in Jack, we may learn from his excessive dread of exposure
to temptation how vigilantly the young plant should be guarded. Let us
just suppose, what is indeed no sketch of imagination, but a slight
sketch of acknowledged reality--let us suppose a boy at the age when
they are eligible for those places, acquainted with the truth,
accustomed to Christian instruction, taught to look into the word of God
for daily direction, and to seek in prayer the daily supply of needful
grace: consider him as having remained under the eye of Christian
parents, or a schoolmaster who regards those committed to his care as
immortal beings, for whose well-doing while under his charge he is
responsible to God, and who therefore counsels them well, and banishes
to the utmost of his power, vice and profaneness from among them;
affording them the usual domestic means of grace, and seeing that they
are not neglected:--thus prepared, the lad enters upon a new scene,
where he finds himself surrounded by a large number of youthful
companions, all busy in qualifying themselves for a future career, we
will say in the service of their country. The first thing done is to try
the mettle of the new comer by putting upon him some insult, which if he
resents and offers to fight his way, he may be looked on with some
respect; but if he appear timid, or reluctant to retaliate, he may be
assured of becoming the object of a most harassing persecution for the
amusement of the thoughtless and the gratification of the cruel. In
either case, he passes an ordeal of great severity, particularly during
the night, when nothing is deemed too rough or alarming for the poor
stranger to encounter. I appeal to those who have passed it, whether
this is not enough to turn the brain of a weak-minded youth, or to
injure severely the body of a delicate one: I have myself known an
instance, in a great public seminary, wherein derangement and death
followed.

Supposing this well got over, the lad then finds that if there be any
among his new comrades disposed to keep up the practice of reading the
Scriptures and praying, they must do it as secretly as they would commit
a murder, and find it more difficult to accomplish than any crime that
could be named. There always will be a large proportion of ruffianly
characters among many boys; some naturally so, others made so by
example. These have the ascendency of course, and they will use it to
check and to stifle whatever might shine in contrast to themselves;
while, what with those unstable characters who always row with the
stream, and prudent ones who will not provoke hostility, and timid ones
who dare not, they meet with little if any opposition, but rule the
whole mass for evil. The youth, we will believe, sincerely desires to
preserve his integrity; but what can he do? Man in his best estate is a
frail, inconsistent being, liable to be blown about by every breath of
temptation, even when unfettered, and in full possession of all gospel
privileges; and what are we to expect from a boy who has never yet been
left to himself, or deprived of countenance and support? He sees none
watching over him, he hears no kind admonitory voice inviting him to
seek the way of peace and purity. His nature is corrupt, his heart is
deceitful, his soul cleaves to the dust, and he finds that by following
the bent of this perverse nature, by gratifying its lowest propensities,
and revelling in unhallowed things, he shall best purchase the good-
fellowship of those who have it in their power to make his life
miserable if he thwarts their will. His conscience loudly protests, and
calls on him to pray; but if he would do so, where is he to retire for
that purpose? Alone he cannot be; he has no separate apartment, and let
those who have tried it say what would be the consequence of his
kneeling down publicly to worship God. He may do it silently and
undiscovered in his bed; yes, if he can lift up his heart, and realize
the presence of the God of heaven, while the language of hell resounds
on every side. Even so, he has an enemy within, striving against the
right principle, and responding to all that his better feeling
repudiates. Then, too, wherewithal shall the young man cleanse his way,
if not by ruling himself according to the word of God? And how is he to
study that word? Does the parent who puts a Bible in his boy's
portmanteau know that the most blasphemous tissue of ribaldry and all
abomination, would be a more suitable gift, if it is intended that he
should exhibit it? These are awful questions, to be well considered by
those who are wavering as to the destination of a youth; and they apply
very widely throughout the land.

We all know the case of him whose heart has been swept and garnished;
and how much the last state is worse than the first, when Satan reenters
with his seven new companions. The very checks of conscience render the
fretted mind more restive; and the longer restrained, the more headlong
is the wild gallop into which the chafed spirit at last breaks. He who
trembled at a profane word, becomes an accomplished swearer; he whose
modesty was most retiring is foremost to glory in early depravity; he
whose hand was ever ready to relieve the poor, while his heart
sympathized in their sorrows, becomes the wanton spoiler and marauder
for the sake of a bold vaunt; he who shrunk from the approach of
profligate misleaders, now volunteers to harden new comers in the ways
of sin. The youth who with noiseless step trod the courts of the Lord's
house, and bent with lowly reverence in prayer, and listened with fixed
attention to the teacher's voice, now delights in shaming others out of
the semblance of devotion, and feigns, if he does not fall into it, the
profound sleep of a wholly uninterested actor in the tedious show of
public worship. Perchance some friend whose proximity to the place
admits of it may stretch out a helping hand, or lift an admonitory
voice, or proffer a little encouragement to strengthen the things that
remain, and which are ready to die: if so, both the helper and the
helped will be marked out for ridicule and reviling, if for nothing
worse.

Honorable men, after this world's course, who are themselves wholly in
the dark, verily believing that religion would turn a youth's brain and
unfit him for the active business of life, will feel it a part of their
duty to oppose every possible obstacle to such attempts at reclaiming
the young wanderers under their charge. I knew, and knew right well, an
instance wherein a lady who strove to do good to the souls of some young
lads whose parents she knew to be praying people, had a sort of ban put
upon her, by the publication of an express order that they should not be
again permitted to visit her; and when a nobleman who well knew that she
had not done any thing to merit such public condemnation, asked the
principal of the institution the reason for so harsh a proceeding, he
received this answer: "My lord, I was sorry to do it; I felt it a
painful duty, but an imperative one. The fact is, she got hold of some
of the most promising lads under my care, and so infected them with her
own gloomy notions that, I give you my word, they were seen walking
alone, with Bibles in their hands." So much wiser are the children of
this world in guarding those committed to them from the entrance of
spiritual good, than are the children of light in protecting their
dearest treasures from the contamination of most deadly evil.

But to return to my cadets at Sandhurst. I had two young friends there,
both Irish, who were known to me from childhood; both greatly attached
to my brother; both loving me dearly; and many a happy hour we passed,
strolling over the wild heath, or enjoying the cheerfulness of my
cottage home. On those two, among many, I looked with especial
solicitude as to their future course; and I have had to rejoice, in
different ways, over them both. One was early taken to his rest; he died
in the faith, looking simply to the Lord Jesus, and finding perfect
peace in him. The other was long away on foreign service, and when next
I saw him it was as the deliverer, under God, of a whole town, and
probably through that of the whole kingdom, from a scene of
revolutionary carnage. He commanded the gallant little body of troops at
Newport who, on the 4th of November, 1839, quelled the Chartist
insurrection, and broke the formidable power that menaced a general
outbreak. I cannot pass over this event, it was so delightfully
gratifying to me.

A third of those in whom I took a lively interest was Alexander Count
Calharez, the eldest son of the Duc de Palmella. He was a most elegant
youth, of fine mind, delicate feelings, and the sweetest manners
possible. Devotedly attached to Romanism, he constantly attended mass at
the house of the old abbe, who added to his professorship in the Royal
Military College the duties of a Popish priest. It was a sore grief to
me to see Calharez pursuing his solitary way to that house, while we
took the road to the college chapel, and met him half-way. I longed to
enter a solemn protest against his delusion, but I never did it in
direct terms, though very often dwelling, in his presence, on the
peculiar truths of Christianity, opposed as they are to the lie in which
he trusted. I hoped to have enjoyed many future opportunities of
conversing with him, for he always sought our society in preference to
many things that appeared more attractive, and took a lively interest in
Jack. But the college did not suit his taste; he left it soon and
accompanied his father to Portugal. He died at the Azores; and I have
been told that his hope at the last was one which maketh not ashamed. He
was the subject of many prayers; the last day will tell whether they
were answered.

But I cannot hasten through the heaviest part of my task; it is the
rending open of a wound never to heal until the leaves of the tree of
life shall be laid upon it; and if by any means I do attain to that
resurrection from among the dead in which none but the Lord's children
shall partake, surely the dear object of all this sorrow will be there
beside me.

Six months had passed since my brother's departure to Ireland, and all
his letters were full of cheerfulness and pleasant anticipation. On the
subject where I most wished to know his feelings, he was silent; but a
passage in one of his letters struck me greatly. I had been suffering
from a slight local pain, which one of my medical friends erroneously
pronounced to be a disease of the heart; and in communicating this to
him I had noticed, that I must live in momentary expectation of sudden
death. His reply was very affectionate. He said it had given him a great
shock, but on a little reflection he was convinced of its being
altogether a nervous sensation; adding, "If not, why should you shrink
from sudden death? For my own part, I should desire it, as a short and
easy passage out of this life." A tremor came over me as I read these
words; but again I thought, "Surely there is something on his mind to
brighten that passage, or he would not so express himself;" and the
thought of many perils surrounding him quickened me to redoubled prayer
that God would set his feet upon the Rock of ages.

It was on a bright Sabbath morning at the end of June, that having
rather overslept myself, I found, on awaking, the letters brought by
early post lying on my pillow. I took one: it was the Horse Guards
envelope, in which his letters usually came; and in my eagerness to open
one from him, I did not even put up a prayer. Full of smiling
anticipation, I unfolded the enclosure, which was from a most dear and
valued friend at the Horse Guards; and after some tender preparation,
which the sudden reeling of my terrified brain prevented my
comprehending, came the paralyzing sequel: A letter had been received
from Mullingar--he was on the lake fishing--the boat overset. I could
not understand the meaning of the words; but I understood the thing
itself.

I sprung to my knees to cry for mercy on him--but Oh, that dreadful,
dreadful thought that pierced through my inmost soul--"He is beyond the
reach of prayer." I fell back as if really shot. But what avails it to
dwell on this? I bore it as God enabled me; I felt crushed, annihilated
as it were, under the fierce wrath of the Lord; for to aggravate the
blow, I had no power to believe or to hope. It was a light thing to have
lost him, my all in this cold, dreary world, who from early infancy had
been as the light to my eyes, and the life-blood to my heart--him who
had so very lately been restored, as if to show that while he remained
all I could desire of earthly happiness was within my reach--him who had
been to me instead of every other mortal blessing, and to whom I looked
for all that I dared hope of future comfort. It was a light thing to
have lost him, and to look upon the anguish of his widowed mother, to
whom he had ever been more of a ministering angel than a son, and upon
the tears of his little daughter, who had lost a father indeed. All this
was a small matter compared with the overwhelming horrors of that
fearful thought, that _he_ had lost his soul.

I had fallen much into the common, dangerous error of looking to my own
faith rather than to the object of it for salvation; and I did in my
heart, exceedingly glory in this supposed faith of mine. The dreadful
dispensation under which I was laid showed me at once, that of faith I
had not to the value of a grain of mustard-seed; and now I felt the
desolation of spirit which none can know who have not been so compelled
to make such a discovery. I did not rebel; I owned the justice of God:
nay, the very first words I could find breath to utter broke forth in
the confession, "Righteous art thou, O Lord; just and true are thy ways,
O King of saints!" But it was a fearful trembling beneath the hand that
had smote me; and as for being contented to have it so, I was not: I do
not wish that I had been contented to believe my brother was lost; I do
not understand that feeling, nor wish to understand it; for surely while
we remain in the flesh, we cannot divest ourselves of what God has
interwoven with our very nature, nor cease to feel for the spiritual,
the eternal interests of those most fondly endeared to us--a solicitude
as great, aye, much greater, than what we, in our unconverted state,
once knew in regard to their temporal concerns. I speak of those
instances where, after being ourselves brought to know the Lord, we have
labored and prayed perseveringly for others, and then have suddenly lost
them. I was not content to think that my prayers had been cast out: I
wanted some token that they had been answered. Blessed be the God of all
mercies, I was not disappointed. * * *

Meanwhile, what a tenfold recompense for all the care bestowed on him
did I reap in the beautiful sympathy of the dumb boy. When I came down
stairs that dreadful morning, he met me with a face of such wild dismay
as even then arrested my attention. He uttered an audible "Oh!" of most
touching tone, and thus expressed the impossibility he felt of realizing
the tidings: "Jack _what_? Jack asleep? Jack see, no--think, no.
Jack afraid, very. Beautiful Captain B---- gone?--dead? _What_?"
and he stamped with the impatience of that fearfully inquisitive
_what_. I answered, "Captain B---- gone; water kill--dead." Tears
stole down his loving face as he responded, "Poor mam! Mam one;" meaning
I was now alone in the world. "God see poor mam one; Jesus Christ love
poor mam one." With a feeling of bitter agony I asked him, "What? Jesus
Christ love Captain B----?" "Yes," he replied, after a moment's solemn
thought on the question, "Yes, Jack much pray; mam much pray; Jesus
Christ see much prays." This was true comfort; all the eloquence of all
the pulpits in England could not have gone to my heart like that
assurance, that Jesus Christ had _seen_ his many dumb prayers on
behalf of that lost--Oh, I could not, even in the depth of my
unbelieving heart, say, "lost one." I again asked the boy, "Jack
_much_ prays?" He answered with solemn fervency, "Very, very much
prays. Jack pray morning, pray night; Jack pray church, pray bed. Yes,
Jack many days, very, pray God make"--and he finished by signs, that
wings should be made to grow from my brother's shoulders, for him to fly
to heaven, adding, _Jesus Christ must make the wings;_ and then,
with a burst of delighted animation, he told me that he was a "very tall
angel, very beautiful."

I have repeated this conversation to show the broken language carried on
between us; and also how powerfully he expressed his thoughts. Soon
after, when I was nearly fainting, a glass of water was held to my lips.
I am ashamed to say, I dashed it down, exclaiming, "That murderer!" Jack
caught my eye, and echoing my feelings, said, in a bitter way, "Bad
water!" then with a look of exulting contempt at the remaining fluid, he
added, "Soul gone water? No!" This idea, that the soul was not drowned,
electrified me; so good is a word spoken in due season, however trite a
truism that word may be.

That night I pretended to go to bed, that others might do so too; and
then I left my room, went to my little study, which was hung round with
Jack's sweet drawings, and sat down, resting my elbows on the table, my
face on my hands, and so remained for a couple of hours. Day had
scarcely broken, brightly upon me, about two in the morning, when the
door opened softly, and Jack entered, only partially dressed, his face
deadly pale, and altogether looking most piteously wretched. He paused
at the door, saying, "Jack sleep, no; Jack sick, head bad--no more see
beautiful Captain B----." I could only shake my head, and soon buried my
face in my hands again. However, I still saw him through my fingers; and
after lifting up his clasped hands and eyes in prayer for me, he
proceeded to execute the purpose of his visit to that room. Softly,
stealthily, he went round, mounting a chair, and unpinned from the wall
every drawing that contained a ship, a boat, or water under any form of
representation. Still peeping at me, hoping he was not observed, he
completed this work, which nothing but a mind refined to the highest
degree of delicate tenderness could ever have prompted, and then
stopping at the door, cast over his shoulder such a look of desolate
sorrow at me, that its very wretchedness poured balm into my heart. Oh
what a heavenly lesson is that, "Weep with them that do weep," and how
we fly in its face when going to the mourner with our inhuman, cold-
blooded exhortations to leave off grieving. Even Job's tormenting
friends gave him seven days' true consolation while they sat silent on
the earth weeping with him.

But God put into the dumb boy's heart another mode of consolation, which
I must recount as a specimen of his exceedingly original and beautiful
train of thought. He used to tell his ideas to me as if they were things
that he had seen: and now he had a tale to relate, the day after this,
which riveted my attention. He told me my brother went on the lake in a
little boat, and while he was going along the devil got under it, seized
one side, pulled it over, and caught my brother, drawing him down to the
bottom, which, as he told me, was deep, deep, and flames under it. Then
Jesus Christ put his arm out of a cloud, reached into the water, took
the soul out of the body, and drew it into the sky. When the devil saw
the soul had escaped, he let the body go, and dived away, crying, Jack
said, with rage, while the men took it to land. The soul, he continued,
went up, up, up; it was bright, and brighter, "like sun--all light,
beautiful light." At last he saw a gate, and inside many angels looking
out at him; but two very small angels came running to meet the soul; and
when he saw them, he took them up into his arms, kissed them, and
carried them on towards the gate, still kissing and caressing them. I
was amazed and utterly at a loss, and said, "Two angels? What? Mam not
know; what?" He looked at me with a laugh of wonder; pointed to my head
and the wooden table, and replied--his usual way of calling me stupid--
"Doll mam! Two small boys, dead, Portugal." My brother had lost two
babes in Portugal; and thus exquisitely, thus in all the beauty of true
sublimity, had the untaught deaf and dumb boy pictured the welcome they
had given their father on approaching the gate of heaven.

A day or two after, some kind, sympathizing relations and friends being
assembled at the dinner-table, something cheerful was said, which
excited a general smile: Jack was in the act of handing a plate; he
looked round him with a face of stern indignation, set down the plate,
said, "Bad laughing!" and walked out of the room, stopping at the door
to add to me, "Mam, come: no laughing! Gone; dead." I had not smiled;
and this jealous tenaciousness of such a grief, on the part of an
exceedingly cheerful boy, was the means of soothing more than any other
means could have done it, the anguish of that wound which had pierced my
very heart's core. These were a small part of the munificent wages that
my Master gave me for nursing a child of his.

My first act had, of course, been to adopt my brother's son--the "baby
boy"--now five years old, who had been since he first showed his little
round face in England, my own peculiar treasure. I begged him as a
precious boon, and for his sake bore up against the storm of sorrow that
was rending me within. Jack fell into a decline, through the depression
of his spirits in seeing me suffer; for to conceal it from one who read
every turn of my countenance was impossible; and I should have been well
content to sink also, but for the powerful motive set before me. Under
God, who gave him to me, you may thank your young friend for what little
service I may have rendered in the cause you love, since 1828; for the
prospect which by the Lord's rich mercy is so far realized, of seeing
him grow up a useful, honorable member of society, with right
principles, grounded on a scriptural education, was what enabled me to
persevere against every difficulty and every discouragement that could
cross my path. I set up a joyful Ebenezer here; and I ask your prayers
that the blessing may be prolonged, increased, perfected, even to the
day when we shall all meet before the throne of God. * * *




LETTER XII.

EMPLOYMENT.


How is it that Christians so often complain they can find nothing to do
for their Master? To hear some of them bemoaning their unprofitableness,
we might conclude that the harvest indeed is small, and the laborers
many. So many servants out of employ is a bad sign; and to obviate the
difficulty complained of, I purpose showing you two or three ways in
which those who are so inclined may bestir themselves for the good of
others. What a blessing were a working church! and by a church I mean,
"the company of all faithful people," whosoever and wheresoever they be.

In the village where I lived, there was a very good national-school,
well attended; also a Sunday-school; and the poorer inhabitants
generally were of a respectable class, with many of a higher grade, such
as small tradesmen, and the families of those in subordinate offices
about the Military College. I always took a great interest in the young;
and as love usually produces love, there was no lack of affectionate
feeling on their part. It occurred to me, as the Sunday was much devoted
by most of them to idling about, that assembling such of them as wished
it at my cottage would afford an opportunity for scriptural instruction;
and without any thing resembling a school, or any regular proposal, I
found a little party of six or seven children assembled in the
afternoon, to hear a chapter read, answer a few questions upon it, and
join in a short prayer. Making it as cheerful and unrestrained as
possible, I found my little guests greatly pleased; and on the next
Sabbath my party was doubled, solely through the favorable report spread
by them. One had asked me, "Please, ma'am, may I bring my little
sister?" and on the reply being given, "You may bring any body and every
body you like," a general beating up for recruits followed. In three or
four weeks my assemblage amounted to sixty, only one half of whom could
be crowded into the parlor of my small cottage. What was to be done? The
work was rather arduous, but as I too had been complaining not long
before of having little to do for the Lord, except with the pen, I
resolved to brave a little extra labor. I desired the girls to come at
four, the boys at six, and allowing an interval of half an hour between,
we got through it very well. A long table was set across the room, from
corner to corner; round this they were seated, each with a Bible, I
being at the head of the table. I found this easy and sociable way of
proceeding highly gratified the children: they never called, never
thought it a school--they came bustling in with looks of great glee,
particularly the boys, and greeted me with the affectionate freedom of
young friends. A few words of introductory prayer were followed by the
reading of one or more chapters, so that each had a verse or two; and
then we talked over the portion of Scripture very closely, mutually
questioning each other. Many of the girls were as old as sixteen or
seventeen, beautiful creatures, and very well dressed: and what a
privilege it was so to gather and so to arm them in a place where, alas,
innumerable snares beset their path. We concluded with a hymn; and long
before the half-hour had expired that preceded the boys' entrance, they
were clustering like bees at the gate, impatient for the joyous rush;
and to seat themselves round their dear table, with all that free
confidence without which I never could succeed in really commanding the
attention of boys.

Our choice of chapters was peculiar. I found they wanted stirring
subjects, and I gave them Gideon, Samson, Jonathan, Nehemiah, Boaz,
Mordecai, Daniel, all the most manly characters of Old Testament
history, with the rich gospel that lies wrapped in every page of that
precious volume. Even in the New Testament I found that individualizing
as much as possible the speaker or the narrative produced, great
effects. Our blessed Lord himself, John the Baptist, Paul--all were
brought before them as vividly as possible; and I can assure those who
try to teach boys as they would teach girls, that they are pursuing a
wrong method. Mine have often coaxed an extra hour from me; and I never
once saw them willing to go, during the fifteen months of our happy
meetings. If the least symptom of unruliness appeared, I had only to
tell them they were my guests, and I appealed to their feelings of
manliness, whether a lady had not some claim to forbearance and respect.
Nothing rights a boy of ten or twelve years like putting him on his
manhood; and really my little lads became gentlemen in mind and manners,
while, blessed be God, not a few became, I trust, wise unto salvation.
Their greatest temptation to disorderly doings was in the laughable,
authoritative style of Jack's superintendence. He was now rapidly
fading, but in mind brighter than ever. Seated in a large chair, a
little to the rear of me, he kept strict watch over the party, and any
deviation from what he considered correct conduct was noticed with a
threat of punishment, conveyed by pinching his own ear, slapping his own
face, kicking out his foot, and similar indications of chastisement,
with a knowing nod at the offender. But if he saw an approach to levity
over the word of God, his manner wholly changed. Tears filled his eyes,
he looked all grief and entreaty, and the words, "God see," were
earnestly spelled on his uplifted hands. No one could stand the appeal;
and very rarely had he occasion to make it. I am sure his prayers helped
forward the work mightily. It was wonderful to see thirty-two robust,
boisterous fellows, from nine to seventeen years old, sitting in perfect
delight and perfect order, for two and even three hours, on a fine
Sunday evening, never looking dissatisfied till they were told to go.

I cannot help recording an event on which I look back with great
thankfulness, though it was a terrible trial to me at the time. Two of
my boys had a quarrel one week-day. One of them was very teasing, the
other very passionate. The latter ran to a butcher's window close by,
seized the large knife, and plunged it into the left side of his
companion. Most mercifully the wound was not dangerous: the keenness of
the knife was in his favor; it penetrated to within a short distance of
the heart, but separated no large vein, and within a few days the boy
was out again. The Sunday after it occurred my party were exceedingly
moved; they expressed great anger, and not a few threats were, uttered
against the culprit, whose parents had locked him up. On the following
Sabbath I resolved to make an effort to avert bad consequences, and also
to arrest the poor boy in his dangerous course. He had rather justified
himself than otherwise, and had shown a spirit sadly unsubdued, and
unthankful for his escape from a deadly crime and its awful
consequences. I sent word to him to come to my party: he replied he
would not. I repeated the summons, saying I should be exceedingly hurt
if he did not. No answer was returned. The place next but one to me
belonged to the wounded boy, that below it to his assailant; and the
former was present, pale, indeed, but well. I lost no time in announcing
to them that I expected P----, which occasioned a burst of indignation,
some saying they would not stay in the room with him, and the rest
seeming to assent. "Then," said I, "you must go, for he wants
instruction most: and the very feeling that makes you shrink from
associating with him proves that you are better taught. So if you will
leave me, do; I must admit him." Just then P---- was seen coming down
the little garden: he entered, his walk very erect, his eyes
unflinching, and his dark brows knitted. The looks of my young lads were
very eloquent; his bold bearing exasperated them much. My heart seemed
bursting its boundary with the violent palpitation of alarm, and other
emotions which I could scarcely suppress; but I motioned to P---- to
take his usual place, and instantly rising offered up the usual prayer,
with a petition for the spirit of mutual compassion, forgiveness, and
love. I ceased, all remained standing, and certainly it was a period of
most fearful interest. I looked imploringly at the wounded boy; he
hesitated a moment, then suddenly turned, and with an air of noble
frankness, held out his hand to P----, who took it directly. I then
offered him mine; he grasped it, and burst into tears. A delightful
scene followed, each pressing to seal his forgiveness in the same
manner, while Jack's countenance shone with almost heavenly beauty on a
spectacle so congenial to his loving heart. We had a most happy
evening, and I could not but tell my dear boys how much I rejoiced over
them. Whatever may have been the effect on the characters of those
concerned, I know not. I am persuaded the proceeding was a means of
averting much mischief. Boys are noble creatures when placed on their
right footing; but they are pugnacious animals and require prudent
management. News was brought me one evening, while they waited for
admission, that two of them had stripped off their jackets to fight, the
dispute being which loved their teacher most. "Exclude them both to-
night," said a friend, "and threaten to expel them." Instead of which, I
sent word that the one who first put on his jacket loved me most, and
that I was ready to begin. In they both came, smiling, and they got
their lecture in due time, when a passage in point came before us.

Now, who complains of non-employment while there are so many neglected
children, and so many who, in the dull routine of a school, get only a
mechanical knowledge of what would deeply interest them if brought
before them with the help of a little personal condescension and care?
It is a branch of Christian duty for which all are competent who know
the gospel; and two, three, or four young people invited to come in for
an hour or so at stated times, to sit down at a table and _talk_
over the passages of Scripture which may appear best calculated to
engage their pleased attention, may often prove the foundation for a
noble work. * * * Ladies do not like to instruct boys: they are very
wrong. Female influence is a powerful thing, and freely exerted for
evil--why not for good? We brought sin into the world, involving man in
the ruin he was not the first to seek; and it is the least we can do to
offer him a little good now. I never yet met with a boy--and thanks be
to God I have taught many--who would be rude to a female earnestly and
kindly seeking his welfare, without attempting to crush that
independence of spirit which is man's prerogative, and which no woman
has a right to crush.

I need not say that in the foregoing, and in all similar works where the
Lord permitted me to engage, I labored diligently to make my young
friends something more than nominal Protestants. To omit this, in giving
instruction, is the very madness of inconsistent folly and cruelty.

A few weeks after the commencement of my weekly assemblages, I was
called to the metropolis in search of medical aid for a dear little
child of my brother's. I found it, and all that Christian kindness could
add to render it doubly valuable, at the hands of an estimable
physician, near whom I resolved to stay for a few weeks; and while
secretly lamenting that here, at least, I should find nothing to do, an
answer was given to my unbelief that might well shame it. To the same
end I will record this also, the circumstances being already well known,
but not the delightful encouragements that are afforded when a project
is entered upon in single, simple reliance on the help of Him for whose
glory his people desire to work. Unbelief in his willingness--for we
dare not doubt his power to prosper our poor attempts--is the real bar
to our success. Such mistrust is infinitely dishonoring to him.

Six years had elapsed since I left Ireland, but my affection for the
country and people was unchanged, unchangeable. The very centre of the
isle had become the grave of my beloved brother, and this only added
tenfold to the touching interest excited by the very mention of that
land. Strange to say, I had never heard of the Irish Society, nor
considered of what vast importance it would be to make the language of
the natives a medium of conveying spiritual instruction to them. The
annual meeting was about to be held, and among the Irish clergymen
forming the deputation to London, was the Rev. Charles Seymour, the
venerable and every-way estimable pastor under whose ministry my brother
had been placed at Castlebar, and from whom I had received letters,
fully confirmatory of my sanguine hope that he had indeed and wholly
embraced the gospel of Christ. Longing to see Mr. Seymour, I went to him
on the morning of the meeting; and most sweet was the testimony he had
to give; most tender the sympathy he evinced in all my sorrow and all my
gladness. After a conversation that left me overflowing with gratitude
for the blessings vouchsafed to my precious brother, he asked me to
attend the meeting, and I went prepared to take a lively interest in
whatever might be said respecting Ireland. How great was my astonishment
when, for the first time, I heard the story of Bishop Bedell, of the
Irish Bible, and of the good work in rapid progress among the aborigines
of the land. The extent and inveteracy of the disease, I well knew; but
the suitability of the remedy had never been set before me. In fact, I
hardly knew that the Irish was a written language; and strange it
seemed, to have passed three years in a part of the country where it is
extensively spoken, and in the house of one who always conversed in that
tongue with the rustic frequenters of her shop, yet to be so grossly
ignorant of all relating to it. I resolved to become an active partisan
of the Irish Society in Ireland; but a different turn was soon given to
my sympathies. Mr. Seymour spoke after the others: he said much
calculated to prove the power of the language in preaching the gospel;
but suddenly reverting to the state of the many thousands of his poor
countrymen congregated in London, he drew a most affecting picture of
their destitute, degraded condition. He appealed to us as Christians;
and reminding us of our many privileges, bade us take care that the
souls of his poor countrymen did not rise up in judgment to condemn us
for allowing them to perish in the heart of our metropolis. "Open," he
said, "a bread-shop in St. Giles's; deal forth a little of the bread of
life to their starving souls. Ye English Christians, I appeal to you for
them: Oh, pity my poor lost countrymen, open but a bread-shop in St.
Giles's!" Tears ran down his venerable face, as he lifted his clasped
hands, and bent towards us. The effect of his words on me was electric:
I looked at him, and silently but fervently said, "So God help me as I
will open you a bread-shop in St. Giles's, if He does but permit!" Again
and again did I repeat the pledge; and when Lord Roden spoke--the first
time of my seeing that noble Irishman--and heartily seconded the appeal,
I renewed the secret promise, with such purpose of heart as rarely fails
to accomplish its object.

For some days I tried in vain to do any thing towards it; but on the
Sunday, passing from Great Russell-street to Long-acre, through the
worst part of St. Giles's, I saw the awful state of that district, and
declared to my companion, himself a devoted Irishman, my fixed resolve
to have a church there. He warmly encouraged it, extravagant as the idea
appeared; and I began to pray earnestly for direction from above. Two
nights after, a thought struck me; I wrote an appeal on behalf of the
miserable Irish Papists in that place, likening their case among us to
that of Lazarus lying at the rich man's gate, and imploring means to
give them the gospel in their own tongue. This I had printed, and sent
copies as I could to various friends. Some smiled at my enthusiasm;
others pointed out the work among distant heathen as far more important.
Many wished me success; a few rebuked me for desiring to proselytize the
members of another church; and still fewer gave me money. At the end of
a fortnight's hard begging, I had got just seven pounds towards building
a church! This was slow work. One day, dining at the table of my dear
friend Dr. P----, he heard many bantering me for being so sanguine, and
said, "You remind me of Columbus going to the cathedral of Seville to
ask a blessing on his romantic project of discovering a new world.
Everybody laughed at him. Nevertheless, Columbus succeeded, _and so
will you_." At that moment a gentleman sitting next me laid a
sovereign on my piece of bread; and the coincidence of the gold and the
"bread-shop," combined with the doctor's confident prediction, put new
life into me, and I boldly said, "I WILL succeed."

With the sum of seven pounds in hand, I wrote to the bishop of Lichfield
and Coventry, begging him to ask the bishop of London if he would
license my Irish church and an Irish clergyman, if I provided both. Lord
Mountsandford took this letter to him, and the next day he brought me
this rather startling message: "The bishop of London will license your
church: Lichfield sends his love to you, and desires you will summon the
gentlemen who are assisting you in this undertaking--half a dozen or so
--to meet him in Sackville-street on Saturday next, and be there
yourself. He will see what can be done to forward it." Half a dozen
gentlemen! where was I to find them? My only helpers were Mr. Maxwell,
Dr. Pidduck, and Lord Mountsandford himself. However, I went to work,
praying incessantly, and solacing myself with that beautiful text, "Go
up to the mountain, and bring wood and build the house; and I will take
pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord." I suppose I
repeated that verse a hundred times a day, in my solitude, attending the
sick child and writing letters till I nearly fell from my seat with
exhaustion.

Saturday arrived: I had no idea how far my applications might have
succeeded; but if I had as many gentlemen there as pounds in my
treasury, namely, seven, it would be sufficient. I went trembling with
hope and fear, accompanied by two warmhearted young Irish barristers
whom my good friend Mr. Maxwell had pressed into the service. Oh what
could I render unto the Lord for all his goodness to me, when I saw the
glorious spectacle presented to my view at the hour appointed! There sat
the good Bishop Ryder in the chair; beside him the bishop of Bath and
Wells; lords Lorton, Lifford, Bexley, Mountsandford, and Carberry; and
of other clergymen and gentlemen upwards of forty. "Let us ask a
blessing," said the bishop of Lichfield; and when, we all kneeled down
to commit unto the LORD a work so new, so strange, and to poor human
reason so hopelessly wild as this had appeared two days before, I
thought I might as well die then as not; I could never die happier.

All was zeal, love, unanimity; they placed it on a good basis, and my
seven pounds were multiplied by more than seven before we broke up. They
did not take the work out of my hands, but formed themselves into a body
for aiding in carrying it on: the rector of St. Giles's came forward
voluntarily to give his hearty consent, and ten pounds; and if there was
a pillow of roses in London that night, I surely slept on it. In six
weeks my memorable seven pounds swelled to thirteen hundred; a church
was bought, a pastor engaged; and a noble meeting held in Freemason's
Hall, to incorporate the new project with the Irish Society. I went back
to Sandhurst elated with joy, and lost no time in putting up, most
conspicuously written out on card, over my study fireplace, the lines
that I had so often repeated during the preceding two months:

"Victorious Faith, the promise sees,
And looks to God alone;
Laughs at impossibilities,
And says, 'IT SHALL BE DONE!"

In the following November the Irish Episcopal church in St. Giles's was
opened for divine service on Advent Sunday, the Rev. H.H. Beamish
officiating. A more eloquent and fluent preacher, a more gifted and
devoted man, the whole church of God could not have supplied. He
preached the whole gospel in Irish to the listening, wondering people,
who hung with delight upon accents so dear to them; and he attacked
their pestilent heresies with the bold faithfulness of one who meant
what he said, when vowing to drive away all erroneous and strange
doctrines from those under his charge. God blessed most richly his
ministry: many were awakened, several truly converted to Christ, and not
a small number fully convinced of the falsehood of their own
superstition, which they forsook. We had forty communicants from among
the most wretchedly ignorant and bigoted of the Irish Romanists, before
Mr. Beamish left his post; and one of them had even endured a cruel
martyrdom for the truth's sake. A bread-shop in deed it was: and the old
Christian, whose fervent appeal had given rise to its establishment,
himself preached there in Irish to a delighted congregation, before the
Lord took him to himself. * * *




LETTER XIII.

A SUNSET.


I come now to the period of my delivering up a sacred trust into the
hands of Him who committed it to me. Jack had lingered long, and sunk
very gradually; but now he faded apace. His eldest sister, a very
decided Romanist, came over for the purpose of seeing him, and to take
care that he had "the rites of the church." Had the abbe remained, it is
probable we should have soon found ourselves deep in controversy; for,
as priest, he never should have crossed my threshold, to bring upon my
house the curse attached to idolatrous worship: and there was happily no
other within reach. Jack requested me to promise him in his sister's
presence that no Romish priest should come near him: I willingly did so;
and moreover informed her that if she was herself dying and asked for
one, he would not be admitted under my roof. The abomination that maketh
desolate stands in many places where it ought not, but where I have
authority it never did, nor by God's grace ever shall. I have toleration
full and free for every form of Christianity, but none for antichrist,
come in what form he may.

It may be possible to describe a glorious summer sunset, with all the
softening splendor that it sheds around; but to describe the setting of
my dumb boy's sun of mortal life is impossible. He declined like the orb
of day, gently, silently, gradually, yet swiftly, and gathered new
beauties as he approached the horizon. His sufferings were great, but
far greater his patience; and nothing resembling a complaint ever
escaped him. When appearing in the morning, with pallid, exhausted
looks, if asked whether he had slept, he would reply, with a sweet
smile, "No, Jack no sleep; Jack think good Jesus Christ see poor Jack.
Night dark; heaven all light; soon see heaven. Cough much now, pain bad;
soon no cough, no pain." This was his usual way of admitting how much he
suffered, always placing in contrast the glory to be revealed in him,
and which, seemed already revealed to him. Knowing that his recovery was
impossible, I refrained, with his full concurrence, from having him
tormented with miscalled alleviations, such as opiates, bloodletting,
and so forth. All that kindness and skill could effect was gratuitously
done for him, and every thing freely supplied by our medical friends;
but they admitted that no permanent relief could be given, and I always
hold it cruel to imbitter the dying season with applications that in the
end increase the sufferings they temporarily subdue. This plan kept the
boy's mind clear and calm; the ever-present Saviour being to him instead
of all soothing drugs. Sometimes when greatly oppressed, he has had
leeches; and I remember once half a dozen were put on his side, at his
own request. The inflammation was very great; the torture dreadful as
they drew it to the surface; and I was called to him, as he sat grasping
the arm of a chair, and writhing convulsively. He said to me, "Very,
very pain; pain bad, soon kill;" and he seemed half wild with agony.
Looking up in my face, he saw me in tears; and instantly assumed his
sweetest expression of countenance, saying in a calm, leisurely way,
that his pain was much, but the pain the Lord suffered much more: his
was only in his side; the Lord suffered in his side, his hands, his
feet, and head. His pain would be over in half an hour, the Lord's
lasted many hours; he was "bad Jack," the Lord was "good Jesus Christ."
Then again he observed the leeches made very little holes in his skin,
and drew out a little blood; but the thorns, the nails, the spear, tore
the Lord's flesh, and all his blood gushed out--it was shed to save him;
and he raised his eyes, lifted his clasped hands, turned his whole face
up towards heaven, saying, "Jack loves, loves, very loves good Jesus
Christ!" When another violent pang made him start and writhe a little,
he recovered in a moment, nodded his head, and said, "Good pain, make
Jack soon go heaven."

His sublime idea of the "red hand" was ever present. He had told me some
years before, that when he had lain a good while in the grave, God would
call aloud, "Jack!" and he would start, and say, "Yes, me Jack." Then he
would rise, and see multitudes standing together, and God sitting on a
cloud with a very large book in his hand--he called it "Bible book"--and
would beckon him to stand before him while he opened the book, and
looked at the top of the pages, till he came to the name of John B----.
In that page he told me, God had written all his "bads," every sin he
had ever done: and the page was full. So God would look, and strive to
read it, and hold it to the sun for light, but it was all "no, no
nothing, none." I asked him in some alarm if he had done no bad. He said
yes, much bads; but when he first prayed to Jesus Christ _he_ had
taken the book out of God's hand, found that page, and pulling from his
palm something which he described as filling up the hole made by the
nail, had allowed the wound to bleed a little, passing his hand down the
page so that, as he beautifully said, God could see none of Jack's bads,
only Jesus Christ's blood. Nothing being thus found against him, God
would shut the book, and there he would remain standing before him, till
the Lord Jesus came, and saying to God, "My Jack," would put his arm
around him, draw him aside, and bid him stand with the angels till the
rest were judged.

All this he told me with the placid but animated look of one who is
relating a delightful fact: I stood amazed, for rarely had the plan of a
sinner's ransom, appropriation, and justification, been so perspicuously
set forth in a pulpit, as here it was by a poor deaf and dumb peasant
boy, whose broken language was eked out by signs. He often told it to
others, always making himself understood, and often have I seen the
tears starting from a rough man's eye as he followed the glowing
representation. Jack used to sit silent and thoughtful for a long time
together in his easy-chair, when too weak to move about, and then
catching my eye, to say with a look of infinite satisfaction, "Good red
hand." I am persuaded that it was his sole and solid support; he never
doubted, never feared, because his view of Christ's all-sufficiency was
so exceedingly clear and realizing. It certainly never entered his head
to question God's love to him. One night a servant went to his room,
long after he had gone to bed: he was on his knees at the window, his
hands and face held up towards a beautiful starlight sky. He did not
perceive the servant's entrance: and next morning when I asked him about
it, he told me that God was walking above, upon the stars; and that he
went to the window and held up his head that God might look down into it
and see how very much he loved Jesus Christ.

All his ideas were similar--all turned on the one theme so dear to him;
and their originality was inexhaustible. What could be finer than his
notion of the lightning, that it was produced by a sudden opening and
shutting of God's eye--or of the rainbow, that it was the reflection of
God's smile? What more graphic than his representation of Satan's malice
and impotence, when, one evening, holding his finger to a candle, he
snatched it back, as if burnt, pretending to be in great pain, and said,
"Devil like candle." Then with a sudden look of triumph he added, "God
like wind," and with a most vehement puff at once extinguished the
light. When it was rekindled he laughed and said, "God kill devil."

He told me that God was always sitting still with the great book in his
hand, and the Lord Jesus looking down for men, and crying to them,
"Come, man; come, pray." That the devil drew them back from listening,
and persuaded them to spit up towards him, which was his sign for
rebellion and contempt; but if at last a man snatched his hand from
Satan, and prayed to the Lord Jesus, he went directly, took the book,
found the name, and passed the "red hand" over the page; on seeing which
Satan would stamp and cry. He gave very grotesque descriptions of the
evil spirit's mortification, and always ended by bestowing on him a
hearty kick. From seeing the effect, in point of watchfulness, prayer,
and zeal, produced on this young Christian by such continual realization
of the presence of the great tempter, I have been led to question very
much the policy, not to say the lawfulness, of excluding that terrible
foe as we do from our general discourse. It seems to be regarded a
manifest impropriety to name him, except with the most studied
circumlocution, as though we were afraid of treating him irreverently;
and he who is seldom named will not often be thought of. Assuredly it is
a great help to him in his countless devices to be so kept out of sight.
We are prone to speak, to think, to act, as though we had only our own
evil natures to contend with, including perhaps a sort of general
admission that something is at work to aid the cause of rebellion; but
it was far otherwise with Jack. If only conscious of the inward rising
of a sullen or angry temper, he would immediately conclude that the
devil was trying to make him grieve the Lord; and he knelt down to pray
that God would drive him away. The sight of a drunken man affected him
deeply: he would remark that the devil had drawn that man to the ale-
house, put the cup into his hand with an assurance that God did not see,
or did not care; and was now pushing him about to show the angels he had
made that wretched being spit at the authority of the Lord. In like
manner with all other vices, and some seeming virtues. As an instance of
the latter, he knew a person who was very hostile to the gospel, and to
the best of his power hindered it, but who nevertheless paid the most
punctual regard to all the formalities of external public worship. He
almost frightened me by the picture he drew of that person's case,
saying the devil walked to church with him, led him into a pew, set a
hassock prominently forward for him to kneel on, put a handsome prayer-
book into his hand; and while he carefully followed all the service kept
clapping him on the shoulder, saying, "A very good pray." I told this to
a pious minister, who declared it was the most awfully just description
of self-deluding formality, helped on by Satan, that ever he heard of.
When partaking of the Lord's supper, Jack told me that his feeling was
"very, very love Jesus Christ; very, very, _very_ hate devil: go,
devil!" and with holy indignation he motioned, as it were, the enemy
from him. He felt that he had overcome the accuser by the blood of the
Lamb. Oh that we all may take a lesson of wisdom from this simple child
of God.

During the winter months he sunk daily: his greatest earthly delight was
in occasionally seeing Mr. Donald, for whom he felt the fondest love,
and who seemed to have a presentiment of the happy union in which they
would together soon rejoice before the Lord. Jack was courteous in
manner, even to elegance; most graceful; and being now nineteen, tall
and large, with the expression of infantine innocence and sweetness on a
very fine countenance, no one could look on him without admiration, nor
treat him with roughness or disrespect: but Donald's tenderness of
manner was no less conspicuous than his; and I have watched that noble-
minded Christian man waiting on the dying youth, as he sat patiently
reclining in his chair--for he could not lie down--and the grateful
humility with which every little kindness was received, until I almost
forgot what the rude unfeeling world was in that beautiful
contemplation. How much the fruit in God's garden is beautified by the
process that ripens it.

Jack labored anxiously to convert his sister; and as she could not read
at all, the whole controversy was carried on by signs. Mary was
excessively mirthful, Jack unboundedly earnest; and when her playful
reproaches roused his Irish blood, the scene was often very comic. I
remember he was once bringing a long list of accusations against her
priest, for taking his mother's money, making the poor fast while the
rich paid for dispensations to eat, inflicting cruel penances, drinking
too much whiskey, and finally telling the people to worship wooden and
breaden gods. To all this Mary attended with perfect good-humor, and
then told him the same priest had christened him and made crosses upon
him. Jack wrathfully intimated that he was then a baby, with a head like
a doll's, and knew nothing; but if he had been wise he would have kicked
his little foot into the priest's mouth. The controversy grew so warm
that I had to part them. His horror of the priests was solely directed
against their false religion; when I told him of one being converted, he
leaped about for joy.

At the commencement of the year 1831 he was evidently dying; and we got
a furlough for his brother to visit him. Poor Pat never went to bed but
twice during the fortnight he was there, so bitterly did he grieve over
the companion of his early days; and many a sweet discourse passed
between them on the subject of the blessed hope that sustained the dying
Christian. He only survived Pat's departure four days. On the third of
February the last symptoms came on; the death-damps began to ooze out,
his legs were swelled to the size of his body, and he sat in that state,
incapable of receiving warmth, scarcely able to swallow, yet clear,
bright, and tranquil, for thirty hours. The morning of the last day was
marked by such a revival of strength that he walked across the room with
little help, and talked incessantly to me, and to all who came near him.
He told me, among other things, that once God destroyed all men by rain,
except those in the ark; and that he would soon do it again, not with
water but with fire. He described the Lord as taking up the wicked by
handfuls, breaking them, and throwing them into a fire; repeating, "All
bads, all bads go fire." I asked if he was not bad; "Yes, Jack bad
very." Would he be thrown into the fire? "No; Jesus Christ loves poor
Jack." He then spoke rapturously of the "red hand," of the angels he
should soon be singing with, of the day when Satan should be cast into
the pit, and of the delight he should have in seeing me again. He prayed
for his family, begged me to teach Mary to read the Bible, to warn Pat
against bad example, to bring up my brother's boys to love Jesus Christ,
and lastly he repeated over and over again the fervent injunction to
love Ireland, to pray for Ireland, to write books for "Jack's poor
Ireland," and in every way to oppose Popery. He called it "Roman,"
always; and it was a striking sight, that youth all but dead, kindling
into the most animated, stern, energetic warmth of manner, raising his
cold, damp hands, and spelling with them the words, "Roman is a lie."
"One Jesus Christ, one," meaning he was the only Saviour; "Jack's one
Jesus Christ;" and then with a force as if he would have the characters
impressed on his hands, he reiterated, as slowly as possible, his dying
protest, "Roman is A LIE!" Very sweetly he thanked me for all my care;
and now he seemed to bequeath to me his zeal against the destroyer of
his people. The last signs of removal came on in the evening; his sight
failed, he rubbed his eyes, shook his head, and then smiled with
conscious pleasure. At last he asked me to let him lie down on the sofa
where he had been sitting, and saying very calmly, "A sleep," put his
hand into mine, closed his eyes, and breathed his spirit forth so
gently, that it was difficult to mark the precise moment of that joyful
change.

I still hope to throw into a volume the numerous particulars that remain
untold concerning this boy; and I will not now dwell upon the subject
longer. God had graciously kept me faithful to my trust; and I
surrendered it, not without most keenly feeling the loss of such a
companion, but with a glow of adoring thankfulness that overcame all
selfish regrets. Thenceforth my lot was to be cast among strangers, and
sorely did I miss the comforting, sympathizing monitor who for seven
years had been teaching me more than I could teach him; but all my
prayers had been answered, all my labors crowned; and with other duties
before me I was enabled to look at the past, to thank God, and to take
courage.




LETTER XIV.

A REMOVAL.


Circumstances led me to decide on removing nearer the metropolis; and
with reluctance I bade adieu to Sandhurst, where I had resided five
years. Jack was buried under the east window of the Chapel of Ease at
Bagshot, there to rest till roused by the Lord's descending shout, the
voice of the archangel, and the trump of God. I am very certain he will
rise to glory and immortality. It was a severe trial to part with my
school, to dispose of the endeared relics that had furnished a home
blessed by my brother's presence, to bid farewell to many kind friends,
and cast myself into the great wilderness of London. The feeling that
oppressed me was a conviction that I should there find nothing to do;
but I prayed to be made useful, and none ever asked work of a heavenly
Master in vain. The dreadful famine in the west of Ireland had called
forth a stream of English liberality, and collections were made
everywhere for relief of the suffering Irish: one was announced at Long-
Acre chapel; but before the day arrived, the committee put forth a
statement that they had abundant funds and required no more. I was then
residing in Bloomsbury, daily witnessing the wretchedness of St.
Giles's: and on learning this I wrote to Mr. Howels, begging him to say
a word to his congregation on behalf of those Irish who were starving at
their doors, whose miserable destitution I laid before him as well as I
could. He returned me no answer; but on the Sunday morning read my
letter from the pulpit, asked his flock to contribute, and collected
upwards of fifty pounds, which he gave to me.

Knowing the character of the people so well, and longing to make the
relief of their bodily wants subservient to a higher purpose, I resolved
to visit in person every case recommended to my notice. Many of my
friends stood aghast at the proposal: I should be insulted, murdered, by
the Irish savages; no lady could venture there, their language was so
dreadful: no delicate person could survive the effects of such a noxious
atmosphere. To this I replied that, happily, I could not hear their
conversation; and as for the unwholesomeness, it could not be worse than
Sierra Leone, or other missionary stations, where many ladies went.
Insult had never yet been my lot among the Irish; and as to murder, it
would be martyrdom in such a cause, of which I had little hope. So I
turned my fifty pounds into bread, rice, milk, meal, coals, and soup,
resolved to give no money, and on the very next day commenced the
campaign against starvation and Popery in St. Giles's.

For four months I persevered in the work, devoting from four to six
hours every day to it; and though I never in the smallest degree
concealed or compromised the truth, or failed to place in the strongest
light its contrast with the falsehoods taught them, I never experienced
a disrespectful or unkind look from one among the hundreds, the
thousands who knew me as the enemy of their religion, but the loving
friend of their country and of their souls. Often, when I went to visit
and relieve some poor dying creature in a cellar or garret, where a
dozen wholly unconnected with the sufferer were lodged in the same
apartment, have I gathered them all about me by speaking of Ireland with
the affection I really feel for it, and then shown them, from the
Scriptures, in English, or by means of an Irish reader sometimes
accompanying me, the only way of salvation, pointing out how very
different was that by which they vainly sought it. My plan was to
discover such as were too ill to go to the dispensary for relief, or to
select the most distressed objects whom I met there, and to take the
bread of life along with the bread that perisheth into their wretched
abodes. I was most ably and zealously helped by that benevolent
physician who had always been foremost in every good and compassionate
work for the Irish poor; and to whose indefatigable zeal it is chiefly
owing that at this day the poor lambs of that distressed flock are still
gathered and taught in the schools which it was Donald's supreme delight
to superintend. I cannot pass over in silence the devotion of Dr.
Pidduck, through many years, to an office the most laborious, the most
repulsive, and in many respects the most thankless that a professional
man can be engaged in--that of ministering to the diseased and filthy
population of the district. But many a soul that he has taught in the
knowledge of Him whom to know is life eternal, will be found to rejoice
him in the day when their poor bodies shall arise to meet the Lord.

The schools in George-street, to which I have alluded, are the main
blessing of the place: they were established long before the gospel in
Irish was ever introduced there; and they survive the Irish ministry
which, alas, has been withdrawn from the spot where God enabled me to
plant it. Those schools are a bud of promise in the desolate wilderness,
which may the Lord in his own good time cause to blossom again. * * *

During a sojourn of some years a little to the north of London, I
devoted myself more to the pen, and found less opportunity for other
usefulness than in Sandhurst and London; yet much encouragement was
given to labor among the poor neglected Irish, who may be found in every
neighborhood, and to whom few think of taking the gospel in their native
tongue--still fewer of bearing with the desperate opposition that Satan
will ever show to the work. We make the deplorable state, morally and
physically, of the Irish poor, an excuse first for not going among them
at all, and then for relinquishing the work if we do venture to begin
it. In both cases it ought to plead for tenfold readiness and
perseverance. I always found it a perilous task to attack the enemy in
this strong-hold: not from any opposition encountered from the people
themselves; far otherwise; they ever received me gladly, and treated me
with respect and grateful affection; but Satan has many ways of
assailing those whom he desires to hinder, and sometimes his chain is
greatly lengthened for the trial of faith, and perfecting of humility
and patience, where they may be sadly lacking. There are spheres of
undeniable duty where the Christian may often almost, if not altogether,
take up the apostle's declaration, and say, "No man stood by me." This,
to the full extent, has never yet been my experience; but I have often
found many against me, both without and within, when earnestly bent on
dealing a blow at the great antichrist. It is no good sign when all goes
on too smoothly.

In 1834 I was induced to undertake what seemed an arduous and alarming
office, that of editing a periodical. I commenced it in much prayer,
with no little trembling, and actuated by motives not selfish. That it
was not laid down at the end of the second year, was owing to the great
blessing just then given to my appeals on behalf of the cruelly
oppressed and impoverished Irish clergy through its means: and
recommencing, at the beginning of the third year, with an ardent desire
to promote more than ever the sacred cause of Protestantism, I found the
Lord prospering the work beyond my best hopes; and by his help I
continue it to this day. * * *

It was my blessed privilege, four years since, to abridge into two
moderate sized volumes the English Martyrology, as recorded by Foxe. In
the progress of this work I became better acquainted with the true
doctrines of the Reformation than ever before: I compared them, as I am
wont to do every thing, with what God has revealed; and I am satisfied
that they are perfectly accordant with Scripture: if they were not so, I
would reject them. By the same standard let us prove all things, that we
may hold fast that which is good.

I have not particularized the trial of my scriptural principles when
exposed for a short time to the pernicious doctrines of a subtle and
persuasive Antinomian teacher. At first he only appeared to me to insist
very strenuously on the doctrine of free, sovereign grace; and greatly
to magnify God in the saving of souls, wholly independent of aught that
man can do: but a little further investigation convinced me that the
vilest system of moral licentiousness might be built on such a
foundation as he laid; and I found the discourses of Peter and of Paul,
as recorded in the Acts, especially conclusive against his perverted
notions. Antinomianism is a most deadly thing; and I believe all
extremes in doctrines where good men have much differed to be dangerous;
while at the same time they are very deluding, for we all love to go far
in an argument, or under the influence of party spirit. * * *

Of myself, I have now no more to say than that, "by the help of my God,
I continue to this day" anxiously desirous to devote my little talent to
his service, as he may graciously permit. I have coveted no man's
silver, or gold, or apparel, but counted it a privilege to labor with my
hands and head, for myself and for those most dear to me. Many trials,
various and sharp, have been my portion; but they are passed away, and
if I have not enlarged upon them it is from no reluctance to declare all
the Lord's wonderful doings, but from a desire to avoid speaking harshly
of those who are departed. The Lord has accepted at my hand one
offering, in the case of the precious dumb boy, received into glory
through his rich blessing on my efforts; and he mercifully gives me to
see the welfare of two others, committed to me as the offspring of my
brother, over whose early years I have been permitted to watch, and in
whose growing prosperity my heart can rejoice. He has been a very
gracious Master to me; he has dealt very bountifully, and given me now
the abundance of domestic peace, with the light of his countenance to
gladden my happy home. Yet the brightest beam that falls upon it is the
anticipation of that burst of glory when the Lord Jesus shall be
revealed from heaven, to reign in righteousness over the world that
shall soon, very soon, acknowledge him the universal, eternal King: and
the most fervent aspiration my heart desires to utter is the response to
his promise of a speedy advent. "Even so, Lord Jesus; come quickly.
Amen."


* * * * *

NOTE. Charlotte Elizabeth was born in October, 1790, and wrote the
Personal Recollections near the close of 1840, when fifty years of age.
She continued her active Christian beneficence, and the brilliant and
unceasing labors of her pen, in editing the Protestant Magazine, and
other writing for the press, until the very close of life. "Immediately
after breakfast," says a brief sketch of her remaining years, "she went
to her desk, locking the door to exclude interruptions; and when her pen
was laid aside, her garden afforded ever new delight; and with her,
gardening was no light occupation. She smiled at lady gardeners who only
enjoyed the labors of others. From the moment the gravel-walks and beds
were formed, all was the work of her own hands; and the most laborious
operations were to her refreshment and enjoyment. Each plant, each bed
was familiar to her. She knew their history, their vicissitudes, and the
growth and expansion of each became a source of lively and never-failing
interest. The emotions produced in her mind by the brilliant tints of
flowers, can only be compared to those of music to others, and this love
of color was regulated by the most delicate sense of harmony in their
disposition and arrangement. The writer wears at this moment a small
diamond ring, which she kept in her desk, and would place on her finger
only when engaged in writing; the occasional flashing of the brilliants
as the light fell upon them, producing most pleasurable sensations in
her mind, and greatly assisting the flow of her thoughts and
imagination. Her countenance, at such moments, would light up with
animation, and if an inquiring glance were turned to her, she would
smile, and add, 'Oh, it was only the diamonds.'

"Often would she lay down her pen in the midst of some work requiring
the whole energy of her mind, and much concentration of thought, and go
to her garden for half an hour; and while apparently wholly absorbed in
pruning or transplanting, she was really engaged in her work; and the
apparent loss of time was amply repaid by the rapidity with which she
wrote out the ideas conceived and matured during this healthful
recreation. A word, however, spoken to her at such times, would have
caused a most painful interruption in the current of her thoughts--she
compared the effect to a stone thrown into a quiet running brook--and
would utterly disable her from writing during the rest of the day, a
circumstance not easy to impress on the minds of servants. Even those
who would most carefully refrain from addressing her when they knew she
was actually writing, could hardly understand that like care was needful
when she was thus employed over her flowers.

"All communication was held with her by means of the finger alphabet,
but so quick was her appreciation of what was thus said, and so easy was
it for those about her to acquire great rapidity in this art, that her
total deafness was hardly felt to be an inconvenience; sermons,
speeches, conversations even of the most voluble speakers, were conveyed
to her with the greatest ease, and with hardly the omission of the
smallest word."

In 1841 she married Mr. L.H.J. Tonna, who held an office in London under
the British government, and who prepared the sketch from which the above
passage is quoted. Having in 1836 removed from Edmonton, (page 242,) she
resided at Blackheath till 1845, when she removed to London. About the
end of 1844, she found that a small swelling near her left shoulder was
indeed a cancer, which would doubtless terminate life; but she continued
her literary labors till a vary short time before her death, which was
one of peace and humble trust in her Redeemer, and occurred at Ramsgate
on the sea-side. The following epitaph, dictated by herself, is
inscribed on her tombstone:

HERE

LIE THE MORTAL REMAINS

OF

CHARLOTTE ELIZABETH,

THE

BELOVED WIFE

OF

LEWIS HYPOLYTUS JOSEPH TONNA,

WHO

DIED ON THE 12TH OF JULY,

MDCCCXLVI,

LOOKING UNTO JESUS.










 


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