The Baldwin Library fc University of Florida
Mi'MAftN NONINOTON CHURCH.
JAMES NISBET AND CO., BERNEBS-STBEE'J.
THE FLOWER OF SPEING;
A CALL TO THE YOUNG FROM THE EARLY GRAVE OF HIS ELDEST DAUGHTER.
JOHN P. PLUMPTRE, ESQ., M.P.
" ALL tlXtn II ORAM, AUD ALL THK OOODL1KSII THIEIOE II At THE FLOW1E OF THE FIELD."II AT AH XL. 6.
JAMES NISBET AND CO., 21, BERNERS STREET. 1850.
MACINTOSH, PRINTER. (Ill Al SK -Tllll T. LONDON.
Some of the following pages were written not very long after the trying bereavement which is recorded in them; but the intention of publishing them was laid aside under considerations which carried weight with them at the time. I know not that the publication of these, and of those which have since been added to them, would now have taken place, had not a re-perusal of the manuscripts of the deceased induced the hope that their beautiful and correct exhibition
of Christian truth might, by the Divine blessing, be useful to young persons of a similar position in society to that once occupied by the writer of them. With earnest prayer that such a result may be graciously vouchsafed, this little volume is humbly presented to the public.
" what i do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."john xiii. 7.
" God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm.
" Deep in unfathomable mines Of never-failing skill, He treasures up His bright designs, And works His sov'reign will.
" Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain: God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain."
The introduction of sin into the world has caused the life of every son and daughter of Adam to be more or less a season of trial and suffering and pain and sorrow. This cannot be denied by any who allow the Scriptures to be a revelation of the mind and will of God, and who are at all acquainted with the history of mankind; all such are ready to acknowledge that we are indebted to the rich mercy of God, through Christ Jesus, for every one of the many temporal blessings we enjoy; and that, as to spiritual gifts and mercies, herein is love,not that we loved God, but that He
loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John iv. 10.)
Most sad and humbling, indeed, is it to observe, that those trials and sorrows of life, which are the offspring of sin, and which, as part of the Divine discipline, seem calculated to bring the sufferer to a stand, to lead him to inquire where he is seeking his happiness and his rest, to wean him from the broken cisterns" of this world, and to induce him to embrace, with all thankfulness of heart, the gracious offers, and innumerable benefits, and satisfying consolations of redeeming love, are too often but little heeded. They may arrest and sadden the sufferer for a little moment, may turn him aside for a short season from sinful pursuits, or from vain and frivolous occupations ;they may, and they do, elicit expressions of kindly sympathies from friends and neighbours. But, alas! is it not too true, that, both as to those who mourn, and those wh$ condole with the mourners, there
are but few who give real and permanent proofs, that they have been taught by afflictive dispensations seriously to inquire, Where is God, my Maker, who giveth songs in the night ?" (Job xxxv. 10.) And are we not constrained to confess, that too many turn again from their temporary sadness, if not to wallowing in the mire," at least to the froth, and vanity, and ungodliness of a worldly life ?
Firmly, indeed, do I believe, that great is the congregated company of those now absent from the body and present with the Lord," who would thankfully testify," It was good for us that we were afflicted,"-who have come out of great and varied tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." And readily, indeed, can I admit, and understand, that some of the sorrows of life are of a more ordinary and less pungent character than others, qualified and mitigated by circumstances, tempered and moderated #
by the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort." All afflictions, however, have a voice ;all give forth their message more or less loud and deep, Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it." (Mic. vi. 9.) But when the Lord, as the Sovereign Ruler of the universe, and the wise and faithful and unerring Head over all things to His Church, turns from his more common course;when the blow of His righteous hand falls heavily, falls suddenly, falls unexpectedly ;when the dark cloud rises and overspreads, as in a moment, the sky that was glowing and brilliant;when the curtain drops hastily (as man at least is apt to count hastiness,) upon the picture that was just unfolding itself to the delighted sight in fresh and lively hues of beauty and comeliness ;when (in less figurative terms) He who hath the keys of hell and death," (Rev. i. 18,) crosses, in his providence, the threshold of our dwelling, and takes from the mid|t of the domestic circle the young,
and the healthy, and the vigorous;surely He whose name and whose nature is Love," has some special purpose here, surely He has something to say to us, to which He particularly invites us to incline our ear.
The writer of this little Memoir was led to this solemn pause, this heart-searching inquiry, by the loss of his eldest daughter, who having, from her birth to her last short sickness, been blest with almost uninterrupted health, and holding out, beyond many, perhaps, of her own age and generation, the promise that her life would have been continued upon earth for many years, has suddenly had that life cut short; and in the midst of her strength, and beauty, and vigour, both of mind and body, has been removed from her fond and admiring family.
" The voice said, Cry ; and he said, What shall I cry ? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withereth, the flower iaiU-th :
because the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass." (Isaiah xl. 6, 7.)
" IN THE HOBNINO IT FLOUBISHETH, AND QBOWETH UP."PS. XC. 6.
" Or pleasing draughts I once could dream; But now awake, I find That sin has poison'd cv'ry stream, And left a curse behind.
" But there's a wonder-working wood,* I 've heard belieTers say, Can make these bitter waters good, And take the curse away.
" The cross on which the Saviour died, And eonquer'd for His saints; This is the tree, by faith applied, Which sweetens all complaints."
* Exod. XT. isu.
Catharine Emma, the subject of the following pages, was born on the 17th of Aptil, 1820. I can well remember with what parental delight and affection I looked upon my lovely child from her very earliest days; and how her beautiful and smiling countenance, even when she was a babe, called forth the admiration of all who saw he I trust, however, that her beloved mother and myself were not drawn aside, by considerations of her outward comeliness, from supremely desiring for our child that supply of spiritual grace and beauty, without which we felt that she could not be really happy
herself, or a source of happiness to us, either here or hereafter. We deemed it our privilege, therefore, as well as our duty, to devote her to the Lord in baptism with fervent prayer; and to entreat our gracious and compassionate Redeemer, that He would indeed embrace her in the arms of His mercy, and bless her, through the gift and power of His Spirit, with that which by nature she had not, a heart to seek, and know, and fear, and love, and serve Him. Nor did we think it a matter of light moment to engage for our child the interest and the prayers, of those, of whom we had reason to believe that they themselves had been taught to worship God in the Spirit, to rejoice in Christ Jesus, and to have no confidence in the flesh. We might readily have found amiable and friendly sponsors, who, at our invitation, would have come with us to the outward consecration of the babe to the Saviour; and at the bidding of the minister, would have declared the names
by which she was to be called, and would have responded on her behalf to the questions proposed to them. But, regarding the Sacrament of Baptism as a holy ordinance, and not a mere formal ceremony; remembering, too, how graciously our Lord, when upon earth, responded to the applications, and rewarded the faith, of those who sought Him for others incompetent to approach Him for themselves;we took our dear little one to the font, accompanied by those who, as we hoped and believed, might draw down upon her by their prayers far better blessings and incalculably more valuable* riches, than any sponsors of a different character could at any time have conferred upon her.*
Catharine Emma was carried safely through all the little trials of infancy. As from a babe she became a little child, the powers of her mind soon began to develope themselves. She readily attended to what was See Appendix A. b
taught her, soon became acquainted with the letters of the Alphabet, and could lisp some little hymns and nursery rhymes.
At an early age she could read a chapter in the New Testament sensibly and accurately. This, however, I am well aware, may be nothing very uncommon, and in itself is worthy of no peculiar notice. It is of the utmost moment, however, that through the mind and understanding the affections should, under the Divine blessing, be early interested and drawn after good and holy objects; and the Christian parent will remember that it is written, In the morning sow thy seed;" as well as in the evening withhold not thy hand." (Eccles. xi. 6.)
If, however, I may say on the one hand, that Catharine Emma soon displayed a vigorous and inquiring mind, and a readiness to attend to objects of the highest moment; and if she might, on the whole, be truly called, as to her outward appearance, and as to her generally sweet and
affectionate deportment, a most attractive and pleasant child; yet was it manifested again and again that she was a member of that great family that had grievously fallen from its high original, and which Jehovah could no longer declare to be very good." I think that the most disfiguring feature of her natural character was haughtiness of mind, springing, perhaps, in some measure, from her conscious superiority of intellect over many, not only of her equals in years, but of those also who were much more advanced than herself; but, from whatever source arising, rendering her for the time easily disconcerted and affronted, and proving itself in many little ways as altogether distinct from that meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price, and which meek and quiet spirit peculiarly shone forth in the dear child herself in the two or three last years of her short pilgrimage.
When old enough to commit Scripture b2
to memory, she learnt a portion daily, and repeated it to her dear mother, who endeavoured simply to explain it to her, and to show her the importance of having her heart and life influenced by it, as well as her mind stored with it; praying with her and for her, that the seed sown might be watered with living water, and bring forth much fruit. And on the Sabbath, Catharine Emma would bring the aggregate portion of the week to me, and after repeating the whole of it, evinced by her answers to the questions I put to her, a general intelligence of mind, and a particular comprehension of the subjects on which that intelligence had been exercised, well worthy of much more advanced years than she was permitted to attain. And this habit of coming to me on the Sabbath-day with some portion of Holy Scripture, was continued by my dear child till nearly the last of her earthly Sabbaths; and at once afforded me an opportunity of addressing such remarks and counsel to her,
as might appear to me necessary and desirable, and of ascertaining her growing proficiency in the knowledge of those infinitely important subjects on which, on these occasions, we conversed together.
Catharine Emma, and two sisters, about two and four years younger than herself, were committed in due time to the care of a governess. Indeed, three individuals in succession, filling this most interesting, difficult, and momentous office, took charge of the three children. And I feel that I have reason to say with great thankfulness, with regard to them all, that they discharged their duties with much care, and fidelity, and success; and that the last governess especially, to whom Catharine Emma and her sisters were committed, by great firmness of character as well as fixed piety, and the powers and attainments of an enlarged and elevated mind, was an instrument of great usefulness to them all, and especially to the former, who, herself possessed of a mind
of no ordinary compass, and of a spirit naturally impatient of control, was taught at once to acknowledge the principle, to admire the intelligence, and to yield to the firmness of her preceptress.
And what is it, I would here say to parents, that you are seeking for your children in the instructions you provide for them, be those instructions given under your own roof or away from it ? Is your supreme concern, while you would most justly and properly impart to them such attainments as may fit them for the duties of their particular station in society, that they should be laying up treasures in heaventhat they should be trained for the realities of eternity rather than for the shadows of time ?the vain and gaudy bubbles, to the pursuit of which the men of this world train and incite their offspringbubbles, which either elude the grasp of the pursuer altogether, or, if grasped for a moment, deceive and disappoint, and, it may be feared, too commonly
drown men in destruction and perdition?
0 that the Pearl of great price may be your chief aim for those who are indebted to you, instrumentally, for their existence in this world, and who probably will employ a boundless eternity in pouring out blessings or curses upon you, according as you shall have trained them for the service and enjoyment of God, or for the slavery of sin and vanity.
As Catharine Emma advanced in age she appeared to have her senses exercised to discern good and evil, and was learning, as
1 hoped, though not, perhaps, during a certain period, in any very striking and prominent manner, to refuse the evil and choose the good. At the same time she was making proficiency in those outward acquirements to which her attention was directed, particularly in music, in which she much delighted, and in which she excelled, I think, most of her equals in years. Her voice was peculiarly sweet and
strong; and for some little time before she was called hence, the sacred songs of Handel seemed to be a source of real pleasure and edification to her, and the feelings of her mind appeared to find utterance while she sang with her voice,
" Brighter scenes I seek above, In the realms of peace and love."
In the latter part of the year 1836, when Catharine Emma was between sixteen and seventeen years of age, she accompanied her mother and myself to Southampton, where a cousin, whom she much loved, was thought to be rapidly approaching to her end, after a protracted and trying illness. She was about four years older than Catharine Emma. We found her in a state of the utmost bodily weakness, and declared by her medical attendants to be beyond all hope of recovery. But God seemed to have been greatly blessing and sanctifying to her the sickness and trial to which He had called her. The truths of the Gospel were
her spiritual food and sustenance. She was kept in perfect peace. She had much, as to earthly possessions and outward circumstances, that might have attached her to this world, but her heart and her treasure were evidently in heaven, and she longed to depart and be with Christ, knowing and confessing this to be far better than the | richest portion here below. If anything at this time caused her any anxiety or uneasiness, it was lest the introduction of a fresh medical adviser, or the use of hitherto untried means for her preservation and recovery, might be rendered effectual to the end desired by those around her, but not by herself. I told my dear niece that this was not altogether the frame of mind in which I could wish to see her, or in which I believed her Heavenly Father would have her to be, but that she ought to pray that she might be as willing to remain here as to go hence, if the former might be His good pleasure. She
saw the propriety of this, and expressed her desire to lie passive in His hands, and know no will but His." We left her a little before Christmas to return to our home. So exceedingly was she reduced in strength, that we could scarcely hear her whisper; and we might almost have said, that we could tell all her bones, so fearfully had the flesh departed from them. But we left her in peace, with no other expectation, indeed, than that a few more days, or perhaps hours, would be her last on earth; but with a good hope, through grace, of meeting her again in that happy world, whither she seemed to be hastening, and where there shall be no sickness, no infirmities, no pain, no sorrow, no partings from those we love; no temptation, no corruption, no sin.
The Lord's ways, and His thoughts, however, are not as the ways and thoughts of man. She of whom I have been just writing, contrary to all human expectation and declarations, has been raised up from
apparently the last ebbings of life, and has been gradually restored to such health and strength as no one who saw her in her low estate" could have ventured to expect for her again here below; and, indeed, has since been married and become the mother of children. While (oh! how inscrutable, yet how surely wise and just and good are the ways and dealings of Him with whom we have to do!) my beloved child, who, in full health and vigour, watched by the couch of her apparently dying cousin, has herself been brought low, and carried away, and left her friend behind!
But why have I been thus diverted from the more immediate history of Catharine Emma herself to make this statement of another ? It is because I believe that this visit to Southampton, with its accompanying circumstances, formed an important link in the chain of God's providence for the spiritual welfare and advancement of my dear child. In the course of this visit she saw, day by
day, how mighty was the efficacy of faith in Christ! how it could rob death of its sting! how it could stamp nothingness" on the world and the things of the world! how it could calm and elevate and expand the soul! She left this scene manifestly and deeply impressed. It was brought before her mind, I doubt not, again and again. In a letter which I afterwards received from her, and which I purpose to introduce, she mentions the effect of it. How much more profitable such scenes as this,such scenes as visits to the poor and needy, the fatherless, the afflicted, and the dying, may offer, than any that the giddy throng of fashion can present, than any that can be found in the frothy, time-consuming vanities of the ball-room, or amid the pollutions of the theatre!
In the early part of 1837, Catharine Emma, by her own wish, and apparently under lively and correct views of the nature of the undertaking, took upon herself, in the rite of confirmation, to ratify and con-
firm in her own person those sacred vows and promises by which her sponsors had engaged for her at her baptism, that she should "renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the carnal desires of the flesh," so that she would not follow nor be led by them. No constraint was laid upon her in this important matter. Her obligations and privileges as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ were set before her. She was told of her need of those mercies and blessings which the God of all grace has provided for his children. She was invited, in depend-ance on his proffered help, solemnly to join herself to the Lord, and faithfully to fight under his banner against the enemies of her soul. And she entered humbly, willingly, and in the fear of God, into the holy compact.
During the last year of her continuance here below, and from the time of that con-
secretion of herself to the Lord to which I have just referred, up to that of her removal hence, Catharine Emma humbly, but gladly, availed herself of several occasions that were offered to her for drawing nigh to the table of the Lord and commemorating His dying love. She was not, I believe, without such conflicts and apprehensions as young Christians, more or less, experience, when invited to partake of those holy mysteries which our adorable Redeemer has ordained as pledges of His love, and for a continual remembrance of His death, to our great and endless comfort." With minds alive to a sense of their sins and unworthiness, and unestablished in a view of that full and free mercy which the Gospel of Christ presents to coming sinners, to the self-accused and self-condemnedfearing their want of that deep penitence, and lively faith, and fervent love, and deadness to the world, and conformity to the mind and will of God, and maturity for His presence,
which an approach to the Lord's table bespeaks, and which befit such approach the young and tender lambs of Christ's fold are ready to shrink from the invitation of their kind and gentle Shepherd. They know that He must see them to be poor, helpless sinners in themselves, full of corruption, and ready to stumble and fall; they remember not, as they should, that faithful saying, that He came into the world to save sinners ; that He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength;" and that it is that they may be convinced of His love, and that they may receive out of His fulness grace upon grace, that He encourages them to partake of His feast of fat things," to eat of the broken bread and drink of the wine poured out, and therein to see and to receive the assurances which His broken body and precious atoning blood may well give, that He is able and willing to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by
Him. May this good Shepherd gather such trembling lambs in His arms and carry them in His bosom! After they may have suffered for a time, may He establish, strengthen, settle them! And may they ever remember that better, far better, is this trembling approach to the compassionate Saviour, than the boldness of the formalist, the pride of the self-righteous, the dead-ness of the worldling, the mockery of the hypocrite.
hear, ye children, the instruction of a father,"prov. iv. 1.
wisdom is the principal thing."prov. iv. 7.
she 18 more precious than rubie8: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her."prov. iii. 15.
" Thou art the source and centre of all minds, Their only point of rest, Eternal Word! From Thee departing they are lost, and rove At random, without honour, hope, or peace. From Thee is all that soothes the life of man, His high endeavour, and his glad success, His strength to suffer, and his will to serve. But, Oh! Thou bounteous Giver of all good, Thou art, of all thy gifts, Thyself the crown! Give what Thou canst, without Thee we are poor; And with Thee rich, take what Thou wilt away."
It was but seldom, when separated from my dear children under the engagements of Parliamentary duties, that I could find opportunities for writing to them on those subjects which I felt to be of the highest importance, and concerning which I desired to see them supremely interested. After the removal, however, of the beloved subject of this little book, I found that she had treasured up the letters she had received from me, and had carefully and methodically arranged them, together with other papers, before she left her home in the country for the last time, to come with her mother and c 2
sisters to remain with me in London, as their custom was, for two or three months, during the sitting of Parliament. My readers will pardon me, I trust, if I present to them three or four of these letters, as well as two from Catharine Emma to myself, in reply to those I had written. They may, by God's blessing, be profitable in some measure to other dear children, as I hoped they would be to her who is now no longer in need of that instruction which it was my heart's desire to impart to her. And those from herself will show that the seed I had sown had not fallen on stony and ungrateful ground.
On the 17th of April, 1835, the anniversary of her birth, I sent a watch to Catharine Emma, with a note (found among her papers) in the following terms:
" My dearest Catharine Emma, The present that I make to you this year, on your birth-day, is a little watch.
By God's preserving mercy you have been brought to that age, at which you not only can take care of the little gift, but at which I trust you will prize it and understand its usefulness. By it you may not only in some measure regulate your daily duties and parcel out your different proceedings, but you may learn also some useful lessons from it: How fleeting is time! how important to watch and improve its moments, ere they flee from us for ever! How vast, how immeasurably important, that eternity to which our short and uncertain time here is leading us! As the little watch cannot go at all without a spring, and cannot go well without its works being clean and well-regulated, let us inquire what is the spring of our actions,is it the love of self, or of the good opinion of the world, or is it the love of Christ ? Does that act as our regulator, restraining us from evil, and quickening us to what is good ? Are we seeking, by prayer, to have the thoughts of our
hearts cleansed by the influences of the Holy Spirit ? And, lest the corroding rust of earthly things should feed upon our minds, are we habitually asking the Lord to give us the oil of divine grace ? Thus, my beloved child, may the little present I offer to you be useful to you in different ways! And when to you time' shall be no longer,' washed in your Saviour's blood, clothed with His righteousness, and sanctified by His Spirit, that you may enter upon a blessed eternity is the heartfelt prayer of your truly affectionate father. April 17, 1835."
In the autumn of the same year I went for a short time with some of my family to Brighton, certain arrangements making it necessary to leave Catharine Emma at home. I find among her preserved papers a few lines written to her by me from that place. After some opening remarks, I add,
" And now, I think, I have nothing very particular to say to my own dear child, but that I hope she is well, and that I desire and pray above all things for her, that her soul may prosper and be in health. There is much in this place calculated to promote the health of soul and body ; and I trust we may all derive from our little sojourn here benefit to the one and the other. There is a fine hard dry walk near the sea, on which I take my solitary walk after breakfast with much delight, and try to meditate on Him who formed the wondrous deep, on that Saviour who walked upon the sea, who sitteth upon the floods, who sitteth a King for ever, and who can (which is of the first importance to us) quell the proud risings of our naughty hearts, and bring every high thought into subjection to His holy will. To Him may we make our cry; on Him may we wait, and we shall not look or cry to Him in vain.
" Nov. 5, 1835."
In the summer of 1836, Catharine Emma was called upon to part from a cousin rather older than herself, whom she much loved. She received a little Testament from her as her parting gift; and, as though she had some thought that her own summons might quickly come, and that she might soon need the same supporting hand as soothed her cousin's dying hours, she added to the inscription in this little volume the following texts:
" Be ye also ready." Looking unto Jesus."
I find I wrote to my dear child at this time a few lines to the following effect:
" I do not know whether dearest -
- may be yet living. I long and pray
for you, dearest child, and your beloved sisters, that this dispensation to your dear cousin may indeed be a blessing to your own souls. May you pray for this, dear children. This is a dying world; but all
that believe in Jesus will find death robbed of its sting, and shall never perish, but have everlasting life. Health, and strength, and beauty are all fading flowers ; but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. July 20, 1836."
Early in the year 1837, I wrote the following letter to my three dear children, which I found also deposited among Catharine Emma's papers. I purpose to add two or three letters between us which resulted from this:
" Sunday, Feb. 19, 1837. My beloved Children,
" As the evening is very wet, and it seems to me more wise and prudent to remain quietly at home than to go to church, particularly as I have a slight return of my cough, I feel a desire to have a little communication with you all, who are so very dear to me, and so often the subjects of my
thoughts and of my prayers. And as I am writing to you on a holy day, I think you will agree with me that my letter ought to be about holy things.
" You are all now, my dearest children, advancing a little beyond the years of mere childhood, and the powers of your minds are expanding themselves to the consideration of the various objects that are presented to you from different quarters. Your fervent prayer should be, that, having your senses exercised to discern good and evil, you may have grace to refuse the evil and choose the good; that you may approve, not merely in your judgment, but with renewed and sanctified affections, the things that are excellent, the things that are really and intrinsically valuable, and are calculated to make you truly and eternally happy. By God's great goodness you are not left, as you might have been, and as millions of your fellow-creatures are, without that Holy Book, which presents a lamp unto your feet, and a light
unto your path. You have it daily in your hands, and by the grace of its faithful, kind, and prayer-hearing Author, may have its precious truths written in your hearts, and their purifying, elevating, quickening, restraining, comforting power exhibited in your daily walk and conversation. From that blessed book, read not with a formal, and careless, and proud, and disputing mind; but in a childlike, prayerful, and submissive spirit, you may learn what you are in yourselves, and what you are in reference to God and to the eternal world. As to yourselves, you may learn, that in you, as born into this world, dwelleth no good thing, but on the contrary, a heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,a heart which, if unchanged and unrestrained by the grace and Spirit of God, would cherish the love, and would lead you, as temptations and opportunities were presented to you, to the practice, of all manner of evil. From the same source you may learn (as indeed
you may have this truth confirmed by what is passing around you almost every day,) not only that you are fallen, sinful creatures, but that you are dying creatures; that the health, and strength, and vigour, enjoyed by you to-day, may to-morrow be supplanted by sickness, and debility, and languor, and pain, and death. And these great truths, as to yourselves, seriously attended to, simply received, and deeply engrafted in your heart and mind, may well raise in you the desire to know what you are in reference to God and the eternal world. And the Scriptures will tell you these things also. You may learn from them, if read in the spirit I have before mentioned, that, though you are sinful creatures and dying creatures, God has not left you, as He might justly have done, to perish everlastingly, but that the arms of His mercy are open to you; that out of those arms He has given and sent His only and well-beloved Son to this our world, that He might take our nature upon Him, and re-
ceive from His Father's hand, as our Substitute and the great atoning sacrifice for our sins, those stripes which we had deserved, and the weight of which, and the smart of which, must have sunk us into endless and hopeless misery. But now, if, by the Word of God, carried home to our hearts by His Spirit, we have been led to the cross of Jesus for pardon, and peace, and salvation, there these most precious blessings are to be found.1 Come unto me,' says the gracious Saviour to the convinced sinner, and I will give you rest.' You may look to my Father as your Father; not only kind and gracious, but faithful and just to forgive you your sins, because it hath pleased Him to wound Me for your transgressions. I have paid the penalty of the laws which you have broken ; and now, (my Father's justice and truth having been satisfied,) going to Him in my name, and making mention of my blood, you may go as dear children. His anger is turned away from you, having been discharged upon Me.
You may look to Jehovah as Love,' and say to Him, whom angels and archangels adore, Abba, Father.'
" Yes, my precious and beloved children, I hesitate not to say, that, if, by the rich grace of God, you have so learned from His holy Word that you are dying sinners, and have been made willing to go to God in simple dependance on what has been done and suffered for you by our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the high blessings and privileges I have mentioned are all yours. And as to the eternal world, you may look forward to it, as to be to you a world of boundless, unutterable happiness and peace and glory, in the presence of Him who loved you, and washed you from your sins in His own blood. Oh, my dearest children, I hope and believe you will think of these things, that you will look inward, and look upward, and look forward; inward, to know yourselves; upward, to know your God; and forward, as those who are pressing
to a holy and happy eternity. Pray that the good Spirit of the Lord may so take of the things of Christ and show them unto you, that you may count all things as dung and dross in comparison thereof, and that He may enable you, while you wisely and thankfully use and enjoy the blessings and comforts of this life, to say of the world and the things thereof:
" 1 Thy wounds, Emmanuel, all forbid, That I should seek my pleasure there.
" It was the sight of thy dear cross
First wean'd my soul from earthly things, And taught me to esteem as dross The mirth of fools, and pomp of kings.
" I want that grace that springs from Thee, And quickens all things where it flows, And makes a wretched thorn like me Bloom as the myrtle or the rose.'
Thus may you, my darling children, covet earnestly the best gifts, and walking as children of light and children of love, bearing one another's burthens and seeking one
48 the flower of spring.
another's good, go from grace to grace, and from strength to strength, till, having done and suffered the will of your God upon earth, you may, every one of you, stand before Him in Zion, and help to swell the blissful song of the redeemed, Salvation to our God that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb!' And then may your precious mother and myself, by the same grace to which we direct and commend you, rejoice in you, and with you, for ever and ever!
" Thus fervently and constantly prays, my dearest children, your fondly affectionate father."
Each of those to whom the above was addressed replied separately to it. The following is the reply received from Catharine Emma:
"Feb. 21, 1837. My beloved Papa,Thank you very, very much for devoting so much time to us,
and writing such a sweet letter, which I shall often read and meditate upon, which I very much love for the dear writer's sake, and which I hope, by God's grace, I shall profit from.
"I often wish I could open my mind more than I do to some one who could participate in all my fears and hopes, but I always feel afraid of not meeting with a kindred spirit, and so I shut myself out, in a measure, from the comfort and joy which I know Christians do and can find in telling one another what the Lord has done for their souls. I feel as if it were hardly right to take up your time, my beloved Papa, either by telling you my own feelings, or by asking you, if you can, to write to me, myself, not to all three; but I should be very grateful if you would, whenever you have time.
" I think I have been taught a little of the vanity of- earthly things, and I trust I do not expect to find a resting-place here.
Seeing darling G-was, perhaps, one
among many things that have all tended to show me that here we are indeed pilgrims and strangers, that this is no world of rest.* But I want to feel more sure that my sins, which are many, are forgiven meto have more joy and peace in believing. T^t times I feel very happy, and find great comfort in reading the Bible, and feel so happy in telling Jesus all I want. He knows our frame; He remembers we are but dust. I am very fond of that text, We have not an High Priest,' &c, and of thinking that Jesus loved me (and now loves me) so much as to lay down his life for me. But though sometimes I feel so happy, at others I seem as if I had no Saviour to go to, and as if I could not tell Him anything, or ask for anything, although all the time He is saying, Come unto me, and I will give you rest.'
Alluding to her cousin, whom she had seen at Southampton two months before in an apparently dyiDg state.
Then, again, I am so very much afraid of deceiving myself; my heart is so deceitful; all the time I think, perhaps, I am endeavouring to do all to God's glory, it may only he food for pride, or to be thought well of by my fellow-creatures, which I am sure ought riot to have the least influence upon me. How can ye believe which receive honour one of another?' It is my prayer that, what I know not may be taught me that His own Spirit, the Comforter, may lead me into all truththat the peace which He has promised may be minethat He may sanctify me whollythat His love may constrain me.
" I delight to look forward to heaven as our home, dearest Papathere, where there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, and where God will wipe away all tearswhere the former things having all passed away, we shall see Jesus face to face there we shall be at the fountain, the streams and little drops from which are D 2
so pleasant hereat the Sun, whose beams even coming through so much that tends to interrupt and obscure them, yet shine, and revive, and warm, and comfort us. I hope, yes, dear Papa, I believe, we shall spend an eternity together in worshipping, praising, and adoring Him, whom having not seen we love. Then we shall have forgotten the little thorns and brambles that may have hurt us in the way, and we shall find rest more sweet, more satisfying.
" The wanderer seeks his native bow'r, And we will look and long for Thee, And thank Thee for each trying hour, Wishing, not struggling, to be free.'
" I have now, my own precious father, told you more of my own feelings than I have ever before told any one, I believe, and a burden seems removed from my heart by my having done so. I am afraid I have said what I wished to say in an obscure way. I hope you will forgive and pardon all, and that you will never cease to pray for me, till
you see me what you wish me to benor indeed ever cease till we have passed through the valley of the shadow of death,' which I
pray that J may find, as dearest G-*
does, all light, without a dark spot, or even a shadow of anything dark in it. How many who were near and dear to us in the flesh are now before the throne of God and the Lamb! May we join them in God's own time, and mingle our voices with theirs in singing the praises of Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.
" I shall hope to hear from you in a few davs, and long very, very much to see your dear face again, and kiss it. I remain, my ever beloved Papa, Your truly grateful, affectionate, and attached Child, Catharine Emma."
The various and pressing duties of a Again alluding to her cousin.
Parliamentary life prevented me writing so quickly or so fully as I could have desired in reply to the above letter. The following, however, is a copy of the answer I sent:
" Tuesday Night, Twelve o' Clock, Feb. 28, 1837. I wish very much, my beloved Catharine Emma, that I had more time to give up to writing to you, for nothing would be more interesting to me; but every day brings so many duties with it, that appear to claim my attention, that I hardly know which way first to turn; and now, I fear, unless I rob myself of rest, which my earthly tabernacle seems to require, that I must write but hastily to you. But I wish, my darling child, to say to you, in the first place, that I trust you will never feel afraid of opening your mind to me. I may be an instrument in the Lord's hand to do you good and comfort you, and nothing could make me so happy as to be so employed; and you feel, I hope,
that you have no reason to fear making known your troubles and conflicts to me, for I have my troubles and conflicts also, and can never deride or reproach you, or do otherwise than feel with you, and pray for you, and desire to teach, and cheer, and gladden you. It is a cause of deep thankfulness to me, my dearest child, that the Lord has not left you without feeling on spiritual matters. Better, far better, is it to be troubled and suffer affliction with the people of God, than to be speaking smooth things, and prophesying deceits to yourself, and resting in a shadowy and deceitful peace with the children of this world. They* (the foolish and the wicked, whom the Psalmist is describing,) 'are not in trouble as other men,' (as the people of God,) 'neither are they plagued as other men' they feel not the plague of an evil and deceitful heart' therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain.' Better, far better, is it to have this chain broken, though
we are thereby let down into the valley of humiliation, and the very dust of self-abaacment. This is the proper place and position for us as sinners in the sight of an infinitely holy God; and, praised be His name, He will not leave us in this position; for it is the humble, and the humble only, that He will exalt. Be assured, my beloved child, that humility is the only groundwork of true religion, and of true and solid peace.
"Be it, then, your constant prayer and endeavour to know yourself as a sinful, dying creature in a fleeting and vain world; and in proportion as you attain this knowledge, (the experimental acquisition of which is often painful indeed, but always salutary,) the Gospel of Christ, and all the blessings it unfolds and imparts, will be increasingly precious to you. Be not surprised or disheartened if you find thorny ways and cloudy days in the wildernessif you are sometimes cheered with the shining of the Sun of Righteousness, and at other times
have to walk in darkness. It may be, perhaps, that you have brought this darkness, in some measure, on yourself ky a careless walk; and this, I believe, will commonly be found to be the case, and cannot be too much watched against; but, from whatever more immediate cause spiritual troubles may arise, they are not intended to sink us into despair, but to wean us more and more from self-depeud-ance, and to fix us more simply and firmly on Jesus, the Rock of Ages. His blood and righteousness are our only sure resting-place. His finished work our sole ground of depend-ance for pardon and acceptance with God.
" 'Ye are complete in Him;' if complete, no addition is necessary. No works of your own, no penitence, no prayers, no love, no faith, are required to be added to a finished and complete work. Our faith is, indeed, as it were, the hand of the soul, to lay hold of the finished work of Christ; but it is no part of it; and if we find our faith
feeble, and our love cold, we have indeed great cause to be humble, and to pray, Lord, increase our faith, and quicken our love;' but Jesus, our strong Rock, remains the sameand here we may rest for everyea, even here may we dwell, and find our delight herein. Our varying frames and feelings, then, are intended only to lead us to cleave more closely to our unvarying Saviour and Friend. We are to follow after holiness, indeed; not from self-righteous feelings, but from grateful feelings. We are to work, not for life, but from life because life and salvation are the free gifts of our God and Saviour, we should be constrained to walk as dear children,' worthy of our high privileges and calling, feeling assured that, at the best, and after all, we inust and shall be but sinful creatures and unprofitable servants; and that when the top-stone of our spiritual building shall be brought forth, Grace, grace, unto it,' will be our cry.
Till-; flower of MTU Ml. 59
" I must conclude, my beloved child. Tell me frankly if you understand me, and ask me any questions you like, believing me ever,
Your tenderly affectionate Father."
The above letter was thus acknowledged by my dear child:
" March 2, 1837. My beloved Papa, Many, many thanks for your sweet letter, so full of encouragement and love. I do indeed think it is one of my greatest blessings to have such a father ; and I hope I shall never feel afraid of opening my mind to you. After I wrote to you, dearest Papa, I felt quite miserable. I can use no other term to express how I felt; my sins seemed quite overwhelming. I was almost afraid of speaking; every word seemed so full of sin, and then my thoughts were as sinful, and worse. This continued about a week. I now see how needful this
was to make such a Saviour as the Bible tells us Jesus is, so precious as He now is to me. I only hope and pray that I may never be left to myself for one moment, knowing what perfect weakness I am in myself. But in Him all fulness' dwells, and his strength is made perfect in our weakness. I quite understand your letter, my beloved Papa. I only grieved to see at what hour it was written, when you ought to have been in bed, and would have been but for your kindness to me.
" I wish I had time to write more to-day, but I really have not. My fondest love to you, darling Papa.
" Your ever most gratefully
" affectionate Child."
Not long after the date of this last letter, intelligence reached us of the death of one of my dear sisters, who was also one of Catharine Emma's sponsors. She had long been a humble follower of the Saviour; and
though the mother of a large family, and blessed with as much domestic happiness and as many temporal comforts as are commonly allotted to any individual, and enabled, moreover, to prize and enjoy those blessings with deep and lively thankfulness of heart, she was, nevertheless, looking for a better country, even a heavenly;" and when the summons came to her to quit her beloved family and happy home, she was found ready to depart and be with Christ, knowing it to be far better."
Catharine Emma felt much affection for her aunt, and entertained a high sense of her Christian character. The loss of her affected her much; and, happening just at this period when her own mind had been brought into active exercise on spiritual subjects, was, I doubt not, one of the links in that providential chain of wisdom, love, and faithfulness, by which God was pleased to draw and bind this his dear child to Himself. In one of the manuscript
papers that follows, it will be perceived that she made special mention of this dispensation.
my meditation of him shall be sweet." p8. civ. 34.
" Fab from the world, 0 Lord, I flee, From strife and tumult far; From scenes where Satan wages still His most successful war.
" The calm retreat, the silent shade, With prayer and praise agree; And seem, by thy sweet bounty, made For those who follow Thee.
" There, if thy Spirit touch the soul, And grace her mean abode, 0, with what peace, and joy, and love, She communes with her God!"
It appears to have been in the autumn of this year that Catharine Emma committed to paper some of her thoughts and feelings on religious subjects. I knew of none of these documents till the beloved writer of them had been removed from me. But such of them as seem to me to offer fair evidences of her own views, and as I consider also calculated to impress and confirm right views in the minds of others, I shall venture to adduce.
I am aware that there may be some objection to the introduction of such papers to public notice. It may be said that such a step is a violation of that privacy for which
such papers were intended. If the living, however, may, by God's grace, be benefited by their publicity, I cannot believe that the departed writer of them, could she signify to me her wishes, would have me withhold them. She is herself far beyond the reach of the shafts of censure, or of the poisonous breath of flattery and praise.
Or if it may be said, that by the publication of such papers, an inducement may be offered to the young professor of religion, to commit to writing thoughts and imaginations which are not the genuine production of the mind, and spring not from the real experience of the writer, I can but deprecate such abuse, and say, that my object is, not to promote hypocrisy, but Christianity.
The following, then, are some of the documents to which I refer, and which, though not discovered by me till after the death of my dear child, may well, I think, be introduced before an account of that event, and may show how graciously the Good Shepherd
was preparing his tender lamb for his heavenly fold.
" Sunday Evening, Sept. 24, 1837.' Ye are complete in Him.' Yes, O my Saviour, in Thee.' If there were but these words of 1 comfort to the poor sin-sick sinner, these are sufficient to fill him with joy and peace. My precious Saviour, may thy spotless robe be put upon me May / be accepted in Thee, complete, knowing that I have eternal life! Oh, Thou that art mighty," draw me unto Thyself with cords of love. Yea, return unto me with mercies. Be especially with me in the next week. My Saviour, I want to ltave thy glory continually in view. I want self to be continually crucified, mortified, and brought under. O come and manifest Thyself to me, and all besides will then indeed seem less than nothing and altogether vanity. Give me such a clear view of Thy fulness and all-sufficiency as will fill me with love and joy! May these e 2
precious words, 1 Ye are complete in Him,' be my motto for the week that I have begun. In myself, O how empty!in Thee, how complete O then, guide me continually, and satisfy my soul in drought, and be unto me a place of broad rivers and streams !' Amen."
" Monday Evening, Sept. 25.In my evening reading, I have been much struck with the verse, 1 Their heart is divided, now shall they be found guilty.' (Hos. x. 2.) It but too truly represents the state of my own heart. How many, many divisions are found there! If they lead to great search-ings of heart," yea, rather, if my Saviour searches it for me, how many unknown idols will be discovered! Surely there never was so strangely cold, careless, lukewarm a heart as mine! O my Saviour, Thou canst but say, I am pressed under you as a cart that is full of sheaves.' Oh, come and quicken me; take entire possession of this idol-loving heart; and oh, in tender mercy, say not of
me, Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone;' but rather show me such wonders of love and mercy in Thee, as shall even draw the affection of my cold heart to Thee, and make me desire nothing but thy presence in time and through all eternity. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly."
" Thursday Evening, Sept. 28.The language of my heart at this time is truly, O that I knew where I might find Thee!' Verily, Thou art a God that hidest Thyself.' Yet is the promise sure, Then shall ye know, if ye follow on to know the Lord.' O my soul, wait thou only, continually, upon thy God, and thou shalt yet find Him to be 1 the light of thy countenance, and thy God.'"
"Sunday Evening, Oct. 1.How needful is it not only to have clear views of the nature of justification itself, but also of the cause and instrument of it. Its cause is the perfect, spotless righteousness of Christ, whereby the demands of the law are entirely
satisfied on our behalf; the instrument is faith, which lays hold of, appropriates, and puts on, this spotless robe. How do we need the Spirit's enlightening influence, to unfold every little item, as it were, to our souls! Nothing convinces me more of the natural blindness and deadness of my heart, than the incapability even to understand the simplest doctrines of Scripture. It seems too much for it to enter into. Oh, when I sit in darkness, precious Saviour, be Thou a light unto me! Yea, be Thou my Sun and Shield, and my exceeding and eternal great reward! O suffer me not to be discouraged by the difficulties I meet with! May I pursue,follow on, though ofttimes faint . . O my adorable Saviour, draw me unto Thee with the cords of thy wonderful, everlasting love! Truly can I say, as in thy sight, 1 The desire of my soul is to thy name.' May I then be animated to more diligent and earnest seeking after God, assured that I shall find Him, and that
Jesus will come and make his abode with me.
" Saturday Evening, Oct. 7.1 For this t* the will of God, even your sanctification.1 Oh, how clearly and strongly does this passage show the dreadful tendency of the Antinomian doctrines of the present day! How manifest is it, that faith without works is dead, being alone !' O my Saviour, keep me from these awful delusions! While I would not desire to pry into 'the deep things of God,' may thy Spirit teach me all things necessary for my salvation. The cry of my inmost soul is, Hold Thou me up, and I shall be safe.' Give me grace to adorn thy doctrine in all things. How sadly do I fail in this! How little is thy glory my aim! Yea, how is self set up and honoured! How are my thoughts and affections running out after the creature rather than the Creator! How many heart-idols are setting themselves up! Yet Thou, whose will is my sanctification, makeO
make me perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle me, for thy own name's sake. Amen."
" Sunday Evening, Oct. 8.My Saviour, I would thank Thee for the portion of thy felt presence vouchsafed to me in thy house this morning. Next Sunday a table is to be spread for hungry, thirsty souls. How unworthy do I feel to attend! Yet, O my Saviour, where should I look for thy blessing, if not at thy own table ? As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O my Saviour! 0 make thyself known unto me in the breaking of bread. Cause me to feed on Thee by faith, and in tender mercy grant that I may not approach thy table in a light, thoughtless frame. Be Thou present with me to bless me in all my pursuits. I thank Thee for the desires of my soul after Thee. Oh, gracious, long-suffering Saviour, if I am saved, eternity will be too short to tell of half the wondrouswondrous love that has plucked ine as a brand from the burning."
" Tuesday Evening.' Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat,' &c. Do I think that I am to examine myself in hopes of discovering some worthiness in myself? No; the more I examine, the greater depths of sin and misery shall I discover; and the use of this discovery is to drive me to the Physician of my soul, the Lord, that healeth me. For the weary and heavy-laden is this table spread; as such an one would I draw near. O may I press forward, till, through wonderful love and mercy, I shall sit down, with all the redeemed ones, to the marriage supper of the Lamb!"
"Sunday Evening, Oct. 15, 1837.Today have I again been permitted to attend the supper of our Lord; and I trust it was indeed a season of refreshing to my soul from the presence of my God. I particularly enjoyed that part, Therefore with angels,' &c. It seemed as if I could almost hear the burst of the rich, full chorus from the one family' of the redeemed ones in heaven
and earth. Oh, how short a time, and I, too, shall be there, with Thee, O my own precious Saviour! As days and weeks and months pass swiftly by, so does the joyful time draw near, when the hand now writing, the heart and pulse now throbbing, will be cold and motionless, and the happy, ransomed spirit will have taken its everlasting station before the throne of God and the Lamb! O then, with such a hope, such a glorious prospect before thee, Why art thou disquieted within me, O my soul ?' Hope still in God. And do Thou, my Saviour, 1 restore health to me, and heal my wounds,' and cause me to walk in a straight path, wherein I shall not stumble!'"
" Tuesday Evening, Oct. 17.' Search me, 0 God, and know my thoughts; try me and examine my ways, and see if there be any wicked way in me; and O lead me in the way everlasting.' I feel how great is the danger of deceiving myself, how easy it is to think, feel, speak, act in spiritual
THE n.owr.K or SPRING. 75
things, and yet never have experienced that real change of heart, that crucifying of the old man and putting on the new man, even the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, is it not a token for good, 0 my Saviour, that my soul is not in the perfectly dead, insensible state, in which it once was ? Art Thou not now knocking at the door of my heart ? Lord, Thou who art the strength of thy people, give me power to open to Thee, or rather do Thou put in thy 'hand by the hole of the door,' 0 Thou chiefest among ten thousand, and take entire possession of my heart and affections I"
" Sunday Evening, Nov. 19.It is now some time since I last wrote in this book, and during that time, or at least the former part, my soul has been in a dead, cold state, and unable to find comfort in prayer and in the Scriptures,careless and lukewarm. And yet, O Thou precious,precious Sun of Righteousness, Thou art ever the same; thy beams are ever bright, enlivening, com-
forting. Oh, it is nothing but the mists of sin, the fogs of unbelief, that hide Thee from my sight. Yet mine eyes shall see the King in his beauty. My beloved is the chiefest among ten thousand; yea, He is altogether lovely, the Rose of Sharon; and He will be as the dew unto me, and cause me to spring forth and flourish as the lily. From Thee, O my Saviour, is my fruit found. Perhaps one reason of the continuance of my dead, cold frame, is, that I look too much to my feelings, and too little, yes, i*oo little, out of this body of sin and death to my Saviour. O quicken me according to thy word, to thine own unfailing promise. The vision is yet for an appointed time; though it tarry, wait for it, for it will surely come, it will not tarry."' Friday Evening, Dec. 8.This morning I much enjoyed a walk, or rather a solitary stroll, in the garden. There is something melancholy in a garden ramble at this time of year; in the trees despoiled of their rich
foliage, excepting here and there a sere and yellow leaf, to remind us of what they have been and of what they will yet be; in gazing at the few flowers that have outlived their less hardy brethren, which withered at the first wintry blast. These few remaining ones gladden us with the assurance, that as long as the earth lasteth spring-time and summer, cold and heat, shall never cease. Then, perhaps, we think of the beloved ones who have trodden those very paths with us, now very far off, or mouldering in the dust, like the summer leaves and flowers; and we compare ourselves to the desolate and solitary few that look out and around upon a wilderness of what once was a labyrinth of loveliness. Yet shall He, who will raise up new flowers, who will re-array the trees, suffer the dust of his beloved, his chosen ones to perish? . Will not He, who so clothed the lilies of the field, cause this corruptible to put on incorrupt ion ; this mortal, immortality ? Shall
we not again be united to our beloved ones, never, never to be parted, when sorrow and sighing will flee away, and He, who now oftentimes causes our eyes to overflow, will Himself wipe away all tears for ever ?
0 that with such a hope we may walk more and more worthily of the vocation wherewith we are called, and joy in the Lord with joy unspeakable and full of glory !"
" Sunday Evening, Dec. 10.I have been much delighted to-day with Evans's sermon on We which believe do enter into rest.' One passage seemed made for me: he says, It is a device by which Satan keeps, O how many souls from Jesus, to prompt the inquiry, Do I feel my sins enough ? Am
1 sufficiently aware of my own unworthi-ness ?' &c. May we say, Lord, if my heart be unbroken, I will come to thee with that unbroken heart,' &c.
"This I feel discourages me more than anything besidesthat I do not feel and mourn over my sins as I ought to do.
Then, Lord Jesus, I would come to Thee, at I am, grieving, most of all, over ungrieved for, unlamented sin. I would say with thy Bride, Draw me,' for I cannot even ttir without being drawn, and then, O then, I shall not only walk, but run, after Thee, yea, run in the way of thy commandments. O bind me for ever to Thyself with the cords of thine everlasting love! Amen."
" Sunday Evening, Dec. 31, 1837.Thus have I in wonderful love and tender mercy been brought to the close of another year! Another little hour and it will be gone gone for evergone up to the throne of God, and will there give in its record. Another year less to spend in this waste howling wildernessanother year nearer my Father's home! O what an eventful year has the past been! My precious aunt
F--is no longer a weary pilgrim.
To her was it said, 'Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.'* Another one Canticles ii. 13.
added to our many loved ones who are safely landed on the other side of Jordan. A godmother in heavenone, whom, next to my own dear parents, I best loveda silver cord to draw me upwards in heart and affections!
" During the past year I have taken the vows of God upon me; I have been permitted to dedicate myself to His service whose yoke is easy, and His burden light. For the first time too, July 16, did I, in the very church where my loved aunt's dust is sleeping, approach the Lord's table. O it has been a year of overflowing love! And I trust and believe the testimony of my heart is, that I have grown in grace, though how little in proportion to my many privileges Yet, are my longings after heavenly things greater ? Yes; much greater than at this time last year: my soul's inmost desire now is, to know Jesus and Him crucified. O my precious Saviour, to Thee I come, laden with the sins in thought, word, and
deed, the innumerable shortcomings of a by-gone year! O cast all my sins into the depths of the sea of thy everlasting love, and remember them no more! And, for the year I am about to commence, I would come with large petitions to thee, remembering I am coming to a King,' coveting earnestly the best gifts. 0 bless me with all spiritual blessings according to thy riches in glory. I ask for more love, faith, holiness of heart and life, penitence, hatred of sin, a more single eye to thy glory, and more knowledge of and communion with Thee, whom to know is life eternal/ And, in temporal things, I would leave all in the hands of One who knoweth the end from the beginning. Whatever springs of joy and gladness, whatever clouds of sorrow and grief, may be before me, Thou knowest my frame. May I daily grow in grace and favour with God and man; bless me abundantly in all I put my hand unto; in all my studies, Thou, who alone givest
wisdom, bless me much; and in all my occupations may the good hand of my God be upon me for good, causing me to prosper. And, 0 my Saviour, enable me to remember the way by which Thou hast led me; and 0 lead me, and all dear to me, through the remaining part, whether great or little, of our earthly pilgrimage, and grant that at last an entrance may be abundantly administered to us all into thine everlasting kingdom!"
"January 13, 1838.'My God shall supply all your need.' Surely these wondrous words shall enable me to go on my way rejoicing, overcoming troops of spiritual enemies, turning mists into light, darkness into noon-day, unbelief into faith, distrust into confidence, fear and trembling into joy and boldness, sighing and sorrowing into gladness and peace passing all understanding. Oh, is there, can there be, a circumstance, a moment in my life, when my soul is cast down and disquieted within
me, when these precious words will not be as a healing balm, a medicine to cure my sickness ? And not only in great things, but in the little every day, every hour, concerns of life, they are still' a fountain of gardens,' an endless, bottomless treasury, unsearchable riches. Do I anxiously desire to improve in earthly learning? He who alone giveth wisdom will supply all my need. Does any little thing harass or vex me, for trifles make the sum of human things?' He is love. His thoughts are all good, and not evil, and all to give me an expected end. Am I wandering upon the dark mountains of spiritual blindness ? He who is the Sun of Righteousness, the light of the world, will be a light unto me when I sit in darkness. 0 for grace to realize the height, depth, length, breadth, of these words, their inexhaustible fulness, richness, and faithfulness! and to be enabled daily and hourly to say them, to spell them Canticles iv. 12. F2
over, to my soul, till my every care is cast upon Him who careth for me."
" Sunday Evening, Jan. 28.This is probably the last Sabbath evening I shall spend in this little room for some months.* O my Saviour, may thy presence go with me, and do Thou give me rest. O let not my portion be among the smooth stones of the brook;' be Thou my portion, and make me to feel and know, in my daily experience, how satisfying, rich, and inexhaustible a portion Thou art. Enable my hungering soul to feed on Thee, and oh never let it for one moment think of satisfying itself with the empty husks of the world! Oh make me to be more and more conformed to thine own image; may it shine out in me! Fill me with thy fulness; make my peace to
* It would seem that she used to write in her bedroom (to enter into her closet and shut the door). And she was at this time about to leave her house in the country for her usual residence of some weeks in London at this time of the year.
flow as a river ; and my righteousness, even that which Thou only canst put upon me, to be as the waves of the sea, daily making me more meet for, and quickening my desires after, my eternal inheritance!
" The wanderer seeks his native bower, And I will look and long for Thee;
And thank Thee for each trying hour, Wishing, not struggling, to be free."
Had I read these papers at the time they were written, or while my beloved child was yet in the flesh, though I trust my inmost heart would have rejoiced over them, surely I must almost have trembled for that which was drawing nigh to me. Surely I had said within myself,Are these the breathings and the pantings of a soul destined to remain in this wilderness ? Are they not rather the aspirations of one already on the wing for heaven ?
The writer was in the full vigour of youth and health, with little to embitter her earthly cup, and much to sweeten it. Yet apparently
was she so drawn after higher and better things than earth can give, and so much had she seen and tasted of the goodness of the Lord, that it would not have been irrational, or even unscriptural, to suppose that He who had brought her to this point, and wrought her to this temperament, was about to show her yet greater things, was about to satisfy her longings, was about to deliver his child from the snares and pollutions of this fallen world, and to gather her into his own arms. And truly she was approaching this great and blessed change. Truly the cords of her tabernacle were soon to be loosened. The time was at hand when her soaring spirit was no longer to be restrained, but to expand its liberated wings, and flee away, and be at rest.
" in the evening it is cut down, and withereth."ps. xc 6.
" When the shore is won at last, Who will count the billows past ?
" Only, since our hearts will shrink At the touch of nat'ral grief, When our earthly lov'd ones sink, Lend us, Lord, thy sure relief; Patient hearts, their pain to see, And Thy grace, to follow Thee."
My family usually joined me in London after Easter; but it had been determined this year,1838; that when I left home for the opening of the Session of Parliament they should accompany me; and accordingly we were settled together in the great and busy metropolis early in February.
I am not aware that London offered any peculiar attractions to the subject of this little Memoir. She rejoiced, indeed, to meet there old friends, and to become acquainted with new ones, such, at least, as she hoped would be valuable to her as Christian companions. She gladly also
availed herself of opportunities then af- forded her of making additions to her different acquirements. She specially, however, welcomed her residence in London as giving her the privilege of hearing, Sabbath after Sabbath, able and faithful statements of the great truths of the Gospel.
The illness which proved fatal to her commenced on the last day of March. At first, it assumed only the appearance of a cold, and for a few days did not confine her to the house.
On the first Sunday in April, my beloved child walked with me to church, and as we hoped to approach the Lord's table, we talked of this together by the way. I asked her whether she was experiencing any particular conflicts or troubles of mind, as I considered the seasons when we were permitted and invited to commemorate the redeeming love of our Lord as special opportunities for unburthening our hearts to Him, and looking for supplies of grace and consolation from
Him, according to our circumstances and necessities. Her principal fear and trouble seemed to be, lest sbe should be under any self-deception, and resting in any false peace. There was no doubt in her, apparently, as to the grace and faithfulness and sufficiency of the Saviour, but she seemed to be exercised with a godly jealousy, lest in any wise she should herself be deceived, and not go, as she desired, to Jesus, in true penitence and self-renunciation, casting herself truly, simply, and wholly on Him.
I endeavoured to assure her of the tenderness and sympathy of her gracious Lord, and that she should consider that the very jealousy she was led to exercise over herself, was a token of His goodwill and favour towards her. How far the calmness and peace with which she was mercifully carried through the last few days of her remaining life here below, may be traceable to special measures of grace and strength, communicated to her in her last visit to the Lord's house and to
Hi- table, it is not for me to utter any positive opinion. But this we may confidently say, that when God has special trials for His children, He does mete out grace to them as a tender Father; He does give strength to His people; He does bless His people with peace.
The cold, which we hoped was passing away, returned to my beloved child; and it was too evident that fever had got possession of her, and was prostrating her strength. Still we were led to hope, as well from the opinion of most able medical attendants, as from the youth and energy of a hitherto vigorous and unimpaired constitution, that the attack would not end fatally. So little was I myself impressed with any apprehension that the illness was dangerous, that I left London for a day or two on business that called me into the country. On my return, however, all my fears were awakened ; and I fully believe that Catharine Emma was herself aware that her departure
was drawing near. She was anxious to see me on my return, and that I should pray with her to the Lord for His grace and blessing. She was peaceful and cheerful, and said that I had prayed for what she wished.
It is impossible for me to describe the conflicts of a parent's heart while fever was still holding possession of the now greatly weakened frame of a beloved child, but a few days before full of bloom and strength. Nor is it needful to state the various human means resorted to, or the rising hopes and fears that chequered the closing scene of this little history to those who were watching in the chamber of sickness. The beloved object of our anxieties was kept in peace, believing herself, as she strikingly said to a Christian friend and clergyman who visited her at this time, quite safe in the hands of Jesus." As the power of fever increased, however, during the last few hours of her continuance with us, in occasional wanderings of her mind she clearly manifested
where her heart was, where her hope was, and where her happy home would shortly be. The following were some of the expressions to which, with much fervency, she gave utterance, the night before she entered into her heavenly rest.
" Precious, precious Jesus! Precious, precious Saviour, when shall I see thy face ? Perhaps I long too much."
And then, as though her affections were called to earth for a little moment, she said, several times,
" My sweet father, sweet, sweet mamma!"
But soon again her language was,
" Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and bless-ing."
" My loving Saviour, when shall I praise Thee as I ought ?"
" Precious Saviour! unspeakably precious He is now; always the same."
" My precious Saviour! how can I love Thee enough for thy great, great goodness?"repeated with much emphasis.
And with many like sayings did this dear young saint breathe out her remaining strength, till, in the morning of the 23d of April, 1838, her ransomed spirit fled from earth to the holy and blissful presence of her Saviour and her God.
Her remains were removed from the great metropolis to her much-loved home in the country, and were deposited in the family vault beneath that quiet village church, where, while in the flesh, she had again and again sought and worshipped the God of her salvation in spirit and in truth. A plain marble tablet near the spot bears the following inscription:
*;icrra to the jilrmoni nf
catharine emma, eldest dauohteb of john fembebton flumptbe, esq., M.I'.. and cathabine matilda, hi8 will. who died, afteb a shobt illness, april 23, 1838, aged eighteen tears.
" The Toice said, Cry. And He said, What shall I cry ? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever." Isaiah xl. 68.
In youth and health, when all was gay, And sunshine deck'd her flow'ry way, She saw, by faith, a world more fair, And long'd, through Christ, to enter there.
'Midst parents' love and joys of earth, She mus'd on those of heav'nly birth; God own'd the faith Himself had giv'n, And early call'd His child to heav'n!