Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[graphic][merged small]

Worthy.-But how did you get through the service? Lovegood.-Indeed, Sir, I could not get through the service: and the children who were appointed to sing a funeral hymn, as he was carried from before the reading desk to his grave in the Chancel, could not finish their office, before they were so overcome that many of them actually wept aloud, and I was so overpowered by the sight that I could not speak nor read another word.

C. and C. Whitting ham, College House, Chiswick.

M%. Sprightly. As far as the hymn was sung, I bave a copy of it.

Wor. Then I beg we may hear it.
Mr. Sprightly repeats the Hymn.

If ever on a mortal Bier
Were dropt the tears of grief sincere ;
Pity, dear Lord, th' assembled throng,

To whom such pangs of grief belong.
How bright was that celestial fame,
When shining through this mortal frame !
Darken’d by death, it shines no more;
We own thy justice, and adore.
Neglectful of this gift from God,
Nur sinful deeds desery'd the rod :
Still with submission would we say,
"T'is God that gives, and takes away.
Yet hear the penitential prayer ;
With thy forbearing grace appear :
O lift our drooping spirits up,
And yet revive our dying hope !
Let pity, drest in tender love,
Look down in mercy from above;
No hand but thine can c'er restore,
The deepest loss we can deplore.
Once our enraptur'd tongues could tell,
The tidings he proclaim'd so well,
Tidings through his atoning blood,
That brought our sinful souls to God.
How many a sinner lives to praise
The wonders of redeeming grace;
While his dear warning, weeping voice,
Won them to seek eternal joys.
Ye wounded souls o'erwhelm'd with grief,
That seek the balm which brings relief,
Alas! those lips for ever cease,

To preach his grace, that seals your peace. [Mr. Sprightly then adds.] And it was in attempt ing to sing the last stanza, that all were so affected thạt they could not sing any more.

Wor. But I hope Sir, you will give us the rest of your hymn.

Loveg. Sir, there were but two stanzas more, and e cannot recollect them.

Wor. Well Sir, I hope you will let us see the whole of your hymn on another day. But how did you get through the funeral sermon on the Sunday?

Loveg. 0 Sir! the Church yard was crowded an hour before the Church doors were opened ; and I was actually obliged to get in at the window, behind the pulpit and reading desk, to perform my office, while I was under the necessity of hiring Mr. Anything, to read the prayers, as I found preaching the sermon would be quite enough for me.

Wor. What was your subject ?

Loveg. “ Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth, for the faithful fail from among the children of men."* And when I had to give the outlines of his character, as a truly godly man, I was frequently interrupted at the consideration, that so many excellencies were now completely lost to us, while the body which possessed them, was buried out of our sight; and while the remembrance of them, was all that was left for us to improve, that we might follow him, as he followed Christ; and that it was an awful judgment, when such godly men were taken from us, as a deprivation of the greatest blessing we could enjoy.

Wor. Did you say much concerning the astonishing change that had been wrought upon him?

Loveg. Being myself much concerned in that event, my remarks on that subject were rather general, than particular. All the Parish who had seen him in both states, had a much stronger exemplification of the power of divine grace on the human heart, than any words of mine could have illustrated. But my principal aim was, (as far as I could aim at any thing, through the overflowings of my affection,) to excite the people to cry earnestly to the Lord, for his help, who alone could appear for them as a congregation, under such a loss; and who had grace and power enough to create, and send forth a thousand like him, whenever he might chuse.

* Psalm xii.

Wor. I suppose you quoted much of what he said in his dying moments, as we generally receive all such expressions as being of the most solemn importance.

Bri. [To Mr. Lovegood.] As the daty at Brookfield prevented my being with him during the last days of his life, I should be thankful if you would tell me wha those expressions were, especially such of them as you

introduced into the funeral sermon. Wor. I hope you mentioned the interview we had with him, about three days before his death ; when we had our apprehensions, that his dissolution was near at hand.

Bri. O Sir! let me hear it.

Loveg. Why Sir, after uttering many delightfu things, though almost breathless, and ready to fain, away

into the arms of death, I cannot express with what rapture he uttered the following lines !

The goodly land I see,

With peace and plenty blest,
The land of sacred liberty and endless rest:

There milk and honey flow,

There oil and wine abound;
And trees of life for ever grow

With mercy crown'd.
There dwells the Lord our King,

The Lord our righteousness :
Triumphant o'er the world and sin,

The Prince of Peace.
On Sions sacred heights,

His kingdom still maintains;
And glorious with his saints in light

For ever reigns.

While he thus lay panting for breath, he paused for a while, and then apparently in a greater rapture still, be further added,

He by himseli hath sworn,

I on his oath depend ;
I shall on cagles wings upborne

To heav'n ascend;

« НазадПродовжити »