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self a miserable sinner, and devotes himself thenceforward, during "the rest of his poor remainder of life," to the service of God, hoping that at the last he might have nothing else to do but to resign his soul into the hands of God.
Other passages might be quoted, and amongst them some in which he manifests great tenderness towards his suffering fellow-creatures, and speaks of days employed in visiting the poor, as "the best days he ever spent in his life;" but these are tokens for good, and prove that he
fwas looking for a city which hath foundations, whose builder
. and maker is God.
THE DEATH OF HI8 DAUGHTER MARY.
Only, since our souls will shrink
At the touch of natural grief,
Lend us, Lord, thy sure relief;
Few greater afflictions can befall a pious christian than the death of those religious friends and relations who have been instrumental, in the hands of God, to his edification. When the burning and shining light which warmed his heart is extinct, he feels that the very circumstances which minister consolation are also productive of grief. The devotion and virtue which evinced a holy and saving faith, were useful to help and encourage him in the way to heaven, threw some rays of their brightness upon what was dark within him, and raised and supported what was light. Such a friend is embraced by the affections as a friend to the soul, and there are none whose places are more difficult to supply when they are gone.
But happily it is not a sorrow without hope; and as it is softened by the most blessed prospects, so the memory of the past in some sort occupies the place of the departed, and gives freshness to their sayings, their cautions, and sweet encouragements; the reflections which they delighted to entertain seem doubly welcome, the warnings which they were wont to fear seem doubly dreadful; and the example of their walk in the way of righteousness is consecrated to the good of those who have yet to finish their course.
In the year 1685 Mr. Evelyn experienced in full measure all these sorrows and consolations. A most amiable and pious daughter was removed from his society upon earth. She had endeared herself to him by her most tender affection, and he looked upon her as the youthful support of his declining years; they took sweet counsel together, and walked in the house of God as friends. But God saw fit to take her early to himself; perhaps because her parents needed to be more weaned from this present world.
Of eight children, four only were living at the begining of that year; and two of these were not permitted to survive till its conclusion. On the 7th of March, the fatal small-pox seized his beloved daughter Mary, a beautiful creature in mind as well as in form and features, highly accomplished, and of fine understanding, yet unaffectedly humble and pious, cheerful and affectionate. He says, "There was soon found no hope of her recovery. A very great affliction to me: but God's holy will be done!"
"March 10 She received the blessed sacrament;
after which, disposing herself to suffer what God should determine to inflict, she bore the remainder of her sickness with extraordinary patience and piety, and more than ordinary resignation, and blessed frame of mind. She died the 14th, to our unspeakable sorrow and affliction, and not to ours only, but that of all who knew her, who were many of the best quality, greatest and most virtuous persons. The justness of her stature, person, comeliness of countenance, gracefulness of motion, unaffected though more than ordinary beautiful, were the least of her ornaments compared with those of her mind. Of early piety, singularly religious, spending a part of every day in private devotion, reading, and other virtuous .exercises; she had collected and written out many of the most useful and judicious periods of the books she read, in a kind of common-place book, as out of Dr. Hammond on the New Testament, and most of the best practical treatises. She had read and digested a considerable deal of history and of places. The French tongue was as familiar to her as English ; she understood Italian, and was able to render a laudable account of what she read and observed; to which assisted a most faithful memory and discernment; and she did make very prudent and discreet reflexions upon what she had observed of the conversations among which she had at any time been, which being continually of persons of the best quality, she thereby improved. She had an excellent voice, to which she played a thorough-bass on the harpsichord, in both which she arrived to that perfection, that of the scholars of those two famous masters, signors Pietro and Bartholomeo, she was esteemed the best; for the sweetness of her voice and management of it added such an agreeableness to her countenance, without any constraint or concern, that when she sung, it was as charming to the eye as to the ear; this I rather note, because it was a universal remark, and for which so many noble and judicious persons in music desired to hear her, the last being at lord Arundel's of Wardour. What shall I say, or rather not say, of the cheerfulness and agreeableness of her humour? condescending to the meanest servant in the family, or others, she still kept up respect, without the least pride. She would often read to them, examine, 'truct, and pray with them if they were sick, so as she was exceedingly beloved by every body. Piety was so prevalent an ingredient in her constitution, (as I may say,) that even amongst equals and superiors she no sooner became intimately acquainted, but she would endeavour to improve them, by insinuating something of religion, and that tended to bring them to a love of devotion. She had one or two confidants, with whom she used to pass whole days in fasting, reading, and prayers, especially before the monthly communion, and other solemn occasions. She abhorred flattery, and though she had abundance of wit, the raillery was so innocent and ingenious that it was most agreeable; she sometimes would see a play, but since the stage grew licentious, expressed herself weary of them, and thought the time spent at the theatre an unaccountable vanity. She never played at cards without extreme importunity, and for the company, but this was so very seldom, that I cannot number it among anything she could name a fault. No one could read prose or verse better, or with more judgment; and as she read, so she writ with that maturity of judgment and exactness of the periods, choice of expressions, and familiarity of style, that some letters of hers have astonished me and others to whom she has occasionally written. She had such a talent of rehearsing any comical part or poem, as, to them she might be decently free with, was more pleasing than heard in the theatre; she danced with the greatest grace I had ever seen, and so would her master say, who was Mons. Isaac; but she seldom shewed that perfection, save in the gracefulness of her carriage, which was with an air of spritely modesty not easily to be described. She was nothing affected, but natural and easy, as well in her deportment as in her discourse; which was always material, not trifling, and to which the extraor