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man triumphantly; “nor, William, hast thou an unbeliever's heart. Say that thou believest in what thou 95 hast now read, and thy father will die happy!”, “I do believe; and as thou forgivest me, so may I be forgiven by my Father who is in heaven.” The Elder seemed like a man suddenly inspired with a new life. His faded eyes kindled—his pale cheeks glówed — his palsied 100 hands seemed to wax stróng—and his voice was clear as that of manhood in its prime. (e) Intô thy hands, O G5d! I commit my spirit;” and so saying, he gently sunk back on his pillow; and I thought I heard a sigh. — There was then a long, deep silence, and 105 the father, the mother, and the child, rose from their knees. The eyes of us all were turned towards the white, placid face of the figure now stretched in everlasting rest; and without lamentations, save the silent lamentations of the resigned soul, we stood around the 110 DEATH-BED of THE ELDER.
It is saying much for the benevolence of God, to say, that a single world, or a single system, is not enough for it—that it must have the spread of a mightier region, on which it may pour forth a tide of exuberancy through5 out all its provinces—that, as far as our vision can carry us, it has strewed 'immensity with the floating receptacles of life, and has stretched over each of them the garniture of such a sky, as mantles our own habitation— and that, even from distances which are far beyond the 10 reach of human eye, the songs of gratitude and praise may now be arising to the one God, who sits surrounded by the regards of his one great and universal family. Now it is saying much for the benevolence of God, to say, that it sends forth these wide and distant emana15 tions over the surface of a territory so ample—that the world we inhabit, lying imbedded as it does, amidst so much surrounding greatness, shrinks into a point that to the universal eye might appear to be almost imperceptible. But does it not add to the power and to the 20 perfection of this universal eye, that at the very momen
it is taking a comprehensive survey of the vast, it can fasten a steady and undistracted attention on each minute and separate portion of it; that at the very moment it is looking at all worlds, it can look most pointedly and most intelligently to each of them; that at the very moment it sweeps the field of immensity, it can settle all the earnestness of its regards upon every distinct hand-breadth of that field; that at the very mo– ment at which it embraces the totality of existence, it can send a most thorough and penetrating inspection into each of its details, and into every one of its endless diversities? You cannot fail to perceive how much this adds to the power of the all-seeing eye. Tell me, then, if it do not add as much perfection to the benevolence of God, that while it is expatiating over the vast field of created things, there is not one portion of the field overlooked by it; that while it scatters blessings over the whole of an infinite range, it causes them to descend in a shower of plenty on every separate habitation; that while his arm is underneath and round about all worlds, he enters within the precincts of every one of them, and gives a care and a tenderness to each individual of their teeming population. Oh! does not the God, who is said to be love, shed over this attribute of his, its finest illustration! when, while he sits in the highest heaven, and pours out his fulness on the whole subordinate domain of nature and of Providence, he bows a pitying regard on the very humblest of his children, and sends his reviving spirit into every heart, and cheers by his presence every home, and provides for the wants of every family, and watches every sick-bed, and listens to the complaints of every sufferer; and while, by his wondrous mind, the weight of universal government is borne, oh! is it not more wondrous and more excellent still, that he feels for every sorrow, and has an ear open to every prayer!
Without the slightest warning, without the opportunity of a moment’s immediate preparation, in the midst of
the deepest tranquillity, at midnight a voice was heard in the palace, not of singing men, and singing women, not of revelry and mirth, but the cry, “Behold the bridegroom cometho’ The mother in the bloom of youth, spared just long enough to hear the tidings of her infant’s death, almost immediately, as if summoned by his spirit, follows him into eternity. “It is a night Inuch to be remembered.” Who foretold this event, who conjectured it, who detected at a distance the faintest presage of its approach, which, when it arrived, mocked the efforts of human skill, as much by their incapacity to prevent, as their inability to foresee it! Un
5 moved by the tears of conjugal affection, unawed by
the presence of grandeur, and the prerogatives of power, inexorable death hastened to execute his stern commission, leaving nothing to royalty itself, but to retire and weep. Who can fail to discern on this awful occasion, the hand of Him who “bringeth the princes to nothing, who maketh the judges of the earth as vanity;” who says “they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be sown; yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth;” and he “shall blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.” But is it now any subject of regret, think you, to this amiable Princess so suddenly removed, “that her sun went down while it was yet day,” or that, prematurely snatched from prospects the most brilliant and enchanting, she was compelled to close her eyes so soon on a world, of whose grandeur she formed so conspicuous a part? No! in the full fruition of eternal joys, for which we humbly hope Religion prepared her, she is so far from looking back with lingering regret on what she has quitted, that she is surprised it had the power of affecting her so much;—that she took so deep an interest in the scenes of this shadowy state of being, while so near to an “eternal weight of glory;” and, as far as memory may be supposed to contribute to her happiness, by associating the present with the past, it is not the recollection of her illustrious birth, and elevated prospects, but that she visited the abodes of the poor, and learned to weep with those that weep; that surrounded with the fascinations of pleasure, she was not inebriated
by its charms; that she resisted the strongest temptations to pride, preserved her ears open to truth, was impatient of the voice of flattery: in a word, that she sought and cherished the inspirations of piety, and 50 walked humbly with her God. The nation has certainly not been wanting in the proper expression of its poignant regret, at the sudden removal of this most lamented Princess, nor of their sympathy with the royal family, deprived by this visita55 tion of its brightest ornament. Sorrow is painted in - every countenance, the pursuits of business and of plea
sure have been suspended, and the kingdom is covered
with the signals of distress. But what, my friends, (if
it were lawful to indulge such a thought,) what would
60 be the funeral obsequies of a lost soul? Where shall we find tears fit to be wept at such a spectacle, or, could we realize the calamity in all its extent, what tokens of commiseration and concern would be deemed equal to the occasion? Would it suffice for the sun to veil his
65 light, and the moon her brightness; to cover the ocean with mourning, and the heavens with sackcloth; or, were the whole fabric of nature to become animated and vocal, would it be possible for her to utter a groan too deep, or a cry too piercing, to express the magnitude
70 and extent of such a catastropher
Remarkable Preservation from Death at Sea.
You have often asked me to describe to you on paper an event in my life, which at the distance of thirty years, I cannot look back to without horror. No words can give an adequate image of the miseries I suffered 5 during that fearful night; but I shall try to give you something like a faint shadow of them, that from it your soul may conceive what I must have suffered. I was, you know, on my voyage back to my native country, after an absence of five years spent in uninter10, mitting toil, in a foreign land, to which I had been driven by a singular fatality. Our voyage had been most cheerful and prosperous, and, on Christmas day, we were within fifty leagues of port. Passengers and crew
were all in the highest spirits, and the ship was alive with mirth and jollity. About eight o'clock in the evening, I went on deck. The ship was sailing upon a wind, at the rate of seven knots an hour, and there was a wild grandeur in the night. A strong snow-storm blew, but steadily and without danger; and, now and then, when the struggling moonlight overcame the sleety and misty darkness, we saw, for some distance round us, the agitated sea all tumbling with foam. There were no shoals to fear, and the ship kept boldly on her course, close reefed, and mistress of the storm. I leant over the gunwale, admiring the water rushing past like a foaming cataract, when, by some unaccountable accident, I lost my balance, and in an instant, fell overboard into the sea. I remember a convulsive shuddering all over my body, and a hurried leaping of my heart, as I felt myself about to lose hold of the vessel, and, afterwards a sensation of the most icy chilness, from immersion into the waves, but nothing resembling a fall or precipitation. When below the water, I think that a momentary belief rushed across my mind, that the ship had suddenly sunk, and that I was but one of a perishing crew. I imagined that I felt a hand with long fingers clutching at my legs, and made violent efforts to escape, dragging after me, as I thought, the body of some drowning wretch. On rising to the surface, I recollected in a moment what had befallen me, and uttered a cry of horror, which is in my ears to this day, and often makes me shudder, as if it were the mad shriek of another person in extremity of perilous agony. Often have I dreamed over again that dire moment, and the cry I utter in my sleep is said to be something more horrible than a human voice. No ship was to be seen. She was gone forever. The little happy world to which, a moment before, I had belonged, had swept by, and I felt that God had flung me at once from the heart of joy, delight, and happiness, into the uttermost abyss of mortal misery and despair. Yes! I felt that the Almighty God had done this, -that there was an act, a fearful act of Providence, and miserable worm that I was, I thought that the act was cruel, and a sort of wild, indefinite, objectless rage and wrath assailed me, and took for awhile the place of that first shrieking ter