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for my very soul had been overwhelmed within me. Indeed, some hard thoughts of the mercy of God were ready to arise; and the apprehension of his heavy displeasure, and the fear of my child's future state, added fuel to the fire.
said, wi a very remarkable determination of voice, “I have no more to say to you ;” and I think that from that time, although she lived at least ten days, she seldom looked upon me with pleasure, or cared to suffer me to come near her. But that I might feel all the bitterness of the affliction, Providence so ordered it, that I came in when her sharpest agonies were upon her, and those words, “O dear, 0 dear, what shall I do ?” rung in my ears for succeeding hours and days. But God delivered her,- and she, without any violent pang in the article of her dissolution, quietly and sweetly fell asleep, as I hope, in Jesus, about ten at night, I being then at Maidwell. When I came home my mind was under a dark cloud relating to her eternal state; but God was pleased graciously to remove it, and gave me comfortable hopes, after having felt the most heart-rending sorrow. My dear wife bore the affliction in the most glorious manner, and discovered more wisdom, and piety, and steadiness of temper in a few days, than I had ever in six years an opportunity of observing before. O my soul, God has blasted thy gourd; thy greatest earthly delight is gone: seek it in heaven, where I hope this dear babe is; where I am sure that my Saviour is; and where I trust, through grace, notwithstanding all this irregularity of temper and of heart, that I shall shortly be.
Sunday, October 3, 1736. FURTHER REFLECTIONS AFTRR THE
DEAR BETSEY. I have now been laying the delight of my eyes in the dust, and it is for ever hidden from them. My heart
FUNERAL OF MY
Upon the whole, my mind was in the most painful agitation; but it pleased God, that, in
l composing the sermon, my soul became quieted, and I was brought into a more silent and cordial submission to the Divine will.
was too full to weep much. We had a suitable sermon from these words : “Doest thou well to be angry ?” Jonah iv. 4; because of the gourd. I hope God knows that I am not angry; but sorrowful he surely allows me to be. I could have wished that more had been said concerning the hope we may have of our child; and it was a great disappointment to me that nothing of that kind should have been said by one that loved her so well as my brother Hunt did. Yet, I bless God, I have my hopes that she is lodged in the arms of Christ. And there was an occurrence that I took much notice of; I was most earnestly praying that God would be pleased to give me some further encouragement on this head, by letting some new light, or by directing me to some further thoughts upon the subject. Soon after, as I came into my wife's chamber, she told me that our maid Betty, who had indeed the affection of a parent for my dear girl, had just before assured her, that, on the Sabbath day evening, Betsey would be repeating to herself some things of what she had heard in my prayers and in my preachings, but did not care to talk of it to others; and my wife assured me that she solemnly recommended herself to God in the words that I had taught her a little before she died. Blessed God, hast thou not received her ? I trust that thou hast, and pardoned the infirmities of her poor, short, childish, afflicted life. I hope, in some measure out of love to me, as thy servant, thou hast done it for Christ's sake; and I would consider the very hope, as an engagement to thy future service. Lord, I love those who were kind to my child, and wept with me for her; shall I not much more love
At the table I discoursed on these words, Although my
house be not so with God.” 2 Samuel xxiii. 5. I observed, that domestic calamities may befall good men in their journey through life, and particularly in relation to their children ; but that they have a refuge in God's covenant; it is everlasting; it is sure ; it is well ordered-every provision is made according to our necessities; and shall be our salvation, as it is the object of our most affectionate regard.
One further circumstance I must record; and that is, that I here solemnly recollected that I had, in a former sacrament taken the сир
thee, who, I hope, art at this moment taking care of her, and opening her infant faculties for the duties and blessedness of heaven.
Lord, I would consider myself as a dying creature. My first-born is gone ;—my beloved child is laid in bed before me. I have often followed her to her bed in a literal sense; and shortly I shall follow her to that, where we shall lie down together, and our rest shall be together in the dust. . In a literal sense the grave is ready for me. My grave is made-I have looked into it—a dear part of myself is already there; and when I stood at the Lord's table I stood directly over it. It is some pleasure to me to think that my dust will be lodged near that of my dear lamb, how much more to hope that my soul will rest with hers, and rejoice in her forever! But, 0, let me not centre my thoughts even here; it is at rest with, and in God, that is my ultimate hope. Lord, may thy grace secure it to me! and in the mean time give me some holy acquiescence of soul in thee; and although my gourd be withered, yet shelter me under the shadow of thy wings.
October, 4, 1736.
these words, “Lord, I take this cup as a public and solemn token that I will refuse no other cup which thou shalt put into my hand.” I.mentioned this recollection, and charged it publicly on myself and my Christian friends. God has taken me at my word, but I do not retract it; I repeat it again with regard to every future cup.
I am just come from the coffin of my dear child, who seems to be sweetly asleep there, with a serene, composed, delightful countenance, once how animated with double life! There-lo! O my soul ! lo there! is thine idol laid still in death-the creature which stood next to God in thine heart; to whom it was opened with a fond and flattering delight. Methinks I would learn to be dead with her-dead to the world. Oh that I could be dead with her, not any further than that her dear memory may promote my living to God.*
I had a great deal of very edifying conversation last night and this morning with
my wife, whose wisdom does indeed make her face to shine under this affliction. She is supported and animated with a courage which seems not at all natural to her; talks with the utmost freedom, and has really said many of the most useful things that ever were said to me by any
* The following note was written in the margin of the manuscript by the late Rev. Thomas Stedman: “I think I have heard that the doctor wrote his funeral sermon for his daughter, or a part of it, upon her
person upon the earth, both as to consolation and admonition. Had the best things I have read on the subject been collected together, they could hardly have been better conceived or better expressed. This is to me very surprising, when I consider her usual reserve. I have all imaginable reason to believe that God will make this affliction a great blessing to her, and I hope it may prove so to me. There was a fond delight and complacence which I took in Betsey beyond any thing living. Although she had not a tenth part of that rational, manly love, which I pay to her mamma, and many surviving friends; yet it leaves a peculiar pain upon my heart, and it is almost as if my very gall were poured out upon the earth. Yet much sweetness mingles itself with this bitter potion, chiefly in the view and hope of my speedy removal to the eternal world. May it not be the beauty of this providence, that instead of her living many years upon the earth, God may have taken away my child that I might be fitted for and reconciled to my own dissolution, perhaps nearly approaching? I verily believe that I shall meet her there, and enjoy much more of her in heaven than I should have done had she survived me on earth. Lord, thy will be done; may my life be used for the service while continued, and then put thou a period to it whenever thou pleasest.