페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

auy disturbance to her; for she ontui hodie making her call and election sure ; and she

honour pardon of her maid servant for having someth given her an angry word.

I gave her several sweating antidotes, which had no kind operation, but rather scalded and inflamed her more, whereupon her dear head was distempered, which put her upon many incoherencies. I was much troubled thereat, and propounded to her several questions in divinity, as by whom, and upon what account, she expected salvation, and what assurances she had of the certainty thereof. Though in all other things she talked at random, yet, to these religious questions, she gave me as rational and welcome answers as I could desire; and, at those times, I bade her repeat after me certain prayers and ejaculations, which she always did with much devotion, which was no little comfort and admiration to me, that God should be so good and gracious to her.

A little before her dear soul departed, she desired me to pray with her again. I went to her, and asked her how she did ? Her answer was, that she was but looking when the good hour should come. Thereupon we went to prayers, and she made her responses from the common prayer book as perfectly as if she had been in perfect health, and an amen to every pathetic expression. When we had ended our prayers for the visitation of the sick, we made use of those out of the Whole Duty of Man; and when I heard her say nothing, I urged,-My dear, dost thou mind? She answered, “ Yes,” and it was the last word she spoke.

I question not, my dear hearts, that the reading of this account will cause many a salt tear to spring from your eyes; yet let this comfort you,—your dear mother is a saint in heaven.

I could have told you of many more of her excellent virtues; but I hope you will not in the least question my testimony, if, in a few words, I tell you that she was pious and upright in all her conversation.

Now, to that most blessed God, who bestowed upon her all these graces, be ascribed all honour, glory, and dominion, the just tribute of all created beings, for evermore. Amen.

Egham, August 31, 1666. WILLIAM MOMPESSON.

THE REV. WILLIAM MOMPESSON TO SIR
GEORGE SAVILLE.

Egham, Sept. 1, 1666. HONOURED AND DEAR SIR, This letter brings you the saddest tidings that ever my pen could write. The “ destroying angel” has been in my babitation :- my dearest wife was striken, and is gone to her everlasting rest, invested, as I trust, with a crown of glory, having made a most pious and happy end.

Indeed, had she loved herself as well as she loved me, she had fled, at my entreaty, with her sweet babes, from the pit of destruction ; but she was resolved to die a martyr to my interest. My drooping spirits are much refreshed with her joys, which, I assure myself, are unutterable.

This paper, sir, is to bid you an hearty farewell for ever, and to bring you my thanks for all your noble favours; and I hope you will believe a dying man, that I have as much love as honour for you ;-that I bend my feeble knees to the God of heaven, that you, my dear lady, her children, and their children, may be blessed with happiness, external, internal, and eternal ; and that the same blessings may fall upon Lady Sunderland and her family.

Dear sir, let your dying chaplain recommend this truth to you and yours,--that no happiness or solid comfort can be secured in this vale of tears, but from living a pious life. I pray you, dear sir, to retain this rule- Never to do that thing upon which you dare not first ask the blessing of God upon the success thereof.

Sir, I have made bold with your name in my will for an executor; and I hope you will not take it ill. Others are joined with you, that will take from you all the trouble. Your favourable aspect will, I know, be a great comfort to my distressed orphans. I am not desirous that they should be great, but good ; and it is my earnest request, that they may be brought up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Sir, I thank God that I am willing to shake hands in peace with all the world ; and I have comfortable assurances that he will accept me, for the sake of his Son ; and I find God more good than ever I imagined, and wish that his goodness were not so much abused and contemned.

I desire you would be pleased to make choice of an humble, pious man to succeed me in this parsonage. Could I see your face before I depart hence, I would inform you which way I think he may live comfortably among these people, which would be a satisfaction to me before I die.

Dear sir, I beg your prayers, and those of your family, that I may not be daunted or appalled by the powers of hell; that I may have dying graces, and be found in a dying posture ; and, with tears, I entreat, that when you are praying for fatherless and motherless infants, you would then remember my two pretty babes.

Sir, pardon the rude style of this paper, and if my head be discomposed, you cannot wonder at me; however, be pleased to believe that I am, dear sir, your most obliged, most affectionate, and grateful servant, WILLIAM MOMPESSON.

THE REV. WILLIAM MOMPESSON TO JOHN

BEILBY, ESQ.
DEAR SIR,

Egham, Nov. 20, 1666. I SUPPOSE this letter will seem no less than a miracle, proving that my habitation is inter vivos. -Being unwilling to affright you with a paper from my own hands, I have gotten a friend to transcribe these lines.

I know you are sensible of my lone condition, of my loss of the kindest wife in the world, whose life was truly inimitable, and her end most comfortable. She was in an excellent posture of preparation when death gave the summons, which filled me with assurances that she is now invested with a crown of righteousness,

By too sad experience I find the maxim verified, Bonum magis carendo quam fruendo cernitur. Had I been thankful as my condition did deserve of me, I might yet have had my dearest in my bosom. But now, farewell all happy days! and God grant that I may repent of my great ingratitude !

The condition of this place hath been so dreadful, that I persuade myself it exceeded all history and example. I may truly say, our town was become a Golgotha, the place of skulls; and, had there not been a small remnant of us left, we had been as Sodom, and like unto Gomorrah. My ears never heard such doleful lamentations,-my nose never smelt such noisome smells, -and my eyes never bebeld sucb ghastly spectacles. Here have been seventy-six families visited within my parish, out of which died two hundred and fiftynine persons.

Blessed be God, our fears are now over, none having died of the infection since the eleventh of October, nor is there any one under present suspicion, and all the pesthouses have been several weeks empty.

I intend, if it please God, to spend most of this week in seeing all woollen clothes fumed and purified, as well for the satisfaction as the safety of the country. Here hath been such burying of goods, as the like surely was never known; and, indeed, I think in this we have been too precise. For my own part, I have hardly left apparel to shelter my body from the cold, and have wasted more than need, for example's sake merely.

As to myself, I never was in better health than during the whole time of this dreadful visita

VOL. V.

« 이전계속 »