« הקודםהמשך »
tance from the light, and with the blackened side next the eye. I think a contrivance of this sort might familiarize the young astronomers to the appearance of the constellations. I have tried as well as I can to represent the different magnitudes of the stars. If you like the thing I will send you the Bull with Aldebaran-(you remember old Robertson and Aldebăran); but after all dear will do the thing much better for his bairns than poor blind grandpapa.
The Great Bear and the Little Bear ought to be together, for the great object is to teach how to know the Polar star. This card should be dedicated to sweet Tommy, who is so attentive to the heavens. I am an old fool, therefore I must acknowledge I was anxious to hear how Jane liked my letter-tell me whether she can read words of two or three syllables, for it is no easy matter to compose in monosyllables-perhaps you are not aware of this—try, and
will find it is a more troublesome business than you think-if dearest Jane can manage dissyllables, she shall soon have another epistle, more worth her learning by heart.
Tell her the adventures of my poor cat are at an end-he went out on one of his rambles, about a fortnight since, and has never returned. His fur, which was very beautiful, probably adorns some High School boy's cap by this time. Adieu, ever your affectionate Father,
Row, Helensburgh, August 25, 1822. MY BELOVED
Your most deeply affecting letter is this moment put out of my hands. I have wiped away a “natural tear” for the sufferings of my dearest son and daughter, and have most humbly and earnestly implored the blessing and support of the Almighty to his servants under this visitation. But gently indeed, my dearest - has the chastening hand been laid upon you. The departure of a regenerated spirit before it hath known the contamination of actual sin, is no subject of lamentation ; and we must in this world of vicissitudes, of “ chances and changes, set the one against the other, the removal of your infant to a state of irreversible and eternal happiness, against the pain which your own deprivation cannot but occasion. Your letter full of all the sentiments which become a Christian under such a trial, convinces me that you have done this, and that the assurance of your beloved infant's bliss, hath tempered, if not removed, the sense of your own suffering. You are then in the very state of mind in which my prayers, had
power, would place you—and I do not know that I can write any thing worth your reading on such a topic. But I do indeed, from the very bottom of my breast, bless and praise God for his goodness to you in your sorrow, and for the preponderating considerations which,
through his blessing and the instructions of His holy word, turn the balance, even in the hour of mourning, so much in your favour.;
The history of your beloved infant is very interesting to a Christian observer. His physical suferings and early death, are proofs of the doctrine, from which the natural man is so anxious to turn himself aside. The greater portion of his earthly life has been a state of disease and pain-sent by Him who “doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” So much for that original evil which comes into this world with every child of Adam. He became regenerate—I cannot forbear attributing much of the gentleness and patience with which he bore his disorder, to an influence higher and holier than mere natural temperament and disposition-and now he is with the “spirits of just men made perfect”— safe from the sin and sorrow of this world, and already wiser and more illuminated in the only knowledge that shall not “vanish away,” than the wisest of men in this state—and happier than the most ardent and excursive conceptions of the brightest imagination can reach in thought. You have seen death, my beloved —, you have seen it in your own sweet infant-God hath clothed “the great Teacher" in the form the most amiable in your eye, the least repellent, and marshalling the way to everlasting peace. We cannot, indeed, escape the humbling sense of the corruption which brought death into the
world ; but we are lifted from it to contemplate the blessings of our redemption-While we are instructed in the most gentle manner, not to set our affections on any earthly treasure, we are raised beyond this world to dwell on the assurance of eternal happiness in the Saviour, who 66 washed us from our sins in his own blood," You have, ere this time, committed the earthly remains of your dear child to the ground, “ earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes." Your dearest Cm, the partner of all your feelings, hath heard that sound which no description can convey, that tells us we have now seen the last of the coffin that encloses those dear remains. He will never forget that sound—but blessed be the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, the recollection of it will bid him “not sorrow as they who have no hope," but be satisfied that God hath chastened and corrected him for his good—and that the child whom «the Lord hath taken away," is added to the numbers without number who surround the throne of God with praise for ever,
I am but too sensible that I can say nothing which your own pious hearts and good understandings have not said to you much more efficiently than in my best days and powers I ever could have done. That I do sympathize with you in your feelings under this visitation, you will not need this paper to tell you ; that I pray, earnestly pray, for the blessing and support to you of the God of all consolation, you will be
lieve; and having thus endeavoured to satisfy my own heart and sentiments towards you, I will bid adieu to the subject, with my earnest and solemn supplication to the “Father of spirits,” that in all the trials of life, it may please him to grant you the same support, and inspire you with the same filial submission to His holy will, that have been vouchsafed you in this your first experience of parental sorrow. Believe me, with regard more than I can express, your affectionate Father,
Row, Helensburgh, September 28, 1822. MY MUCH BELOVED DAUGHTER,
Had you not sent me your last letter, which Mr Lucy forwarded, you would have deprived me of much. I have read your narrative with the deepest interest. I shall keep the letter for future and frequent perusal. Highly as I have always thought of you and your amiable husband, I esteem you both still more for the feeling and christian conduct which God enabled you to pursue under your sore affliction. I have heard persons say, that the loss of a child is little; you know I never thought so.
I remember my agony as I watched what to all human judgment appeared the last moments of my beloved Wilhelmina, when a mere infant. Your trial has been much greater-but you turn your thoughts