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own prescription. They likewise give me salt of hartshorn, which I take with no great confidence, but am satisfied that what can be done is done for me.
O God! give me comfort and confidence in Thee: forgive my sins; and if it be thy good pleasure, relieve my diseases for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
I am almost ashamed of this querulous letter, but now it is written let it go.
I am, &c.
Dr. Tillotson to a friend.
I AM sorry to understand by Mr. T's letter to my son, that your distemper grows upon you, and that you seem to decline so fast. I am very sensible how much easier it is to give advice against trouble, in the case of another, than to take it in our own. It hath pleased God to exercise me of late with a very sore trial, in the loss of my dear and only child; in which I do perfectly submit to his good pleasure, firmly believing that he alway does what is best; and yet, though reason be satistied, our passion is not so soon appeased ; and when nature las received a wound, time must be allowed for the healing of it. . Since that, God has thought fit to give me a nearer summons, and ag closer warning of my mortality, in the danger of an apoplexy, which yet, I thank God for it, bas occasioned no very melancholy reflections; but this, perhaps, is more owing to natural temper than philosophy and wise consideration. Your case, I know, is very different, who are of a tem-. per naturally melancholy, and under a distemper:
apt to increase it, for both which great allowances are to be made.
And yet, methinks, both reason and religion do offer to us, considerations of that solidity and strength, as may very well support our spirits, under all the frailties and infirmities of the flesh; such as these, that God is perfect love and goodness; that we are not only his creatures, but his children, and as dear to him as to ourselves : that he does not afflict willingly, or grieve, the children of men; and that all evils and afflictions which befał us, are intended for the cure and prevention of greater evils of sin, and punishment; and therefore we ought not only to submit to them with patience, as being deserved by us, but to receive them with thankfulness, as being designed by him to do us that gond, and to bring us to that sense of him and ourselves, wllich perhaps nothing else would have done; that the sufferings of this present life are bat short and slight; compared withi that extreme and endless misery, which we have deserved.; and with that exceeding and eternal weight of glory, which we hope for in the other world; that if we be careful to make the best preparation we can for death and eternity, whatever brings us nearer to our end, brings us nearer to oui happiness ; and how rugged'soever the way be, the comfort is, that it leads to our Father's house, where we shall want nothing that tre can wish. When we labour'under a dangerous distemper that threatens our life, what'would we not be content to bear, in order to a perfect recovery, 'could we be assured of it? And should we not be willing to endure much more, in order to happiness, and that eternal life which God, that cannot lie, hath promised? Nature, I know, is fond of life, and apt to be still lingering after a longer continuance here ; ånd yet
what use to make of this time of your visitation ; )
a long life, with the usual burthens and infirmities of it, is seldom desirable; it is but the saine thing over again, or worse, so many more days or nights, summers and winters; a repetition of the same pleasures, but with less pleasure and relish every day; a return of the same, or greater, pains and trouble, but with less patience and strength to bear them.
These, and the like considerations, I use to entertain myself withal, and not only with contentment, but comfort, though with great inequality of temper, at several times, and with much mixture of human frailty, which will always stick to us while we are in this world. However, by these kind of thoughts, death becomes more familiar to us, and we shall be able by degrees to bring our. minds close up to it, without startling at it. The greatest tenderness I find in myself is with regard to some near relations, especially the dear and constant companion of my life, which, I must confess, doth very sensibly touch me, but when I consider, and so I hope will they also, that this separation will be for a little while, and that though I shall leave them in a bad world, yet under the care and protection of a good God, who can be more and better to them than all other relations, and will · certainly be so to them that love him, and hope in
I shall not need to advise you what to do, and have reason to believe, that you have been careful in the time of your health, to prepare for this evil đay, and have been conversant in those books which give the best directions to this purpose, and have not, as so many do, put off the great work of
your hife to the end of it; and then you have nothing now to do, but, as well as you can, under your present weakness and pains, to renew your repentance, for
all the errors and miscarriages of your life, and earnestly to beg God's pardon and forgiveness of thein, for his sake who is the propitiation of our sins; to comfort yourself in the goodness and pro: mises of God, and, the hopes of that happiness you are ready to enter into ; and, in the mean time, to exercise faith and patience for a little while, and be of good courage, since you see land ; the storm you are in will be quickly, over, and then it will be as if it never had been, or rather the remembrance of it will be a pleasure.
I do not use to write such long letters ; but I do heartily compassionate your case, and should be glad if I could suggest any thing that might help to mitigate your trouble, and make that sharp and tough way, through which you are to pass into a better world, a little more smooth and easy. I pray to God to fit us both for that great change, which we must once undergo ; and, if we be but in any good measure fit for it, sooner or later makes no great difference. I commend you to the Father of Mercies, and God of Consolation, beseeching bim to increase your faith and patience, and to stand by you in your last and great conflict; and that, when you walķ through the valley of the shadow of death, you may fear no evil; and when your heart fails, and your strength fuils, you may find him the strength of your heart, and your portion for ever. Farewel, my good friend; and while we are here, let us pray for one another, that we may have a joyful meeting in another world. ,,
I rest, Sir, V. Your truly affectionate Friend and Servant.
mercy, through all our variations of existence, and
Dr. Johnson to Mrs. Thrale, on the Death of her:
Husband. DEAREST MADAM, OF your injunctions, to pray for you and write to you, I hope to leave neither unobserved; and I hope to find you willing, in a short time, to alleviate your trouble, by some other exercise of the mind. I am not without my part of the calamity. No death, since that of my wife, has ever oppressed me like this. But let us remember, that we we in the hands of Him, who knows when to give, when to take away ; wko will look upon us with who invites us to call on him in the day of trouble. Call upon him in this great revolution of life, and call with confidence. You will then find comfort for the past, and support for the future. He that has given you happiness in marriage, to a degree of whichy without personal knowledge, I should have thought the description - fabulous, can give you another mode of happiness as a mother; and at last, the happiness of losing all temporal cates in the thoughts of an eternity in heaven. -- I do not exhort you to reason yourself into trant quillity. We must first pravy, and then labour. first implore the blessing of God, and those means which he puts into our hands. Cultivated ground has few weeds; al mind occupied by lawful business, has little room for useless regret..
We read the will to day; but I will not fill my first letter with any other account than that, with all my zeal for your advantage, I am satisfied ; and that the other executors, more used to consider property than I, commended it for wisdom and equity. Yet why should I not tell you that