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AN ACCOUNT OF THE MOTHER'S ILLNESS
REV. ALEXANDER BEITH, D.D.,
STIRLING: JOHN MACFARLANE, MANAGER,
LONDON: S. W. PARTRIDGE & CO.
The domestic affliction described in the following pages, excited the sympathy of many, even strangers to the sufferers, who at the time heard of it. Circumstances connected with this season of trial; in which God was pleased to show the riches and power of his grace, have suggested the publication of the Narrative. Friends, whose judgment was worthy to be trusted, were of opinion that the knowledge of those circumstances ought not to be confined to the narrow circle in which they occurred. And a hope, that a short account of them may prove useful, through the divine blessing, has overcome the reluctance which must ever be felt to disclose to the public eye, either the privacy of the domestic hearth. or the secret feelings of the mind, on such an occasion.
Though it be seldom that such an accumula. tion of distress is inflicted on families, few are, at all times, exempted from sorrows similar in kind, however they may differ in degree. Such seasons have been kept in view in preparing the Narrative. It
fall into the hands of those who are in trouble as we were, and may prove to them like the voice which Bunyan's Pilgrim heard before him in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. It may speak encouragement and comfort to some such mourner, by testifying that he is not the only traveller in that dark region, and that no strange thing has happened to him in his affliction. Nay, it may produce a blessed hope that the cloud will pass; and a no less grateful assurance that, even whilst it continues, though dark and lowering to those who behold it from without, it is luminous, by the presence of the Lord, within.
In the sick-room of our dear children, whilst watching by them, I found several little books, which, in the days of health, pious friends had sent them-records of those who, in childhood