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writings, accounts, letters, papers ; inventoried the goods and other articles of the house, and put things into the best order I could, and made my will; that now growing in
years, I might have none of those secular things and concerns to distract me when it should please Almighty God to call me from this transitory life. With this I prepared some special meditations and devotions for the time of sickness. The Lord Jesus grant them to be salutary for my poor soul in that day, that I may obtain mercy and acceptance!—March 2. Ash Wednesday. I went to church ; our vicar preached on Proverbs, showing what care and vigilance was required for the keeping of the heart upright. The holy communion followed, on which I gave God thanks for his gracious dealing with me in my late sickness, and affording me this blessed opportunity of praising him in the congregation, and receiving the
of salvation with new and serious resolutions.—May 28. At the Rolls chapel preached the famous Dr. [Gilbert] Burnet (afterwards bishop of Salisbury] on 2 Peter, i. 10. describing excellently well what was meant by election; viz. not the effect of any irreversible decree, but so called because they embraced the Gospel readily, by which they became elect or precious to God. It would be very needless to make our calling and election sure, were they irreversible, and what the rigid presbyterians pretend.- Oct. 30. Being my birthday, and I now entering my great climacterical of sixty-three, after serious recollections of the years past, I gave Almighty God thanks for all his merciful preservations and forbearance, begged pardon for my sins and unworthiness, and his blessing and mercy on me the year entering.”
“ 1683. March 18. I went to hear Dr. Horneck preach at the Savoy Church on Phil. ii. 5. He was a German born, a most pathetic preacher, a person of a saint-like life, and hath written an excellent treatise of Consideration.* - March 20. Dr. Tenison preached at Whitehall on 1 Cor. vi. 12. I esteem him to be one of the most profitable preachers in the Church of England, being also of a most holy conversation, very learned and ingenious. The pains he takes, and the care of his parish, will I fear wear him out, which would be an inexpressible loss. [He lived, notwithstanding, to be archbishop of Canterbury.] — June 2. Was born my granddaughter at Sayes Court, and christened by the name of Martha Maria, our vicar officiating. I pray God bless her, and may she choose the better part.- Oct. 4. Surfeiting of [the luxury and rich and splendid furniture of the Duchess of Portsmouth's apartments in the king's palace,] I went contented home to my poor but quiet villa. What contentment can there be in the riches and splendour of this world, purchased with vice and dishonour !"
“ 1684. March 7. Dr. Meggot, Dean of Winchester, preached an incomparable sermon, on Heb. xii. 15, showing, and pathetically expressing, the care we ought to have lest we come short of the grace of God.”
Brief and few as these extracts are, they manifest on the part of the writer a strong feeling of dependence upon God, a conviction that spiritual grace is the gift of God, and a desire to enjoy larger supplies of it; they evince a persuasion of the duty and efficacy of prayer, both for ourselves and others; they show that he louked to the Lord's Supper as a means of spiritual comfort, and that he was anxious not to partake of it unworthily. As he advances in years, we find him making more active preparation for his change, and giving up a week for the examination of his soul, in which he acknowledges him
The Life of Dr. Horneck will appear in a future volume.
self a miserable sinner, and devotes himself thenceforward, during “ the rest of his poor remainder of life,” to the service of God, hoping that at the last he might have nothing else to do but to resign his soul into the hands of God.
Other passages might be quoted, and amongst them some in which he manifests great tenderness towards his suffering fellow-creatures, and speaks of days employed in visiting the poor, as “the best days he ever spent in his life;" but these are tokens for good, and prove that he was looking for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
THE DEATH OF HIS DAUGHTER MARY.
Only, since our souls will shrink
At the touch of natural grief,
Lend us, Lord, thy sure relief ;
Few greater afflictions can befall a pious christian than the death of those religious friends and relations who have been instrumental, in the hands of God, to his edification. When the burning and shining light which warmed his heart is extinct, he feels that the
circumstances which minister consolation are also productive of grief. The devotion and virtue which evinced a holy and saving faith, were useful to help and encourage him in the way to heaven, threw some rays of their brightness upon what was dark within him, and raised and supported what was light. Such a friend is embraced by the affections as a friend to the soul, and there are none whose places are more difficult to supply when they are gone.
But happily it is not a sorrow without hope; and as it is softened by the most blessed prospects, so the memory of the past in some sort occupies the place of the departed, and gives freshness to their sayings, their cautions, and sweet encouragements; the reflections which they delighted to entertain seem doubly welcome, the
warnings which they were wont to fear seem doubly dreadful; and the example of their walk in the way of righteousness is consecrated to the good of those who have yet to finish their course.
In the year 1685 Mr. Evelyn experienced in full measure all these sorrows and consolations. A most amiable and pious daughter was removed from his society upon earth. She had endeared herself to him by her most tender affection, and he looked upon her as the youthful support of his declining years; they took sweet counsel together, and walked in the house of God as friends. But God saw fit to take her early to himself; perhaps because her parents needed to be more weaned from this
Of eight children, four only were living at the begining of that year; and two of these were not permitted to survive till its conclusion. On the 7th of March, the fatal small-pox seized his beloved daughter Mary, a beautiful creature in mind as well as in form and features, highly accomplished, and of fine understanding, yet unaffectedly humble and pious, cheerful and affectionate. He
says, “ There was soon found no hope of her recovery. A very great affliction to me: but God's holy will be done !”
“ March 10.- She received the blessed sacrament; after which, disposing herself to suffer what God should determine to inflict, she bore the remainder of her sickness with extraordinary patience and piety, and more than ordinary resignation, and blessed frame of mind. She died the 14th, to our unspeakable sorrow and affliction, and not to ours only, but that of all who knew her, who were many of the best quality, greatest and most virtuous persons. The justness of her stature, person, comeliness of countenance, gracefulness of motion, un