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pride, vanity, and lust, look down into the grave and see yourself the food of worms and serpents; when you are perplexed with doubt, fear, and anxiety, look up to heaven and see Jesus standing at the right hand of God. That this same Jesus, who is ever ready to succour them that are tempted, having been tempted himself with all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, that he may preserve you unhurt and unspotted in the midst of this evil and adulterous generation, and present you faultless, in the robes of his perfect righteousness, before the presence of his Father with exceeding joy, is a prayer offered up in the same earnestness of supplication, with which he prays for his own soul, by, my dearest Charles,
Your affectionate brother in the faith of Christ,
To Mr. Charles Poynz,
EVANDER AND THEODOSIA.
THE subsequent relation is taken from "Bean's Advice to a new married couple;" a work, which has obtained great celebrity in Great Britain, and which deserves a place in the library of every christian family. The book is, indeed, but little known on this side of the water; but the extract which we are about to make, will give no unfavourable impression of its merits, both as it regards the sentiments it contains, and the manner in which those sentiments are delivered. We cannot too earnestly recommend the present performance to the perusal of every one who wishes to form a just estimate of the duties belonging to the married state.
“EVANDER and THEODOSIA were both the offspring of pious parents. Their union was a natural one: it had all the qualities that accompany an attachment founded not merely on similarity of religious views. It was such an affection as they could neither suppress, nor direct to another object. But though their attachment was not produced by their religion, it was nourished by it. Whatever they saw in each other's person or temper to unite their hearts, was heightened by the satisfaction they had in each other's piety, and the consequent prospects of spending a harmonious life, and a blessed eternity together.
"Their hands were joined; and the delicate reserves that religion taught them hitherto to observe in each other's company
now being unnecessary, they entered on a state blessed with all the enjoyments that an unshackled affection could yield to minds seasoned with the benevolence and purity of christianity. Their equal regard to God diminished not one enjoyment in which a fond couple could share, but was, on the contrary, an additional source of pleasure. They "delighted in God," and they delighted in the society of each other.
"Their unanimity, their visible, though unstudied interchanges of kindness, their peace, and unaffected abstinence from whatever was immoral, had an assimilating influence on their family; and served to give considerable effect to that religious order they had established. The invisible world being in a great measure habitually before them, they both in their respective departments attended to those who were under them (whether children or servants) as having the charge of immortals.
"Such was their behaviour towards their children, that it seemed as if the training them for an eternal state was, in their views, the principal purpose for which divine Providence gave them an offspring; and to this business they applied themselves with pleasure. They began early with the infusion of religious ideas into the minds of their children, wisely limiting themselves, at first, to those few great principles which are the foundation of all religion. On these points, simple as they are, they did not expect to produce conviction in the infant mind. Yet they conceived, that one way to prevent the introduction of evil, was to pre-occupy the mind with that which is good. And it never came once into their thoughts, that they should be blamed for enforcing a truth on children, because the disciples were too young to see that truth in as clear a light as their instructors did. They had none of the quirks and refinements of sceptics in their method of education. They went to work in a straight forward way: what they had learned they taught: they trusted they knew "the way of salvation," and they endeavoured to lead their children in the same path.
"Impressed with the infinite importance of this part of a parent's duty, they took pains in it. To conduct a business of such consequence, in a desultory way, was, in their opinion, but a smaller degree of that criminality which neglects it entirely. It therefore did not content them, to inculcate religious ideas; they aimed, in dependence on God, to induce moral habits. The genuine christian as distinguished, not more from "the children of this world," than from those equivocal religionists, who seem to belong neither to the church nor to the world, was the model they
kept in their eye. To see this simple character in their children, to see them avowedly on the Lord's side,' yet free from all affectation; evidently desirous of living a useful life, yet neither vain nor obtrusive; was a hope they expected not to realize, without great pains taken on their part. They counted the cost and determined to pay it; hoping thereby to obtain that divine blessing on their endeavours, for which they constantly prayed; as fearing, from what they knew of the depravity of human nature, that, without it, their labours would fail of success.
"But this pious care was not confined to their children; it extended to every member of their family." "They had the reward of seeing the most blessed effects follow their ruling over their house in the fear of God. It was subject, like other houses, to mortality; but this event was softened by the manner in which it was met, both by those who departed and those who were called to give them up: the former being enabled to die rejoicing in the truths of that gospel which had been inculcated in the family; and the latter, to find a relief under the painful stroke that separated one friend from the other, in the well-grounded hope of meeting again in a better world.
"Among other events of this sort that interrupted the enjoyments of the family, was the death of Theodosia. I will not detail to you every particular of her last illness, but just present you with the concluding circumstances.
"Her disease was of the lingering kind; a circumstance of peculiar advantage, for manifesting the influence of religion in death. Evander approached her bed-side one morning as usual, to inquire how she had passed the night; to whom she replied in the following terms: Thank you, dear Evander. I should be glad for your sake to be able to say, I had a better night than usual. I know how such a report would gladden your heart, but I am not able to give such an account of myself. Indeed, I find myself going apace, and I had determined before I had the pleasure of seeing you this morning, to endeavour, before my illness renders me any weaker, to gratify a wish I have almost through life indulged. I have never felt much solicitude about the kind of death with which I might finish my course. One thing only I have been desirous of; it was, that I might not leave the world without being able to make such a declaration of the mercies of God, as might encourage those who are walking in his ways, and admonish those who are not.' She was going to tell her husband what was the wish she desired to gratify, but was interrupted by seeing the tide of grief suddenly rising in his breast. They graspVOL. II. Gg
ed each other's hand, and some minutes were spent by them both in the silent indulgence of tears.
"When this effusion had in some measure subsided, she began: We have thought of this before; and I trust we shall both be sustained in this last conflict. To you, indeed, the hardest part of the trial is allotted. You love me; and therefore unworthy as I am of such a regard, you will feel a loss. I have, indeed, something here, for which I could think it worth while to live. It is you. It is my children. But there is One above, for whom I can willingly leave you all, dear as you are to me. I hope to be with him. Unworthy as I am of the least of his mercies, I trust I may warrantably rejoice in him, as the God of my salvation. I have endeavoured to know him. He has not suffered me to live in a state of indifference towards him. Grace has taught me what I am, and what I want. It has taught me to look for present peace and everlasting happiness, in making the mediation of a crucified Saviour the ground of my trust, and his example the pattern of my conduct; and that grace encourages me to hope for the forgiveness of my sins through his blood. In this hope of salvation through him, and the sense I have of my infinite obligations to the God of all grace, I rejoice in the prospect before me.
"I have a confidence in you, that sets me at ease with respect to the care necessary to be taken of my dear children; but above all, I am enabled to leave them with God. Thus have I little to lose, in comparison of what I have to gain, in leaving this world; but you, my dear Evander, have yet to maintain the christian conflict. Be, however, of good cheer. God is all-sufficient.
"You have often encouraged me in my religious course, permit me to make my last recompence to you in kind. God, I know, will bless you. He will keep you amidst the snares of life, direct you in all the labours and difficulties of the family, and support you in the last hour as he does me. Then shall we meet again. I do rejoice in this expectation.
"I thank you for all your tenderness, care, and kindness; for all your admonitions, reproofs, and counsels; for all the candour with which you have interpreted my failings. I am thankful for the example you have been enabled to set me, and for the care you have taken of my soul. You have watched over me in this respect, and I trust I shall have reason, as a creature designed for a future state, ever to bless God for bringing us together.' She meant to say more, but her affections weakened the power of utterance; and she withal saw it was too much at
present for Evander. He would have replied, but the occasion allowed him no command of himself. He would have prayed, and fell on his knees by her bed-side; but stopping in the middle of the first sentence, he wept and retired.
"Reflection and prayer in his closet, restored to him the power of supporting another interview with Theodosia. He rejoiced with her in the prospects of everlasting felicity. He thanked her for having so well filled up her station in life; and kneeling down, he blessed the Father of mercies, for having vouchsafed to them that knowledge of himself, the influence of which had hitherto sweetened their society, and now relieved them both under the pain of separation.
"When he had risen from his knees, Theodosia expressed a desire that all the family might be admitted into her chamber, when Paternus, their parish minister, should make his visit. 'For,' said she, our family worship has been one of my greatest enjoyments. I should like to join once more with all my household in this act; and if I leave it to another day it may not be practicable.' Not long after Paternus entered the room; to whom, after the customary inquiries were answered, the proposal of Theodosia was mentioned. Paternus was pleased with it.
"In a little time all were ready. Every domestic was admitted into the chamber. The servants were arranged at some distance from the bed, but in sight of Theodosia, who was raised by pillows, supported by two of her children. Paternus began by reading a portion of the fourteenth chapter of St. John's gospel, to which he added a few reflections, calculated to infuse into the minds of this little congregation a desire to die the death of the righteous.' They were preparing to conclude with a prayer, when they were desired, by Theodosia, still to keep their seats. 'Paternus,' said she, addressing herself to the minister, will you permit me to interrupt you for a few moments, while I declare, in the hearing of my family, my faith in that Redeemer whom you have preached unto us?' She was desired by Paternus to proceed.
"The testimony of a dying woman," continued she, "ought to have some weight with those who hear it. I here then declare, that nothing supports me in the prospe f of an approaching eternity but faith in a crucified Saviour. On him alone I depend for salvation. On the merits of my Redeemer, I ground all my hope of future happiness. And this I declare, in presence of my husband, children, and servants, that they may remember