try was in the best sense of the judge of the supreme court; in
term noble, we feel it to be our which high and responsible office
duty to enter into a minute, though he continued, with much reputa-
brief, detail of the same. The tion and universal esteem, until
first of the family, the parent his death, in December, 1775.
stock from whom all the Living- From her father's and her hus-
stones in this country descended, band's standing in society, Mrs.
was Robert, the son of the cele- Livingston moved in the highest
brated John Livingstone, a minis-circles of the polite, the great and
ter of the Church of Scotland, gay world, which she graced by
whose name is still precious in her personal endowments and ac-
the Churches, and peculiarly re-quired accomplishments. Pos-
membered for the memorable sessing a high relish for the en-
sermon which he preached at the joyments which this world af-
Kirk of Shots, in Scotland, in the forded her, she partook of them
year 1630, when above 500 souls with great satisfaction, until she
were converted unto God. This was made the subject of redeem-
truly great and good man, under ing love, and the recipient of
the shameless and profligate per- heavenly blessings.
secution of Charles II. was ba- In the year 1764 the Rev. Dr.
nished from Great Britain, and A. Laidlie came to minister in the
went over to Rotterdam, in Hol- Reformed Dutch Church in the
land, where he died. After his city of New-York. His preach-
death, his son, just mentioned, ing from the first was highly ho-
emigrated to this state, in what noured and blessed to many, and
year, however, we are not able to among the rest to Mrs. Living-
state. He had here three sons.ston. What were her earliest
To Philip, the eldest, he be-exercises of mind; in what parti-
queathed what is called the Upper cular manner her attention was
Manor of Livingston. To Robert, first awakened to her own state;
his second son, the Lower Manor. at what time she was made a
Gilbert, his third son, the grand-willing subject of the Prince of
father of the Rev. Dr. Livingston, Peace; or when she made a pub-
was a lawyer, and had no part of lic profession of Christ in the or-
the Manor. Robert, the second dinance of the Lord's Supper,
son, had only one child, the be- cannot now be ascertained. In her
fore-mentioned Robert R. Living- diary she does not appear to have
ston, the husband of Col. Beek-been so anxious to note the date
man's only child. By this mar- of these events, as to describe the
riage of a sole heir and heiress, state of her mind after she had
great wealth, respectability, and entered on the Christian course.
political influence were concen-
trated in one family.

From her conversion unto God
she walked in newness of life;

Miss Beekman's husband was for, in the words of a dear friend, polite and accomplished in his" she now saw that she had a manners, fond of study, and al-new Master to serve, new friends though he never professed the with whom to associate, and new law, he was known to be so deep-duties to perform. In these purly versed in it, and of such strict suits, her pleasure increased in integrity, that he was made a proportion to her attainments."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

She soon became conspicuous and mote its interest, and assisted
exemplary for her mildness-her more congregations than one in
remarkable command of temper, supporting the ministry of recon-
and an uniform uninterrupted ciliation.
walk, as one who continually real- The general character of her
ized the presence and the majesty exercises of mind, the reader will
of God. Her humility was espe- find in the accompanying extracts
cially prominent, and many poor from her Diary, to be in a style
and pious women were noticed and degree much above the usual
by her, and treated as her friends standard of Christians. But it is
and equals. She loved the com- proper to state, from the inform-
pany and conversation of the ation of one who knew her well,
Lord's people; and though the that "she was particularly atten-
rank of her family rendered it tive to cases of conscience, and
necessary for her sometimes to was desirous to converse upon
appear among persons of a dif- subjects relative to the expe-
ferent description, they soon per-rience and trials of the Lord's
ceived she was not one of them. people. One peculiar trait of
Such, however, was the character her devotional frame, was a de-
of her mind and the dignity of her sire to abound in adoration. This
manners, that they looked up to she has mentioned, with a wish,
her with respect and veneration, that in public and family prayer,
and rendered homage to the re- the expressions of solemn adora-
ligion which she professed. Her tion might be more pointed and
most pleasant hours, however, frequent." We only add, that
were passed with those who, with she lived comfortably by faith-
her, loved the Redeemer. had peace and joy in believing,
Grace taught her unbounded and walked humbly with her
benevolence, and she cheerfully God.
applied much of her store of On the first day of July, 1800,
wealth in prudent and extensive in the 77th year of her age, her
charities. Many poor widows long and exemplary life was end-
were assisted and some entirely ed, without pain or previous
supported by her kind attention warning. She rose in her usual
and large assistance.
health and spirits, walked some-
She understood the doctrines of time in her garden; but before
grace, which she believed with nine at night was called to the
the heart, and ably defended them enjoyment of that rest which re-
against the opposition and ob-maineth for the people of God.
jections of many by whom she The nature of her complaint pre-
was surrounded. Strong in the vented her from saying any thing
faith, she rested on the imputed -nor was it necessary. Her
righteousness of her blessed Je-life, as a daughter, wife, and mo-
sus, as the only basis of her justi-ther, under the direction of the
fication, and was never ashamed Spirit of God, since she had open-
of Christ, his people, or his avowed Christ to be her all,
Cordially attached to the Re- was enough.
formed Dutch Church, of which Her Diary begins with May 19,
she lived and died a worthy mem- in the year 1766, two years after
ber, she exerted herself to pro- Dr. Laidlie's arrival in New-York,


those had to whom the Lord manifested himself. Many characters by which the hearers might know if they were God's people-and advice given them in the application. Happy, my soul, wilt "May 19, 1766. Awoke this morning thou be if included in the blessed numwith scattered thoughts; though, I bless ber. Gracious Lord, manifest thyself to God, I was, some time after, enabled to my soul; remove every obstacle; show lift up my heart to the Lord, and was thy power in calling me home to thee; assisted. O that it would please God subdue in me more and more the power to make me devote my first thoughts to of sin. O for the blessed privilege of Lord Jesus, him. My morning prayer was sweet. adoption, sanctification. Went to Church; heard an excellent show forth the riches of free grace in discourse on John xiv. 26. Some marks the redemption of one so altogether unlaid down for self-examination; which, worthy. To thee do I give up my whole to the praise of free grace, I could say soul, heart, and faculties. Keep me by I had experienced, and was very com- thy almighty power. Amen. And as fortable to my soul. The prayer was thou, in thy providence, callest me away delightful. O my God! I bless thy from this place, O be thou ever with holy name for thy amazing love to me, me; feed my soul from thine own hand; the most unworthy of thy creatures. let not my heart be confined to outward When I returned home I sought the ordinances, but teach me to wait, and Lord in prayer, in which I found my cast myself or thee with all my burheart drawn out after greater degrees of dens; and do thou, my blessed Jesus, holiness. O my adored Jesus, perfect wash away all my sins, and clothe me thine own work, and may I be taught with salvation. of the Holy Spirit. Give thy blessing to thy word this afternoon and evening. O to be made more and more thine, my Jesus, my Lord, my life, my all. Blessed be thy name, that thou condescendest to be my Advocate with the Father, and that thy precious blood is my passport, and will through grace admit me to thy blissful presence."

and plainly shows that at that time she was no novice in the divine life.

We select the following additional passages from her Diary, to enable the reader to judge more fully of the nature of her religion.

"Lord's day, June. I am still in New-York, contrary to my expectations, and have the privilege of hearing the word preached again. Begged the Lord in secret to bless his gospel to me, for I have not felt that love, that energy, I have sometimes experienced. And though this was a most powerful sermou, I have brought but little home. Dear Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years in the midst of the years make known.

"March 1st to the 18th. O what abundant cause for praise and thanks to the blessed Author of all my mercies. O God, who is like thee, wonderful, glorious, and almighty, in giving me, the most unworthy, the assistance of thy holy, ever-blessed Spirit, to draw me How shall I begin the glorious theme of unto thyself, my Lord and my God. praise? How hast thou drawn out my whole soul after thee, exciting my love, making it ardent and unutterable! My desires after thee and thy grace are such as convince me it must be the work of thy blessed Spirit. My heart

could never dictate such holy and ardent love as I find there. May I, O my Lord, take this as an earnest of still greater blessings that thou hast laid up for me in Jesus, my covenant head; that thou wilt unite me in an indissoluble union with him who is the Lord my righteousness; and in thine own time give me the foretaste of that exquisite bliss thou hast laid up for thine own. What shall I render unto thee, thou glorious Author of those precious hopes? O for still clearer views of thy blessed self, that my whole soul may be full of thee, my Jesus, my all, and as far conformed to thy image as my frame can admit of, being holy as thou art holy.

"This has been a most sweet week to my soul. What precious times have I experienced in prayer. How bas my

"The conclusion of the last sermon was, that the work of the Lord might go on in the hearts of his people; that the Lord will preserve his own, be they where they will. In what manner the Lord makes himself known to his own. Then was shown what great privileges

[ocr errors]

Lord God Almighty, by all thy re deemed; but especially by me, the most unworthy. Accept, O ever-blessed Lord, thy poor creature, who hath in thy strength devoted herself to thee. But O, how many backslidings! if thou heal me, as I humbly trust thou wilt, then in thy power and might I shall run thy race with joy. To thee do I give up all that thou hast given me, husband, children, parents, friends, estate, time, talents, all to be used for thy glory. Let nothing in this world be too dear to be parted with, when the cause and glory or will of God calls for it. Help me, O blessed Jesus, my Redeemer, to

to me.

"This day, March 18th, 1768, has been a blessed day. What sweet meltings of soul under a sense of God's goodness, mercy, and love to me. O the blessed hope of being for ever with the Lord. If here, in this wilderness, in this body of flesh, my blessed Lord gives a transient view of his glory, in which there is such happiness, what must a full discovery give in heaven? Although the glorious majesty cannot be fully known even there, yet so much will be manifested as will fill the happy spirit with unspeakable bliss. Glory, glory be to the sovereign Jeho-be true to thee; let thy strength be vah, for the precious hope that I am sufficient for me, and thy continual inthine. fluence, thou blessed Spirit of all grace, "January, 1768. Glory be to to lead, govern, and support thy weak thee, thou God of my life, who spared creature, in herself altogether unable to and preserved thy unprofitable ser- think a good thought. Give me freevant to this hour. O how power-dom of access to thee, as my Father, fully hast thou made known thyself brought nigh by the Lord Christ. as a God of mercy and grace in my Amen, and amen. behalf. How hast thou defeated thel "January 28th. Awoke this morning designs of those who were unfriendly with sweet thoughts of my God, and his precious dealings with my soul; recol"Thy bounty makes my cup of bless-lected the many mercies that have been ings to overflow temporally, and may I showed me. The faithfulness, truth, say spiritually. I humbly trust I may; and goodness I have experienced, filled I hope I have not this world for my my heart with wonder, love, and joy. portion. No-if that or any thing be- O how sweet to the longing soul, when sides thee come in competition, I would the blessed Spirit shines in and dispels spurn the gilded toy, were it all crea- the clouds of darkness, doubts, and untion, with the contempt it merits. Give belief. Blessed be thy name, Lord of me thy blessed self, that will satisfy my life, for this glimpse of thy mercy, nothing else can. thy love to me, the chief of sinners. But "Saturday, January Went to how transient the view! How soon Church. Heard a preparation sermon lost! O Lord of my life, set me free When I came home I humbled myself from bondage, and place me in the globefore the Lord, pleading for mercy and rious liberty of thy redeemed; let me grace. And my soul, never forget know no fear, but the loss of thy fathe goodness of thy God, who certainly vour; strengthen my faith; increase is a prayer-hearing, faithful, and ever- my love, and let me live under a sweet loving Father in Christ Jesus (the foun- sense of thy grace to my soul. dation of all my hope.) He hath, I humbly trust, revived his own work in my soul; strengthening my faith, increasing my love, and giving me strong and ardent desires after himself, the fountain of all good. The Lord would not excite desires in my soul that he would not fulfil; the mouth of truth hath said, Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled-on this promise I rest. He is faithful, who hath promised, able, being Almighty, and willing, having given me himself. Glory, eternal praise be given to thee, O eternal, ever-blessed


"29th. Still the same cause for thankfulness and praise: my Lord continues his goodness to me, the most unworthy.

heart been drawn out after holiness and
nearness to God.

"30th. This morning was enabled to lift my heart to God in prayer. I hope I read his word with improvement and delight. After breakfast read Witsius on Justification with great pleasure, and through the day I hope was employed in thinking of the goodness of my Great Shepherd. Meditation in the evening very comfortable. In self-examination found cause for great thankfulness for what the Lord had done for

my soul? Hope still in God, who is thy strength and salvation. What though temptations from within or with

"31st. Surely God's people may set to their seal that he is true and a prayer-out may, for the trial of thy faith and hearing God. He has given me a Sab- patience, be permitted to harass and inbath's blessing. vade thy peace, still remember that the "Clermont, January, 1769. Never, same in kind the great Captain of thy O my soul, forget the precious mani-salvation hath encountered. Although festations of God's love to thee on this without sin, yet he was tempted, that occasion. Saturday heard the prepara- he might be a faithful High Priest, tion sermon, and felt much of the divine sympathizing with his poor weak folpresence on my way from Church. On lowers. Build not, my soul, on the sandy Sunday morning all was dead and in-foundation of self-righteousness; but sensible; went to Church under dejec-endeavour to feel more of thy emptiness, tion of spirit. Sitting down at the ta- and come to the fountain of life, to be ble of my adorable Redeemer, my filled out of his fuluess. Blessed Jesus, whole heart was taken up in prayer, I thank thee, that all, all is in thee that when these words were brought with thine handmaiden needs. I thank thee, power to my soul, What is thy petition, holy blessed Spirit, for opening my and what is thy request? my heart an- eyes, for making me the subject of thy swered, Lord, that I may be thine. My gracious influences, and working faith whole heart and all that I am was given in my heart, and making me willing in up to my precious Lord. But glory the day of thy power. Bless the Lord, and praise I am bound to render to God. O my soul, for ever and ever. Amen. His goodness, truth, love, and condescension to his unworthy creature were such as I hope always to remember ual life, and they shall never perish, with gratitude and love. Returning neither shall any pluck them out of my home from Church, the blessed Lord hand. was pleased to manifest himself to my soul with much power, and favoured me with a foretaste, I think I may call it, of the happiness his saints in heaven enjoy; that from this view my soul was impatient to be gone. Joyfully would I have left my body, and taken my flight to glory. Twice on the road was I thus favoured. Why me, Lord?-even so, Father, for thus it pleased thee to answer my petitions and requests made at thy table. What shall I render to my God for all his astonishing mercy to my soul,

"John x. 28. I give unto them eter

me, the most unworthy. O for a Sabbath's blessing on the morrow.


"Our blessed Lord, in the preceding verse says, that his sheep hear his voice, and be knows them, and they follow him, and he will give them complete happiness. Neither the world, nor all its allurements, temptations, cares, or afflictions, shall deprive them of that portion which their heavenly Father has laid up for them. What a comfortable promise is this, made by the adorable Redeemer, who is faithfulness and truth invariable. They shall never perish;' not only be kept from evil, but enjoy everlasting felicity. Although the evil spirit, as prince of "O my soul, rejoice in the God of thy the world, may put in practice all those salvation. The ever-blessed Father has arts to allure, by which so many fall given his equal Son as thy life. He away, which suit our corrupt vature, hath made a full, a complete expiation and fall in with the bias of our inclinafor all thy great and accumulated sins,tions, still he, nor any other power shall original as well as actual transgressions, ever pluck them out of our heavenly for infirmities, weaknesses, and number-Father's hand. Feed, my soul, on this less other frailties. Like as a father gracious promise; let it support thee pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth through life, amidst every affliction, them that fear him. For the mountains trial, and temptation; that the Lord shall depart, the hills be removed, but reigns; that he has disposed thee to my loving-kindness shall remain.' What follow him, who is thy good Shepherd; more stable than the mountains? Yet that he whom thou servest is God, and they, durable as they are, shall be re-none shall ever pluck thee out of his moved, before my loving-kindness shall hand. be withdrawn, or my covenant be dissolved. Why restless, why cast down,

"July 12th. Sabbath day. But Ah! how silent! No Church, to hear the

« VorigeDoorgaan »