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candles to be put out during the night, nor would he be left alone for a minute. I had always to ring the bell for one of the servants to be in the room, before he would allow me to leave it. He struggled hard to appear composed even before me; but to one who attended his bed-side for so many days and nights, and witnessed his disturbed sleeps and still more disturbed wakings; who frequently heard his involuntary breathings of remorse and frightful startings; it was no difficult matter to determine that all was not right within. This continued and increased until he became insensible. I hope in God I shall never witness a similar scene.'
world by the President's descendant Mr. Dwight; (the late Dr. Dwight's mother was the President's daughter;) and I think the republication of it in your magazine might be of great service to inexperienced Christians similarly circumstanced to Dr. Edwards's young correspondent. A. B.
I leave your readers to weigh the probability of this narrative: for myself, I see nothing unlikely in it; for a man who had exerted all his talents to deprive mankind of their dearest hopes, and only consolation in the day of trial and the hour of death, might well be expected to suffer remorse in his dying hour: and the alleged narrator of the circumstance, who states herself to have been his housekeeper, is affirmed to have made the declaration on the spur of the occasion, from regard to truth, and by no means from any pique or dislike towards Mr. Hume or his family. Some of your northern readers may perhaps be able to inform me who was Mr. Hume's housekeeper at the time of his death, and whether there is any proof in writing, memory, or tradition, to the effect of her alleged statement.
LETTER OF PRESIDENT EDWARDS TO
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. THE following interesting and edifying letter was addressed by President Edwards to a young lady at the time of the well-known revival of religion in New England in 1741. It has been recently given to the
"My dear Young Friend,―As you desired me to send you, in writing, some directions how to conduct yourself in your Christian course, I would now answer your request. The sweet remembrance of the great things I have lately seen at S― inclines me to do any thing in my power to contribute to the spiritual joy and prosperity of God's people there.
"1. I would advise you to keep up as great a strife and earnestness in religion, as if you knew yourself to be in a state of nature, and were seeking conversion. We advise persons under conviction, to be earnest and violent for the kingdom of heaven; but when they have attained to conversion, they ought not to be the less watchful, laborious, and earnest in the work of religion,-but more so, for they are under infinitely greater obligations. For want of this, many persons, in a few months after their conversion, have begun to lose their sweet and lively sense of spiritual things, and to grow cold and dark, and have 'pierced themselves through with many sorrows;' whereas, if they had done as the Apostle did, (Phil. iii. 12-14,) their path would have been as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day.'
"2. Do not leave off seeking, striving, and praying for the very same things that we exhort unconverted persons to strive for, and a degree of which you have had already in conversion. Pray that your eyes may
be opened, that you may receive sight, that you may know yourself, and be brought to God's footstool, and that you may see the glory of God and Christ, and may be raised from the dead, and have the love of Christ shed abroad in your heart.
Those who have most of these things have need still to pray for them; for there is so much blindness and hardness, pride and death remaining, that they still need to have that work of God wrought upon them, further to enlighten and enliven them, that shall be bringing them out of darkness into God's marvellous light, and be a kind of new conversion and resurrection from the dead. There are very few requests that are proper for an impenitent man, that are not also in some sense proper for the godly.
"3. When you hear a sermon, hear for yourself. Though what is spoken may be more especially directed to the unconverted, or to those that in other respects are in different circumstances from yourself; yet, let the chief intent of your mind be to consider, 'In what respect is this applicable to me? and what improvement ought I to make of this, for my own soul's good?'
"4. Though God has forgiven and forgotten your past sins, yet do not forget them yourself: often remem. ber what a wretched bond-slave you were in the land of Egypt. Often bring to mind your particular acts of sin before conversion; as the blessed Apostle Paul is often mentioning his old blaspheming, persecuting spirit, and his injuriousness to the renewed; humbling his heart, and acknowledging that he was the least of the apostles,' and not worthy to be called an apostle,' and the least of all saints;' and the 'chief of sinners;' and be often confessing your old sins to God, and let that text be often in your mind (Ezek. xvi. 63), that thou mayest remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more, because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord God.'
"5. Remember that you have more cause, on some accounts, a thousand times to lament and humble yourself for sins that have been committed since conversion, than before, because of the infinitely greater obli
gations that are upon you to live to God, and to look upon the faithfulness of Christ, in unchangeably continuing his loving-kindness, notwithstanding all your great unworthiness since your conversion.
"6. Be always greatly abased for your remaining sin, and never think that you lie low enough for it: but yet be not discouraged or disheartened by it; for, though we are exceeding sinful, yet we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; the preciousness of whose blood, the merit of whose righteousness, and the greatness of whose love and faithfulness, infinitely overtop the highest mountain of our sins.
"7. When you engage in the duty of prayer, or come to the Lord's Supper, or attend any other duty of Divine worship, come to Christ as Mary Magdalen did (Luke vii. 37, 38); come, and cast yourself at his feet, and kiss them, and pour forth upon him the sweet perfumed ointment of Divine love, out of a pure and broken heart, as she poured the precious ointment out of her pure broken alabaster box.
"8. Remember, that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the greatest disturber of the soul's peace, and of sweet communion with Christ; it was the first sin committed, and lies lowest in the foundation of Satan's whole building, and is with the greatest difficulty rooted out, and is the most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all lusts, and often creeps insensibly into the midst of religion, even sometimes under the disguise of humility itself.
"9. That you pass a correct judgment concerning yourself. Always look upon those as the best discoveries, and the best comforts, that have most of these two effects: those that make you least and lowest, and most like a child; and those that most engage and fix your heart, in a full and firm disposition to deny yourself for God, and to spend and be spent for him.
"10. If at any time you fall into
and aggravations attending them, spreading all the abominations of your heart very particularly and as fully as possible before him.
" 15. Do not let the adversaries of the Cross have occasion to reproach religion on your account. How holily should the children of God, the redeemed and the beloved of the Son of God, behave themselves! Therefore walk as the children
doubts about the state of your soul, in dark and dull frames of mind, it is proper to review your past experience, but do not consume too much of your time and strength in this way; rather apply yourself, with all your might, to an earnest pursuit after renewed experience, new light, and new lively acts of faith and love. One new discovery of the glory of Christ's face will do more toward scattering clouds of darkness in one of the light, and of the day,' and minute, than examining old experi-adorn the doctrine of God your ence, by the best marks that can be Saviour;' and especially abound in given, through a whole year. what are called the Christian virtues, and make you like the Lamb of God: be meek and lowly of heart, and full of pure, heavenly, and humble love to all; abound in deeds of love to others, and self-denial for others; and let there be in you a disposition to account others better than yourself.
"11. When the exercise of grace is low, and corruption prevails, and by that means fear prevails, do not desire to have fear cast out any other way than by the reviving and prevailing of love in the heart: by this, fear will be effectually expelled, as darkness in a room vanishes away, when the pleasant beams of the sun are let into it.
"12. When you counsel and warn others, do it earnestly, and affectionately, and thoroughly: and when you are speaking to your equals, let your warnings be intermixed with expressions of your sense of your own unworthiness, and of the sovereign grace that made you differ.
13. If you would set up religious meetings of young women by yourselves, to be attended once in a while, besides the other meetings that you attend, I should think it would be very proper and profitable.
"14. Under special difficulties, or when in great need of, or great longings after, any particular mercy for yourself or others, set apart a day of secret prayer and fasting by yourself alone; and let the day be spent, not only in petitions for the mercies you desire, but in searching your heart, and in looking over your past life, and confessing your sins before God; not as is wont to be done in public prayer, but by a very particular rehearsal, before God, of the sins of your past life, from your childhood hitherto, before and after conversion, with the circumstances
"16. In all your course walk with God, and follow Christ as a little, poor, helpless child, taking hold of Christ's hand, keeping your eye on the marks of the wounds in his hand and side, whence came the blood that cleanses you from sin, and hiding your nakedness under the skirt of the white shining robes of his righteousness.
"17. Pray much for the ministers and the church of God; especially, that he would carry on his glorious work which he has now begun, till the world shall be full of his glory."
METRICAL VERSIONS OF PSALM
xix. 7, 8.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I HAVE had such good success in procuring from your poetical correspondents a metrical version of the Latin hymn which I sent to you last July, that, presuming on their courtesy, I request permission to trouble them with another task.
Mr. Montgomery specifies Psalm xix. 7, 8, in proof of the difficulty of making a version which shall be at once poetical and close to the text.
The literal terms, he remarks, are so perfect a vehicle of pure thought, that any metrical reading must render them less so, because words equally few and simple cannot be found in the English tongue, which would express those plain sentiments in rhymes and numbers. All who have attempted this passage, says Mr. Montgomery, have failed: "It is the cross of versifiers; and he who should carry it, without being put to shame, needs not despair of accomplishing a version of the Psalms which shall not on the whole disappoint every reader." Tate and Brady's version is wretchedly poor:
God's perfect law converts the soul;
The statutes of the Lord are just,
And bring sincere delight;
His pure commands, in search of truth, Assist the feeble sight.
The new Presbyterian Review" quotes, as an admirable metrical translation, the version used in the Scottish Church; but I do not think that persons unaccustomed to it will think that it supersedes all attempt
at a better. It is as follows: God's law is perfect, and converts The soul in sin that lies;
God's testimony is most sure,
And makes the simple wise.
The statutes of the Lord are right,
And do rejoice the heart; The Lord's command is pure, and doth Light to the eyes impart.
This version would be excellent, were it not for the "feeble expletives," which render it intolerable to modern ears. Without being paraphrastic, or occupying more lines than Tate and Brady's version, or so many as Sternhold and Hopkins's (which is equally disfigured by expletives), it has the advantage of giving both the propositions in each of the four versicles; whereas Tate and Brady, in three instances out of the four, convert them into one; degrading a predicate into a mere superfluous epithet; God's perfect law converts the soul;" instead of God's law is perfect, and conCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 359.
verts," &c. Thus we have but one head of information under each versicle, instead of two; the poet predicating only one fact, and taking for granted that we already know the other; whereas its assertion was an express part of the Psalmist's object. These apparently minute points are much neglected, for the sake of metrical convenience, in most of our versions; yet on them depends not a little of the fidelity of a translation.
Wishing all your correspondents and readers, not merely the poetical, but the heart-felt appropriation and spiritual enjoyment of this inspired description of the sacred word, I respectfully subscribe myself as before,
A VISIT TO A CATHEDRAL. 1..
(Concluded from p. 613.) My dear Sir,-In offering, in my last letter, my warm tribute of admiration to the character of the illustrious Archdeacon of Winchester, (I do not mean our beloved and excellent friend, who now so worthily fills that responsible office, but his martyred predecessor Philpot,) I did not intend to slight the memory of Winchester's other Marian martyr, John Benbridge; whose name I should rather mention, because it is less known than that of his eminent fellow-sufferer. There is indeed, to my mind, something peculiarly worthy of commemoration in the martyrdom of laymen; for though laymen are as much interested in Christianity as clergymen, yet there are many circumstances which, but for especial grace and support from above, might render them less likely to assume a bold public profession of religion in times of difficulty and danger. Philpot was a learned divine, Benbridge a plain country gentleman; the former a standard-bearer in the church militant, the latter a private soldier. The former could contend with his opposers with all
the skill of a practised dialectician, and, though relying supremely upon the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, was yet versed in arguments, and syllogisms, and fathers, and councils: whereas the latter was perhaps unable to refute some of the subtle cavils of opponents, and might naturally, like many of his peers, have consigned his principles to the care of his professional instructors, and allowed himself to be convinced or overawed by their plausible sophistries. A strong appeal might be made to his modesty: a respectable squire was not expected to be a finished theologian; he doubtless meant well, but was mistaken; why puzzle himself with such nice matters? why not go to church, and kneel at mass, and confess to a priest, and keep discreet silence; and trust to the grave decisious of wise and learned men, who knew better about such questions than he could pretend to do? Yet many private laymen were there, yea, many women and children, whom God endued with strength, wisdom, and courage to bear their testimony valiantly for the cause of Christ, in the face of indignity, torture, and death. Excellently does the martyrologist Fox remark of Benbridge, whom he styles "a gentleman single and unmarried in the diocese of Winchester," that " although he might have lived a pleasant and gentleman's life, in the possession of the world, yet, in order to follow Christ, he had rather enter into the strait gate of persecution, to the heavenly possession of life in the Lord's kingdom, than here to enjoy pleasures present with unquietness of conscience. Wherefore standing manfully against the Papists for the defence of the sincere doctrine of Christ's Gospel, he spared not to confirm the doctrine of the Gospel."
This good man was examined before the Bishop of Winchester, Dr. White, on ten articles. In answer to the first, as to whether the Church of Rome was conformable to the apostolic type, he only said, pro
bably as one specimen, that baptism ought not to be administered in Latin. On the second, he affirmed boldly, that he did not believe that in the sacrament of thanksgiving is contained the literal body of Christ our Saviour; adding very pertinently, "This is the mark that ye shoot at." To the third, about confirmation, he said, that he did not know whether it was a sacrament or not, or whether the bishop gives grace or not, for that he was not acquainted with the order and fashion of ministration. On the fourth, respecting penance, he answered negatively, that sin could not be forgiven by a priest, and that confession to him was not a matter of necessity. On the fifth, as to whether the church has the same authority now as in the Apostles' times, he answered negatively, "because it has not the same power to work;"
I suppose he meant to work miracles and enforce obedience. Sixthly, as to popish bishops being the true successors of the Apostles, he denied it, because they are not called as they were, nor have the same grace." Seventhly, in reference to the rightful head of the church, and whether the pope was so, he boldly replied, "that not the pope, but the devil is the head of the church which you speak of." The eighth article averred the necessity of baptism, which he did not deny; the affirmation being probably couched only in general and scriptural language. Of the ninth, which related to purgatory, he only said, without refining on the point, that "he would not believe as their church believed." Tenthly, he would not say that matrimony was a sacrament, but he admitted that it is "a sacred order or sign of a holy thing."
For these answers, the answers of an honest simple-minded layman, firm and decided where plain essential truth was concerned, less positive on secondary matters of polemical controversy, and upon the whole measured and judicious, as well as honest and scriptural, was this pious and much respected man led out as