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when it must be kept on record. I would approve myself to God, who alone knows the sincerity of my heart. To him I have made my request known herein, and I heartily beg that what I shall at any time put down, may be the true workings of my heart, and that I may in nothing bear false witness against myself."
The following year, March 28, 1687, she was married to Mr. John Savage, a respectable farmer, and land-agent, residing at Wrenbury-Wood, near Nantwich, in Cheshire. Her notice of the annual return of that day, evinces much gratitude for the providential kindness which she experienced in the important change. She was not unequally yoked. Mr. Savage appears to have been a pious, active, and useful man. It was his custom, in addition to family and closet duties, to pray with his wife morning and evening, and it pleased God to continue them together on earth forty-two years.
Mr. Henry, conformably to the pious custom of the times, addressed a Sermon to Mr. and Mrs. Savage on their marriage. The text was Genesis ii, 22, and though I am unable to present the reader with the discourse, another, preached by his son Matthew Henry, on a similar occasion, is given in the Appendix.*
A pious solicitude, honorably to discharge the duties of her new relation, is apparent in * See Appendix, Note B.
her Diary. The anticipation of them was connected with fervent prayer, and her uniform deportment proved that the petitions were sincere.
The first visit she received, in her new abode, from her excellent father, is thus noticed. "He read and expounded the ci, Psalm (well styled the householder's Psalm,) and gave us these rules always to act by; well worth remembering. That God, who is the first and best, must be served with the first and best. That except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. That every creature is that to us that God makes it to be, comfortable or uncomfortable. That man's life and happiness does not consist in the abundance of what he possesses. That the things of time and the body are not to be compared with the things of the soul, and eternity."
As from this period, her religious principles were necessarily more fully called into exercise, it will not be unprofitable to mark, with increased attention, their holy influence. Religion did not flow, in her soul, as a contracted rivulet in a subterraneous cavern, but like a widely extended river, by its fertilizing streams, it enlivened and enriched the sphere in which she moved.
To delineate the character of persons long since dead, is, indeed, a task: but happily, in the present instance, the difficulty is materially lessened by Mrs. Savage's pious industry.
It is not my intention to eulogize, but, for public advantage, to represent this excellent woman with all possible fidelity. That she had faults none can doubt; though, to adopt the language of her funeral sermon, (an authentic copy of which, in manuscript, is in the author's possession,) "This testimony is borne of her, that notwithstanding the many and great trials she met with in a large family of children and servants, above forty years, she was never seen so much in a passion, as to say, or do, what she might have cause to accuse and reproach herself for afterwards."
The late Mrs. Brett informed me in conversation, that she distinctly remembered her pious ancestor. In stature she was rather short and corpulent, with features more like the painting of her father than that of her mother. The sprightliness of her disposition appeared even in old age, and she constantly promoted, by heavenly converse, the edification of all around her. Mrs. Brett was often catechised by her, and preserved a prayer which she composed for her use. It is a pleasing specimen of simple language, comprehensive brevity, and pious supplication.
She, however, deplored her native depravity, and keenly observed those effects which passed unnoticed by surrounding friends. She needed no arguments to prove that, as in the natural, so in the moral world, there are no gardens without weeds, no trees without superfluous branches. It was an habitual discernment of indwelling sin, (a sight only beheld by a spiritual eye,) which, as it manifested the necessity of daily mortification, excited fervent aspirations after heavenly felicities. Hence on one occasion she writes; "Friday night.-In my closet I was much cheered and revived by thinking of the second coming of Christ, especially with that scripture, Acts iii, 19, where it is called the time of refreshing. Such, indeed, it will be. Here I am often tired with duty, tired with sinning, tired with a corrupt heart: sometimes tired and weary with just nothing. Oh, but there is a time of refreshing coming. Well may it be called so. Mr. Alleine, in one of his letters, speaks thus, to comfort Christians in their sufferings-Wait a while, and you shall have a blessed heaven.' The Lord speaks to a Christian as one did to his creditor-Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.' Oh, for faith and patience! How safely and sweetly would these carry us to our home and harbor, through all difficulties."
At another time thus; "I lately heard a good remark-Why should those go mourn
ing to the grave who hope to go rejoicing to Heaven? Yet I find my spirit lean to the mourning side. What with our own and others' sins, and our own and others' sorrows, this world may well be called a vale of tears. Blessed be God for a comfortable hope that, shortly, they shall all be wiped away. The blessed Saints above obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
Mrs. Savage in her natural temper was contented and cheerful, meek and affectionate.
Filial duties were eminently observed by her. She "honored her Father and Mother."
In the conjugal relation she happily discovered the influence of Christianity. Her attentions to her husband, though minute, were not confined to things temporal;' she assiduously studied the advancement of his spiritual interests. Her Diary shews that when secular business lawfully occupied his time, she was a frequent intercessor at the throne of grace, that his heart might not be too much engaged.
She loved home, and, as the head of a family, aimed, by setting a pattern of cheerful, serious piety, to walk "as becometh the gospel." For the spiritual welfare of her domestics she cherished a holy zeal, and discovered it by regular and patient instruction, as well as fervent prayer. "Oh," she writes, soon after her marriage, "that the family