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Robert Deer, by whom I beg to know when I may have a sight of you. Should it be at M*« Merriman's, I shall converse with you with some appearance of reserve, but do not let that hurt you; I shall have no reserve in my feeling heart. It pants for the hour when we shall be no more twain,
'..i "I am, * *1
"Your's, &c." "Marlborough, '• • •
"January 18, 1779."
In another, after speaking particularly of a house and its advantages, he adds, " O how much of our time and thoughts are taken up about this life! We had need seize the earliest moment to animate each other with the thought of the life that is to come. Make it your daily concern to remember, that for a covert in time to be screened from temptation, and an habitation in glory we shall dwell in for ever, we must be debtors to Jesus; and miserable wretches must we be, if he does not espouse our cause, and take the management of our best concerns into his own hands. Woe be to the man whose attention is swallowed up about a being for his body, and exposes his immortal soul to wrath and destruction. I trust this wiH not be our case. In confidence that I am not mistaken, I long for the commencement of the time when we shall aid each other in praising the rock upon which we are built, the Savior by whom we are redeemed.
In the last previous to marriage "I
am sure you will see the hand of God in placing us in this dwelling. My heart is affected with it, and my expectation of our being mutually happy together, rises higher and higher. I know you will not delay to come longer than is necessary, and for so great a blessing as I expect to enjoy in you, I am willing to tarry the Lord's leisure. I am but poorly with a cold, but my soul is happy in God, and while I am thinking of the prospect of a nuptial enjoyment with my very dear elect, I am at the same time thinking of the period of my departure. But alas! earth preponderates the scale of heaven. The Lord make me more spiritually minded."
We need not wonder that a connexion thus formed should have yielded so much peace and pleasure.
Equally excellent was he in the relation of a master. He was one of the good and gentle, he forbore threatening: and was therefore served from affection rather than duty. He considered servants as humble friends. He marked their peculiar cases in his devotion, as well as those of the higher branches of the household: he always mentioned them in his letters. He frequently observed that it was wrong to suffer a domestic to leave our family unable to read and write. How often have I seen this matchless character, infirm and enervated to a great degree, after toiling all the day with his scholars and students patiently, cheerfully devoting half an hour in the evening to the instruction of his maid-servant! These are scenes indeed that excite little notice and admiration now; but a day is coming, when it will appear that to be truly great is to be "Great in the sight of the Lord." "Therefore" said one of those who had seen him gird himself with a towel, and pour water into a bason to wash their feet, and who had themselves imbibed the spirit of, the example—Therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew him not."
No person was ever more formed for friendship than he, or entered more fully into the spirit of all its duties. He "Shewed himself friendly," and he "Had friends." The circle was very extensive and varied. He loved their company .; he was devotedly regular and affeetionate in his correspondence with them; he was grateful for their attentions and kindnesses; he entered into all their circumstances and feelings; by the tenderest sympathy he made their trials his own; and was sure to know their souls in adversity. His friendship was the most pious, the most durable, the most disinterested. Nothing was too costly for him to sacrifice, nothing was too arduous for him to undertake, nothing was too humiliating for him to undergo if a friend was to be served. "He pleased not himself."—He never thought of his own advantage or convenience.—He breathed for others. Hence what he says in a private letter, he might have published to the world without any danger of contradiction.— "I am happy that God has given me not only contentment with such things as I have, but also an accommodating turn of mind, so that I am desirous to make all about me happy, and am happy in their happiness." Indeed he was the Apostle's representation of love alive.-— "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, beliereth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
This leads me to remark that nothing characterized Mr. Winter, more than Beneficence. His life was an intire conformity to the example of our Lord, who went about doing good. This was his study, his business, and his delight. His bounty was not pressed out of him by violence, like sourness from the crab; it dropped like the honey-comb. It was not an occasional effusion like a summer-shower, but a perennial spring, the streams of which made glad the sons and daughters of affliction, all around him. And no being since the days of Job, according to his sphere and his capacity; eould,. with more troth adopt the exquisitely tender language: "When the ear heard me, *. them it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, 'I '. *it gave witness toime: because I delivered thev, v poor that cried, and the fatherless, and hi«r thai had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I totlie* lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not 1 searched out.
Benevolence is to be judged of by proportion, by income, by self-denial. Hence the most