« AnteriorContinuar »
tenderness of conscience, and much of the fear of God; great regard for the worship of God, especially for the Lord's-day; and great delight in reading, especially accounts of the conversion of some little children. But all is over now, and I am in a good degree satisfied.
- 3.--To-day I felt a sort of triumph over death. I went and stood on her grave with a great deal of composure! Returned, and wrote eleven verses to her memory.
“4.-Had a good day in preaching on these these light afflictions. My mind seems very calm and serene, in respect of the child,"
The next scene of family trouble through which he was called to pass, was that which issued in the removal of the first Mrs. Fuller, a very amiable and excellent woman. With her I was well acquainted, and had many opportunities of witnessing much of his tenderness towards her, under her frequent afflictions. Her death took place during my second visit to Bristol, whither he sent me a most affecting account of that event, which I read to many friends, who, though at that time they knew but little of Mr. Fuller, yet were exceedingly moved by hearing the recital.
I have ever since regretted this letter's being lost, by a friend to whose care I entrusted it ; as I am persuaded it contained two or three touching expressions, which were omitted in
that which I afterwards obtained in it's place. The latter is contained in a letter written by him to Mrs. Fuller's own parents.
But as every affliction put him on closely examining whether some faulty cause might not be found in himself, on account of which God was pleased thus to chasten him, so it was on this occasion; as appears by the following extracts from his diary, which I transcribe before I copy the narrative. .“ July 10, 1792.-My family afflictions have almost overwhelmed me, and what is yet before me I know not! For about a month past, the affliction of my dear companion has been extremely heavy. On reading the fourth chapter of Job this morning, the 3d, 4th, and 5th verses, affected me.- My words have upholden many. O that now I am touched, I may not faint!'
“ 25.-0 my God, my soul is cast down within me! The afflictions in my family seem too heavy for me. O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me! My thoughts are broken off, and all my prospects seem to be perished ! I feel, however, some support, from such scriptures as these—All things work together for good, &c.--God, even our own God, shall bless us.- It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not .consumed.' Ope of my friends observed yesterday, that it was difficult, in many cases, to know wherefore God contended with us. But
thought that there was no difficulty of this
kind with me. I have sipped against the Lord; and it is not a little affliction that will lay hold of me. Those words have impressed me of late, “It was in my heart to chastise them.”
Just about this time, he wrote to me as follows: “ My domestic trials are exceedingly great, far, very far beyond what I ever met with before. I was taken very ill last Friday, July the 7th, with a pain under my left breast, and was bled on Saturday. Yesterday (Lord's day,) I could not engage in any thing, nor could I have done so if Mr. Hall, who providentially
was in town, had not been here. I feel better · this morning, though I have had but little more
than two hours sleep. You need not speak of it, but Mrs. Fuller has not slept at all last night, and through the effect of this and her bysterical complaints she is at this time as destitute of reason as an infant. My heart has not much sunk, because I look upon the derangement of her mind to be temporary; but the Lord knows what is before us! I feel also an habitual calmness in finding myself just in that situation that God would have me be in; and I find that now is the time for me to bear witness for him. Dear Brother, we have each of us at this time our peculiar trials. O that we may be found unto praise." This was written July 9, 1792.
" In August I visited Bristol, (where I had before spent four Lord's days, in March and April,) and while there, received the affecting
account of Mrs. F's. illness and death, in substance the same with the following.
To Mr. GARDINER, Mrs. Fuller's Father. wote bianos D
Aug. 25, 1792."
? 116 de Dear and Honoured Father, stisnut
You have heard, I suppose, before now, that my dear companion is no more! For about three months back, our afflictions have been extremely heavy. About the beginning of June, she was seized with hysterical affections, which for a time deprived her of her senses. In about a week, however, she recovered them, and seemed better ; but soon relapsed again : and during the mouths of July and August, a very few intervals excepted, her mind has been constantly deranged. In this unhappy state, her attention has generally been turned upon some one object of distress : sometimes that she had lost her children ; sometimes that she should lose me. For one whole day she hung about my neck, weeping; for that I was going to die, and leave her! The next morning she still retained the same persnaşion ; but instead of weeping for it, she rejoiced with exceeding joy.. • My husband (said she,) is going to heaven. ... and all is well !-I shall be provided for, &c.' Sometimes we were her worst enemies, and must not come near her; at other times she
would speak to me in the most endearing terms. Till very lately, she has been so desirous of my company, that it has been with much difficulty that I have stole away from her about two hours in the twenty-four, that I might ride out for the air, my health having been considerably impaired. But lately her mind took another turn, which to me has been very afflicting. It is true, she never ceased to love her husband.
I have had,' she would say, 'as tender a husband as ever woman had; but you are not my husband ! She seemed for the last month really to have considered me as an impostor, who had entered the house, and taken possession of the keys of every place, and of all that belonged to her and her husband. Poor soul! for the last month, as I said, this and other notions of the kind have rendered her more miserable than I am able to describe! She has been fully persuaded that she was not at home, but had wandered somewhere from it; had lost herself, and fallen among strangers. She constantly wanted to make her escape, on which account we were obliged to keep the doors locked, and to take away the keys. No,' she would say to me, with a countenance full of inexpressible anguish, this is not my home .... you are not my husband .... these are not my children. Once I had a good home ... and a husband who loved me .... and dear children .... and kind friends .... but