« AnteriorContinuar »
for alleviating the miseries of the poor, for stopping the progress of vice, for promoting industry and virtue, and for preventing the importation and spread of infectious diseases, would carry me too far. I must therefore only add, that-success has already, in a degree, attended his endeavours. And it is to be hoped, that such a superstructure will, in time, be raised on the foundation he has laid, as will be of the greatest utility to this country; and which, should he have access to the knowledge of it in the world above, would, I am persuaded, add to the joy his benevolent heart there feels.
We have hinted before at the painful fatigues he endured, the great expence he incurred, and the imminent dangers to which he exposed himself in thus going about to do good: and on this subject I meant further to enlarge, but must deny myself this satisfaction, lest I should trespass on your patience.
The attention which was paid to him by the principal personages in Europe, and which he was so far from courting, that, in some instances, he absolutely declined it; I say, this extraordinary attention of theirs, with the peculiar circumstances that accompanied it, shews in what high estimation his character stood with the public. Indeed, his modesty must not be passed over without particular notice. His reply to one of the principal officers of state in a great kingdom, upon being told that, however he would not suffer a statue to be erected to him in his own country, a statue would in the prisons of that; I say, his reply was memorable, and marks the character of the man. I have no objection, said he, to its being erected where it shall be invisible. And in a letter he sent me from Turkey, speaking of this hasty measure, as he calls it, and his wish that it might be stopped, he adds, Alas ! our best performances have such a mixture of folly and sin, that praise is vanity and presumption, and pain to a thinking mind.
He set out on his last journey the beginning of July, 1789, It was to have been of great extent, and to have taken up the compass of about three years. I expostulated largely with him
at parting, on the mistake of suffering himself, through an earnest desire of doing good, to be precipitated beyond the clear line of duty, which might possibly be sometimes the
He seemed to apprehend he should scarce see this country again, and when last in this place, said to a friend near him, Well! we shall not perhaps meet one another again till we meet in heaven. : What we feared Providence has permitted. Howard is no more! He died at Cherson a, January the 20th, of a malignant fever, which he caught by humanely visiting a person in that disorder; to whom he administered the usual medicine, but without effect. The same medicine he took himself, which proving too powerful for his constitution, the fever carried him off in ten days. He had the assistance of several physicians; and great attention was paid him by Prince Potemkin, who not only sent him his own physician, but visited him himself b.
Thus fell this great and good man a sacrifice to humanity. The sad news has touched the hearts of thousands. His country weeps. Who feels not on this mournful occasion ? It is no weakness to feel-to feel, when friendship and benevolence receive so great a shock from the merciless hand of death.
Submission, however, is our duty. May surviving relatives patiently acquiesce in so very trying a providence! And let us all endeavour to compose our minds to this temper, by turning our attention from the loss we sustain to the immense gain he has acquired. Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord: they rest from their labours, and their works follow them c. Yes, he hath ceased from his labours, and is now in the perfect en
a A settlement of the Empress of Russia, toward the northern extremity of the Euxine or Black Sea, not far from Oczakow.
6 A few days after the publication of the former edition of this Sermon, the person who attended Mr. HOWARD on his journey, and in whose arms he expired, arrived from Cherson. From him, among other particulars, I learn that he inet death with submission, composure, and fortitude; and that be retained his senses to the last, expressing the pleasing satisfaction he felt in the prospect of going hoine to his father and his God.'
c Rev. xiv, 13.
joyment of that freedom, health, and happiness be so benevolently wished all mankind to possess :
soul he bathes
Across his peaceful breast. Glory too is his reward. While the angel of mercy wiped the falling tear from his eye, God the Judge of all, placed a crown of righteousness on his head. So, with a satisfaction unhurt by the pain he had often felt from the applause of men, he received the plaudit of his divine Master. Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord a. The sentence was heard by the heavenly choir, who instantly, with one voice, echoed back their loud Amen.
a Matth. xxv. 23.