« AnteriorContinuar »
whom, in the latter part of the year 1828, he was presented to the vicarages of Bidford and Prior's Salford.
He had scarcely entered on the duties of these populous and interesting parishes, when he was visited with a most overwhelming affliction, in the death of his beloved wife, which happened immediately after the birth of her seventh child. Her bereaved husband was left with this large family, in a state of the deepest distress, aggravated by the circumstance of two of the children being subjects of hopeless mental imbecility; the new-born infant also soon shewing but too certain indications that it would be a sharer in the same calamity. Though no murmuring, or repining language escaped the lips of my afflicted brother, under this accumulation of sorrows, yet his heart was evidently wounded within him; he had received a stroke from which it was feared, by his most intimate friends, it would be long before he sufficiently recovered to attend to the concerns either of his family or his parish. It was therefore with much satisfaction they learned that he was forming, (perhaps in some degree at their suggestion) in the early part of the year 1830, a second matrimonial alliance, in every respect suited to promote his own comfort and usefulness, as well as the best interests of his family and people.
But how mysterious are the ways of Providence! Just rising from these depths of depression, and recovering his natural spirits, my brother and his new and excellent associate
were engaging with delight, in various plans for the temporal and spiritual good of his parishioners; an employment rendered peculiarly pleasing by the affection with which he was hailed by his people, and the cordial support they gave to all he attempted : and no doubt many were the cheering hopes which were at that time presented to his view. But we' “know not what a day may bring forth !" . In the beginning of the month of August, he was suddenly taken ill, in a manner which at first excited some apprehensions, but the disease seeming readily to yield to medicine, all alarm subsided; and as nothing apparently remained but debility, he was advised to take an excursion to the sea coast. Accordingly, on Monday, August 23d, he left home in an open chaise, for Aberyswith, accompanied by Mrs. Scott and a man servant,
He arrived on the afternoon of the following Thursday, among the bleak hills of Radnorshire, Hitherto the effects of his journey appeared to be highly beneficial, and he had been just remarking to Mrs. Scott, that he seemed to improve in health every mile, when he was seized with violent sickness and agonizing pain in his stomach. His own impression was that he was dying; and it was with much difficulty that he could be carried forward to a small inn in the little village of Llandegley, between New Radnor and Pen-y-bont. Though the violence of the first symptoms in some degree abated, he was fully aware that the disease was sent to remove him from this present world. The thought, however, produced no
alarm or perturbation ; his loins were girded, his lamp was burning, and he was waiting for the coming of his Lord.
Shortly before he left home, having continued for a considerable time alone, he remarked to Mrs. Scott, that he thought it had been the happiest hour of his life. He had, he said, been praying for her, for his children, for his people, and for his servants, with a freedom and delight he had never before experienced. It seems as if it had been under the influence of this spiritual cordial, that he set off to the place where he was to finish his mortal course. The same delightful calm rested on his spirit, when laid on his dying bed, under circumstances in every way distressing, and without a friend near him, except his afflicted wife, till she was relieved in her painful duties, by the arrival of her two sisters from Worcester and Birmingham.
And here it may not be amiss to pause, to notice the kind. ness with which the Lord saw fit to soothe the feelings, and to mitigate the sorrows, of his afflicted servants. When they arrived in the evening of a wet and stormy day, at Llandegley, their distress was greatly increased, by finding that no medical aid could be obtained for several hours, (as neither physician or surgeon resides within ten or twelve miles of this solitary spot,) and instant relief seemed quite necessary, for he was apparently dying. In this moment of despairing sorrow, Mrs. Scott met a gentleman upon the stairs, of whom she anxiously enquired if there were no possibility of obtaining more prompt assistance, in a case so urgent and distressing. To her inexpressible relief and joy, he told her that he was a physician, and though not now, practising, yet in such a case of extremity, he would see the patient. This physician was Dr. Macartney, of Dublin, who had been making some stay at Llandegley, for the purpose of examining a sulphureous spring in a field adjoining the village, but who was going away on the following morning.
Though the nature of the disease, (an extensive internal inflammation) was such as to admit of no cure, the kind attention of Dr. Macartney mitigated the sufferings of my poor brother, and was a source of inexpressible comfort to his afflicted wife: and I have great pleasure in acknowledging, on behalf of myself, and all our family, the obligation we feel to Dr. Macartney, who continued to give his close attendance to this fortuitous patient, till he could resign him into the skilful hands of Dr. Davis, of Presteign.
Nor can I omit to mention another circumstance peouliarly gratifying to persons in the distressing situation of my dear relatives at this time. Mr. Mitchell, of Kington, a surgeon of extensive practice and high character, was requested to visit my brother. When he arrived at Llandegley, he discovered in his patient the son of the excellent man on whose ministry he had been used to attend in early life: and whose memory and writings he still holds in the highest esteem.
His attention to my dying brother was most unremitting ; but it was not only the gratuitous attention of a highly skilful medical practitioner, but that of an affectionate Christian friend, who made it his study, by every means, to soothe those sufferings which he could not remove.
Though the rapid progress of the disease might in some degree be retarded by the skill of his medical attendants, yet the fatal termination could not be averted. He breathed his last on the evening of Monday, the 30th of August ; and according to his own express directions, he was buried on the Friday following, in the Churchyard of Llandegley, which adjoins the house wherein he died.
It is generally known that my father had very little property to leave to his children, and that his sons did not seek to enrich themselves by wealthy marriages. * My late brother, till a very short time before his death, had no other emolument in the church, than a salary of £75. per annum from a village curacy, with a house sufficiently large to enable him to improve his income by receiving a very small number of pupils at a moderate premium. Upon his decease, it therefore naturally became a subject of anxious inquiry amongst his friends, what provision there was for his large and afflicted family? It was known that a small property of his first wife, was by settlement secured
* Vie Life of the Rev. Thomas Scott, Rector of Aston Sandford, by the Rev. J. Scott, M. A. &c. p. 395.