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HAVING but very lately become acquainted with your Miscellany, of
course I am ignorant of inany of the subjects which may have been treated of in it The following idea I have never met with, either in reading or conversation; if it has already been discussed, I should be much obliged to you for a reference; if not, shall esteem it as a favour if you will insert the following observations, in the hope that some more able pen will take up the subject.
I have ever considered the Jews as a most wonderful people, and the dispensations of providence towards them, as very mysterious. Their system of religion was highly figurative, and the land of Canaan is allowed by all commentators to have been typical of heaven; and I humbly submit whether their destruction as a nation, and utter dispersion for so many centuries, is not typical of the present destruction and future punishment of wicked men. But as we are assured of their restoration to their own land, from the unerring word of prophecy, I again submit whether that event will not be typical of the final restoration of all the guilty sons of Adam.*
Though the Jews were destroyed as a nation, yet their seed has been wonderiully preserved in the earth, and their future restoration will be for the fuifilment of those gracious promises which Almighty goodness was pleased to make to them, and not on account of any righteousness in them. So likewise wicked men will be preserved from annihilation through the ages of judgment, in order to their final restoration, which will be effected in their favour, for the fulfilment of those great and glorious promises, which God hath been pleased to make in Jesus Christ, to all his fallen creatures, and not on account of their having made satisfaction to divine justice by their sufferings; that satisfaction having been already made by the death of Christ.
I am persuaded that a very interesting parallel might be drawn between the dealings of God with the Jewish nation, and his conduct towards individuais in all ages; but this I must leave (at least for the present) to some of your correspondents, who may have more leisure and greater ability for the undertaking than myself, and remain,
THE following letter was originally intended to have been sent to a
mother who became a prey to excessive grief, on the loss of a much loved child: your Miscellany of that day presented your reader with an excellent letter of consolation upon the subject. If I recollect aright, you treated it chiefly in a religious point of view; the present offers reflections on the moral duties of parents, always regarding the indispensible necessity of submitting to the Divine will. consider it worthy of a place in your valuable repository, it will be highly gratifying to the author that his sentiments are approved by you. DULWICH COMMON,
M. C. Jun.
ALTHOUGH I am not called upon by the kindness of a
correspondence to commisserate with you in your distresses, a monitor 1 dare not disobey bids me sympathize with the afflicted: it bids me also try to check that disposition for excessive grief to w
you become a prey, to reason you into the duties you owe to a Creator, who gave all, and who takes and spares as best suits the final purpose he has to accomplish.
Those who have experienced losses like yours have felt as you feel; and although I cannot be entirely competent, from any experimental proof, to participate in the more tender feelings of a mother, yet such as nature has given to the susceptil ie heart of a father, I think I have felt.
That violence of passion which is frequently an inhabitant of the most benevolent breast, would hurry us into strange extremes, hut for that blessing, reason, which providence has given to men to avert its consequences: to every other animal is given a parental anxiety, which a few hours absorps in forgetfulness; but in human nature, as providence has implanted memory, so has he also given reason to soften the otherwise tao fatal effects of excessive affliction. If these are blessings they should be used with gratitude.
I am ill calculated to cite from books of divinity claims which God has upon you for acquiescence in his will; indeed you have an honest and zealous teacher who, as your friend, will not be negligent in cominunicating the evidences which the gospel affords. Submitting, as I hope I do, to every dispensation of the Creator, (and surely I may say I have felt many afflictions) Iconsider his will my law, submission a duty.
To call to your mind the remembrance of your lost infant, must, I feel,
Heaven gave to
unavoidably give fresh anguish to the wound I would heal; but a painful operation frequently produces a more effectual cure. your elder sisters children and has been pleased to take froin each two of them, at periods in life when it is particularly painful to part. They have feelings as sensible, although perhaps not so acute, as those you possess; but they are mothers, and consequently, as good mothers, the distinction cannot be very great. Time and a succession of events, has “ mellowed their grief into a tender remembrance;" reflecting, then how that grief las subsided, probably you will see inuch reason to hope the very poignant sorrow you indulge will gradually wear away.
Every aniinal into which God has infused the breath of life, from the very nature of aniinal economy, inust, at some period, dissolve into its native earth: froin the course of our nature, infant existence is extremely uncertain; the diseases to which that season of life is subject, renders it very precarious, as well as the uncertainty of a climate, in which hundreds of all ages daily die. Since death, then, must happen to allo and infancy is so peculiarly liable to its sudden influence, şutter me now to reason on the duty you are under to submit to the event, and thank God for the circumstances under which it happened.
Your child sunk into the arins of death in one of the most frequent of infant maladies (convulsive fits); not by,a lingering disease, where perpetual anguish augments anxiety--not in the absence of its parenta not by your own negligence (which sometimes happens, even to tender mothers)--not by the accidents of fire or water, or other. numberless misfortunes that hourly shock us, but in the arms of its parent, and aided by every probable advantage human assistance could administer. It is true he is gone ! not to perpetual oblivion-but be assured, from me, who zm neither a bigot or enthusiast, to eternal life!to those blissful regions, where you shall again behold him.
When you have coolly reflected that your child died according to the ordinary course of nature, and that none of those unfortunate: accidents befel him, the recollection of which is a perpetual sting to a parent's mind-although, indeed, these are by the will, or rather, by the permission of providence- you will, if you do well, look arounds, and observe the vicissitudes to which human nature is subject, and the distresses, from wbich even the most exalted situations are not exempte. You lave seen the children of the dignified and the opulent, become victims to riot and debauchery, degraded by every vice. You have seen those that were nursed in the lap of profusion, deprived of their parents by the power of death, left, helpless and unprotected, a prey to every necessity. Either compelled by want, or prompted by prider others have become viglators of the laws, and terminated their existence in ignominy and shaine. What hayock has not war, and the ambition of princes, made among the children of the peasanı! what numbers. have become vi&tims to the sword, or a prey to the waves! Look through human life at home; observe the necessities of yould and age; reflect into what hands your remaining child may fali, when you are bidden to eternity. The child you have lost, is taken from you, no doubt, for some good purpose ;, his existence here might, for augbt we
kuow, have produced some event more distressing than death, the common lot of all: and although the Providence that created us, can doub•less prevent calamities to individuals, yet we are to consider all nature as dear to him, and the order of all things must not be disturbed to accommodate the tenderness of individuals to their own cinnections. The ways of heaven are intricate; but question not they are ultimately just; and I am sure, our conception is very inadequate to the forming a just idea of the blessings reserved for those that do right. What that right is, I shall no otherwise define than by recommending you never to do an act which your own mind dictates to you to be wrong; nor omit that which the like conviction tells you is fit to be done.
I have submitted these reflections to your consideration, as hints which your own good sense will, no doubt, apply; and although I would do the duty of a friend, with as little violence to your feelings as possible, to discharge it properly I must not pass over some little duties which the Almighty will expect of you.
you two children, and will, in all probability, bless you with a third; you owe to each an equal duty; and although grief is not a matter of choice, yet much
be done hy cool reflection; every effect to be produced by the exercise of reason, it is your duty to hope for by the exercise of reason; and I think you will obey its diétates. By indulging grief in your present situation, the most fatal effećis may befal an infant who has not yet seen the light; and although I would not join the superstitious herd in calling such events judgments of the Divinity, yet I may presume them to be lessons, which it becomes the prudent to avert by every possible caution. Heaven having been pleased to call back a part of what was given, consider it as a providential display to some future good end; and then turn your eyes to your remaining boy; for should heaven spare you but one, he will need all the protection a parent can afford. Desirous as we are of life, take but a prospective view of the affairs of men, and reflect upon the many perils a child must undergo ere he can provide for himself: it must be so from the very nature of things. The grief which is now so poignant for
lost boy will subside, and fresh impressions be the effect of new images and future occurrences; but the tears you will shed, in the common course of events, for your surviving child, will exceed calculation. The mischievous habits of infancy will be succeeded by the refractory disposition of boyish playfulness : in its season, these will give place to the obstinacy of the earlier years of maturity; all common sources of parental discontent, but the intervening calamities are in the womb of time; many must fall to the lot of all our children; those only that sleep in death are beyond the reach of every unhappy event: bless, then, the hand of that Providence whose ways are good, and do your duty by educating your child in a manner that may form the man of integrity; teach him, as the rule of all his actions, never to do that to another, which, being done to him, he would consider an injury. I know of no better rule to ensure a contented mind; and he that possesses this blessing has little to fear.
I trust you will hardly consider me to have used any unwarrantable freedom: indeed, I am sure you will not attribute to me any thing but a good purpose, ill as it may be executed. I shall write to you soon on other subjects; at present 1 chuse to avoid any other than that which gave occasion to the present letter. Let me recommend to your first attention that omnipotent power I have so often mentioned, submitting yourself, with a becoming resignation, to every event of huinan life, and to his providential care. I lament I have no power to serve you, but the feeble efforts of my reasoning for your welfare; but should you need a friendship within the compass of my ability, by making the experiment you will prove the sincerity of it. DULWICH COMMON,
M. C. Jun.
THE PRINCES DOWAGER OF WALES.
Oh sweet benevolence! the sacred chain
WHILE others are deeply engaged in the business of corruption and
party, in circulating scandal, or in defaming the innocent, permit me to be the historian of benevolence and virtue.-- -While our nobility ad gentry, affecting the wretched levity of France, exhaust their time in an eternal round of frivolous amusements, which are at once mischievous and insignificant; let me be the recorder of other deeds and other characters-scenes which acquire importance from being true, and which are truly splendid because they are truly good. When royalty becomes the patron of humanity, they reflect a lustre upon each other, and we are called upon by double obligations to imitate the bright example.
Her late royal highness the princess dowager of Wales possessed many extraordinary virtues. A soft heart, a sympathetic soul, and exalted sentiments, were qualities natural to her. 'Early trained in the school of misfortune, she had a quick and lively conception of distress in others; and she was equally expeditious in administering comfort to it. This was her ruling principle; this was the fertile fountain of her other virtues, and these virtues were the more amiable, as they blooined always in private and unseen, and yielded their imınortal fruit in silence and retirement. Let those wretches blush, who levelled their scandal at large at her reputation and her peace, and who have so often denied the existence of those virtues which they were unacquainted with.
Her royal highness, soon after her first arrival in these dominions, derived great pleasure from perusing the news-papers; a custom VOL. IV.