« ForrigeFortsæt »
WORLDLY INTERCOURSE AND FAMILY DUTIES.
SHORT MEMOIR OF THE WRITER,
BY A BROTHER.
“ A true witness delivereth souls.”- Prov. xiv. 25.
JAMES NISBET, BERNERS STREET.
1419 f. 200
nothing more than ideal remedies and unsubstantial blessings.
Christianity finds man, in his natural state, alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in him,* with no knowledge of the way of real happiness and peace,+ with no desires, or with very vague, undefined, and misdirected desires, beyond the present world. It finds indeed the descendants of fallen Adam born into the world with a diversity of natural gifts and dispositions—the lively and the morose, the gentle and the violent, the clever and the dull. But it finds none with those dispositions which are the pre-requisites for heaven, none mourning for sin, I hungering and thirsting after righteousness, crucified to the world, 9 and panting for God, the living God.ll
Wherever, then, this holy and blessed religion is received, it enlightens the understanding, as to spiritual and heavenly things; it gives a new bias to the desires and affections,* it supplies fresh motives of action, it unfolds new objects of pursuit. It points, indeed, to dangers before unfeared and unsuspected, but at the same time it directs to sources of strength and safety, before untried and undesired. It causes springs to break forth in the wilderness, and fountains in the desert.+ It reveals, in short, salvation to the lost, rest to the weary and heavy laden, comfort to the mourner, Heaven to the outcast. It brings the rebel back to loyalty, it restores the prodigal to his reconciled Father, I it leads the wanderer to a safe and happy fold, it raises the beggar from the dunghill, and sets him among princes.g
* Ephes. iv. 18. + Rom. iii. 17. | Matt. v. 3, 4. 6. § Gal. vi. 14. || Psalm xlii. 2.
Ephes. i. 18.
The writer of the following dialogues found the spirit, and power, and blessedness of the Gospel of Christ to be such as I have endeavoured to describe them. She was one of those of whom not few instances are to be found in civilized communities, who, as to natural character, are lovely and worthily beloved. The deeply-attached brother, who would now endeavour briefly to call her ways to remembrance, can readily revert to those endearing qualities of his departed sister, which drew to her, be scruples not to say, not only the lively and constant affection of her own family, but the high opinion and growing regards of all who knew her.
* 2 Cor. v. 17. + Isa. xxxv. 6. | Luke xv. 11, &c. § Psalm cxiii. 7, 8.
The early years of the subject of this memoir were marked by those features of character and habits of conduct, which are usually deemed to constitute all that is amiable and desirable in the private and unobtrusive walks of life. One of a large family, by a peculiar vivacity and cheerfulness of disposition, a tenderness and susceptibility of feeling, a quickness, if not a brilliancy of talent, together with a sober and well exercised judgment, she attracted to herself, as to a centre, the love, the admiration, the high estimation, of those who moved around her.
Being the daughter of a country gentleman, she had those advantages of education,
which are usually enjoyed under such circumstances. And that her vigorous mind entered into the subjects of her study, and enabled her to comprehend and profit by them, might easily be shewn, from the interesting and able manuscripts she has left on various topics.
I know not that she could have been charged with any outward omissions of those relative duties which in her early years she had to discharge. As a daughter she was ever dutiful, and most fondly and tenderly attached to her parents. As a sister, and a friend, she was most kind, and gentle, and affectionate; cheerful and animated herself, and apparently anxious to communicate her feelings to others.
As to her external attention also to religious duties, her whole conduct was regular and decorous, and, so far as the declaration would apply to her, might perhaps have said, as the Apostle Paul declared of himself before his conversion, that she was, “ touching the righteousness which is in the