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her grandmother did greatly comfort her; and when she would be in the greatest anguish, these two passages of holy Scripture gave cure and relief to her spirit: One day with the Lord is as a thousand years; and a thousand years as one day.' When the wicked turneth away from his wickedness which he hath committed, and doth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.' However, the deep impression of this threatening, remained on her spirit for several years.
"When she was with her parents, her mother happened to be visited, with a severe and long sickness, during which she constantly attended her, and ministered to her in every thing, sitting up by her in the night to serve, her; and the seeing her mother so afflicted, and the apprehensions of her death, and the solitary nights she spent in attending her, made her very thoughtful; so that she employed them much in reading the Scriptures and devout books, and came thereby to have a deep sense of her duty to God, and received her parent's blessing for her so pious care of her; of the good of all which she was afterwards very sensible.
"In the sixteenth year of her age, she was married to the Hon. James Ogilvie, second son to the Earl of Findlater, who was afterwards created Earl of Seafield, and whose eminent parts appeared in the discharge of two great offices of state; that of secretary of state, and that of lord high chancellor, to which he was advanced in this and the last reign; first to the one, and then to the other; and that for two several times, continuing in the last till the late union of both kingdoms into one, of Great Britain.
"When he came first to ask her for his wife, her father having told her of it the night before, some of her acquaintances pressed her to look out of her window to see him while he alighted (for she had never seen him), but she would not do it.
When he first addressed her, she gave him no other return but that she was to obey her parents, and be directed by them. When all was agreed unto, he made her a present of a rich diamond ring, but she would by no means accept of it till the marriage was solemnized; she considering, that many have been contracted, who have not been married together; and that if it should so happen with her, such a present could not be kept, and therefore she chose rather not to accept of it.
"The entering into the married state so young, where she foresaw sỐ many difficulties, made her very thoughtful, and therefore she had recourse to God; and begged earnestly, counsel and direction from him. And this she said she did afterwards in all her difficulties, and that she found God was pleased to direct her and bring her through them she knew not how.
"When she was first married, her husband had no plentiful fortune in the world, although he had the prospect of being his father's heir, (his elder brother, though alive, being very infirm); yet the estate of the family was under such burdens, that it was scarcely better than none at all. This made her give great application to a careful and prudent management; and their worldly wealth still increasing, and God blessing them with a plentiful fortune, and her husband being for the most part from home, and committing to her the care and management of his own estate, she did it with great application and fidelity. She looked on herself as the steward of it for her husband, and that she was obliged to be faithful to her trust.
"When her first-born son was born, being of a thin body, she was prevailed with to give him to be nurst by another woman, who, proving a very bad nurse, occasioned much sickness to the child; which brought him to the gates of death, for which the mother had deep remorse; and having met with the
Same affliction in her second child, for which she was touched with like trouble, she resolved afterwards to nurse her own children, which she accordingly assayed in the next child, her present eldest daughter; but after two months' suckling, she became so weak that she was forced to give it over.
Though her husband was, for the most part, always abroad, being employed in the public affairs, yet she kept still at home, being careful to educate and bring up her children in virtue and piety, and looked well to the ways of her household, and ate not the bread of idleness: a rare example for the ladies of this age.
"She was most careful to nip the first buds of vice that appeared in her children, and to pull them up by the root. She still inculcated to them the heinousness of their disobedience to God, and their sinning against him, and would not forgive them the offence they had done, till they had first earnestly begged pardon of God. And she made them still conceive that the reason of their obedience to her commands, was be cause it was the will of God, and he commanded it. Her eldest son, in his childhood, when about five or six years of age, having learned from the servants to take the name of God in vain, she wrought in him such a sense of the baseness and heinousness of that crime, that ever afterwards he had a horror of it. At another time, about the eighth or ninth year of his age, she having given him a little money to carry to a beggar whom she saw at the gate, he was tempted by a boy, of the same age with himself, to buy figs with it. This coming to her ears, she so laid before him the heinousness of this sin; the greatness of the theft he had committed in robbing the poor; the dreadfulness of the account he must have to give at the last judgment for this uncharitableness, when we shall be judged by Jesus Christ according to our charity or want of it; and did so inculcate upon him the thoughts of death and judgment,
heaven and hell, as made him to tremble, and gave him a deep sense of that charity and compassion which we ought to have for the poor and miserable. There was nothing she was more careful to curb in her children than the least inclination to lying or deceit. She was also careful to suppress in them the least inclination to pride and self-conceit. And when she found them lifted up, she would take occasion to humble them, and so to point out to them their faults as to mortify their pride.
"Though it was still her care to make no shew in her devotion, and not to be seen of men, yet, for the most part, she constantly retired thrice a day for prayer and meditation on the holy Scriptures; and in particular on the Lord's day in the afternoon; and frequently took in some one of her children with her, keeping her child under her arm while she prayed with great devotion; and afterwards would set down and speak seriously to the child of the obedience and love he owed to God, the duty of depending upon him, and having recourse to him by prayer on all occasions, repenting and confessing his sins before him. And she would then reprove him mildly of any particular faults she thought he was guilty of, and recommend to him the particular duties he ought to perform; and especially to employ the Lord's day in reading and meditating on the holy Scriptures and in prayer. She would then dismiss the child to get by heart a portion of a psalm or some other part of the holy Scripture; and after she had ended her own devotions, would call in the child again, and take an account of it. She accustomed the children, from their infancy, to pray morning and evening, and recommended to them, before they fell asleep, to call to mind some passage of Scripture, and meditate upon it; and when they awoke in the morning, to do the same.
"About a year after their marriage, they came to live with the Earl of Findlater, her husband's
father, at his house of Cullen, where the Countess of Findlater being deceased, the whole care of the family was committed to her; in the ma nagement of which she discovered a wonderful prudence and discretion, far beyond what could have been expected from a young lady of eighteen years of age. There were in the family, besides the lady and her own husband, the Earl of Findlater, his eldest son, the Lord Deskfoord, the earl's two daughters, both of them older than herself, and a younger son and these were of such different tempers and interests, that it was not easy to oblige one without disobliging the other: and yet this young lady so lived among them, as to obtain the esteem and good will of all, and to avoid a concern in their little quarrels and resentments. She heard them complain of each other without offending the person complained of, and was displeasing to none of thent.
"The Earl of Seafield had been in public office several years, both in Edinburgh and London, before he obliged his lady to leave her country-house to come to live with him at court or in the city. The ladies were wont to express their surprise why she lived still in the country; and concluded her lord was ashamed to bring her to the court and the city, because of her rural breeding. They earnestly pressed him to bring her up, and they pleased themselves with the fancy of the sport and divertisement they should have in the manners, speech, conversation, and behaviour of a country lass; and how odd she would look when she was out of her element. She knew not what it was to disobey her husband; and as she was well pleased to live in the country so long as he saw it fit, so she made no scruple, upon his call, to come to the city. Before she came first to Edinburgh, she had never been in a town so remarkable as Aberdeen, and therefore one would think every thing might seem strange to her; but, on the contrary,
she did not appear at all affected with the novelty of things. When the ladies and others came to visit her, they were surprised to find how much they had been mistaken in their opinion of her, and that, instead of rural manners, they beheld a lady endued with all the valuable accomplishments of the breeding of a court and city, and tainted with none of their vices. Her behaviour towards others was so courteous, that never any one who saw her, of what quality soever, thought her wanting in the respect due to them. Whatever occasions offered of doing good offices to others, she was ready to embrace them. In conversation she had an easiness of expressing herself in proper words, without the least affectation. She was so well versed both in ancient and modern history, and in the present state of Europe, and in matters of religion, that no subject of conversation did usually occur to which she was a stranger. She had nothing of the coquetry of the age; her behaviour in all things was perfectly modest and unaffected; and both in Scotland and England, in the opinion of the most discerning persons, she obtained the character of one of the most accomplished ladies in Britain, and had the good will and esteem of all ranks of people.
" The Earl of Seafield being engaged in the interest and service of the court at the time when the discontents of the nation swelled to a great height, he became one chief butt of their displeasure which is the ordinary fate of ministers of state. His lady on all occasions stood up for the honour and interest of her husband, and to vindicate him from the res proaches cast upon him; and yet, nevertheless, retained the general good will, so that when the rabble arose at Edinburgh with respect to Darien, and broke the glass windows and did other indignities to houses which wanted illuminations;
though there were none in the Earl of Seafield's house where his lady then was; and though they were on
their march to commit insolences there;-yet upon a suggestion made them that none was there but this virtuous lady, and that it would be ungenerous to treat her indiscreetly, they turned their course another way.
"In the year 1706, her lord being then Chancellor of Scotland, and about to return from court, and having desired her to meet him at Edinburgh against such a time; while she was making ready for the journey, she was seized suddenly in her closet, at the moment that she was employed in preparing to receive the sacrament on the next Lord's day, with a violent vomiting of blood, which returned more than once, and brought her to the very gates of death. God was pleased to call her, not only by this sudden and unexpected stroke, but by the checks and motions of his Holy Spirit; and she was struck with a deep sense of God's wonderful mercies to her, and of her abuse of them. She had before her the prospect of death and eternity, and felt how unfit she was to enter into it. On the review of her whole life, though she had not been guilty of what the world would account heinous crimes, yet she found that she had been seeking herself and her own reputation more than God; and saw what a difference there was between that virtue which is founded on true humility and the sincere love of God, and is the work of his grace and Spirit, and that which is only the effect of self-love. She was struck with deep remorse that in all things she had sought herself more than God, and by ardent prayers implored his mercy and compassion for Christ Jesus' sake, And while she was in the extremity of weakness, she caused her eldest daughter to read to her the fifth chapter of Matthew, and made so excellent a discourse on the eight beatitudes, therein contained, that it greatly affected and left a deep impression on the spirits of all who were present. She devoted herself wholly toGod, and begged earnestly,
if it were his holy will, that he would be pleased to spare her yet awhile, even but for one year more. The Lord heard her prayer, and beyond the expectation of all she was restored to health, and had the least she desired granted her, so that her soul was full of devout adoration. And in this divine frame and disposition of spirit, she wrote meditations on the Lord's prayer, which, when she perused them, served to enkindle her devotion."
The whole of these meditations are inserted in the manuscript. A few extracts from them will serve to mark their character.
"O holy Lord God, come then and rule in my heart. Be my king, and establish thyself a throne in my affections; and govern my will, that I may be a most obedient subject unto thee. O hasten the day when all knees shall bow before thee, and all tongues shall confess thy name; when the Gospel shall shine gloriously, and Jew and Gentile shall, in their beart and practice, acknowledge the Messiah, and turn their affections to the great and mighty God."
"O God, I desire to give up my will unto thee; and let thy will be done in and by me, and not only in me, but in all that is mine. O pull down every thought that raiseth itself in disobedience to thee, and every base imagination, that thy will may be fully obeyed not only by me, but in all the earth. Give thy enlightening Spirit, that thy will may be known, and that it may dissipate the thick clouds of iniquity that darken or go between thee and us." "Lord, let me no longer satisfy myself with praying, Thy will be done; but by an actual giving myself to be guided by thy revealed will, and by submission to thy providential will, may I follow thee in all thy steps."
"Lord Jesus, thou art the bread of life: give me that bread which shall feed me to life everlasting; and grant, that as I cannot live without a dependence on thee, so may I never
desire to live without it, but that the eyes of my soul may be always looking towards thee, and receiving with thankfulness my temporal and spiritual food from thy hands." "O that I could give my heart entirely to thee! Lord, I am a poor defiled wretch; but it is by thy blood I must be cleansed, whose I am, and to whom I do resign myself, soul and body, and all that is mine. This is but what gratitude obliges me to, since he gave himself for sinners, of whom I am the chief.”
"O holy Lord Jesus, grant that my passions may be subdued to thee, and that all my revenge and anger may be against sin; that I may strive through thy strength to root it out of my heart; that I may be a declared enemy to the devil, the world, and the flesh, whom I renounced in my baptism, and have declared war against often in the Yows which I have made to thee."
"O keep me from relying on any thing but Christ and him crucified, and on thy abounding mercy. O holy Lord God, purge me from sin, and pardon the sins of my holy duties, my wandering and vain thoughts in prayer. O take away my hardness and stupidity of heart; possess my will, and fill my affections. Thou art the only object that is worthy of all love! Thou only canst satisfy a right-placed affection!"
"These," the writer of the paper observes," are the excellent meditations which this lady then formed on this divine prayer; and they manifest not only the clearness and exactness of her thoughts, but also the deep sense and feeling of her beart with respect to the greatness and goodness of God, and the infinite obligations she had to love him with all her heart, and her great unduti fulness to so good a God, and the hopes she had in his mercy through Jesus Christ, to which she flies, yielding up her will wholly unto his, and resolving in the strength of his grace to live from henceforth wholly unto him, that he might reign and rule in her heart, and no idol might find
any place there. Nothing of this was known till a few days before her death, when she desired one of her maids to look for such a paper in her cabinet, and bring it to her, that some parts of it being read to her, she might the more reproach herself for not having walked answerably to such powerful calls, and such solemn engagements."
(To be continued.)
To the Editor of the Christian Observer, So much has been said of late respecting Gospel preaching and Gospel ministers; and those who are most frequent in the use of the terms seem to understand so little of their real import, that I must look upon it as an essential service to the eause of religion, to endeavour to communicate precise and just views on the subject. What, then, is it to preach the Gopsel? And who are they who may be considered as fairly entitled to the appellation of evangelical ministers? These questions appear to me to be satisfactorily answered in the inclosed paper; with the insertion of which I should be glad to see you open your new volume. This paper is the production of a friend whom I most highly value, but whose modesty would not permit him to see in it any thing which was calculated for the general benefit. My opinion is certainly widely different from his; and I have prevailed with him to submit it to the test of your judgment. Should your opinion coincide with mine, I sincerely hope that it will serve to encourage the author of it (who entertains great respect for your decisions in general) to become a more frequent contributor to your work. I am well persuaded that he could not write without interesting and enlightening your readers. I am, &é.