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towards the best objects. Isometimes feel as though I could mourn over everything I have ever done, and sink into dejection. Pray that I may live to better purpose. I cannot be happy unless I do. I am weary of my uselessness and of my nothingness. I do not want to be raised in the eyes of the world, or of the church, but in the favour of the Lord. My soul longs for food from heaven, nothing else can fill the painful void I sometimes feel. Our mutual affection for each other is the greatest earthly blessing I possess; but this affection cannot fill my soul with peace, if the Lord do not shed the light of His countenance upon me. “H. KILHAM.”
The following letter was written to her sister:
“Nottingham, July 5, 1798.
“I rejoice, my love, to hear of your prosperity. The Lord bless and be with you still ! You say you are happy in your freedom from worldly cares: I know you are. May you enjoy your freedom still, if you conceive it to be for the glory of God and your own peace. For myself I cannot, no, not for a moment, repent that I have entered into what you call ‘entanglements.’ It is true the cares of the world come upon one; and perhaps we are called to greater exertions of mind in this state; but the goodness of God has attached affections to duties, and thus the toils of life are softened, and duty made delightful. Perhaps you, who have so long lived with me, may have observed that melancholy was always one of my besetting evils. The grace of God has, during the last two years, in a great measure banished this
spirit. I have never for a moment, since I first experienced a sense of the favour of God, found that painful void in my soul which once distressed me. If we would know happiness it must be by the unfolding of our faculties, and the exercise of them, particularly of the affections; first to the great the benevolent Author of our being, and from Him to all His hand has made.
“Perhaps there is not in the world so good an antidote against low spirits as to visit and endeavour to administer comfort to the afflicted. It is here we imitate Jesus. That name is unspeakably precious to my soul in this solemn moment! The good Shepherd who brought us back from the dark, the wretched mountains of sin and error, still He traverses the wilderness in search of the sheep that is lost. Let us pray that we may be taught to imitate Him! My dear Sarah, if our hearts are right we shall sink into humility, the depth of humility, whenever He suffers us to become His messengers of peace! We shall acknowledge it an unspeakable mercy, a mercy we are unworthy of ! Oh, that the kingdom of Jesus may spread on every side"—no other can do us good. I was writing to you a few minutes ago about melancholy; and, just as I was leaving the subject, I wondered why I should mention it to you, who never feel anything of it. Perhaps you may meet with some who do; and, if you should, entreat them to seek out those who have more cause to mourn than they have, and to endeavour by the grace of God to pour into their spirits the balm of consolation, and the Lord will not suffer them to remain themselves comfortless!
“ H. K.” D
“Truly the Lord Jehovah is with us, the God of Jacob is our defence : O, that we could praise Him for his goodness, and adore Him for His love for ever ! Surely my lines are fallen in pleasant places, and I have a goodly heritage. After the morning preaching I could not but weep for joy; the Redeemer appeared so precious, and His ways so delightful. It is impossible to express the joy I feel in seeking the salvation of my fellow-creatures.
“At H- I met with much unjust reproach ; but when I go to God I find power to cast my care into His hands. I can appeal to Him that I am jealous for His adorable name, and desirous of promoting His praise. Labour is delightful when the heart is truly engaged; perhaps very few have more exercises than I have at present: I can seldom spare more than five hours for sleep, and I am frequently much fatigued; but still I find that ‘wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness.'
“It is our duty to endure hardships as good soldiers of Christ. It is necessary that we should be sisted as wheat. Jesus Christ, however, prays for us, and while we have His intercession before God, we shall not be left comfortless. ‘Let us go therefore without the camp bearing His reproach ''
“Nov. 1798. “The Lord seems to have set me in the hottest post, to endure reproach and shame for His sake; yet amidst all, the cross of Christ is precious, and I am happy in being accounted worthy to suffer for His sake. Oh, that I may ever do so as a Christian I long to be made perfect through suffering that God may be glorified in my life and death. When I am fully engaged in preaching and writing, my soul rejoices to run its course. I am conscious the Lord requires me to take the steps I am now pursuing, and therefore my heart rejoices, and my joy is frequently unspeakable and full of glory. “A. K.”
About the end of November my father returned. He appeared much exhausted: he however did not relinquish his labours, though he went through them with evident weakness. The following particulars of the last few days of his life were furnished by my mother to the editors of his Life.
“On Wednesday, December 12th, 1798, it was thought my husband took a violent cold in walking home, between four and five miles from the country. The next morning he had much pain in his back and shoulders, which continued increasing till Friday, when it was so violent that he compared it to boiling lead pouring on the part. Both the surgeon and himself conceived the pain to be rheumatic. On Saturday he suffered a great deal from the application of a blister, and on Sunday morning appeared in a very weak state. In the course of his affliction he would ask me to pray by him; and, though I suffered much in seeing his situation, I found the Ilord near to help in the time of need. When his pain was great he would frequently call on the name of his Redeemer and his God, praying that, if consistent with His will, he might experience some relief; but would add, ‘Not my will, but Thine be done.” On the evening of Tuesday he appeared to be recovering, notwithstanding he had had so little sleep. In the evening of this day my husband prayed with an enlargement of heart, with a depth of feeling, such as I had never known before : his soul indeed appeared to be deeply engaged with God, and his desires for the prosperity of our souls, for the good of the church, and for the salvation of the world were more affectionate than ever. He expressed a deep and affecting sense of the mercy of God, in that ‘He had not left us to wander in our sins.” Oh, what did my soul feel while we were engaged in that solemn hour ! My mind was powerfully impressed with the thought that we who were present should soon be separated by death; but did not apprehend that the Lord was going to call my dear husband. Our dear child was so much struck with her father's manner of praying, that she observed to the servant that she had never heard him pray so before. I do not know that he had five minutes good sleep during the night; notwithstanding this, he appeared to be better on the Wednesday, and went out. The doctor this day took leave of him, supposing his presence to be no longer needful. In the evening, when we were alone, my husband made an observation which led me to ask him if he thought he should die soon 2–he answered, ‘I am quite resigned either to life or death, whichever is the will of God.' I felt my mind much affected. I could not but shed tears while I asked him again, “Do you think you shall recover ?” He answered, ‘I have no other apprehensions; I should like to