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FOR JUNE, 1832.
MEMOIR OF THE LATE MRS. YOUNG,
MEMBER Of THE SCOTCH CHURCH, CROWN COURT.
The life and walk of a private Christian, though ofttimes replete with varied experiences of the love of God, has generally little in its aspect to interest or attract the attention of the world. The unobtrusive virtue, and the silent joy; —the sanctified feeling, and the ardent piety of a sincerely humbled soul, may want that vividness of colouring, and diversity of incident, that fascinate the mere intellectual eye, and yield a momentary satisfaction to the man of taste. Nevertheless, every exhibition of the power of faith, every development of the native efficacy of pure and nndefiled religion, elevating the moral character, purifying the heart and overcoming the world, is a treasure to the man of God; and whether it be pictured forth in the history of one who grows up like a cedar of Lebanon, or in the life of another who blooms like the meanest floweret in the garden of the Lord, still it tells him of the blessedness and the peace of such as have made the God of Jacob their trust; of the happiness of all who have fled for refuge unto J«sus
as the hope set before them; and of the abiding peace realized by the sinner, within whose heart the Spirit of God has made his abode, filling it with that joy which passeth all understanding.
Under the impression, then, that we are rendering a service thus to the Christian world, we would humbly submit a very few notices of the faith and hope of the late Mrs. Young.
It would little interest the public mind to know where the subject of this memoir was born, or how her early years were passed; and our aim is rather to point out how she lived, and in what hope she died. There is, indeed, something delightfully interesting in watching the gradual changes of mind and feeling that accompany regeneration—it is as when we wait in summer's twilight for the beams of morning. We behold the blessed light first tinging the surrounding elevations, and then spreading itself downward till the panorama of nature is flooded with its brightness ;—so we mark the progress of the light of truth, first influencing the prominent features of the character, and at length irradiating the whole life and conversation, clearly discovering that the heir of darkness has become a child of light and of the day. In the present case, however, we cannot thus gratify the reader, as it was not our privilege to be acquainted with the deceased, until she had attained her thirty-eighth year, and had already grown up in the faith—until the branch had not only been cut off from the wild olive-tree, and grafted into the true vine, but had exhibited decided and multiplied evidences of that living principle, imparted unto all who are rooted and grounded in the faith of the Lord Jesus.
At this period of her Christian career, we were first introduced into her family circle, and experienced in the familiarity of social intercourse all that refined pleasure, which an heart devoted to the Saviour ever diffuses on those around. In her we witnessed the warmth of maternal love, the ceaseless anxiety of the parent, and the winning mildness of the wife, all subordinated to the love of God. She loved and loved deeply those around her; but her affection was displayed chiefly in the fervour of her prayers, and the earnestness of her endeavours, for their spiritual welfare. Her own family shared naturally the largest part in her pious breathings, but the church of Christ was never forgotten. The mother of a numerous progeny, and the victim of a painful distemper, that for years kept her fluctuating between life and death, we might have expected that sorrow and pain, combined with a mother's care, would have induced a peevish discontentedness of spirit, a narrowed selfishness of disposition, that would have cramped her energies, and concentrated them within her own household; but so far
from this being the case, there was even a disposition displayed in the hour of sadness to leave all things in the hands of God, and in the hour of health to extend her cares and her valuable assistance to all the dwellings of affliction. Onewho knew her well, has thus recorded his sense of her private attentions. •—" All who have participated in her friendship have had reason highly to appreciate her acceptable services in times of domestic affliction, from the unassuming manner in which they were proffered, and the noiseless promptitude with which they were rendered; while they were not made the occasion of neglecting or deranging her own family concerns, which amid many interruptions of health, and the anxieties inseparable from an increasing family, were always prudently conducted, &c. &c."
That this is no laboured panegyric, but the simple embodying of what appeared with far more beauty in her life, and with far more simplicity in her diary, we subjoin a few extracts from the latter, as proving that, in this matter, the faithful, though dead, yet speaketh.
*' Sabbath Evening, March, 1799. "My dear husband assembled the children, and read a very affecting discourse from Dr. Doddridge, from 2 Samuel xviii. 33, "0 my son Absalom ! my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son!" It was a very affecting discourse; our dear children seemed to hear it with great attention; and, when it was done, I spoke to them on the necessity of living a godly life, and what the result would be of living near to God, and what a happiness it would be to die in his favour; with some other remarks on that subject. My three eldest children, and my young maid, were deeply affected with the conversation, and I was glad to see the appearance of such feeling in their young minds. But, blessed be God! I have often seen the tears trickle down their cheeks, while speaking to them on such subjects. Oh, may the grace of God be early seen in their lives and conversation!"
j. As furnishing proof that her affliction, indeed, wroughtpatience, and experience, and hope, and dependence on the living God, we subjoin the following extract, doubly interesting, because written during a season of great bodily anguish:—
"Ob, Father of Mercies! how great is thy loving kindness to me above all creatures, that thou shouldest spare me so long in the land of the living, to speak of thy wonders—me, who am but dust and ashes! How justly mightest thou have cut me off, and consigned me to the place of the dead; but thou, Lord, knowest what is best for me. Thou hast been pleased again to visit me with a sharp affliction; thou knowest there is a need be for all thou doest. Lord, be pleased to try my heart and reins—let there be no allowed guile in my soul; but make me an object of thy love; and when thou shall see fit to summon me hence, oh! grant that I may leave the stage of time triumphant, rejoicing in God, my Redeemer. Oh! what a mercy it is to be kept humble; my disorder assails me, but, blessed Lord, let me be enabled to devote myself to thee. 0 merciful God! thou hast laid thine afflicting hand on me, but thou hast helped, thou hast supported my drooping soul; thou hast poured in oil and wine, and refreshed me with thy precious promises. I know thou wilt correct me in mercy—it is to take away my sin and dross. Lord, grant that it may have the desired effect—that I may live more near to thee, and have more close communion with thee, while here. Oh, take possession of my soul for thyself!"
As an evidence that her soul's desire was for the salvation of others—that, deeply imbued herself with the knowledge of the Redeemer, she eagerly desired to make others acquainted with that living bread which came down heaven—we subjoin the following extract from a kiier written to Mr. B .
"18(A April, 1805. "I came with a view to speak to you the other day, but had not an opportunity, on account of the people present. I therefore "rite to remind you that this sickness is another warning from God to prepare for eterm'y. I have been upon my knees before his throne on your behalf, praying that he would change your heart, and bring you savingly to himself. My dear I!., who ever hardened his heart against God and prospered 1 You break his express commandments, by casting up your books, and seeking amusement, on the Lord's day,
instead of going to hear the word of God, or reading your Bible, or praying with and for your children. For Christ's sake, my dear Sir, as you and I must stand with our naked souls before God on the great day of account, think what shall we have to say for ourselves. Oh, I cannet see for tears'1 My heart is overwhelmed to think that you are so careless about your soul—the immortal part that cannot die—that must be eternally miserable or happy! Oh, if you should cast this admonition behind your back, and not take it into serious consideration before it is too late, with a doleful lamentation will you condemn your own folly. Do you think it cost Jesus nothing to redeem us from the curse of an offended God, when it caused him to sweat great drops of blood in the garden Gethsemane? and say, do you profess a great deal of respect for a person who does you a small kindness, and will you not love Christ, who has done so much for your soul? He' has fed and led you all the days of your life, and if you are determined now to shut your ears, God will open them with a vengeance when you appear before his bar. Think seriously of it before it is too late.
"Yours affectionately, &c."
W e have hinted that Mrs. Young was the subject of a painful disease, which she bore with exemplary and Christian fortitude—making it the occasion of earnest solemn admonition to all around to prepare for their latter end; and, more than once, bidding her weeping family farewell, with an eye that was dimmed by the tear of regret for those to be left behind, yet that shone like the sun through a shower, with the brightness of undying hope. Her days were prolonged far beyond what might thus have naturally been expected, and her spared life was devoted to her God. In private she was beloved as a friend, in public she was respected as an example of Christian consistency, of steadfast faith, and of that combination of humble and modest deportment which the apostle describes as the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. Her prosperity changed not her demeanour to the lowly, nor did her adversity sour her temper to the dependant; the leaves of the Christian tree might be shaken by the blasts of sorrow,
but the stem was too firmly rooted in the rock of ages, to be seriously injured by the storms of life. Thus she lived at peace with all—beloved most by those who knew her best—a kind, a dutiful partner—a faithful and most affectionate mother—a tender and devoted friend —and, what is far better, a humble and zealous follower of the Lord Jesus.
In September last, an all-wise Providence saw meet to afflict her in a way that rendered the expression of her feelings altogether impracticable, and thus her surviving friends were deprived of the consolation of again hearing the glowing language of unbroken confidence, and of animated love—she lingered in an almost apathetic state till February 29th, when the spirit that was indeed burdened with a weight of clay, and the soul that was fettered by the feebleness of a dying frame, burst from its confinement, and hasted away to the God who gave it.
Her funeral sermon was preached in the Scotch Church, Crown Court (of which she had been a member upwards of forty years), from these words:—" That by two immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us." In which the preacher delineated, in the first place, the feature of Christian character herein described, in a sinner fleeing for refuge and laying hold upon Christ as a refuge from the storm, and a hiding-place from the tempest. II. He described the consequence of that
flight—viz. the reception of strong consolation, and the solid basis upon which that consolation rested, even the word and oath of Jehovah, in which it is impossible for God to lie. And, in the application, his aim was to prove that the character, the confidence, and the consolation were neither fictitious nor imaginary, but were practically demonstrated in the experience of all who were really members of the mystical body of Christ. Reader! thedeceased,asinful creature like thyself, obtained strong consolation, comfort, peace— peace that passeth all understanding, and the blessed hope of a glorious immortality—and she obtained this, by resting on the atonement of God's dear Son. Art thou able to say, Glory unto God in the highest, for pardon secured through the blood of Jesus ?—then for you is provided strong consolation. Art thou able to say, Glory unto God in the highest for peace procured, and felt, and enjoyed, through the influence of the Holy Spirit ?—then you have shared the strong consolation. Reader, canst thou say, Glory unto God in the highest, for an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, unfading in the skies, almost seen, and almost realized?—then you have obtained the strong consolation; and it will bedew your spirit with holy joy to know and be assured, that the experience of others testifies to the great truth that God's mercy is rich unto all who call upon him insincerity. Blessing, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb for ever and ever.
EXPLANATION OF A MISTAKE.
(To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine.)
Sir,—You will very greatly oblige me from me respecting the Vaudois persecnby inserting a few lines relative to Mr. tions. 1 feel ashamed to have overlooked \Vilks's reply to a former cominunjcatioa the date of Mr. W.'s letter, and beg.ti>