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. My love and best wishes attend you both; and I am,my good old friend,
Sincerely yours, &c. E. Young". Wellwyn, Nov. 25, 1762.
DR. YOUNG'S NARCISSA, Ex your Magazine for October 1797, p. 444, there is a
curious and affecting Account of the Manner in which the Author of the Night Thoughts buried his Daughterin-Law, his dear Narcissa, at Montpellier. As the following Article, on the same Subject, has lately appeared in a Public Print, it may, perhaps, be interesting to many of your Readers. The Insertion of it will oblige
Yours, &c. J. J. « Tile melancholy event which befel this ingenious Poet at Montpellier, in the death of his daughter-in-law, and the manner in which he was treated by the priests, who refused to suffer her to be buried in sanctified ground, are well known. The Doctor was compelled to dig, with the assistance of his servants, a grave for her remains. Of this event he has himself given a very affecting account in his Night Thoughts. The injurk done: to the feelings of Young upon this occasion, has been atoned, as far as atonement can be afforded, by two French players. Talma and Madame Petit, who are now both at Montpellier, enjoying a large share of public applause, bave caused the body of the young Narcissa to be dug up from the Botanical Garden of Montpellier, where it was buried, and have interred it in a simple manner, with a neat, but elegant monument, at their own expence.”
To E. R. Esq. The many obligations laid upon me by the kindness of
your parents, and the last request of your mother on your behalf, command ine to make known my thoughts to you concerning your present and everlasting state.
I know the grace of God is free, and that many parents. are ip heaven, whose children are in bell; but yet, some
respect the mercy of God hath to children for their parents' sake; which puts me in some hope of you ; and, for myself, I cannot think of your inother, whose soul is now with God, without a strong affection to her offspring; which will not suffer me to see you perish in utter silence, and to forbear my admonition, how ungrateful soever it may prove to your corruption.
I have long enquired after your welfare; and, from the voice of Fame, I heard a very sad report of you :-That you were quite given up to drinking, sporting, idle company and courses, in Aat licentiousness, in your disobedience to your father, and to the grief of his heart; and that, as you were a child when you should have been a man, so now you grow worse than man or child; so that your father was purposed to marry, and dişinherit you, that he might not leave his estate to such a ti me, I was loth to credit this report ; but made further enquiry of some that I knew to be your friends, and all confirmed it; so that I am in great fears test it be true.
Sir, believe it, these lines are not begun to you without tears. Alas! that the only son, the too much beloved darling of my dear deceased friend, should prove a wretch, an invincible neglecter of God and his salvation, and an heir of everlasting misery (without conversion)! Shall the soul of such an affectionate careful mother see you in damnation! Shall the heart of a loving father, who looked for much of his earthly comfort in you, have his greatest. earthly sorrow from you! Is it not sorrow enough to him to part with half himself, but he must see his only son as lost and dead while he is alive?
Sir, if you cannot feel words, you shall shortly have that which will make you feel. What! is your heart become a stone? have you so lately seen the face of death in a deceased mother, and do you no better bethink you of your own I beseech you, for the sake of her that charged you by her last words to you, to be ruled by me; nay, I beseech you, for the sake of God and of your soul, that you would take these lines a little into your private serious thoughts, if you know how to be serious; and that you will not proceed any further in your folly, till you can tell how to answer the questions which I shall now put to you.
Sir, what do you think on? Do you not believe that the infinite God beholdeth you, and that you live in his pre: sence? Is God's presence nothing to you? Are you affected with nothing but what you see? Do you live only by sense, and not by faith? Say not so, without an acknowVOL. X
·ledgment of brutishness; do not so, unless you will disown your inanhood.
I beseech you, tell me, do you ever think of dying, and of what follows? If not, what shift do you make to overcome - your wit, so far as to forget it? If you do, what shift make you to overcome your wit and sense itself so far as to disregard it? Can your guilty soul endure the terrors of an oftended Majesty? Is it nothing to be condemned by the most holy God to everlasting torments ?
Sir, you had best bethink you quickly whom you have to do with. It is not only an earthly father that you offend, but you are a creature and a subject of Eternal Majesty. You owe hin your highest love and obedience; and he will have it, or he will have your heart's blood for it. He will make you know yourself, and know your Maker, and know his laws, and know your duty, or he will inake you how) in endless inisery for it. You may make bold with a man like yourself ; but be not too bold with the consuming fire. The sun is darkness in comparison of his glory; the heavens and earth are but as an hand-breadth, in comparison of his infinite ness. Thousands and ten thousands of glorious angels are praising and serving Him, while such a thing as you are slighting, forgetting, and disobeying Hiin. And do you think he will long put up with this at your hands? If you dare take your Prince by the throat, it you dare play with a raging hungry lion, yet, do not play with the wrath of God. If you dare venture on fire or water, yet learn more wit than to venture on hell-fire.
Do you think these are bus cinptv words? Believe you not a life to come? If you do not, your unbelief shall not procure your escape ; but experience shall convince you, and inake you, in despite of yon, believe or contess that there is an endless life that you should have provided for. If you do believe it, are yon out of your wits, inan, to believe one thing and do another: - to believe that you are near to Heaven or Hell, and yet make light of it!
0, Sir, it is but a few days that you have to take your fleshly pleasures in; but it is long, and long indeed that you inust suffer for it, if speedy sound conversion prevent it not. How mnany years must your rotten flesh and bones lic in the carth, while your soul is paying dear for your wilfulness! and how many millions of years after must soul and body lie in hell! Will you take comfort in the remeinbrance of your present pleasures? Will it ease your torinents, think you, to remember that once you had your will, and once you gratified your fesh? .:
Sir, deal plainly and not deceitfully with yourself. Are you considerately resolved to sell all your hopes of Heaven for your pleasure? Are you resolved of it? Will you make so mad a bargain? Will you venture upon Hell for a little sensual delight? If this be your deliberate resolution, you be not worthy the name of a man, nor worthy to come into the company of men. If it be not, what mean you, to do it? The Governor and Judge of the world hath told you, that they that are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh; and they that are after the Shirit, the things of the Spirit; that to be carnally minded is death; that if ye live after the flesh, ge shall die ;-that they who are in the flesh, cannot please God — and that, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his...
Sir, all these, and a hundred more such, are the true words of God; which I mind you of, that you may see who it is that you are so bold with, and what it is that you cast your soul on. Jest not with damnation. Hearken not to the suggestions of your vain imagination, nor to the deceitful words of prating sensualists, when you see the words of God against then; remember who you are, and where you stand : though you are a gentleman, you are but a lamp of walking dirt, as to that bodily part which you pamper. You are continually in the hand of God.' How afraid am 1, lest I should ere long hear of your death, and so you should be past recovering in Hell, and out of the reach of warnings and advice! And what a base dishonour is it to your understanding, that you should set so high an estimate on the sordid delights of your fleshly mind, as to cast away God and Christ, and Heaven, and soul, and friends, and credit, and conscience, and all for thein!
Why, Sir, is it really your judgment that your feshly pleasures are worth all these? If it be, what a blind and sottish mind have you!' I dare say and profess, that no man in Bedlam hath a greater error. If it be not your judgment, will you go against your own judgment? why, in this, you are far worse than any beast; for a beast hath no reason to mle his appetite, and so disobeyeth not his reason ;' but you have reason, if you will not stifle and bury it, but use it. What is it that you love so much better than God, than Christ, than Heaven, and all? Is it drink, and play; and Aeshly pleasure?', Why a heathen, a Turk, a dog, a swine, hath his part in these as well as you. Take it not ill mar I speak to you in so plain and homely a plırase. I tell you, the day is even at hand when your tongue shall cona .,;- H 2
fess that I spoke not half so ill of your way of folly as it doth deserve. You have read in Luke (the sixteenth) of him that was, tormented in Hell, because he had his good things in this life, in gay clothing and delicious fare : and how much worse than this do you !
0, Sir, reinember sin is deceitful, the flesh is base, the world is worthless, pleasures here are short; but God is of infinite perfection; Heaven is a certain durable possession; holiness is sweet and amiable; the life of godliness is clean, and safe, and pleasant. * I am loth to word it with you any further; but address: myself to you, in the grief of my heart, for your sin and misery, with these three important requests, which I intreat you, that you will not deny ine.
First, That you will, patiently and considerately, read over and over this letter which I write to you.
Secondly, That you will deliberately read over this treatise of conversion, which herewith I send you; and as you go, examine your soul by it, and allow it your most sober solitary thoughts.
Thirdly, That you would presently, this night, betake yourself to God in prayer, on your knees, and lament with tears your former folly, and earnestly beg his pardoning grace, and beseech him to give you a new, a holy, a mortified mind; and make this seriously your daily practice; and then, go to your Father, and on your knees, cons fess your sin and disobedience, and beg his pardon, and promise unfeignedly to do so no more, and that, from this, day forward, you will take your Heshly disposition for the great and dangerous enemy of your soul; on the conquest of which your salvation lieth ; and which you must study to subdue, and not to please. Read what Paul himself thought necessary * ; and that you never more meddle with, sports and recreations, or drink, or other fleshly pleasures, but soberly and ordinately, and no more than is needful to fit you for the service of God; and that your care and business, and every day's work, may be (when you have bewailed your youtliful folly) to do God all the service that you can, and make ready for your appearing before the Lord; and make sure of that everlasting glory which you have forfeited.
Go not out of doors till you have examined yourself whether you go upon your Master's business; and whether. your work be such that you could be comfortably found in, if death shall call you before you come in again,
. Cor. ix. 25-27.